Manage Your Finances

 
Hello Grads will help you get to grips with money matters –  Budgeting,  Interest,  Banking,  Tax,  Borrowing and Saving – so you can take control of your finances and make informed decisions, with a clear understanding of the longer-term implications.
 

 
Piggies in a line
 

 

Why is it Important?

 
After graduation, you will start to become financially independent – and with financial independence comes financial responsibility.

Good planning can prevent money worries later, whereas poor financial choices can have long lasting consequences e.g. excess spending now could lead to years of escalating debt.

 

 

Research reveals three quarters of young adults admit to making regrettable money mistakes in their first years of financial independence, with one in six claiming their debt has ‘spiralled out of control’.

Money Advice Service

 

 
Adjusting to post-university life may mean managing on a fairly tight budget; you might be facing a large student debt and finding paid work can take time.  Whatever your financial situation, it’s important to stay in control of how you spend your money – to ensure you live within your means, your bills are covered, you have a realistic plan to pay off debts and can eventually start saving for short and long-term goals.
 
Hello Grads offers guidance and useful links to help you deal with the financial process, starting with a summary of the first steps.
 

 

First Steps

 

Set up a Budget

 
The best way to take control of your finances is to start by setting up a budget: Record your income and expenditure to give a clear picture of your financial situation.
Once you know where your money is going, you can prioritise your spending, to ensure you live within your means and avoid getting into serious debt.
 

Find out more:

Budgeting
How to set up and plan a budget

 

 
Graduate piggy - wb

Open a Graduate Bank Account

 
Switch your Student Account to a Graduate Account to benefit from preferential terms (e.g. an interest free overdraft) to help you pay off debts and take control of your finances.
 
Consider opening a separate budgeting account to set aside funds for essential bills; then you can spend from your main account without the risk of falling short for important monthly payments.
 

Find out more:

Choosing a Bank Account

 

 

Prioritise Your Debts

 
Clear debts as soon as you can, except for your Student Loan which is relatively cheap borrowing – paying it off early is not necessarily wise (depending on individual circumstances).
 
The higher the interest rate, the faster a debt grows, so reduce your highest-interest debts first.
Consider transferring to a cheaper interest rate option, but always check lock-in clauses before switching or paying off debts.
 
Always keep up with repayments. Missed/late payments can incur hefty penalty charges and will adversely affect your credit rating.
 

Find out more:

Debt & Borrowing
Things to consider, costs of borrowing, managing debt, your credit rating, and types of borrowing

 

 

Set Spending & SavingsTargets

 
Control spending: Set yourself a spending plan and look for areas where you could cut costs.
Putting money in piggy - wb
Set a savings goal: Once your financial situation allows, start by putting some money away in an Easy Access Account, to provide for emergencies.
Then try to save regularly towards longer-term goals e.g. car, holiday etc.
 

Find out more:

Budget Planning 
Money-Saving Tips
Savings

 

 

Maintenance – Good Practice

Organised pig - keep good order

Keep on top of your financial situation.
Check your bank balance and reconcile bank/credit statements regularly.
Avoid unnecessary charges and stop payments for things you no longer require.

Take advantage of new developments that could help you manage your finances (through your bank or building society, Apps, online etc.)

Don’t rush into any long-term financial commitments at this stage.
 

Find out more:

Keep Money Affairs in Good Order
 

 

Financial Support

Financial Support - wh bkgrd-cropped
If you are struggling with your finances, tackle the problem straight away to prevent it getting worse:

Talk to your bank or seek free, confidential advice from a debt advice service

Check your entitlement to benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance; it’s best to pursue any claim without delay, because it can take a while to process.
 

Find out more:

Financial Support
Where to get help 

 

Money Tips For Graduates – Money Advice Service
Advice for staying on top of your finances, whether you’re starting your career, doing postgraduate education or travelling

 
 
 

Budgeting right arrow