Preparing Your Young Adult for Life After College

Courtney Guggenberger
Preparing Your Young Adult for Life After College

As your young adult is preparing for life after college, you no doubt want to help them in any way possible. For some, this means helping them find a job, or even providing them with financial support as they transition into the next phase of their lives.

For much of your child's life, you have prepared your child for the next phase of life, and now you need to help them prepare for life after college. But, what exactly does that mean? What do they need help with now? Below, you will find a few tips on how to prepare your young adult for life after college.

Making a Budget

One of the most important things your young adult needs to know how to do is make a budget. Obviously, if they do not yet have a job, then a budget may be a little tricky, since they do not have a steady income. However, you can still explain the basics of making and sticking to a budget by instilling the value of managing their money. You probably know firsthand how difficult it can be to make a budget and stick to it.

Instead of simply telling your young adult not to waste money and leaving it at that, it is better to share your experiences, how you make your budget, and how you manage it. While Kori Ellis's post Help Your Teen Lead and Succeed is about teaching a teen about life, the lessons can be applied to anyone teaching a child about adulthood: "Educate your family about the need for comparison shopping, how to avoid money scams, the cost of regular expenses (such as cell phones) and the importance of budgeting."

Paying Off Loans

Along with knowing how to manage money comes the responsibility of paying off student loans. Most recent graduates will leave their schools with some amount of debt. Unfortunately, for many people, it takes years to pay off school loans. However, when you teach your young adult how to manage their money, you need to make sure they understand the importance of paying off their loans. No matter what kind of loan it is, the sooner it is paid off, the less it will cost in the long run.

Urge your young adult to incorporate their loan payments into their budget and to talk with their loan provider about payment options.

Finding a Job

Something that many recent graduates will have to do after graduating is find a job. As someone who has worked for a while now and probably applied to at least one job, you can offer help during this process. Even if it is not your young adult's first time applying for a job, she could still use your guidance. After they have drafted a resume and cover letter, proofread it and offer suggestions.

Your young adult can use these documents as templates for the jobs they apply to. Remind your child that they need to apply to more than one job posting at a time. Persistence is key. If you really want to help your child in this process, you might consider searching for jobs with them so that they have more options to choose from. You could even ask your friends, colleagues, and anyone in your professional network if they are hiring or know of any open positions.

Finding a Place to Live

Another challenge that many recent graduates face is that of finding a place to live after graduating. Many students live on campus during their entire educational careers, or live in cheap housing that is paid for by student loans. Now, they must find a more permanent solution to their living arrangements.

You can help prepare your young adult for this process by helping them find an apartment, telling them about your experiences, and giving them advice. In some cases, the best solution for everyone may be for your young adult to move back home. However, if this is not an option, then you need to help your young adult learn about paying for utilities and rent and how to maintain their new home.

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