Becoming a financially stable graduate

by Leeds Building Society

Planning your finances after graduation

Graduation is a momentous event. Finally receiving that degree certificate after years of hard work signals the beginning of real adult life. This includes embracing all of the responsibilities and opportunities that come with it. Today’s graduates can leave university with debt on their mind. The university fees and student loans can leave young people carrying the heavy weight of financial obligations. With this in mind, it’s vital that you start as you mean to go on, putting plans in place to help you have a financially sound future. Here, we look at ways you can take financial control as a responsible and forward-thinking graduate.

Make good accommodation choices

While it may be tempting to sign up for a gorgeous city centre apartment and enjoy a few years living alone after years in student houses, now’s not the time to be precious about space. During the first few months after university, you may be surprised at the expense attached to independent living beyond graduation. Council tax, gas, electric and water are monthly outgoings that eat into your pay packet very quickly.

Set up a savings account

This is a key piece of advice for any young person, graduate or not. Making regular savings each month will help set you up for a more sound financial future. Create a standing order so that a small amount (between £20 and £60 is a good starting point) leaves your account every month without you needing to give it a second thought.

Be realistic with your job expectations

The job market is full of graduates looking for the perfect opportunity to work for a reputable firm with an excellent wage. Be prepared to be patient. You may find yourself earning a lot less than you expect. With hard work and experience you will hopefully see your income rise.

Have an emergency fund

If you’re saving savvy, you may have a little money set aside. Perhaps your parents gifted you some cash at graduation, or maybe you held on to the money you saved over the summer. If so, keep it. You never know when you may need a lump sum. If you are required to attend a job interview in a different city, have emergency dentist treatments or your car breaks down, this cash will see you through.

Manage debt carefully

Today’s graduates often leave university in debt. Whether you have an overdraft to pay off, student loans, credit cards or a mix of all three, it’s important to face up to debt and sensibly work out how best to manage it. For more information on how to handle debt visit the Money Advice Service website.

For more information about saving money and staying in control of your finances, take a look at the savings section of our Knowledge Base.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.