Budgeting essentials for life after graduation

Published: Friday, Feb. 15 2013 10:45 a.m. MST

Nina Frias and Guido Arochi of the Mexican Consulate shake hands with Guadalupe Puerta as Puerta receives a graduation certificate after completing classes sponsored by Centro de la Familia de Utah during a graduation ceremony in Salt Lake City Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. Money Under 30 offers four tips for graduates like Puerta.

Brian Nicholson, OKespaÑol

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Going from being a student to being a college graduate is a big transition to say the least. Money Under 30 offers four ways to make sure graduates are in the "best financial state possible."

Don’t compare

Some graduates have full-time job offers when they graduate. Maria LaMagna, financial writer for Money Under 30, said she has learned not to compare.

“They might be able to live a different lifestyle than I’m able to, and that’s OK!” LaMagna wrote in her article. “As long as I’m not trying to keep up with them, and I focus on my own situation instead of theirs, I’ll be able to stick to my own personal budget.”

Reasonable rent

Don’t expect to live in a big apartment, LaMagna says. Live with family or multiple roommates if you can. Start modestly and upgrade later.

Student loans

Pay these first, according to LaMagna, as putting them off is a bad alternative.

“Being responsible doesn’t necessarily mean paying them as quickly as possible, but it does mean making them a priority,” LaMagna said.

Make sacrifices but give yourself a break

Experts suggest 50 percent of your income should go to “essentials,” 20 percent for savings (two-thirds for retirement, one-third emergencies) and 30 percent for whatever you want.

Keep track of small purchases that can easily put you over the 30 percent, LaMagna suggests. If 50 percent of your entry-level income doesn’t cover the essentials like bills and transportation costs, shave it off of your wants.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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