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Finished uni? How to manage your money as a graduate

Published 16 June 2016 by

So you’ve graduated from university – well done! After three years of hard work – or maybe even longer – you might be thinking about your next step. Whether you want to find a job, continue with education or go travelling, it’s important that you know how to budget for your new lifestyle.

To help, we’re going to give you some tips on how to stay on top of your finances as a graduate.

Your next step

How you manage your finances will depend on your plans after graduation. Here’s our tips for keeping on top of your money whatever your next step may be.

Staying in education

The first thing you should think about after deciding to continue with your education is how to fund your studies. From 1 August 2016, new master’s students can apply for postgraduate loans to help pay their tuition fees.

Students up to the age of 60 will be able to apply for these loans through the Student Loans Company and receive a maximum £10,000 towards their studies. Alternatively, you might not need a student loan if you can receive funding from an employer.

To see whether you could get this, take a look at the Scholarship search and the Prospects postgraduate funding search.

Travelling

If you’re planning on taking some time out to travel, your priority should be to save up as much as you can.

You’ll need to look at your budget (or use our guide to create one) and work out how much disposable income you have every month. This is the amount of money that you have leftover after you’ve paid all of your bills. From this amount, work out how much you can afford to put away every month.

If it’s not as much as you were hoping, look at your budget again and see if there are any areas where you can cut back. Working to save up for your travels? Here are five ways to save money while at work.

Find a job

Looking to put what you’ve learnt into practice? Then your goal might be to find your dream graduate job. You can use sites like Reed, Monster and Indeed to start your search.

If you’re finding it difficult to get a job and need help to continue looking, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). You must show that you’re actively seeking work to continue receiving this. Keep in mind though that not all of the jobs the Jobcentre tells you to apply for might not be what you’re looking for.

Found a job? Remember, once you start earning over a set amount you’ll begin to repay your student loans. Find out when your student loan repayments start here.

It’s important to keep on top of your budget when you’re earning. If you think you might need more help to do this, you could consider the thinkmoney Personal Account.

The account will help you manage your money by setting aside the funds that you need for your regular bills. Whatever’s leftover will go onto your card for you to spend as you like. The account comes with a monthly management fee of £17.50 or £24.50 for a joint account – find out more about the account here.

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