University has come to and end and it’s finally time to face the real adult world. It is a scary prospect for all students. Sure, you’ve had a taste for adult life, paying your student rent and bills, studying and holding down a part-time job at the same time, but now for reality. The party lifestyle can continue for longer but you’ll have to do it whilst completely managing your own finances, possibly for the first time in your life. What do you need to do right now to ensure there is a smooth financial transition from your student life to life as a graduate?
There are a number of options open to you:
- Stay on in Higher Education
- Go Travelling before Returning to Find Work
- Look for a Job Right Away
- Seek Internships as a Way into a Career you Love
- Move Back Home in the Short-Term to Save Money
- Finding a New Place to Live
- Absolutely No Clue What to do With Your Life! (It’s ok if you’re not sure what to do just yet, there are still processes you can put in place to help your financial journey)
No matter what you are choosing to do with your life immediately after graduating from University, there are a few financial matters and logistics to take care of.
It can be a wrench to move out of your home for the last year of student life. Wave goodbye to the empty pizza boxes and the remains of all the parties you’ve had (we know not all student houses are like that!), clear your stuff up and then think about the cleaning. It is important to learn the responsibility of your tenancy once it comes to an end. Make sure that everything is cleaned, all appliances work and that there are no glaring anomalies so that your landlord will pay you back your deposit (it will be protected within a Government backed tenancy deposit scheme).
This is important as it can go toward your next home, and you should be prepared to make a clear inventory in your new property to protect your deposit there. Other than that it is vital that you tie up any loose ends in terms of utility bills, letting the companies know the dates you are moving out, providing meter readings on that day and sorting out any outstanding payments before leaving.
Once you have moved to a new home, whether that is back home to your parents, or to a brand new home on your own, with friends or a partner, it is important to register on the electoral roll as soon as possible – which can be done online. If you don’t inform your local council of where you are living it can have a negative impact on your credit score and ability to secure a short-term loan or other credit.
You’ll have had some practice with this as a student but now it’s time to get even more serious. Write down your outgoings in detail, and if you have a job or are looking for a job, work out how much you will need each month to cover the basics such as rent, electricity, groceries etc. If you have a car is it a necessity or could you get by on pubic transport? You’ll have to learn all about putting enough money aside to pay for council tax, shop around for energy prices and work out what changes will be made to your bank account now that it is no longer a student bank account.
It might seem a daunting prospect to head into adult life and leave your student days behind you, but whatever you choose in life make sure you are set up now to look after your finances. Learning how to budget, pay off debts, keeping your information accurate and up-to-date, and shopping around for good deals on rent, utilities and major life admin are all great skills to possess and will stand you in good stead for adulthood proper.