Graduating is a crazy time in your life. You are working on putting together an open house, making sure all your applications for colleges are in, focusing on moving. Its an eventful time. But there are a few things that can get overlooked in this time. So here are 5 things to do when you first graduate high school.
Save your open house money
Pretty much the reason to have an open house is so that your friends and family can give you money to help you through college. Saving some of the money is what I should have done. I did not.
At the time, I was not too computer savvy in the pricing vs. actual worth department. I knew I needed a laptop for college and figured I should use my openhouse money for one. Good idea, but there was a severe lack of price shopping. This was largely due to my family not really having a computer to begin with and me not having a smartphone at the time.
I really didn't have a way to look up anything. Long story short, I paid almost a grand for an HP pavilion. LOVED the laptop but I kind of jipped myself just for lack of information. If I was smart, I would have put away $500 of that money and just bought a $400 laptop that would last me a few years.
Get a credit card
This is more or less to get your credit history started. One of the dumb things about your credit is you have to have a credit history to get approved for any kind of loan whether it be a credit card, financing a guitar from guitar center, getting the 5% off your purchase at Target when you apply and get approved for the Red Card, or getting approved to buy a car.
I didn't actually get my credit history started until I was 21. This set me back in the fact that length of your credit history has a medium impact on your credit which can really hurt you if you have none of it at all. Lenders will be more likely to give you a loan if they see that other lenders trust you and have lended to you as well.
At 24 now, I have a lot of things on my credit (including lots of debt) like a credit card and auto loans but after only 3 years, my average credit history is about 1 year and 6 months. I don’t really look too trustworthy to lenders. Had I gotten a credit card right out of high school, I probably would have had a better opportunity in getting financed for other things like maybe a needed appliance such as a washer and dryer set. It’s nice to have those things, and nice to take advantage of the “no interest for 6 months” sales.
Just remember, whatever you use on a credit card, pay it off immediately, that way your interest doesnt get racked up when you only pay your $15 monthly payment on your unpaid balance. Rule of thumb for credit cards: don't borrow the money unless you already have the money to pay it back. Debt avoided.
Learn to cook
This is a big one. When you’re on your own, you get sick of Ramen real fast. Learning to cook actual meals will save your health and your wallet. Fast food can actually add up after a while and before you know it, you have no money left until payday. Where did it all go?
Well the accumulation of, lets go with 10 bucks, 10 bucks average every day spent on fast food, snacks, and junk food results in about 50 bucks a week on food, not counting weekends. I can spend that amount at Aldi and have enough groceries for over 3 weeks for myself.
50 bucks a week translates to 200 bucks a month. Man, could have had that extra 150 to buy a sweat record player or that overpriced book that's required for your English class. It's simple math.
Cooking more = eating out less = a fat wallet. Simple.
And I know fast food is so tempting. It's quick, easy, but trust me. You're better off developing the making your own food habit early. Don't get lazy. Your future self will thank you.
Take a Road Trip
Remember that money I told you to save from your open house? Now would be the time to use some of it.
This trip really plays no part in your life other than to give you that much needed break from your town, your family, your future at school and it quenches your thirst for travel for a little while.
People can get so caught up in what they’re doing and never take a break. Before you know it, the time to have traveled has come and gone. Do it while you can. Who knows? Maybe you will find the place you want to move to in the future.
Minimize your junk
Now is the perfect time to get rid of all the things that you don’t need. And trust me, you REALLY don't need that stuff. The less stuff you have in your life, the better. Especially if you’re moving to a college. Do you really want to carry all that stuff with you? What a pain in ass!
Most of the time, you are going to be walking a lot and living out of your backpack. Plus you are going to need money anyways so might as well sell your junk.
From what I've learned, I've found that a lot of things in my life would have been so much easier if I would have done these. The opportunities I could have had, and the different turns my life could have taken. These 5 things really don't seem like much but your life will feel so much more put together if you actually do them.
So what do you guys think? Is this pretty helpful? Have you done any of these things? Let me know! I want to hear about the tough lessons you figured out on your own in the real world.