Tips to Manage Finances after College

May 15, 2023

Whether starting your first full-time job, applying to grad school, or moving across the country, life after graduation can sometimes feel overwhelming. Knowing how to budget, pay off debt, or begin saving for retirement can help make these transitions easier. Here are three tips for managing your finances and setting yourself up for success after graduation.

Set Your Budget

After graduation, your income and expenses can be vastly different from what you’re used to. Budgeting strategies like setting up automatic payments, paying yourself first, or filling out a budget worksheet can help you manage your lifestyle change.

When planning out your budget, including all your expenses, no matter how small, can help you see where your money is going and where you can cut back.

Plan for Your Student Loans

According to U.S. News, the average student graduates college with nearly $30,000 in the United States. After graduation, take the time to review your loans and the repayment plans offered for them. Looking back at your budget, see if there is room to allow you to repay more than the minimum required. Increasing your monthly payments will let you put more towards principal, paying off your loans faster.

Begin Saving for Retirement

Retirement can seem far off, but contributing to plans like a 401(k) or 403(B) now can allow you to take advantage of compounding interest for a more extended period. Setting up automatic contributions from your paycheck can help you create a routine you’ll use later.

Your employer may also offer a retirement match program. The sooner you take advantage of this benefit, the more you’ll have 30 years from now.

MSUFCU has a variety of products and free financial education for members of all ages. Topics include planning for retirement or budgeting and savings accounts like our Savings BuilderSM designed to help members build up their savings habits. To learn more, visit

Tags: Tips and Tricks, Money Management