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Post-College Expenses to Prepare for Before Graduation

Post-College Expenses to Prepare for Before Graduation

Written by Haley Kieser

writing money in a notebook

As a college student it’s easy to skirt by. College students are broke, right? If everyone expects you to be broke, why worry about money?

Unfortunately, this mindset can really hinder your ability to manage money after graduating.If you plan on waiting until after college to think about your financial well-being, reality is going to feel like a Razor Scooter to the ankles.

Thankfully, this article can help you get on the right track with your post-grad finances whether you are about to graduate or already have and just need some direction to get on the right track.

Use this quick guide to know which post-college expenses you’re likely to face after receiving your diploma.

1. Moving Expenses

Whether you’re moving back home or taking the leap into a new city or state – relocating requires money. Especially for those relocating to a city alone.

Transportation costs are important to consider. Decide whether you’ll need a plane ticket or a rental truck to get to your new location. If you’re flying, factor in luggage expenses. Choosing to make the trip by car? In addition to the initial cost of renting a truck and/or trailer, you’ll need to factor in gas, rental insurance, food, and hotel stays along the way.

Once you arrive at your final destination, you’ll need furniture. Take inventory of what you currently own and budget the remaining cost to furnish your new place. Fully-furnished apartments require low upfront costs as a student, but they’ll eventually require more funds down the line when you furnish your own place. Otherwise, if you chose to rent an unfurnished house or apartment in college, you’ve likely acquired essential furniture and necessities to live on your own.

Everything considered, relocating after college may end up costing a couple thousand dollars. Obviously, every situation will be different, which is why it’s critical to plan ahead. If you don’t know where you’ll be moving to after graduation, the least you can do is begin saving. When plans become more permanent, use a moving cost calculator to set a budget. Throughout the process, research moving hacks to cut down on costs.

2. Additional Bill Responsibilities

No more student discounts, ouch. If you’re lucky you might stumble on a few opportunities for alumni discounts, but don’t hold your breath, especially if you’re moving to a new area.

Many subscription services offer college student pricing, like Amazon Prime or Spotify. If you currently pay a student price, expect it to become more expensive. This is a perfect opportunity for you to assess whether you actually need that additional service, or whether it’s something you can split with a friend or cancel.

This isn’t the only expense about to rain on your parade. Post-grad tends to be a common time for parents to decide to hand over the reigns on other areas of your life. Your parents may be more lenient and allow you to get on your feet before they sign off on responsibilities. Some of these additional expenditures might include health insurance, doctor and dentist visits, gym memberships, and cell phone service.

To prepare yourself, create a sheet of all your current expenses. Make note: which of these are on a student discount? Now, record what you plan to pay for full price after graduation. Then, list out what your parents currently pay in your name. Call and ask your parents if you’re unsure. If you never ask, you may be in the dark for what’s to come post-college.

3. Transportation Costs

Transportation costs aren’t limited to bus passes or gas. Circling back to relocation expenses, moving to a dense city may mean that parking will be expensive. For some, consider selling your car and opting for alternative options such as bicycling or public transportation.

For those who don’t want to give up the wheel, you’ll need to keep the costs of parking, gas, maintenance, and insurance in mind. If you don’t currently own a vehicle and plan on moving to a rural location that lacks public transportation, you’ll need to consider purchasing a car, which may mean taking on a loan. If you can’t afford to buy a vehicle in full, you’ll need to evaluate what you can afford. Before you sign any papers, make sure to do your due diligence to understand how car financing works.

4. Student Loans

Most student loans have a grace period from the moment of graduation until you are required to start paying them off. The most common grace period is 6 months. However; it’s best not to assume. Do the legwork to find out exactly what will be expected from your loan providers after you finish college.

Start devising a plan of attack now so that you’re not left scrambling to make your monthly payments. The grace period will pass faster than you think. Especially if you’re using your time after graduation to do a little traveling – your mind will be everywhere but your financial responsibilities. So start now.

It can be overwhelming to think about everything at once. That said, breaking down your budget and saving money will help you plan for these larger expected expenses. The best time to think about budgeting is when you don’t have very much cash flow. Then, once you do secure a job and start making a decent salary, it’ll be allocated properly.

 How are you best preparing yourself for life after college?


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Last Updated: 12/12/23