3 ways to be smart about money after graduating

In some respects, British graduates are entering a strange and conflicting labour market. For example, while the national unemployment rate fell to just 4.3% during the third financial quarter, the freeze on real wage growth continues to highlight a lack of skilled and qualified opportunities.

Conversely, graduate unemployment figures have received a boost recently, with the number of recent graduates out of work having fallen to its lowest rate since 1989.

Still, there’s no doubt that graduates need to be smart, focused and proactive if they’re to make the most of the opportunities in the current economic climate. Here are some steps to help you succeed as a newly qualified professional:

  1. Be agile when looking to earn

While the number of graduates finding relevant work may be on the rise, unemployment figures vary across different sectors. The nature of the current job market is also extremely competitive, so graduates need to adopt an agile approach to launching their careers and earning.

More specifically, there’s a need to develop an innate understanding of their qualification and how this can be applied successfully in the modern age. While qualified accountants and financial analysts used to wait patiently for a position with a large firm, for example, its now easier than ever to launch an independent venture or utilise knowledge to trade the financial markets.

It’s important to make the most of these opportunities once you’ve graduated, so you can build wealth quickly and keep a wider range of long-term career options open long into the future.

  1. Don’t be afraid to budget as your earnings grow

While savings rates may have increased recently, the lack of real wage growth makes it increasingly likely that graduates will have enough money to accrue wealth through traditional methods.

This is particularly true when graduates start out in their chosen market, as they may have to work in lower paid positions to gain practical experience.

So while optimising earnings offers the quickest path to financial growth in the current climate, graduates must be frugal and willing to budget as they work towards achieving their goals.

This means minimising the amounts that they spend on recurring costs such as groceries and utilities, while leveraging modern budgeting apps that help them to create more manageable and efficient expenditure that makes their money go further.

  1. Generate income for your experience at university

Unless you have a job waiting for you once you’ve graduated, you may need to generate an immediate source of income when you leave.

One idea is to leverage your experience at university as a direct source of income, and there are a couple of ways to achieve this.

Firstly, consider selling your collection of text books and learning materials, which will be of value to students studying the same topic. You can even sell your academic notes to students, through communal, online marketplaces that connect motivated buyers and forward-thinking vendors.

Similarly, you can work for online resources that help students to research, write and refine their academic texts. From pieces of coursework to large-scale dissertations, you can use your own area of expertise and direct experience of uni to help others create work to the highest possible standard.