Financial Planning For College Graduates And Young Professionals - Blog | NebraskaLand Bank | Personal & Business Banking
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Financial Planning For College Graduates And Young Professionals

Life Stages Blog Series Part 1

If you’ve recently graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree after years of hard work, we’d like to extend a warm “congratulations, grad!” Of course, that’s not the first time you’ve heard that statement, but it is important to acknowledge and be proud of the effort and discipline necessary to attain a college degree. With this degree, you’ll further your career with this newfound knowledge and ideally get your foot in the door of potential employers. Though landing the job of your dreams certainly won’t happen overnight, persistence will eventually give way to success and a lucrative career.

Addressing Debt and Planning for a Healthy Financial Future

Unfortunately, college degrees and their subsequent credibility and knowledge often come in exchange for steep student loan debt. Though some college students have their education paid for by a parent or relative, it is commonplace to take out one or even multiple student loans to pay for tuition costs, books, and other living expenses while in school. How do you tackle this mountain of owed money as you search for a good job or establish yourself in a new position?

Financial planning matters at all stages of life, but saving, spending your money wisely, and eliminating student debt as quickly as possible are paramount to setting a solid financial foundation going into adulthood. For young professionals who are unsure how to navigate these matters, rest assured that NebraskaLand Bank is here to help.

In part one of our seven-part blog series on financial planning through various stages of life, our Community Bank is going to cover several key pointers to keep in mind as you establish yourself as a young professional. Let’s take a look.

Establish a Source of Income

This might sound like the most obvious thing you’ve read all day, but making money is necessary to pay off debt. If you’re spending too long searching for the perfect job while living off of loan funds, consider at least getting a part-time job in the meantime. A little income is better than no income, and you’ll still have plenty of time to network and job hunt.

Ideally, job hunting begins during your last semester in college to see what’s out there, as well as to leverage any current connections that you have with your department heads or other professors. Hindsight is 20/20, though, if you are already out of school, you can reach out to your connections for leads.

Create a Repayment Plan for Your Student Loan Debt

A big piece of the advice you’ll read here is centered around budgeting. You’ll find that as you get older and more experienced in life, budgeting only becomes more relevant and a required aspect of being financially responsible. Fortunately, you’ll have a buffer period where you can create your plan and save some money after you graduate as most federal loans offer a six-month grace period post-graduation. Though it’s nice to not have to immediately begin repaying your loans, don’t procrastinate like you did on your assignments in college — create a repayment plan! Determine how much you can realistically afford to chip away on your debt balance each month while still having enough income leftover to cover all of your living expenses, a little fun money, and so forth.

Need vs. Want

Some things in life are downright essential to our survival like water, food, and shelter. Clothing is also essential, but that’s where the line begins to blur. If you’re entering the professional workforce in an industry that’s business-casual or even strictly business-professional, it may be tempting to spend lavish amounts of money on fancy clothing. Note that it is completely possible to buy decent dress clothes at discount stores for a fraction of the price, and that you can also mix and match outfits to get more usage out of less clothing.

To save more money for debt repayment, think about the value of what you’re paying for. Sure, going out for dinner and drinks is a fun affair, but doing so on a daily basis will eat away at your wallet. Any penny pinching that you can do — without making daily life completely unenjoyable — will only help set you up for financial success as a fledgling young professional.

Stay Up To Date With Financial Trends and Current Events

To be able to effectively and independently direct your own budget and even invest your hard-earned money in the future, staying up-to-date with the financial world is only going to help you. These days, it’s incredibly easy to hop online and read industry articles or pore over educational resources after just a few clicks. In fact, there’s really no excuse not to know what’s going on in a financial and political sense.

Look Into Debt Forgiveness or Discharge Options If You’re Eligible

Those who have entered public service as a career in the way of the military, city, county or federal government, and even nurses, may be eligible for various student loan forgiveness and discharge options. Even if you don’t think you’re eligible, it never hurts to take a little bit of time to look into it. After all, any possibility of outright eliminating or even reducing your debt balance is like getting free money back. That sounds like a good deal to us!

Work With Your Local Community Bank In North Platte or Kearney For Assistance

When the internet fails to answer your questions about planning for your financial future as a young professional, NebraskaLand Bank is here to help. Contact our friendly Community Banking Professionals today to get started!