Posts Tagged ‘life after college’

4 Ways to Earn Extra Money as a College Grad

As a fresh college graduate, you’re probably pressed for pennies. With the economy as it is, many students leave school without a job to jump into, and with student loans looming in the distance. While moving back home after graduation can greatly assist with this burden, some students don’t have that option, making their financial situations even more stressful. If you’re in need for cash as you wait eagerly by  your cell phone for a job offer, or if you need some extra money to afford your apartment, student loans, and groceries, check out these four ways college graduates can add a little more green to their wallets.

Sell Your Stuff:

Upon leaving for college, you may have looked around your bedroom fondly, thinking to yourself how much you would miss everything there, and how important it all was to you. Now that its been four years or more, you may not have quite the same tastes. Perhaps the video games you once loved are now overplayed and collecting dust. Maybe your bedroom set is looking a bit childish. Perhaps you have a bigger and better TV now and don’t need the little one sitting on your dresser. You might want to check out all the college textbooks you saved and determine whether they’re still relevant to your career. Go through your belongings and sell what you no longer use or want.

Take on Tutoring:

If you’ve got a few extra hours a week, and you’re trying to figure out what to do with that math degree, consider offering tutoring services to your local middle schools and high schools. To a college graduate like you, their homework and tests will be a cinch, and you can explain to them when they’ll “need this in real life.”


For those trying to find something in the photography, video, art, writing, graphic design, and other creative arts areas, you may want to consider freelancing. As a freelancer, you’ll work on and get paid for individual projects people or businesses need. You can be hired this way through friends and family, or through freelancing web sites such as Elance, Guru, iFreelance, and Freelancer. By freelancing, you can work around other jobs, and as often or as little as you like.

Part-Time It:

While you may feel like you earned your degree so you don’t have to work a check-out line, a part time job where you’re only required to work a few hours a week could give you that financial boost you really need. Working eight hours a week at minimum wage is an extra $200 a month! That could be your car payment! In addition, many college grads with professional office jobs find their second part-time job at the coffee shop or grocery store to be a nice break from the high stress and high standards environment of their full time job. Suddenly, wearing a uniform and chatting with your coworkers during the slow hours is kind of refreshing!

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3 Issues College Grads Face When Adjusting to the “Real World”

The months following your college graduation can be joyous for some; but for many, it’s a confusing, troubling, sometimes depressing transition that isn’t discussed enough. Many new grads find themselves back at home with no job and their closest friends now on other ends of the state, after spending four years in classes doing what they love, living independent lives, with all of their friends in the same apartment! It’s no wonder the transition can be a rough one! If you’re not enjoying your life as a degree-holding citizen just yet, read on to the three issues you may be facing, and how to deal with them!

Loss of Importance:

By the time you’re a junior and senior in college, you’re on top of the world! You’ve got friends all over campus, you’re excelling in your major, you’ve got a routine, you’re living an independent life, and you’re pretty set on who you are as a person. Going from on top of the world to your parents’ house, or even your own apartment, can feel like a bit of a shock. You might not have friends anymore back in your hometown. You might not have a job to show off your skills. The number of people you see on a daily basis is significantly less, and they don’t all know who you are. It’s normal to suddenly feel like a tiny speck.

How to Deal:

It’s important to understand this feeling is only temporary as you transition into the real world. Once you’ve reconnected with friends or made new ones, have a job you can do well in, and a routine, you’ll start to feel that importance again.

Lack of Job:

It can be incredibly frustrating to know how good you are at what you do, but be unable to get someone to hire you to do it. It can be annoying when the kid who sat behind you who always asked you for help and failed every other test, has a great job and makes great money. You’ll ask yourself, how does this make sense?!

How to Deal:

While finding a job can be difficult, it’s important that you don’t lose faith, and that you don’t compare yourself to how other people are doing. Maybe that annoying kid won’t last ten minutes in that job. Maybe it’s his father’s company. Regardless of how he landed himself there, you can do it too. Not having a job is only temporary.

Not Making What You Thought:

Sometimes college professors will encourage their students by telling them how much money they’ll be making when they graduate. Unfortunately, professors don’t always have the latest information on entry-level jobs, leaving college grads disappointed with the salaries they are offered at job interviews. This can be disappointing for a lot of students, and may even cause some to regret choosing their field of study.

How to Deal:

Remember that your entry-level position isn’t where you’ll be staying the rest of your life. Despite what you might have been told, most college grads in their early twenties don’t make very much, regardless of their field of study. As you become more experienced, you’ll earn a better income.

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The College Graduate Budget: 3 Expenses You May Not Have Considered

For some college graduates, moving out on their own is something that happens immediately. They’re signing a lease the week they’re handed their diploma and from there, they dive into the real world of landlords, bills, and laundry. Others may choose to live with their parents a few years as they pay off their student loans before jumping into a place to call their own. No matter what your timeline is, there will come a day where you’ll be living independently. Many people will give you advice on what you should bring to your new place, ranging from a coffee maker to a security system, but having a budget plan could be the most useful tool of all.

Designing your first budget plan after college may not be easy. In college, you likely dealt in point systems, meal plans, loans, school debit cards, and other forms of money that don’t actually feel like money. Your food was already prepared and your gym, internet, and cable fees were all built into your cost of attendance. Now you’ll have to determine your own cost of living. You’ll have to calculate how much you spend on rent, food, phone bills, student loans, movies with your friends, XBox Live, and every other category in which you write a check, swipe a card, or hand out cash. You may even have to make a few lifestyle sacrifices until you start taking in a greater income.

The following is a list of expenses you may easily forget about when creating your first budget plan after moving out on your own.

Seasonal Utility Spikes:

Many young adults new to living on their own may receive a few gas and electric bills for about thirty or forty dollars a month, and assume this is the price they’ll be paying on a regular basis. Keep in mind that the winter months may require a lot more heat and the summer months may require air conditioning or fans. Your bills may go up quite a bit in the winters and summers, especially in older buildings with weaker heating/cooling systems.

The Little Necessities:

When creating your budget, you’ll think to include rent, bills, car payments, and student loans. It may not be so obvious to consider the cost of the little things you’ll need on a regular basis such as toilet paper, new clothes, shampoo, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, Netflix, and the like. While none of those things are very pricy, it all starts to add up.

Private Loan Payments:

Hopefully, if you’re moving out on your own before your grace period is up, you have a good idea on when your loans will be due and how much you’ll owe. While federal loans provide your loan information online and send out reminders when your loans are due, private loans are easier to forget about, and may have very different payment schedules. Make sure you’re aware of all loan payments and factor those costs into your budget.

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