Your post-college daydreams included a place of your own, a fulfilling, lucrative career and, perhaps, a shiny, black, E-class Mercedes-Benz. Thus are the dreams of the everyday college student’s justification for higher education. But now your reality is the polar opposite of what you’d imagined it would be. You may have a job, sure, but you are not making the kind of salary that’s going to finance your projected post-collegiate way of life. To make matters even worse, you are moving back in with your parents because you can’t afford to live alone.
Once you have accepted your current lot in life, you can begin working to improve on it. In order fulfill your dreams, you should begin saving money right away. Many college graduates who move back home get used to having more cash on hand and end up saving very little of their income. Avoid the temptation to buy that new stereo or brand new car. Save your money.
As soon as you move back in with your parents, create a realistic budget and discipline yourself to stick to it all costs. Determine what your goals are and begin setting money aside for your future right away. Avoid installment loans and credit card debt. These will sink you faster than anything.
Man does not live by saving money alone. In your budget, be sure to include some funds for recreation. The reason for this is two-fold. The first reason is obvious. Everyone needs some down time, and down time often costs money. Getting out to a week-end baseball game or some other enjoyable activity is essential for your state of mind. It clears your thinking and puts life in a better perspective no matter how you are feeling at that particular time.
The other reason for getting out of the house and doing something is for your parents’ state of mind. Remember that, during the four years you were away at college, your parents were developing a new relationship, specifically, one that didn’t revolve around you. As hard as it is to imagine not being the at the center of your parents’ orbit, it eventually happens. It’s not like they want to forget about you. The “empty nest” is simply a transition period where parents rekindle their relationship. By spending occasional time away from home, it gives your parents some much-needed breathing room.