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7 Tips for Recent Graduates That You Didn’t Learn in Class

7 Tips for Recent Graduates That You Didn’t Learn in Class

SouthEast Bank| May 21, 2020
7 Tips for Recent Graduates That You Didn’t Learn in Class

Graduation season is here once again, and as you step forth into uncertain times, there are many principles that still stand – like focusing on a successful financial future. SouthEast Bank salutes your efforts over the last four years. Whether you are on your way into college or on your way out, we want to help you on your road into the wider world of work and adulthood. With that in mind, here are some financial tips for recent graduates to help on your journey.


Nothing is more synonymous with the college experience than being perpetually cash-strapped. Books, food, housing, the list of possible expenses is nearly endless, and the worries about finances are likewise. It becomes easy to lose track of where your money is going.

Your worries can be alleviated by writing a monthly budget. Start by listing your expenses. How much can you afford to pay for something? Do you need to be paying for this specific item? Apps like Mint® make this easy, tracking all of your finances in one place. Once you are aware of your purchasing habits it becomes much easier to change them. Once they are changed, you will find yourself with extra money for the things that you really want and need. 

Clean up your social media

As you approach your entrance into the workforce as a recent graduate, it would be well advised to cleanse some of your social media of any questionable content. In the digital age, it has become easier and easier to find people on the internet. A quick search can reveal an incredible amount of information about you, and companies will use this to their advantage. A 2018 Career Builder Survey found that 70% of employers checked up on potential employee’s social media.

Cleaning up your social media means removing anything that could send the wrong signal to a potential employer. At the same time, you need to maintain an active online profile. Several resources say that employers are interested in seeing potential employees who interact with the community within their industry. 

Build your credit

To get a loan for anything, whether it be a personal, business, or home loan, you need a strong credit score. Even outside of applying for a loan, potential employers may take a look at your credit score as well. As a result, it is important to start building your credit, but at the same time, it’s important to remember to use a credit card responsibly. It’s all too easy to overspend and find yourself wallowing in credit card debt, unable to tunnel yourself out.

Use your credit card sparingly, only on things you can pay back quickly to keep fees down. Also, keep in mind that there are other things that can be detrimental to your credit score. Unpaid bills, be they utility or phone bills, can have a negative effect on your credit score. As such, it is important to keep up with bills to keep your credit score high.

Remember to Save

The importance of having a savings fund can never be understated. Financial experts recommend having a safety net of funds that lasts several months, but safety net aside, there are still other reasons to save. As a recent graduate, the early years after your college and high school graduations are the perfect time to begin building your savings, as your responsibilities are the fewest they will likely ever be. Take advantage of this time and put some money away for a rainy day.


What to do with all your savings? Well, it may be time to invest. The longer your money is invested, the more it will be able to work for you. Time is on your side here. Money invested for 30 years, for instance, will be worth much more than the same amount for 10. Ask your banker or financial advisor about the best strategy for you based on your funds, your timeline, and your goals!

Have Fun

Going to college and leaving college can be stressful, and it is important to take them seriously. They are both large changes in your lifestyles that require genuine adjustments. But at the same time, it is important to enjoy yourself in this exciting time in your life. While we stress the importance of being smart with your money, there is also a time to enjoy it. Every now and then, it’s fine to feed your morning latte habit or splurge on a new outfit or two. We’d just recommend you follow some of the tips we mentioned previously in this blog.

Congratulations on graduating and starting this next chapter of your life. Starting something new is always hard, especially in times of great uncertainty, but undoubtedly you can handle it. We are here to help you as you navigate personal finances during the journey to come!

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