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Archive | February, 2018

Making the Big Move after Graduation

Making the Big Move after Graduation

So you’ve finally graduated college. Congratulations! But now what? If you’ve seen the classic film, The Graduate, then you know that your post-college days can feel aimless. Don’t let this happen to you. Whether you want to join the workforce right away, or would like to take some much deserved time off to fulfill personal needs, having a plan and sticking to it is a key component of moving on once you’ve finally received your hard-earned degree. To ensure that your big move after graduation goes off without a hitch, follow this five step plan.

1. Creating a Plan

Having goals provides terrific motivation for creating a plan and sticking to it. Do you want to join the Peace Corp? Perhaps you’d like to teach English in a foreign country? Or perhaps you are eager to start earning right away so that you can start putting money away for a house. Whatever your goals are, put pen to paper and put together a plan for how you might achieve them. Think of a goal as a destination, and a plan as directions on how to get there – you wouldn’t set off across the country without first consulting a map, would you? Achieving your goals should be treated no differently.

2. Finding a Job

Finding a job can be difficult, tiring, and discouraging, and may take much longer than you anticipate. The important thing is to not give up. Keep at it and treat finding a job like a job. Commit yourself to it for eight hours a day, five days a week, until you land that coveted position. Keep track of your applications with a spreadsheet, and don’t be afraid to follow up with contacts if you haven’t heard back. Most hiring managers are dealing with dozens, if not hundreds of applicants. To make your job easier, consider using sites like Monster, Indeed, and LinkedIn to find positions that might be right for your education and experience. Do so and you may even be able to find a job before you move.

3. Taking Care of Essentials

To make things easier for you once you’ve arrived in your new town or state, consider taking care of some essentials before you get there – or at least as early as possible. Change your mailing address as soon as possible, update billing and mailing info with your banks and credit card companies, transfer your insurance policies over to your new state (if applicable), and research driver license requirements as well. The more you can do in advance, the less you’ll have to do when you get to your new home. And considering the many facets involved with a big move post-graduation, you’ll appreciate all the help that you can get. How can you keep track of all of these essentials? See Step One!

4. Building Your Savings Account

Unfortunately, moving often doesn’t come cheaply – this is especially true if you’re picking up everything and moving out of state. Between hiring movers, transporting your goods across state lines (or even city-to-city), getting yourself to your new destination, and covering move-in expenses at your new place, you are likely looking at several thousand dollars simply to get from Point A to Point B. Needless to say, it pays to have some money saved up. How do you do this when you’re a starving college student? Well, believe it or not, you have options.

For students graduating in a year or two, put together a savings plan now. Even $100 per month can make a big difference when it comes time to graduate – over the course of two years, that leaves you with nearly $2,500 in your pocket. If you’ve already graduated and have little in the way of savings, then we recommend picking up extra work so that you can earn additional income. This may mean taking on additional shifts at your current job, picking up a second job in your off hours, or freelancing. Other options, like Amway, make it possible to earn money on your own schedule, at your own pace. With this extra income, you can cover your moving expenses and have some left over in the till at the end of the day.

5. Making Friends and Settling In

Finally, make yourself at home in your new home. Even if you’re moving back to your hometown after four years away, many college graduates find that the home they return to is not the home that they left – they have changed, and so has their town. To help the process of making new friends as easy and seamless as possible, consider joining clubs, forming bonds with new co-workers, finding like-minded people on social media, and trying new things. Use sites like Yelp to find cool restaurants and attractions in town, and dive into local publications for insider knowledge on upcoming events, concerts, and more. Remember, not until you’ve settled in will your new house become your new home.

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What to Splurge on as You Prepare for College

What to Splurge on as You Prepare for College

Heading off to college usually involves a lengthy — and expensive — shopping list. To stick to your budget, you’ll need to be smart about what you’re investing your money in. Here are a few items to keep in mind.

Sturdy Backpack

You’ll be lugging plenty of study materials around campus for at least four years, so do your future self — and your back — a favor and invest in a sturdy backpack to haul it all around. Look for a design that is as sturdy as it is sleek so that it can easily transition as a work bag for your internship or first job. Key features to look for are a special padded laptop section, hidden compartments for valuables, as well as plenty of other storage compartments to keep the rest of your essentials organized and accessible.

Shower Curtain & Other Bathroom Linens

It’s worth splurging on a quality shower curtain to keep your bathroom looking clean and elevate the style of your space for a more adult look. Be sure to protect your shower curtain from mold and mildew by using a mildew-resistant liner. This can prevent mildew from growing, which can also save you time cleaning your bathroom.

Instead of buying the cheapest towels you can find in bulk, spring for towels that cost a little more. High-quality bath towels, hand towels and washcloths will often wash and wear better, lasting longer and saving you money in the long run. Skip the colorful options in favor of solid white towels that can easily be bleached to look like new if they stain or start to discolor.

Reusable Water Bottle

Maintaining optimal hydration offers a host of health benefits, from aiding digestion and helping you feel more energized to improving the look of your skin and promoting overall immunity. And if you are living it up in the typical college fashion and going out drinking with your friends often, hydration is even more important to ward off those dreaded hangovers.

Splurge on a double-walled stainless steel water bottle from Hydroflask, Swell or Klean Kanteen. While plastic water bottles, even the reusable kind, can leach chemicals into your water, stainless steel water bottles are safer and more eco-friendly. The sturdy construction also means this style of water bottle is more durable and can stand up to the drop and tumbles that can occur as you tote it around on campus daily. Double-walled, vacuum-insulated construction is key for temperature stability, keeping your water cold for hours in any environment.

Wireless Key Finder

You’ve got a lot going on and all of that juggling can make it easy to lose track of the simplest little things, like your keys. Save yourself the headache of furiously tearing your place apart looking for your keys by investing in a wireless key finder. This ingenious little device attaches to your keyring and uses a Bluetooth signal to pair with your phone. When you cannot locate your keys, simply deploy the find feature from the device app on your phone and it will begin playing a designated finder tune to help guide you toward your keys.

By splurging on the above items, you can enjoy years of use and spend less sweating the small stuff and more time focusing on your studies.

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