Stretching An Entry Level Salary As Much As Possible

It’s not a secret that entry level salaries aren’t the greatest paying, but college graduates still need to survive and somewhat enjoy their lives. This is why I really wanted to write about how college graduates can stretch their entry level salary as much as possible. Don’t worry because today I will refrain from typical advice that everyone else wants to give you like telling you to stay at home with your parents until you’re 40 or to not have any fun so that you save every penny.

Rent a smaller unit. Rent an apartment unit that is fairly small but closer to work. Once you graduate from college and starting working as a young professional, rent will probably become your largest monthly overhead expense.

Buy a used car. If you can’t find a job close to you or an apartment by your work and a car becomes a must- then buy used. Since I’m by no means an expert on vehicle purchases all I will say is that you should strive to find the most reliable and fuel efficient vehicle possible. Don’t focus on the shiniest rims or the loudest sound system because all that means is that you have too much money to spend.

IF possible- take bus. This is a major IF because I know how most 20 somethings feel about riding the bus. Believe me I feel the same way but the savings are just phenomenal. It costs me $2.75 each way so $5.50 to travel to school and back or to work and back. I’ve driven to school many times and believe it or not the $5.50 doesn’t even cover the parking fees.

Drink at home. You spent 4-5 years working hard and pulling all nighters, so obviously you’re going to want to enjoy your life a little more now. I’m not going to preach to you and give you judgmental advice telling you not to ever consume alcohol because no matter what a personal finance blogger tells you, you will still drink on the weekends.

The best way to still meet up with your friends on the weekends while trying to stretch your entry level paycheck is to take turns getting together at someone’s place. This can be a lot more enjoyable than waiting outside in the lineup to get into a night club where you will have to pay a cover fee and then buy overpriced beers.

Buy good clothing- just no name brands. I always try to dress my best when I go out, go to work, and even when I go to school. The thing is that there is no sense in always trying to keep up with the latest trends. When you go shopping for clothing try to find items that look great but aren’t necessarily apart of the newest clothing trend. Regardless of what type of clothing you decide to purchase, make sure to not break one of the credit card rules for college graduates by going to the clothing store with your credit card in your hand. Too many times have I left the mall with the nicest dress shirt courtesy of my generous credit card limit.

Now it’s time to turn the table here and I want to know what you guys have done to stretch an entry level salary?

This is a guest post from The Studenomist of Studenomics. A personal finance blog aimed at helping college students & young professionals make the most optimal career and financial decisions possible.

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3 Responses to “Stretching An Entry Level Salary As Much As Possible”

  1. American Banking News |  Aug 05, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I had really good luck by working in college. Then when I graduated I was able to start at something above an entry level position and get a nice paycheck out of the deal.