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5 Smart Things to Do After You Graduate

Posted on June 4, 2019

Whether you’re done with high school, wrapped up college, or finally finished your schooling with a masters or doctorate, graduation is a special time. It’s a cause for celebration, a time to relax, and a chance for some much needed freedom.

It’s also a time to look forward to the rest of your life and plan for the future. Before leaping into the next big phase of your life, you should make sure you are truly prepared for it emotionally, financially, and mentally. If you are recently graduated, or graduating soon, here are some fun and important things you should do.

Pursue Something You Are Passionate About

young black woman painting in an art studioDo you love to paint? Want to learn a new language? Does the idea of starting your own business sound perfect? After graduation is a great time to pursue something you are truly passionate about.

As long as you have the financial support to do so, give yourself a goal and some time to reach it. The further along into adult life you get, the harder it will become to set aside time and energy to work towards your passion project. Fresh after graduation, you’ve got energy and time to work on something important to you. So start that YouTube channel, learn to speak Korean, become a beekeeper, or whatever else your heart desires.

Create a Financial Plan, Build a Budget

young woman working on a laptopGraduation often accompanies taking extra steps into adulthood. It could mean leaving the nest to attend college, getting your first apartment, starting up at a new job, or even moving to a new city. With big changes on the horizon, you’ll need to create a financial plan for your near future.

For example, let’s say you are going to attend a university. You need to plan out how you’ll pay for tuition, housing, books, food, clothes, and other costs. Having that plan can help reduce how much debt you need to take on and encourage researching for cheaper alternatives.

Especially if you are graduating from college with student loans, having a financial plan is incredibly important. You need to know how you are going to cover all of your expenses plus start paying off your debts. Look at your current or expected income and create realistic goals of what you want to pay off and how you want to live for the next several years.

A huge part of a financial plan is a monthly budget. Knowing how much income you have available, organizing your bills and essential costs, and then giving yourself a limit on other spending can really help keep your life in order.

If you don’t have a current budget created, that’s ok. Now is a great time to make a monthly budget for yourself. Pioneer’s Money Management tool in myPioneer is incredibly useful to understanding how much you spend each month and help create alerts when you reach a self-imposed limit on specific categories like groceries or eating out.

Do Some Volunteering

four people wearing blue volunteer shirts being cheerfulIf you have some free time after graduation, consider helping out in your community! Volunteering is a rewarding activity that can also have some great benefits for you!

Especially if you don’t have a lot, or any, work experience to put on a resume, spending time volunteering can lead to some practical life skills and experience. Whether you help out cooking at a soup kitchen, taking pledges for a local public television network, or even organizing a community event all on your own, you can get great experiences volunteering. You could even see if there are opportunities to volunteer doing what you want to have your career be and get some practical experience in your field.

Go on a Trip

young woman on a boat in an exotic locationYou’re done with the stress of finals and you are ready to blow off some steam, so why not take a trip? Go see the world, or at least spend some quality time with your family or friends.

Especially if you are trying to decide what to do after graduation, whether it’s deciding where to go to college or what career to pursue, travelling can help you gain perspective or assist in making up your mind.

If you can afford it, going across the world is a great way to grow and gain life experiences. If you can’t, still take a trip and some time off, even if it’s a camping trip or going across the state to see family.

Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or just going down to Lagoon for your trip, don’t forget to fill out your Traveling Member Form! That way, you have access to your funds while out of the state and your accounts stay secured.

Open Up a Credit Card and Start Using It

young man sitting on a couch and looking at a laptopYour credit score is going to play a major role in your life very soon. You need it to get a car loan, rent an apartment, and it can even impact what jobs you can get. A major way to improve your credit is by using a credit card. If you don’t have one, open up a credit card as soon as you can.

By using a credit card regularly and paying it off each month, you can quickly establish and build your credit score to a health range. Then, when you need to get a loan, you can get favorable rates and approval!

Just be careful as you use a credit card that you don’t overspend. Be sure you know you can afford any purchases you make with it and set reminders to pay it off on time. Credit cards are great for building credit, but missing or making late payments on them can severely hurt your credit.

Open a Pioneer Credit Card!


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