Updated: May 5
It feels like yesterday I just walked across the stage celebrating a four-year long journey to becoming a teacher. In all honesty, I was extremely excited to embark upon my new journey. New #job! New place! New people! New salary! My journey began with me moving to a new city, landing my first teaching job, and #graduating from a college I loved. I was definitely in a good place! It all sounded great!
My Advice Right After College:
1. Land a job
2. Gain Income
Six months after working as a teacher, the #deferment I had placed on my #student loans, was now up. My first set of bills were about to start coming into my mailbox to claim their monthly take on my new salary. So much for a savings account right?
Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic to begin a new career. However, I couldn't forget the amount of loans I had taken out to put myself through college. Thankfully, I had a job now to put money towards my student loans and monthly expenses.
I wanted to build a life that was beyond living from paycheck to paycheck. So, I had to sit and think about what I really needed to spend my money on to survive and separate it from the things I wanted. I quickly had to learn wants vs needs would help me build a financial life I always truly desired.
“I could either live for today and YOLO all my finds down the drain. Or, I could make smart choices with my money and build for my future."
So, of course, I chose to build for my future. Now, don't get me wrong, I was not perfect along my journey, sometimes I overspent on useless things, restaurants, or even shopping mall visits. However, I took the time to gain knowledge about paying off my debts slowly over time, creating a budget to know where my funds were going, and talking to financial specialists to get an idea of my #financial future.
Well, regardless, I learned that I could save to travel, buy my favorite things, and build for my future. But, I needed to do those things on a budget. Basically, I needed a spending plan. I didn't need to be out swiping my card whenever I felt like it. That would eventually lead me to develop terrible spending habits, run up my credit cards, rack up debt, and probably live paycheck to paycheck.
Here are a few tips that helped me after college get started with my money...
#1 Get a savings mindset
Sometimes we think we want to do something before we actually think about the hard work that comes with obtaining that goal. However, just because something is hard, doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to make it happen or give up. So, if saving is what you really want to do...then you are in the right place.
#2 Prepare to work and save
Changing your finances sounds amazing. It is amazing! The best part is meeting your small savings goals. But, disciplining yourself enough to save can be the deal-breaker. Why? Because, if you aren't able to discipline yourself enough, you will overspend in areas that you set a budget for at the beginning of the month. There are a few different things that I have added to help me become more disciplined.
Waking up at a set time every day
Calendar for me to write my task to achieve for the day
Short Morning routine that helps me wake up
Short Work-Out in the morning and after work.
Yoga practice to help me stretch and relieve. any stress from the day
Daily Check-In with my finances
Reflect on changes to make for the next day
Sticking to these routines encourage me to live a disciplined life. The best part is that I become more disciplined in these areas, my financial mindset automatically becomes stronger!
#3 Start Setting #Goals
Many times we get caught up in setting the big goals, and fail to realize the small ones lead you to the big ones. Setting financial goals is very important. I set the goal of becoming #debtfree after #college, buying a home, and building a savings account. These were my big goals. Then, I started think ing of all the small goals that could lead me there
Then, get ready to get to work. Literally!
I wanted to maximize my income and eventually build towards a future of early retirement as soon as I graduated. That was the mid-set that I took when I landed my first job in Texas. I was determined to work, save, and budget my money in a way to get me there as quickly as possible. So, I looked for ways inside of my job to make more money. As a teacher, one of the best ways to earn supplemental income happened to be right on the school campus. Tutoring!
#4 Find a side hustle that does not interfere with your full-time job
I began tutoring the first year I started teaching. I quickly realized having extra streams of income could play a huge role in me paying me off my debt! So, I began my first "side hustle". Tutoring was perfect because I did not have to drive anywhere. I could save on gas, which meant I could save more money!
#1 Find a side hustle that does not interfere with your full-time job
#2 Be willing to extend your normal work hours
#3 Get outside of your comfort zone
#4 Remember your long term goal to pay down your debt and build your savings