How To Make Financial Decisions after Graduating Without a Job

Huffington post says that half of recent college graduates are without a full-time job, its scary! When talking about college concerns about money is never far behind. You have spent thousands of dollars and probably owe thousands more. When you are finally out of college one of the most important decisions that you are going to make is to sort and take control of your finances.

College Life

If you start to be financially responsible now even without a job you are also starting a habit that will surely benefit you in the future. You can refer to my earlier post about earning money in college and Saving money while in college.

Plan how you will spend your money

If you are not doing it yet then the very first financial decision you should make right out of college is to learn how to budget your money. A lot of people have negative feelings about budgeting because they find it too much of a hassle. In fact the latest news about college and finances report that a lot of young adults in the country make poor decisions when it comes to finances.

Now this is a very critical issue because right at college young adults start to accumulate debt. Getting a degree is an awesome achievement and it is truly necessary if you want to secure your financial future. However your bachelor’s degree is also not an assurance that you will become financially secure. Financial security all depends on how you will manage your money.

If you choose how to spend your money now and stick by your plan you are actually taking control of your future. When you know how to set aside an amount for a certain purpose you also develop the habit of saving. These are two very important behaviors that everyone should acquire to avoid being trapped in debt.

Being on your own

The general idea is go to college, graduate, find a job, and have your own place to live. However, a lot of graduates these days find themselves facing a very tough employment market and they go for months either unemployed or underemployed. The question then is – is it financially sound to have your own place to live when out of college with no job?

It would be great if you have saved some money that can tide you over on your own after college.

You can pay a few months advance in rent while you hunt for a job. If you haven’t saved enough to pay the rent you can find a co-signer or a guarantor who has the financial capacity to cover your rent in case you default. However, should you choose to live with your parents after college then as much as possible you should also have a plan of being on your own as soon as you are able.

Avoid accumulating any more debt

You may already have a debt paying for your college education and now after graduation you are expected to start paying it off. Thus another important financial decision you should make is to avoid accumulating any more debt. Budgeting is important but saying no to credit is critical. To add to the dilemma loans at this stage in a young adult’s life is actually easy enough to find. There are several financing services that make accumulation of debt so simple.

Debt is a double-edged sword. It can help you achieve or acquire important things. For example your own means of transportation, furniture when starting out on your own, or get training to make your employability better.  On the other hand credit cards and any other type of loan terms can also make it too easy to spend. Before long you may find yourself with a bad credit standing before even having a stable job.

Make it a goal to pay off your student loans

If you have borrowed some money while in college pay this debt off as soon as possible. If you have several debts you may want to consolidate these loans and get a lower interest rate. There are several payment options that you can choose especially when budget is tight because you are still looking for a job.

Venturing into business

There are other means of making money aside from being employed. You could try going into business. Just remember investing in a business is a very important financial decision to make therefore make sure you have studied all possibilities. More than the money, you need to develop the right attitude first if you want to be successful in business.

Business can be very exciting and frustrating and this is where the danger is. Pros in the trading world will tell you that emotion has no room in the enterprise. To be a successful businessman you need to learn to decide based on facts.

Assuring financial success

Getting a degree is a very important milestone in a young adult’s life. When it comes to financial stability having a degree offers better chances than dropping out of college. What you should remember is that more than a college diploma the best way to ensure financial stability is to have the right attitude when it comes to finances.

Now about the main thing, don’t lose heart and keep applying for new jobs. Someday or other the door will open for you and be prepared for that. Take up related volunteer work to keep up to date with the skill and knowledge and wait patiently. You’ll get a job one day and when you do, remember the days of hardship and save as much as you can for another rainy day!

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  1. says

    One of our mates graduated from Teachers College 2 years ago now and is still struggling to find a full time job. She is on the supply list but only gets called in once in a while. She said her dreams of becoming a full-time teacher dwindle and she has loads of debt to pay back. She still lives at home as she can’t afford to live on her own with her car payment, cell phone and debt. I asked her why she is limiting herself to this area and again it all boiled down to she can’t afford to move. I have to ask myself if she can’t afford to move even if she did get a full time teaching job in another city how long did she plan on living at home. Kids are struggling and it will only get worse. Parents need to teach them about finance young, get them saving early, get a job, paper route whatever… teach them that money doesn’t grow on trees. Great post. Mr.CBB

  2. says

    I think the last part about not losing hope and doing volunteer work are necessary if you have yet to land the job you are angling for. especially if the knowledge that goes with your degree needs to be constantly updated.

  3. Lyn says

    How do these qualify as financial tips for unemployed recent college grads. It is implied throughout that you have some sort of income to be budgeting/starting a business/getting an apartment with, and that simply isn’t the case when you’re unemployed (if you had income you’d be employed/underemployed).

    More practical advice for the unemployed recent grad would be how to stretch your $300 savings through a 6-month stint with unemployment.

  4. says

    Yes, very scary indeed!
    First thing that should be done is what you said. Plan things out and be careful with your finances. it is important to know how and where you will spend your money. Stop getting into more debt. That’s another priority. And, pay off all the loans even one at a time. It’s not that easy to find a job after college so we all have to be smart. You said it right!

  5. says

    Well, these tips was really great! You really need to made the right decision when spending money after graduation. It is not easy to find a work so quickly. You need to be wise. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Christopher Johnson says

    I think budgeting for recent college grads is very crucial. Most students don’t have a lot of sources of debt and organizing your finances shouldn’t be a terribly difficult task to do. Just getting started with the budgeting process is most crucial and is definitely the first step to managing your financial situation. A great, free source for budgeting is After you set up a budget, you can then determine which expenses you will have that are necessary and how much additional debt you can afford to take on (an affordable car loan, etc.). Finally, paying off student loan debt is important, but having student loan debt is not the worst thing if you know you can make your monthly payments. Credit bureaus view student loan debt as “good debt” and does not hurt your credit score, provided you are making those payments. Students do need to be careful if they decide to consolidate loans as applies to their situation (consolidating loans and then going to graduate school may result in higher rates, etc.).

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