If you’re just graduating from a tertiary institution in Nigeria and are wondering what the next phase is, you’re not alone. You’ve probably thought about your present financial state and how scary it is. The days of receiving ‘pocket money’ are over and now the expectations of a graduate are here. You need to get a job and be financially independent. There seems to be a lot of things and you can’t figure out where to start. Well, you can start here.
In this article, I will explain how to start out as a recent graduate with your personal finance. We will touch on:
- What personal finance is.
- Ideas on personal money management.
- Saving as a recent graduate.
- The importance of budgeting.
- Thoughts about every necessary step to take.
What does personal finance look like?
Understanding the basic principles of personal finance is the first step toward mastering your savings and setting up a retirement plan. All these are the things you need to pay attention to now that you’re a graduate.
Here are some tips to hold on to as you make the student graduate transition.
Understand your money pattern
After graduation, the real journey begins. It is advisable to do a quick recap of where you are coming from and where you’re going financially. To navigate your financial life is to have a precise knowledge of your spending and saving habits.
Perhaps you like to spend more when you are out with friends. Or you prefer to stay indoors and not spend. Your personality can have a huge influence on your money pattern. You must know this. Being self-aware about your finances and identifying how your personality affects your personal finance. It can also help you anticipate your spending patterns. This helps you align them with your current financial situation.
Make a budget and follow it
Budgeting is simply making plans for how to spend your money. Your budget does not have to be perfect. But you should have a clear idea of how much goes in and out of your account. By doing that, you wouldn’t spend more than you have, or incur any debt whatsoever on your account.
There are different ways to budget your money, but most importantly, it is better to know your financial input and output. That way, it helps you to organize your income and anticipate what your spending will look like.
Get a job (Know your worth)
After graduation, the next step is to get into the job market.
Many Nigerian universities do not prepare you for the job market. Most times you have to prepare yourself in every way necessary. Let’s say you are trying to become a “tech bro”, what course have you taken to prepare you for that? What field have you made up your mind to jump into?
After acquiring all the necessary skills, you can now become outspoken about your need for a job. Try as much as possible to create so much awareness about your need for a job. You also have to equip yourself with the necessary skills required for you to fit in a particular job. It is never too late to learn a skill.
Make a savings plan
Now that you’re out of school and possibly working, it’s time to have a savings plan. This is something you should have done while you were still a student but it is even more important now that you are out of school.
We recommend opening an emergency plan and long-term savings plan too.
Practice small good habits
Trying to keep up with good financial habits takes time, consistency, and determination. To achieve this, you have to consider some of these;
1. Working towards saving more.
2. Being happy with little cash after saving
3. Avoid borrowing, and so on.
By doing this, you can ensure that your income can be well accounted for and monitored.
As a graduate, it is very important to understand the basics of finances and how it affects your present financial state. Although, the student-to-graduate transition may be a difficult one, organizing your finances and everything relating to finances will go a long way in giving you a soft landing.
It could be difficult at first, but we are here to help you out.