For millions of young Americans, the young adult lifestyle is drawing to a close. Those who made college the best four years of their lives are now getting ready to venture off into financial independence. Many college graduates are making plans for the upcoming year, whether that’s starting their first jobs out of college, travelling, or just trying to convince parents to let them stick around for a little while. But it’s probably lingering in the back of your mind that, even as young as 22, you can’t rely on your parents to fund every aspiration and dream project forever.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of financial burdens for you new adults to tackle on the road to independence. The big monster for many is, of course, student loans. As we reported a few weeks ago, the total amount of student debt is considerable. While some types of debt (like student loans) may be helpful for your future, that doesn’t mean debt isn’t still scary when you’re just starting out. Not to mention, financial independence means additional expenses that may have previously been your parent’s responsibility: car payments, health insurance, and monthly heating, electricity and water bills, just to name a few.
Since you can’t just ignore your debt, you need to find ways to get rid of it as quickly as possible, so you can remain burden free. Here are some tips to make the process of gaining financial independence achievable:
One of the easiest ways you can deal with debt is to plan ahead. When people think of budgeting, they often think of living frugally, living off of instant mac and cheese and being entertained by watching paint dry. The truth is, you can still have fun and keep within your budget. A great thing about budgeting is that you can figure out a) how much money you are already saving each month, and b) ways to save even more money. People often take for granted how much there is to do, and how much they can actually forego in favor of savings.
Making changes to our lives and routines is never easy, especially in terms of spending. But focusing on the positives makes the process easier, and you can even feel good about it. You may question why you would give up the $9 macchiato with an espresso boost from Starbucks in favor of weaker, worse tasting coffee from your home pot. But when you consider the positives of your choice beyond just dollars saved, like reducing plastic waste and pollution and having the opportunity to learn how to brew better coffee on your own, it becomes much easier to make these switches.
Financial independence doesn’t mean you need to deal with debt and finances alone. When you go through financial low points, you don’t need to push on and solve the problem on our own. There are plenty of people willing to help you deal with debt. It can be parent, a friend, a co-worker, or even a professional financial counselor. These people can help you fight through the stress and turmoil of budding independence and debt, because almost everybody has had to deal with these issues at some point in their lives.
Becoming financially independent can be a scary process. But with a willingness to make changes, take things in stride, and ask for help, you too can work your way to freedom from debt and a sense of accomplishment and independence.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY