Happy May to the two types of graduates: Those who are graduating from high school, and those graduating from university.
If you’re now entering the work force, your life is going to be radically different. If you’re still living at home, you’ll now have money coming in with only a limited number of bills to pay. If you’re also moving out of the dorm, or your parent’s home, the bills can quickly to exceed your income. That could likely make you more broke than you’ve been BEFORE you started earning a paycheque.
If you were to be honest with yourself, you’ll admit, at least to yourself, that you stopped listening to your parents advice quite some time ago. Bad news: You’ve now got very little time to get your financial house in order. More bad news: You (and most of the country) isn’t really financially literate. Even more bad news: You’ve got a ton of pent-up wants and needs that you’re going to purchase with little money. And the worst news: Your income, and the fact that you have a small credit rating, lets you borrow.
With rent, a car payment, some utilities, your cell phone bill, credit card payment, and needing to eat, I’d bet most of your 2019 paycheques are spent. Yes, you read that right: Those debts have payments that aren’t going away anytime soon because you have a two-year cell contract, do need to live somewhere that charges rent, and have a car payment until 2023 or longer.
Adults can take a long time to go broke. Graduates often accomplish that in just a few months. When you get there – you can’t get out for a decade or longer. Ask anyone in their 30s what they’d do differently with their finances if they could be your age again.
Maybe somebody in your family will go down to Mosaic Books or Amazon and invest the $20 to gift you the Money Tools and Rules book. You can read a few of the chapters in an hour or less. Read the “Broke is the new rich” chapter. That’ll explain how that doesn’t need to be your life. Read the chapter on specific things to do or not do for just one year after you graduate, and the how to buy a vehicle chapter. Since you have a credit card, read those 30 pages to see how they become your worst nightmare no matter what their ads tell you.
Knowledge is power. You learned that in high school or university. However, your financial learning is just starting, and this is one lifetime course you definitely can’t afford to fail.