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Transitioning Into the Real World

College is an awesome time. Students are in a bubble with all of their friends and the living is easy. Going out and buying $1 beers to eating at restaurants and dining halls, college students don’t have many worries. They don’t have any insurance payments, mortgages, or families to feed, but once they graduate, the rest of their lives begin. With that being said, transitioning to the real world can be really tough, and it’s important to cut back on certain things to live comfortably.

Live Modestly

As a college grad, you don’t really have many possessions, so you really don’t need a huge and expensive space to live. You aren’t paying a mortgage and have the ability to move around freely. Keeping this in mind, rent a place with some friends (it’s cheaper when there are multiple people) or sacrifice some space to save money if you are living alone.

Scissors Cutting Spending

Forget the College Lifestyle

You can’t go out every night or eat at restaurants 4-5 times a week anymore. It’s important to budget for what you can or can’t do. The $20 you spend on an uneventful Wednesday night could pay your electric bill or make your Saturday even better. It’s all about putting things into perspective and looking at the long term.

Use Cash

A lot of recent-grads struggle to stay within their budget because of dealing with “electronic money”, so it’s best to go cash. We live in a world of convenience, and obviously cards are more convenient, but the problem with this is that you forget the true value of the money you are spending and have trouble keeping within your limits. Once you start using cash to pay for your groceries, coffee, gas, etc., you will be reminded of how much money you are spending and be able to see and feel the money you are losing or saving.

These are some of the things that I changed in my life after I graduated that have helped me get by. It’s important to save and keep track of how much you are spending, so that when the time comes, you can enjoy yourself and not have to worry about how much money you have.

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Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is founder at phroogal, creator of the award-winning project the Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and NY Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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