This April, I finished my undergraduate degree! I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of my post-grad life, but I knew changes were coming. The shift in my lifestyle has definitely been a weird adjustment. But honestly, the ways my personal finances have changed during this time have been enlightening, and I wanted to share them!
I have to start planning my student loan repayment
This is probably a given to most people, but nonetheless it’s something I’ve started thinking about a lot. Upon my graduation, The Government of Canada paused student loan repayment for 6 months and made this time interest free.
This situation is letting me get my footing in the realm of student debt without too much stress. But, these payments will come around and I have to plan the future of my finances accordingly. I mean, as best you can “plan” that kind of thing. I’ve spent some time calculating my minimum monthly payment in accordance with my salary and how I should build a rough timeline for repaying my loans.
My budget is benefiting from my new, post-grad life
And when I say this I mean both my monetary budget and my time budget.
This has been one of the best changes to my personal finances since graduating. When I eliminated the cost of transportation to and from school, books, school supplies, and on-campus coffee breaks, my budget finally had a little breathing room.
Along with that, doing schoolwork took up a huge bulk of my time. And I’ve worked both for income and on my own creative endeavors, simultaneously while in university the past four years. With the stress of adding homework into my schedule now gone, my time is freed up to put my best foot forward in both my work and my own personal projects. Each of which translate to more income, even if further down the line.
I’m spending strategically
I feel like graduating has given me a new sense of adulthood. I still feel like I’m a kid sometimes, but having graduated has changed my outlook on myself as I take on life going forward. Big accomplishments will do that for you, huh?
While I haven’t been living this post-grad life super long, the openings in my budget have already made room for more long-lasting, essential, and adult purchases. I think it’s important to invest in your comfort, health, and overall well-being, especially as a young adult. And since graduating I’ve been able to do more of this.
Making “adult” purchases
Recently, I dropped $1,000 on a new mattress. I’d been sleeping on dorm beds, and essentially slabs of foam for the past years, and my back was not loving it. This was something I could not justify spending a big chunk of money on as a student, but given my new financial circumstances I knew it’d be a smart investment rather than continuing to waste money on cheap “mattresses” when I move to new places.
I also decided to change my phone plan despite the higher cost. It ultimately benefited me more and had more of what I truly wanted. But, it costs $20 more than my previous one. I couldn’t afford it as a student but now I can. Not only that but when it comes to those less flippant purchases, I am really thinking about the ways both me and my personal finances will benefit from them in the long run.
I have the capacity to start building my savings
There’s been occasional moments during my undergrad that I’d put a little cash away in a savings account. The only problem is I’d soon realize I couldn’t afford to not have access to these funds and my savings balance would go right back down to $0.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re a student and you can’t build your savings. For most of us, this is unrealistic until we’ve graduated and can finally focus on something besides constant due dates and emails from our professors.
Now that I have graduated, I am trying to focus more on saving. With the extra room I have in my budget, I can set aside even a small amount each month to put in my high-interest savings account. My ability to start saving has been super motivating in terms of feeling like I’m in control of my personal finances. I may be starting small, but it’s a huge upgrade from my life as a student.
I’ve started to think about investing
Investing is a super important part of personal finance. And while I’ve been interested in doing so myself for a little while, I simply have not had the means. Considering I am an investing beginner, I’ve been reading up on robo-advisors as I start to think about what’s right for me.
A great thing about using a robo-advisor is that you need virtually no investing knowledge to get yourself started. It’s a good option for me as a beginner, and I am excited for the prospects of investing as I move forward into this new chapter of my life.
Not to mention the newfound credibility of my degree and the doors it’s opening for me
Having a university degree definitely provides different outcomes for everyone. However, for me, the skills I’ve developed over the past four years have most definitely equipped me for a growing financial future. Because of the work I’ve done, I’ve been able to earn a promotion and make new connections. I can honestly say without my education I would not be as skilled in my field as I have become thus far.
This new chapter of my life and personal finances is hard to predict
I really never know what new prospects or let-downs are waiting around the corner. But I do know that I have to embrace the changes of this new aspect of my life and finances to ensure I equip myself as best I can for a future of positive financial endeavors.