Skip to main content
I Can Succeed

ISL Education LendingClass of 2023 - Set Your College Budget

Check out  this free online tool - College Funding Forecaster - and estimate your total out-of-pocket expense for your degree, and the amount you and your family need to borrow to pay for it. Knowing more now will help you make more informed decisions about your future. Get Started

Main Content

Life After College

The skills you learn in college – academic, social and financial – will be useful throughout your life. As you move from college to career, set financial goals and make a plan to reach them.

As a college graduate, you will:

  • Evaluate job offers and benefits packages.
  • Begin making savings and investment choices.
  • Consider insurance for your health, your life and your belongings.
  • Manage student loan repayments.
  • Budget your new income.

These tips can help you achieve financial success:

  • Create a monthly budget for life after college and stick to it. On a starting salary, you may be short of cash, so find ways to cut everyday costs and living expenses. Use a budget calculator to set up your budget.
  • Understand employer benefits packages. A new employer may offer benefits that pay part or all of your medical and insurance expenses and that help you save for retirement. Some common types of benefits are:
    • Health insurance to help pay for medical, vision, dental and prescription coverage.
    • Disability insurance to help make up for lost income if you can't work because of an injury or sickness.
    • Life insurance to pay a lump sum to your family or others you name if you pass away while employed there.
    • Retirement benefits, like a 401(k) plan, that let you contribute part of your pretax income to retirement savings. An employer might match some of your contribution, although you may need to work a certain amount of time before you're eligible for the match.
    • Vacation and sick time based on the amount of hours or days you work in a pay period or on the number of months or years you've worked for the company.
    • Other perks like day care programs, tuition reimbursement, fitness facilities or employee discounts.
  • Start saving and investing right away. Include savings in your monthly budget and make this a habit for life. If you invest early, you have a greater chance of building up substantial earnings over your lifetime because the interest begins earning interest. Investment plans include:
    • Savings accounts with your bank. You earn a small amount of interest, but you can withdraw your money anytime.
    • Certificates of Deposit (CDs) with a higher interest rate. You basically loan your money to the financial institution for a set number of months or years. You'll have to pay a penalty for withdrawing your money before the time is up.
    • Bonds, which vary in their risk level and earning potential. You earn a specified rate of interest for loaning your money to a corporation, federal agency or the government. You earn interest until you are repaid your original investment amount.
    • Stocks and mutual funds that have a higher earning potential but also higher risk. Value fluctuates with the market, so you may make a lot or lose some or all of your money.
  • Create an emergency account. Try to keep at least three to six months' expenses in a savings account for an emergency.
  • Pay all your bills, including student loans, on time and in full to keep your good credit score and to avoid late fees.
© 2023I Can Succeed. All rights reserved.