5 Budgeting Tips for Recent Grads

Posted on October 1, 2015

We have a private Facebook group for our Intern Queen Network alumni who have graduated college and are now in their first, second, and third jobs in the real world. One of our recent grads posted in the group and asked about budgeting tips. I wanted to share what some of the comments and tips were for budgeting after college.

  • Budgeting Apps. The app that keeps being recommended by our network is Mint.com. Students from our network say that Mint has been the easiest to navigate. I know it sounds scary to put your banking information into a random app but Mint does seem to have gotten our Intern Queen Network stamp of approval. Saya Arakawa, who graduated from UCF and now works at Push, says “I’ve been using Mint for years and it’s definitely the one I feel the most protected with since it’s owend by Intuit.” Another one of our reps said that it was super easy to nagivage and even helped her find fraudulent charges!
  • Budgeting Charts Via Excel. Another one of our reps, Sara Gonzalez, who graduated from Michigan State and works as a digital investment associate says that she uses apps like Mint but also set up her own budgeting chart using Excel. This will enable you to customize fields, track expenses, and track your income. You can sort and manage this form however you wish, email to yourself, etc. Sara says that tracking her finances this way really helps her understand what she is spending each month and where her money is going.
  • Handle the Rent Immediately. One of our reps says that she gets paid weekly so every week she writes herself a check for a portion of her rent (1/4) and puts it into a second checking account. This helps her stay on top of her rent money and not spend it. She says that since this is her first time with a real job and the first time paying rent it really helps her not spend the money she’ll need for it. This could also work if you are getting paid every other week. You’d write yourself a check for ½ the rent and that way you are only spending the money you actually have instead of money that needs to go towards the rent.
  • Automate Bills. Sara Gonzalez says that she automates all of her bills; rent, student loan payments, and her 401K.
  • Transfer a Percentage of Your Check To Savings. Our rep, Sara Gonzalez, also recommends following her lead of putting a percentage of each paycheck into savings. She says it’s easier when she doesn’t “see” the money. I think this is a fantastic idea. If this really is your first job, you might not be getting paid much. Here’s a challenge for you, put $100 in a savings account each month – no more, no less. Let’s see how that goes and evaluate after six months. This will help you pad your savings account and develop responsible saving habits.

 

For more budgeting tips for after college, read my book, Welcome to the Real World.


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