You have graduated college. Congratulations! You’re now entering the ‘real world.’ While I kind of dislike that term, I see why it’s used. It’s used because now many of the protections of life during school are gone. Decisions are now more complicated since you have more of them. It can get overwhelming. But instead of burying your head in the sand, keep reading this post. It will show you how to navigate post-grad life while saving money to better your future. Time to save money!
1. Embrace Technology
Technology is really making daily life cheaper. Since you’re young, I’ll assume you’re plenty comfortable with technology. Use that to your advantage. Use apps to help you find the best time to book a flight, hail a cheap taxi, check for prices online before buying in-store, getting digital coupons for groceries and much, much more. And you needn’t worry about this tech being expensive either. Most apps of course are free and the money you save greatly outweighs the cost of the others – usually.
2. Pay off Debt
Your debt may seem overwhelming. But it’s not. You can handle it. Remember – someone granted you that debt in the first place. That means they trust you will pay it back. They took a risk on you. Don’t you want to prove them right?
So now is a great time to tackle debt. There are many different approaches to doing so. But mathematically speaking, find your highest interest rate debt and attack that first. This will slow the metaphorical blood letting. Make sure to deduct the interest from your taxes – even as a freelancer.
3. Live with Roommates
After college, you may want to live life without roommates. I tried that. Not only did I get lonely but I also missed saving money.
The other day, I calculated how much I have saved since college by having roommates. I graduated at 21 and I just turned 26. So how much did I save? Just over $20,000. That’s nearly enough for a 20% down payment on a home where I live! Incredible. Just for sharing a fridge and occasionally having to wait for the washing machine.
4. Stay on Mom and Dad’s Health Insurance
You can stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you’re 26. This is true even if you get married, have kids, aren’t claimed as a tax-dependent or have turned down coverage with your job. This can save you tons of money without inconveniencing anyone. Ask your parents if this is okay. Make sure to keep their costs in mind. If you’re over 26 and don’t have health insurance with an employer, this post will help you find an affordable plan.
5. Travel with Friends
Let’s say you drive to the next state over for a mini vacation. It cost you $50 in fuel. If you bring a friend, that cost has just been sliced in half. This is true of things like lodging and more. Traveling with friends means you can make more memories and drastically reduce your costs.
While young, biking ain’t no thing. Ha. But really, you just get on and ride. It may be a little challenging at first but pretty soon your young muscles will get used to it. Your thighs and behind will look good.
One thing that helped me start biking was to commit to an instance where I would bike 100% of the time. I committed to biking to work every single day – rain or shine. If work is too far for you, consider only biking to the grocery store. Get a used child trailer off Craigslist.
Plus, biking is cool nowadays. And when not biking, consider driving a manual transmission, fuel-efficient car. Here are 20 reasons we all should drive stick.
7. Save on Insurance
Please get whatever insurance coverage makes you comfortable. But for me, I find low/no insurance to be the way to go while young. My car isn’t expensive enough to justify full coverage insurance. I don’t really need to insure my possessions because they aren’t worth much.
When we get older, we will want to load up on insurance. But when we’re young, we’re running pretty lean on assets. No need to get renters insurance just to cover a futon and a hand-me-down dresser.
Which money saving method(s) will you consider?