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So you’ve done it. You’ve graduated with a degree from college, and have even landed your first full-time job. However, many people in their first full-time job haven’t had much experience, if any, with living on a budget. Many people suggest that you put half of your paycheck for monthly expenses, and then use the remaining for whatever you want, be it saving, investing, or spending, and even then, you should save 20% of that, and leave the rest for the fun stuff. Below are some tips that can help college graduates stay within budget.

Don’t live somewhere incredibly expensive

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a necessary one. If you want to stick to the rule above, where you spend 50% on the fixed expenses that you may have, you may find that that means that you have to not rent that deluxe apartment. You may want to find a less expensive apartment, or even room with friends if you really want that apartment. 

Plan nights in with your friends

You’re not bound by schoolwork anymore, so it’s only natural that you want to spend your newfound free time with your friends. However, it’s so incredibly easy to overspend on movies or concerts. To combat that, have a nice night in with your friends. That way, you can cook your meals and save money, or even rent a movie. The fun should be with your friends, not the money that you spend. 

Put off buying that car

When you first get that big paycheck, it’s only natural that you want to spend that money on something fun, like a new car. However, that may not be smart. Something that you may want to do is save some money for a couple of months to even a year before you go forward with buying a new car. If your old car is working, get your money’s worth on it. 

Go for more lowkey dates

When you’re with your partner, of course, you want to make them feel special. However, in order to stay within your budget, see if you can try and plan more lowkey nights, like homemade dinners, picnics, or even a nice stroll in the park. That way you can make your date feel loved and you don’t have to worry about your budget.