It’s no secret that people don’t always land their dream job directly after college.
And in some cases, you have to find an opening and work your way up the career ladder.
But many times, these openings aren’t exactly high-paying jobs.
And especially if you have debt from college on top of your regular bills to pay, budgeting can be overwhelming.
So that’s why today I wanted to share a few budgeting tips that are suitable for people getting started with their first jobs after graduating.
Before we get started though, let’s answer a few common questions surrounding budgeting after college.
What Is the #1 Rule of Budgeting?
Many people see the 50-30-20 rule as the best universal rule of thumb for budgeting.
This rule states that you should use 50% of every paycheck for things you need, 30% for things that you want, and the other 20% should go towards savings.
The 50-30-20 rule works well for some people, but it might need to be adjusted and customized for others.
What Is the Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Budgeting?
Similarly to wanting to know the best practice for budgeting, you probably want to know what to avoid as well.
And the common consensus is that the biggest budgeting mistake you can make is to ignore saving for emergencies.
Whether we like it or not, most of us could come across a situation in which we need money for some sort of emergency.
And it’s better to be safe than sorry, so it’s always best to save for these circumstances. Even if they never happen.
How Much Should You Have Saved Before Your First Job?
Another common question that I see asked is in regards to how much you should have in savings by the time you start your first job.
But even the thought of this concept could give a recently graduated college student anxiety, because many times, you don’t leave college with much savings at all.
Don’t worry though! If you have some money saved up then that’s great, but if you don’t, then you just have to be extra intentional about your budget.
Over time, you’ll be able to build up some savings!
Budgeting Tips For Your First Job After College…
1 – Keep Your Goals In Mind
Although there are certain rules that apply to the majority of budgets, to a certain degree, every person’s budget is going to look a bit different.
And it’s important to embrace that, and always keep your individual needs in mind when you’re creating your very first post-grad budget.
For instance, if you’re coming out of college with some student debt; then it may be one of your main goals to pay that debt off.
Or maybe you like to travel, so it’s important for you to put aside some money for future trips.
No matter what your goals or needs are, you may need to allocate more money to certain areas and less to others in order to accommodate them.
2 – Always Keep Track Of What You’re Spending
Another big part of being able to create an efficient budget is actually knowing where your money is going from month to month.
But tracking your spending is something that takes a while to get used to, so many people neglect to do it.
In fact, according to this article by Best Colleges, only 23% of Gen Zers in 2020 actually knew the amount of money they were spending per month.
So one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is to start writing down your expenses. And be as specific as you can be, especially in the beginning of budgeting.
Know how much you’re spending on rent, utilities, food, entertainment, travel, etc.
Then, once you know what’s taking up most of your budget, you can start to reallocate funds if necessary.
3 – Be Selective About Monthly Subscriptions
Nowadays, monthly subscription services are more popular than ever.
There are streaming services, meal plans, and even bath and beauty products that are selling their services through these subscriptions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With all of these options, it’s no wonder that many of us are signed up for a variety of subscriptions that renew monthly.
However, these subscriptions have a way of piling up without us realizing it. And before long, we may be unknowingly exceeding our budget.
So if you’re noticing that a majority of your paycheck is disappearing due to these services, it might be time to reevaluate.
Take a careful look at your monthly plans, and cancel the ones that you don’t really need or use.
This will likely save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Can You Have an Efficient Budget Straight Out of College?
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of budgeting for postgraduate students, let’s recap.
It’s absolutely possible to create an efficient budget while you’re working your first job, even if you don’t have much money to start out with.
Especially if you follow the tips listed above. Because it’s really all about evaluating your needs and making sure your money is going towards important expenses.
To help you get started, we’ve created a Free Budget Tracker you can download today! Head to our Free Career Center and grab it after subscribing.
Over To You
Do you have any experience with budgeting money with limited finances? If so then feel free to share your own budgeting tips at @netwerkmovement.
And if you know anyone that you feel would benefit from these budgeting tips listed here then please send them this article to spread the knowledge!