The Personal Finance Advice Every Uni Graduate Needs

The Personal Finance Advice Every Uni Graduate Needs
Photo: GFialkowski, Shutterstock

For years you’ve lived on a uni budget, scrounging meals where you can, buying petrol on a trip-by-trip basis, and never once pondering the term “super.” Getting that first paycheque from your employer is going to feel like more money than you know what to do with. But before you start daydreaming about fancy cars and beach vacations, make sure you have your longterm ducks in a row with these ten financial tips.

Know your worth in salary negotiations

Negotiating your first salary is difficult, but you’re not without leverage. Use resources at your disposal, such as your university career centre and other recent college graduates in your industry, to assess if the offer you’ve been made is sufficient market value. Otherwise, you certainly don’t need to take the first offer that comes along.

Be realistic about moving out

After experiencing four years of freedom, you’re probably not jonesing to move back in with your parents. But if this is an option, it’s worth considering, especially if you’re among those saddled with significant debt. Saving on monthly rent payments lets you save money and pay down loans at an more impressive speed. Besides, you’re going to want a nest egg before you take on signing a lease.

Do your due diligence regarding health insurance

If it’s an option for you, stay on your parents’ health insurance as long as possible. If not, really consider which of the plans your employer is offering is right for you. For instance, you might not need the most expensive option if you don’t foresee needing a low deductible. And if you don’t know what that means, here’s a good place to start.

Create a budget

It’s scary at first, but it’s important to know how much money you’re spending, and on what. Many like the 50/30/20 rule: Spend 50% on needs (like rent, groceries, and minimum loan payments), spend 30% on splurges (like trips, takeout, and concert tickets), and spend 20% on savings and extra payments on high-interest debt.

Buying a car

Unfortunately, due to inflation, now is not a great time to buy new or used cars. If you think you can get by without one, that might be the right call. But if having a car is non-negotiable, just remember you’re going to need to factor into your budget reoccurring line items, such as car insurance, gas, and frequent vehicle maintenance.

Earmark some money for fun

Saving money is great, and it’s important for your future. But it’s important to build a little “fun money” into your budget. Find little ways to splurge by buying those concert tickets, or going to that trendy restaurant — just don’t go into more debt to do it.

Log in to comment on this story!