2 Tips to Rock Your Finances After Graduation

Graduating is certainly a special time in everyone’s life. It signifies a major move from childhood to adulthood, and there is an overwhelming excitement as you branch out and begin to figure things out on your own.

graduation students

Sure, you did have to figure out a lot of things on your own (this is where you give a big shout-out to YouTube for helping you) when you went away to college, but this is different. Now you have to learn about direct deposit, medical insurance, and probably a 401(k). In addition to this you should probably start thinking about buying a house and settling down somewhere that you will ultimately call home.

With all of these decisions looming, where do you possibly start?

First Things First

If you truly want to succeed in life after college, you absolutely need to dump whatever debt you may have accumulated over the prior 4 years. Many average Joe’s might try to tell you different (because it’s all they know), but according to millionaires, this is the most important step to becoming wealthy in the future. If I were you, I would listen to the millionaires. So this means getting rid of your student loans and any credit card debt that you have acquired.

Next, you need to be sure that you do not acquire any new debt. DO NOT congratulate yourself by purchasing a new car. You might think that you deserve it and that you will look important to everyone around you, but to the financial responsible you are merely stating, “I went through college, learned nothing, and am now being a financial idiot.” Believe me, people will not be as impressed with your new ride as you think they will be.

Many will also be pushing you into buying a house because that is a real sign of adulthood. Do not be fooled. While houses may appreciate in value, they are not essential to building wealth. If you can find some cheap rent in a small apartment near work, you will likely gain wealth much faster than those that are paying interest on a massive home loan.

Invest Like There’s No Tomorrow

After you decide to get through life without any debt (this, by the way, puts you miles ahead of your friends and family that are buying everything on credit today), you can start to amass some major wealth in a short period of time.

The average person invests nothing for their future. This is just plain stupid.

The above average and seemingly strange person socks away 10% of their income and puts it toward their future retirement. This is will allow them to retire comfortably by the age of 65.

The insane individual today gives a lot of thought toward the future and puts 50% of their income toward their retirement with the hope of retiring very early. This leads to amazingness.

Obviously, investing nothing is a terrible idea for your future. What you really want to do is invest a portion of every paycheck and keep your eyes open for income producing assets such as real estate or small business ventures. If you continually put your money toward ventures that pay you more money, you will be set for life.

Are you ready to not only survive, but thrive after graduation?

Don’t Burn Out! Free Entertainment Ideas for Students

As a student, you are probably strapped for cash with tuition payments (hopefully you are trying to graduate debt free) and shelling out for textbooks and other school expenses.

After awhile, with all of these expenses, responsibility fatigue can compound and make you burn out, which would in turn mean that you would make poor choices or even just stop losing focus.

You need to be able to have some fun every once in awhile, even if it’s not in the budget. There are a handful of free ways to have fun, so before you completely burn out, try one of these things:

Getting Outdoors

Getting outdoors is completely free, and it’s great for the mind. Fresh air and exercise is a huge stress reliever, and can fight depression. Going out for a hike, run, or walk, or even just walking to school or work from home instead of driving can be fun, free, and very beneficial.

You could also try throwing a frisbee in a park or kicking around a ball on campus.

 Play Online

The internet is your playground, and it is generally free if you bring your laptop to a coffee shop or on campus, and there’s so much to do online.

You can read blogs, research your favourite topic, spend time on social media or streaming shows, and playing games.

Try Project Free TV for some free entertainment, or play free video slots games and rejuvenate yourself.

Check What is Going On in Your Community

Your community probably has many free things going on out there, and if you don’t know about them the information is easily accessible. Between festivals and conferences and events, there is usually something for everyone that is put on by the community center – sometimes you can even score some free food.

There’s this notion out there that entertainment has to be expensive, but that’s simply not the case. You can have fun for free if you know what to do and where to look. You don’t have to spend a lot to get some stress release!

6 Ways to Put Your Best Foot Forward in an Interview

Getting a job can be challenging.  It takes the perfect mix of background, preparation, appearance, and interviewing skill.  Each part of the process is important in its own right.  Overlooking any aspect of it can cause you to miss out on an opportunity.  Here are six things you can do to ace your next interview.

Dress to Impress

Your presentation shows that you respect the position, the interviewer, and the company.  Invest in a proper suit and suitable shoes with a modest heel (for women).  Be sure your accessories match the suit and are not adorned with a busy print.  Think understated and pleasant.

Groom Appropriately

Visible tattoos and multiple piercings, while popular in many social circles, do not fit well in business circles.

Even though technology firms are often owned and populated by Gen Xers and New Boomers, the companies they do business with still consist of Baby Boomers.  Professionalism rules the day.  A neat haircut and trimmed, clean nails will get you far.

Do Your Research

It is always important to know a little bit about the company you are interviewing for.  Having that information in your mind to use during the interview at appropriate moments will make you look prepared and interested.  For example, when you are asked if you have any questions, you might ask about a specific product in their line and how your role would interact with that product.

You could also ask about the management styles of the team and how the team and company lives up to it’s values. Be sure to know the values of the organization before hand.

Know Yourself

Confidence is important when you are in an interview.  Knowing what you have done and being able to speak about your accomplishments is something that many people have trouble with.  Practice talking about yourself and what you bring to the table before going to the interview.  Have a friend help you work out phrases to see how they sound.

You don’t have to go so far as preparing a script, but you should know your own background and future goals to be able to answer questions with confidence.  Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses is a good thing.  Is there a course you are looking into or are you pursuing inroads to non-profit leadership?  If so, mention them.  Showing interviewers that you are continuing to grow is a plus.

Be Professional

Professionalism means a lot of things.  Much of what the world finds acceptable has changed – now it is commonplace to find people on their cell phones while standing in line to pay for groceries where that was not so prevalent 10 years ago.  But while the outside world has become more accepting, business has not.  It is unprofessional to come into an interview with ear buds in your ears, texting, talking on the phone, drinking coffee, or otherwise turning your attention to something other than the task at hand.  Focus on what you are there for: a job.  Let all of the other distractions fall by the wayside.

Speak Clearly and Listen Well

There is no place for slang in an interview.  Period.  Be careful to speak clearly and bring each sentence to a definitive close.  Think back to English class and you’ll do fine.  Listening is equally important.  You must be quiet and still to understand the questions being asked so that you can address them properly.  The skills you show in this regard will say a lot about your work ethic and abilities.

Remember – your resume got you the interview.  The interview will get you the job.  Preparing ahead of time will differentiate you from the rest of the crowd.

 

Online Poker – A Black and White Issue

Since we’re interested in money, it’s maybe worth pointing out that there are plenty of games that involve playing with cash. Poker is and has been pretty popular and although you can play it just for fun – cash-free – there is a certain spice to finishing a game with more money in front of you than you started with.

There are heaps of other casino style games out there, but poker appeals because it’s about skill more than it is blind luck. You can get good at poker!

pic

Source: http://bit.ly/1nWlYmu

There are all sorts of places to play and, reassuringly, there are also lots of different places to tell you the differences between them. Sites like onlinecasinobluebook.com/ca are ideal for telling you where the best payouts and the best free money offers are to be found.

Now there are two schools of thought on this – it’s pretty black and white. One view is that any form of gambling is not a sensible thing to do with your cash. Putting it at risk is to put it in jeopardy, and that is a big fat no. That line of thinking hits a brick wall fairly quickly.

The other school of thought is more about poker than it is about gambling pure and simple. As we’ve established there is more to poker than just good fortune. That means it is a way to entertain yourself, to educate yourself (there are endless complexities that go way beyond the odds of the right card appearing out of a stack of cards), and it’s a way to have some fun.

Now, fun is the important part of the deal. Accumulating capital at whatever level is all well and good, but all saving and no fun makes Jack a very dull boy. So if you can combine the two – accumulating cash and having fun – that means you’re getting two for the price of one!

There are professional poker millionaires like Vanessa Rousso who started out playing poker whilst she was at college. As she got better her wins got steadily bigger. Ultimately she quit college because she was making so much at poker! That’s my kind of a hobby!

So the bottom line here is that is possible to enjoy yourself a way that needn’t cost very much at all, and which, if you’re prepared to do some homework, carries the potential to give your bank balance a major boost.

Don’t expect to become a millionaire from gambling – in fact, it usually goes the opposite way and will bankrupt you and leave you addicted and your family in ruins – however, if you are responsible and set a budget and don’t make a bad habit out of it, it can be a fun way to spend an evening.