Saving You Money: Post Grad

WGME

For new grads, there's a lot of uncertainty. For the first time, they're out of college and truly on their own, learning how to make a living and support themselves. Figuring out finances is an important piece of that puzzle. First things first, start a budget.

"I think budgeting really allows you to get a handful of where your money is going," said Mallory Lavoie, the Young and Free Spokester for Maine Credit Union League. "Instead of living paycheck to paycheck, you're telling it where it needs to go, instead of wondering where it went."

Lavoie holds a unique position with the Maine Credit Union League to help young people manage their money. She said, when figuring out your budget, factor in your fixed expenses like rent and insurance. Then plug in your variable expenses like groceries and gas. Make sure you don't forget to leave some money for fun activities.

While you're paying off your bills, don't forget to put money aside. Start a rainy day fund separate from a savings account. "You'll have at least a few months of expenses in advance in case you get sick and can't work or in case something happens to your car," said Lavoie. "You'll have the funds to cover them." 

Retirement may seem forever away for new grads entering the workforce, but it's never too early to prepare for it. Ideally, graduates should try to contribute to their 401K and save ten percent of their income per year.

Once you have a good idea of what you're spending and saving, find ways to trim. Learning how to cook and bringing lunches to work will save you from spending money on dining out. If rent is too expensive, consider living with a roommate or your parents.

Consider that any income, is good income. Even if it isn't your dream job, you should find some sort of employment to make sure you receive a paycheck.

"It may not be ideal but there are always opportunities," said Lavoie. "Go in passionate about it and people will see it and notice and that will help give you some opportunities in the future."

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