How to Handle Finances After College Dorm Life
Moving out of the dorms and into your own slice of reality is an exciting time. Whether you're doing it right out of college or you're still attending school, making the move out of the dorm brings with it new freedoms and challenges. Few college students fully understand finances and the importance of budgeting. Take advantage of this cheat sheet to better understand how to prepare and handle finances once you're out on your own.
Open a Savings Account
If you haven't already, now is the time to open a savings account. You’ll need a bank account to deposit your money into and begin saving for various expenses. Your local credit union will have a number of benefits over a larger bank. The interest rate is typically higher than what a regular bank offers, and there may be secondary financial benefits offered to you as either a recent graduate or a current college student.
Opening a credit card and maintaining a manageable balance will help build your credit report. Even if you've been paying your cell phone bill, some utilities, and even student loans back, these usually do not help build your credit (although not paying these back can harm your credit score).
Talk to Your Employer
This is something far too many young adults miss out on. Many employers offer a number of financial benefits, including some that help with student loan payments. Companies like Target and Home Depot often provide benefits you might not know about. Talk to the Human Resources department to see if there are any benefits you’re not taking advantage of.
It’s important to budget what you're spending. Add up what you're bringing in every month; you should be paying about 30 percent to rent and utilities, 15 percent to student loans, 10 to 15 percent for transportation, 10 percent for food, 10 to 20 percent into your savings account, and 10 to 20 percent for leisure activities.
Living on your own and taking care of your own finances is, in part, a learning experience. While you probably will make mistakes, life is all about limiting these mistakes and learning from them. By following this cheat sheet for preparing and handling finances once you're out of the dorm, you'll be ready to take control of your personal finances. Now is the time to consult with Clark County Credit Union about a savings account and other credit-building opportunities. Contact us today at 702-228-2228, option 1.