How to save money as a graduate

By Jake Butler, SaveTheStudent.org.

After graduating from university it can seem like a daunting task to take a step outside of the student bubble. Many students graduate in a variety of circumstances from those with a career path already mapped out to those that are not sure on which route to take.

One thing that is consistent between all graduates is that it is the end of student loans and the beginning of finally having to fend for yourself.

For most of us, there will be a gap between graduating from university and finding an internship or starting a new job. Money saving now is just as important as when you were a student. We’ve come up with some quick tips, 5 actually, for students to save money after graduating.

1. Use your graduate bank account

You will no longer be eligible for a student bank account after you graduate so it’s best to make the transition into a graduate bank account.

Thankfully, most of the accounts on offer today allow you to keep your 0% interest on your maximum  overdraft amount for at least a year after graduating. You can take advantage of the 0% interest by using your graduate overdraft as a type of no-interest loan before you gain employment in order to pay it back.

Many graduate accounts also offer competitive interest rates on graduate loans, but only take out a graduate loan if you really need it.

2. Don’t rush to pay back your student loan

Your  student loan can be one of the biggest debts that you will amass. There is no need to worry though as the interest is set at inflation and you don’t have to pay it back until you are earning over the £15,000 a year threshold (or £20,000 if you start university in 2012). A student loan is therefore the cheapest form of commercial borrowing you will ever come across.

There is no need to pay it back before you need to and there is no pressure to do so. You can also check how much you may have to pay back and how long it will take you by checking out a student loan calculator.

3. Live at home after graduating

This may sound like an obvious one but many students tend not to follow it. The temptation to stay in the city where you study with your friends and away from home can be very strong.

Sometimes it’s best to go home (if only for a couple of months) to save money while you try to find or are waiting for a job. If you are extra lucky your parents won’t charge you rent and they will pay for (even cook) your meals.

4. Look out for great deals

Even though you are now a graduate it does not mean that there are deals out there not on offer to you. There are many sites that offer great deals to everyone as well as deals newsletters such as SaveTheStudent.org.

Sign up to a cash back site before you make any online purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything and can save you money on most things you buy online from clothes to gas & electricity.

5. Work hard to get employed

With the jobs market becoming increasingly hard to get into for graduates there are many things you can do to get ahead. By coming to the Inspiring Interns website you have already made a great step in making yourself more employable as a graduate.

You have to work hard to get yourself a graduate internship, placement or  job and employers can tell if you have cut corners. It is best to put all of your effort into finding a job and treating it like a full time job in itself. If you work hard then you will see the rewards.

SaveTheStudent.org is a student finance website that originated in response to the growing costs of university in the UK. The site provides free, impartial advice to student on how to make their money go further.

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