Financial Advice for College Seniors

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The jump from college to the real world is a tall task even in the best of times. I think we can all agree that these are far from the best of times. As questions and concerns have weighed on all of us throughout this global pandemic, let’s take a look at what is floating around the minds of the collegiate graduating class of 2020, and cover a few important financial tips.

Although a global pandemic was not factored into most college senior’s graduation plans, the outlook for some students appears more grim than others. The dividing factor is whether these college grads have already secured employment for the fall.

For the students that have full time jobs starting in September, there are long term concerns that they need to consider, such as:

 

“Will my field be susceptible to volatile market conditions in the future?”

“When will I have enough money saved up to buy a house and start a family?”

“How much do I need to save up for a rainy-day fund?”

“How and when do I start to get my money to work for me?”

 

For students who have not yet signed full time job offers, there is a potential heightened level of concern.

Non-committed college seniors may be wondering:

 

“How will I pay a deposit on the apartment/house I plan to rent in the fall, let alone my monthly rent with no income?”

“When will I be able to start chipping away at my $100,000 student debt?”

“Will I have to move back in with my parents?”

When do I get to start saving for retirement?”

 

We spoke to a 2020 business graduate from the University of Washington who, when asked about his unemployed classmates, said, “Oh for them it’s definitely panic time. Some people don’t understand the stress and anxiety that comes after working so hard for four years and being left with slim options for a job because of something that is completely out of your control.”

At Trost Financial we understand that this is an incredibly troubling and strange time for college graduates nationwide, so our team has put together a list of financial tips to help you start moving in the right direction:

 

  1. Build a budget: Stick to a plan that is reasonable and within your means.
  2. Start chipping away at those student loans ASAP: For each payment, send a little more than the minimum payment required. This will help to decrease the principal of the loan and spend less in interest over the long run.
  3. Find a job: Even if it is not your dream job, you will need a revenue stream that helps pay off bills and generates some sort of income. Experience is key in the professional world and building your resume can get you one step closer to that dream job.
  4. Consider going back to school: This is not the answer for everyone, but some professional training’s, education, or certifications could be a productive use of your time during this pandemic-fueled economic rut. This will help you stand out against other applicants as we make our way out of a recession.
  5. Embrace mistakes: You are young! Making a mistake is not the end of the world. Disassociate mistakes with negativity and treat them as teaching moments. This type of attitude will only promote growth.
  6. Keep an open mind: Take on new challenges you might not have considered before!

 

We hope these tips will help you navigate through this uncharted territory and relieve some of your stress. Congratulations on fulfilling the promises you made to yourself and to your loved ones. You did it! Your hard work and sacrifices over the last four years will surely pay off. Remember that tough times will never last, only tough people!

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