As July becomes a highly-celebrated month for many graduates who are finishing their university studies, courses, and more, it can be an exciting yet daunting time in equal measure. However, as the nation continues to navigate the cost of living crisis, graduation poses a new set of financial challenges.
Back in November of 2022, the Office of National Statistics reported that 9 in 10 students were somewhat or very worried about the rising cost of living. Not only this but as a result of such financial hardship, these statistics demonstrate an increase in credit debts incurred by students as a way to get by day to day.
Now, as students in the UK leave higher education, they will be graduating into the cost of living crisis. Undoubtedly, rising inflation rates, rental costs, and job offerings amongst several other factors continue to challenge graduates more so than ever before.
We’ve put together some financial tips for those who will be graduating this year to help keep your funds healthy for the future. Read on to learn more.
Tips For Graduating During A Cost of Living Crisis
Deal with outstanding debts
Dealing with any existing debts (besides your student loan debts) from your time studying is one of the most important priorities once you have graduated. As we see an increase in the number of students incurring credit debts especially, it’s vital that you deal with your debts as a matter of urgency to prevent the addition of higher interest rates and a damaged credit score.
If you are a graduate currently struggling with debts, our online debt advice service gives no-obligation and impartial debt advice unique to your situation. Should you decide to receive debt advice from us, you can get our advice online, via email, phone, or text, giving you the flexibility to choose which option is best for you.
Create a budget
Budgeting is one of the best ways of managing your money well and is a vital part of successful money management. No matter what your plans are post-graduation, creating a budget is essential for building your way to a better financial future. The best option to start with is a simple budget, which accounts for your income, outgoings, savings, and more.
Your budget can include factors like rental payments, groceries, healthcare, memberships, and transport costs for example, amongst several other things specific to your lifestyle. Where possible, try to reduce your outgoings and increase your savings to ensure you’re not spending more than you can realistically afford.
Have an emergency fund
Emergency funds are very important for everyday life, especially for the things that you cannot predict are going to happen. An emergency fund can prevent you from having to borrow large sums of money to pay it off. This can range from an unexpected trip to the car garage to redundancies and job losses.
Even if it is just a small amount of money each week or month, regularly saving money will help you to build up your emergency fund over the coming months as a graduate.
Consider temporary work
For many students, getting into work straight out of graduation is not a linear route. Many graduates will spend months doing job applications before they even progress to the next stage – and in the meantime, money still needs to be made to live on.
Despite it not being in your immediate plan, taking up temporary work in your local area is a fantastic way to build up your funds during the cost of living crisis. This way, you can still cover your expenses, apply for more degree-related jobs whilst working and even add some new skills to your CV. In some cases, you may be eligible for a New Style Job Seekers Allowance whilst looking for work – make sure to use our Benefits Calculator to see which benefits you are entitled to.
Speak to professionals if you’re struggling
It goes without saying that being a graduate can be a challenging time both financially and mentally. The struggles of the cost of living crisis have unfortunately amplified these challenges, but it’s important to know that we are here to help you.
Speaking to professionals about your money anxieties is a big step in the right direction, and we understand the pressures they may have on your daily life. Our friendly advisors can help you get started on building yourself an improved financial future, ready for life as a graduate.