Top 10 Financial Tips for Graduating Students

Keith Peters

After years of sleepless nights studying for exams, nerve-wracking recitations, newfound friendships, heartbreaks, and the rollercoaster ride that is college, you are finally a few steps closer to your most-awaited moment: graduation.

The last year before graduation is bittersweet.

After just a few months, you will set foot in the real world and you might think that college is probably the hardest part of our lives.

But let’s face it, adulting is even more difficult.

A real job and bills to pay indeed sound scary. But with proper financial management, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Below are 10 tips that will make you rock the real world.

Apply for your Government IDs

It’s never too early to start applying for government IDs since these will be your tickets to employment applications. Wondering where to start? Begin your adulting journey by getting your Birth Certificate from the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority). Your Birth Certificate is required for getting your other government IDs and may be used as a valid ID, so don’t hesitate to get a few copies.

After getting your Birth Certificate, you can then proceed to apply for your NBI Clearance, Social Security Service (SSS) Number, Pag-Ibig Fund Number, Philhealth Number and lastly, TIN Number from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) since these are the documents typically required by the company you will be working at.

Tailor-fit your resume

A concise and remarkable resume will land you jobs with competitive salaries, so take the time to review the companies you plan on applying to. By doing so, you can create resumes that are tailor-fitted to each company position or role you wish to apply for. List down all relevant academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities such as internships, training, and other relevant skills on your resume. Remember, your senior year is your last chance to stock up on these, so go and get involved!
Don’t just blast out your resumes to companies, put in effort in creating resumes that are related to the role you’re applying for!

Creating resumes for each company you apply for is a great way to get a recruiter’s attention. Maximize your presence online and post your resume in online job portals such as JobStreet, Kalibrr, LinkedIn, or Workabroad.ph. It’s best to create a more general resume that you can share in these platforms.

Job seeking is a tricky season, so if these online hacks aren’t for you, tapping your networks might just be your road to your first job. Try contacting key persons from your college and organizations to scout for job openings.

While doing all these things, carefully examine your options and choose the job with a reasonable salary along with perks and benefits that would help you grow personally and professionally.

Get your budget straight

Every peso is essential. Being budget-savvy and mindful with your finances this early on could help you survive rainy days. If you need help with managing your finances, tools such as Microsoft Excel and other mobile apps like Wallet are helpful in tracking your income and expenses.

Sort out your bills

Getting your first paycheck can be a huge step towards financial responsibility, depending on how you manage it. Think about how you’ll be allocating your salary between necessary monthly bills, expenses, and savings. Do your best to avoid spending money on your wants if it means sacrificing your needs.

Look for affordable housing

Living near a central business district is a great advantage because residential options in these areas tend to be very expensive. But if you live in the province and work in the metro, try exploring condo or apartment sharing options. This will significantly lessen your expenses since monthly bills such as electricity, water, condo dues, etc. can be split among housemates.

Find the most convenient route to work

Commuting can be quite tiresome so carefully plan out your schedule and route!
Spend time to design your daily commute and find out the most convenient route. Since there are many options for public transportation; bus, jeepney, MRT, LRT, metered cabs, Grab, and Angkas, and others, consider their own pros and cons. Planning your daily commute will help you schedule your day and allocate an appropriate transport budget.

Consider doing freelance jobs

If you want to have extra income, try venturing into freelance and other work aside from your primary job. The online job portals mentioned above also advertise remote or home-based freelance opportunities for you to earn more.

Learn how to save money

Stepping into the real world means letting go of your go-to jeans and shirt combo but spicing up your wardrobe does not have to be expensive. There are thrift stores and ukay-ukay places in every city across the country where you can score formal work clothes for much less.

Prepare an emergency fund

Emergencies are inevitable and you must prepare for them. Save up a portion of your monthly paycheck to constitute your emergency fund for your family, health, and other emergencies.

Once you’ve figured out your monthly budget, research various savings account options in different banks that best suits your needs. With that set, saving 3–6 months worth of your salary is a good ballpark for your rainy day fund.

Find the most convenient route to work

Spend time to design your daily commute and find out the most convenient route. Since there are many options for public transportation; bus, jeepney, MRT, LRT, metered cabs, Grab, and Angkas, and others, consider their own pros and cons. Planning your daily commute will help you schedule your day and allocate an appropriate transport budget.

Take care of your health!

Prevention is always better than cure. In a demanding and exhausting daily job, your health is your most valuable capital so opt to make healthy options like cooking your own food instead of buying fast food and exercising regularly. This will not only help you save money but will also guide you to keep tabs on the nutrients you take in from what you’re eating.

Also, don’t forget to take breaks every now and then to avoid burnout! Applying for medical insurance is a great investment and some companies provide packages to help you during your rainy days — so make sure to check out which ones would work best for you!

The first few years after your graduation are very crucial moments in building your career and financial assets, but with the proper discipline and resourcefulness, you can make the most of this season and take control of your future!

If you’re a graduating student and you are having financial difficulties with enrollment, InvestEd’s award-winning educational loan program can help. Learn more about it here.