Making wise financial choices as a new graduate
By Henry Yule | 10 August 2020
Henry has been working full-time for two and a half years and his advice to graduates heading into the workforce is to focus on paying off high-interest debts and keep a budget to make your money work for you.
"New graduates heading into the workforce need to be quite smart when they start earning money. You've gone through a long degree having no money, so to go from that to earning what would seem a significant salary, it can be quite a big shock. Most of us come out broke, have no savings or with an overdraft.
"You have to be disciplined about paying off debts quickly - don't let them accumulate. In your first couple of months earning money, I would recommend trying to clear any debt, I don't mean student loans but any personal debt like an overdraft or credit cards. Overdrafts can be great when you're a poor student, but you don't want to live like that forever.
"Set aside targets you can actually achieve - most of us aren't going to be buying a house in our first year out of university. Set achievable goals that mean you have a good standard of living but are able to pay off debts and start setting savings aside.
"If you're studying Veterinary Science like I did, the Voluntary Bonding Scheme is a great thing to look into because the government essentially pays up to $55,000 off your student loan if you work in the regions for five years. This is a huge saving and as most of us come out with a $100,000 student loan, this can help pay a huge amount of it.
"Just remember that money doesn't grow on trees and you'll soon realise that you have to work quite hard to earn your money. Enjoy it but make wise decisions. Pay off your higher interest debts first and take control of your finances by budgeting weekly or monthly. Put money directly into a savings account for a specific goal but don't forget to enjoy your life!"
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