After weeks of eating ramen noodles and wearing cheaply manufactured garbs from forever 21’s sale rack, recent grads are drooling over the graduation money they just received. Like with refund checks or Christmas money, placing anything over $20 in front of us is like placing a cake in front of a malnourished child. However, once you devour the whole thing, all you’re left with is an empty plate and eventually an empty stomach once again. While finances usually aren’t the sexiest topic, I want to teach you how to strategically cut your dollars into little pieces that will hold you over for a lifetime rather than just one gluttonous impulse meal.
Here’s how to financially have your cake, and eat it too:
Get that impulse buy out your system
Those shoes are to die for, that lip kit just dropped, and you just have to go to that Kendrick concert. I get it. Don’t deny yourself what you want, just be responsible about it. Try to splurge on something that’s an experience (like a festival) or something that you’ll use over and over again (like a high-quality pair of heels that will go with everything). It’s okay to buy one, keyword one, thing that you’ve always wanted. Just don’t blow your whole savings. You worked hard and graduated, so you deserve to reward yourself. Even dieters deserve a cheat day every now and again.
You have to spend money, to make money
If you’re going to blow some cash, make sure you’re doing it wisely. A fraction of your money should be invested in yourself. Buy things that are going to boost your career and aid in your future. Purchase a high-quality blazer for those interviews, an eBook with career advice, or some extra classes for a marketable skill. You could also buy tools to boost either your dream job or your side hustle. If you want to be a photographer, buy a DSLR camera or a fancy smancy lens. This way while your spending money now, you’re going to make that money back and then some in the future.
Another piece of your money should go towards, well making more money of course. Buy a stock or two. Support a business. Starting now is a good introduction to adulting, a whole new world that recent grads have been forcefully thrusted into. If you’re a millennial that doesn’t know where to begin, don’t be afraid to grab a real adult like your parents for help.
With 40% of our money being spent/invested, what do we do with all these leftover coins? Save them. The best way to not be broke is to not spend all your money. However, don’t just let it rot away in a checking account or under a mattress. Just like you should spend wisely, you must save wisely. Place the remaining 60% of your funds in a savings account. This way it’ll grow interest, so when you are ready to spend those coins you’ll have way more money than you started.
Hustle and flow
You have bills to pay and things to buy. That set number of dollars seems large now, but nothing is as big as it seems. Rather than just pulling from your stash, make sure you’re adding money onto it as well. Add a small percentage of your paycheck to your savings. Don’t forget to place any Christmas or birthday money in this equation as well. This way you don’t have to worry about spending your graduation money because you are putting money back into the pot to supplement it.
With the constant flow of coins being spent and saved, you will never be broke. Well, you’re still a recent grad so you’re probably still eating ramen noodles and watching your ex’s parents’ Netflix account for free. Still, at least you’ll be slightly less broke and that’s all that matters.