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Creating The Best Game Plan After Graduation
After years of late-night studying and taking those grueling exams that seem never to end, you are finally graduating. But the question now is, what’s next? What are you supposed to do?
You can go on a vacation and take that much-needed R&R but keep in mind that you still have one thing to take care of.
If you could afford to go into college without getting a loan, then you’re lucky. But for the majority, you only have six months after graduation before you start paying off your debt. So imagine – you haven’t even started working, yet you are already in debt.
According to a study, they found out that 38% of students feel that their debt would hold them back after graduation, while 11% end up defaulting.
Now worry not as there is a way on how you can manage this. All you need to do is create a game plan after graduation. Here’s how to.
Do Your Prep Work
Of course, after graduation, the first thing that comes to your mind is to find a job. That is the reason why you went to college in the first place. But before you make any application, you need to make sure that you clean your social media accounts.
Take away your negative posts and your wild party photos that might put a red flag on your future employer. Companies today tend to check their applicant’s social media accounts, so you should clean it up before they see it.
It is also the best time to start creating accounts in LinkedIn as it is more professional and appropriate for a work setting.
Start The Job Hunt
Make job hunting your full-time job as of the moment. It is a competitive world out there, and you are not the only one looking for a job. Don’t get demotivated if you can’t get your dream job at first. Instead, find any job that you can work on while you are applying. It can be bartending in a coffee shop or working in a restaurant or retail store.
Since you do not have any working experience, doing these jobs would give you the experience you need to get better work.
Make sure that you work hard and responsibly so that your future employer would see the kind of behavior you have. If you also do a good job, your current employer can put a good word for you, which is a plus for your credential.
Do Not Forget About Your Debt
Finally, you get your first salary. Maybe it is the first time you ever got money that you can call your own. It is ok to reward yourself for a job well done but remember that you still have debts to pay off. It is easy to get carried away buying things.
Create a budget plan that would help you distribute your income to all your expenses, including your debts.
A good technique is to start prioritizing the ones with the highest cost. For example, if you have credit card loans, make that on top of your list, followed by your private personal loans and federal student loans.
Look For A Repayment Option
If you have a Federal Student loan, do not worry, as they offer flexible repayment options.
For example, they offer plans such as “pay as you earn,” wherein you can repay using 10% of your discretionary income. This income is the amount left after paying taxes and paying for personal necessities such as food, water, and shelter. If you don’t have a discretionary income, then payment is set at zero.
There are also other plans that you can choose from depending on your capacity to pay. Whatever plan you choose, make sure that you don’t default.
Start Working On Your Finances
It would help if you work on your finances as early as now. First, start creating an emergency fund, savings, and a retirement plan.
Your emergency fund should be at least three times the worth of your monthly salary; then, your retirement fund should be equal to 10 years’ worth of your annual income.
Now is the best time to do this since your only obligation is to fend for yourself. But, of course, as you age, you’ll be given more responsibilities, making it harder to save. Especially when you start to have your own family, and you have to consider taking care of their welfare.
When you graduate and start earning, you need to create a plan that can help give you financial freedom even after you retire.
Graduation is the end of your college years and the start of life in the real world. Your decisions and actions would affect how your life would be in the future, so it is better that you create a plan to set as a guide keeping you on track in reaching your goal.
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