Today, roughly 70% of American students end up taking out loans to go to college. The average graduate leaves school with around $30,000 in debt. The payback of $30K can drag on for an eternity. At a modest interest rate of 5.8% (the national average) that is roughly $1,700 of interest the first year. Assuming a ten-year payback period you will pay $9,700 in interest alone. The first step to a debt-free, stress-reduced life is to get rid of all debt.
A study where seniors were asked what you would do differently in your life? a significant percentage said I would take better care of my health. That 20lbs extra you carry today will catch up with you tomorrow. staying active keeps the energy level up and can positive affect your psyche
As much as I love being outdoors, walking, fishing, etc., I have two friends with skin cancer a third died of it. Wear a hat, put on sunscreen, and limit your unprotected exposure to the sun.
Every dollar saved early your career has the most time to grow. Compounding and regular savings are powerful and amazing allies. Get started as soon as possible.
Budgeting is a great way to keep track of where your money is going. You may learn that a fantastic Italy trip is within your means if you just brown bag lunch. Savings can be passive (automatic) but spending cannot be. You need to track and understand where you are spending your hard-earned cash.
For me, this was the number one factor in achieving financial independence. I saved, invested then spent the rest. It happened automatically and what you do not see or touch you do not spend.
Although I have a BS in accounting, an MBA in finance, and an MS in tax I learned to code after graduation working as an auditor. Coding and data mining became my passion. I kept up going to class reading. I studied and passed and became a Certified Internal Auditor, a Certified Information Systems Auditor, a Certified Bank Examiner. I never was unemployed a single day since my first job. I attribute that to continuing to learn and being a can-do, “happy to help”, multi-skilled skilled guy.
In other words that pile as fast as you possibly can. Think of the pile as your armor against “the spears and arrows of outrageous fortune”.
We have always bought less than we could afford. When all those inevitable economic downturns came around, I did not stress losing my job. Why? Because if I did get laid-off, I knew I could survive a very long time without a paycheck.
Being a reliable and a can-do and “happy to help” person goes a long way.
If something feels wrong do not do it. Your integrity is everything.
This will help you identify where you want to be and how to get there.
“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” it can also affect the quality of your work.
I spent much more than I needed to on a big apartment. Had I a roommate I might have saved $500 or more a month for a couple of years – real money.
This is the perfect time to try things and do things you have always wanted to. Go work for that company that pays less but is located where you want to live and or take up that interest that you love passionately. Give yourself a year or two to enjoy being a 20-something with an income, and then be ready to chart the rest of your life from there. It is a lot harder when you are older and have kids.
Think of debt as the enemy, and no debt with a pile as low-stress nirvana. If the jalopy needs tires bam just get them. Thoughtfully reflect on it before you buy that new car. Might a few-year-old, highly reliable car more efficiently fill your needs?
A contributor surprised me with the following suggestion: Learn to cook.
Coincidentally the day I received the suggestion my wife Carolyn made some delicious onion soup with fresh bread for dinner. A day later I made myself a big pot of New England clam chowder. Learning to cook is not only fun it is a useful lifetime tool as it will help you eat better, healthier food.
A big thanks to the many contributors to 16 Suggestions After Graduating College, for sharing some of their lives hard-learned lessons.
If you found my post helpful, You will find my prior post helpful (click on this link):
10 Steps to Build Your Freedom Nest Egg.
Raymond Mills, M.B.A., M.S. has spent over 30 years of his career as a Controller and Investment Bank and Credit Card Technical Auditor. He now spends his time writing short stories and running his boutique Microsoft Office software customization business.
You can contact Ray @ by emailing him Here or by using the contact form in the right border.