So you just graduated college, huh? Well, congratulations! You’ve reached a milestone. You’re also officially in debt.
Whether your student loans are creeping up on you or your credit card bill is currently an American Horror Story of its own, you probably know by now what it feels like to be in debt. You probably also know that it’s not fun at all. Whatever the case, there are ways to deal with your debt after you finally toss your cap, and if you’re in need of some advice on how to do that, read on.
1. Take advantage of your student loan grace period.
If you took out any student loans, then you should know by now that you have six months after graduation before you’re summoned to make your first payment. This doesn’t mean that you should act like it doesn’t exist because doing so would mean that your repayment will slowly start to creep back up on you. So, even if you’re not where you want to be immediately after you graduate, take advantage of your grace period. That means taking some time to learn about what happens during the grace period while also taking any amount of money that you may get (from any job) during that time and attempting to save some portion of it so that it won’t be difficult for you to make that first payment once the time finally comes along. Go ahead and look into student loan consolidation if you have taken out multiple loans.
2. Keep your spending under control.
Part of adulting is making responsible purchases and making sure that you only spend money on the things you need, especially if you’re already in debt. Keep your spending under control by asking yourself how necessary some of your purchases are. Do you really need to stop and spend $5.00 on a latte every morning? You probably also don’t need to spend money on fast food when you can cook for yourself at home. Take a look at your spending history or even think about what your spending habits were when you were still in college. From there, try and make some improvements.
3. Don’t add to your credit card bill.
Credit cards can be cool at first… The concept of buying something now and paying for it later is so tempting. But as the bill begins to tower, it can be a bit of a burden. Trying to set up a plan to pay back your student loans while also attempting to get your credit card bill under control is no joke. At this point, make sure you’re using your credit card to make emergency purchases only. If not, at least be sure that when you use your credit card, you’re not getting in over your head, i.e. make sure that you can actually pay for what you buy.
4. Live at home.
Living at home after graduating isn’t ideal for some people, but it’s most definitely a money saver. If you can actually stand to live in your hometown for some time after college, then it wouldn’t hurt to move back in with your parents, especially if you’ll also be working. Moving back home will give you the opportunity to save way more money, on top of the fact that it’ll give you a little more time to think about where you really want to be.