So the day has come, you are officially done with school and ready for the real world. Or are you? Studies have shown a significant decrease in college graduates getting immediate employment in their field of study. It is very easy to get sucked into debt while you are in school, hoping you will be able to land a job and pay it back once you graduate. In many cases this does not happen, or at least not immediately and many college graduates are forced to move back home. This may not be all that bad of an idea, as you start to define a career path and make your way in the world accumulating debt is not the way you want to begin.
No Credit Cards
First, do not sign up for credit cards. They will lock you into high interest rates, and this is not the way to sustain yourself when starting out. Be frugal and save what money you have, only buying things with that money.
If you have student loans, pay what you can. The only way you will ever get ahead is by getting out of debt. Don’t let them go into default and hurt your credit, you will need a good score soon enough.
If you decide not to move home, consider living with a roommate. It will cut one of your largest bills in half. You will also be able to split your utility, cable and internet bills as well.
Be a bargain shopper. When it comes to buying professional attire, shop at discount stores. You will be able to get good enough quality clothing for an interview without having to pay hundreds of dollars at a department store. This may seem like petty money at first, but it is the added up petty money that will catapult you into debt.
Look for alternative sources of income. Just because you haven’t landed the big job yet, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to make money. Help a friend paint or do some lawn work, every dollar you earn at this point of your life is golden.
Avoid High Interest Loans
Before taking out high interest and risky loans, such as payday loans, seek help from your family members. There are many companies out there that will lure you into a high interest loan, avoid them at all costs.
If you are single, keep it in your pants. There is no reason to start making babies when you are still learning how to support yourself. Don’t get ahead of the game and do something that you cannot sustain, this goes for taking care of pets as well.
All in all staying out of debt will require you to be creative and frugal all at once. Don’t take the easy money, work hard and live within your means. It is important that you get a good start to living financially healthy. Once you get into debt it can be a downward spiral that is very difficult to climb out of. Avoiding credit cards is one of the most important things you can do. While they can be good to have around for emergencies many people abuse them and should not have them at all. Pay off what debt you have as much as you possibly can, your ticket to financial freedom lies in your ability to have good credit and money set aside.
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Amit Gangrade is from Orlando, Florida. He is a recent alumn from the University of Florida, where he studied anthropology and Spanish, and will be attending law school at Emory University in the fall of 2014. Amit highly recommends the Law Office of Scott D. Owens for anyone in need of a consumer advocate attorney.