3 Modern Manners Tips on How to be Financially Independent After Graduation

05/11/2017 10:58 am ET
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Now that college graduation is approaching, some parents may tell their children that they are now financially on their own. College graduates who are in their early twenties are considered emerging adults, yet 43% are not tracking their spending.

If you’re no longer going to be dependent on your parents, and are going out in the real world, consider these tips to help you transition from college student to post-graduate adult.

1. Become a Budgeting Expert

Most likely, the days of eating ramen at midnight are over and you will begin to eat a more sophisticated diet. Making a list of your expenses will help you plan spending on a monthly basis. Make a spreadsheet with categories for rent, food and groceries, entertainment, student debt, and savings. Incorporate your income as well; then decipher the amount allotted under each category. Whether you want to make an excel spreadsheet or use an app, like Mint, both are great personal finance tools that provide a visual of monthly spending.

2. Money Management 101

Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, co-authors of Rich Dad Poor Dad advise that it’s important to pay yourself first, rather than last. If your savings category is the last to fill, you more than likely won’t have enough money left to save after fixed expenses. Paying yourself first is a way to discipline and motivate yourself. You will have to find a way to pay your financial responsibilities because you’ll have no other option, whereas depositing into your savings account is often left as a choice.

3. Student Debtor

About 70% of college graduates walked across the stage knowing they have student loan debt. After graduation celebrations, it’s crucial to take time to understand the loan interest rate. Some loans may have a grace period, which is the time you have until your first payment is due. Programs like Salt, are dedicated to help recent college graduates understand their borrowing options and the loan repayment process.

With a worn cap and gown, and a diploma in hand, keep on adding to your success with proper financial management skills that will benefit you, both short and long-term!

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

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