College graduates might think that the time to have some fun has finally arrived, and while a bit of relaxation has definitely been well-earned, kicking back to focus only on fun can be a dangerous mindset. The decisions made fresh out of college can affect the quality of life you enjoy as well as set the tone for your financial health in the future.
Take a look at a few of these financial mistakes so you don’t fall into the trap of so many of those that have gone before.
1. Being Too Picky About Jobs or Not Being Picky Enough
This might sound more like career advice than financial advice, but the simple truth is that your job directly impacts your financial situation. Some graduates have trouble accepting entry level jobs because they believe that their degree should entitle them to skip a few rungs on the career ladder, however the fact of the matter is that many fields now require a degree just to get your foot in the door. Turning up your nose at a frontline job because you pictured yourself in an office just out of college could be a huge mistake.
At the other end of the spectrum, some graduates would take any job that promises to pay above a certain level of income. It is a mistake to focus solely on money so early in your career because youth often gives you the advantage of making some financial sacrifices so you can get more important experience under your belt. If you look only at money you could find yourself in a dead-end job that will eventually leave you miserable.
2. Living Beyond Your Means
The life of a college student can often involve penny-pinching and sacrifice because you must live off of the money you get from your parents or your part-time job. This is why the sudden inflation of disposable income can be overwhelming to a college graduate. Money can seem limitless, especially when credit cards are involved. If you are not careful about your spending you could end up in debt in a very short space of time. Follow this guide to help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.
3. Neglecting Student Loans
Putting off paying your student loans or not making them a priority is a huge mistake. The sooner you can get rid of this debt the better because you may want to get a home of your own or enter into other debt obligations that will be severely restricted by the looming presence of student debt.
4. Not Focusing on Goals
While you may have been a dedicated and successful student, the freedom of graduation has the power to put a damper on the importance of setting goals. If you don’t have goals for your life, you can spend money and live day to day without really achieving anything. Goals help to define your progress and ensure that you are on your way to getting what you want out of life. Your goals can be small but getting into the habit of setting achievable and worthwhile goals can vastly improve your standard of living.