to Adult Life Finances
Congratulations, fresh graduate! You survived the last few harrowing years with (most of) your sanity intact and successfully made it to graduation. As you wave goodbye to your college self, you might want to spare a moment to appreciate all the things you’ve learned in the hallowed halls of your alma mater. That is, before life hits you with a solid reality check that for all that hard work, school didn’t teach you a lot of important things about the real world.
Ironically enough, how to compute your income tax, which bills can be paid with a check, and how much just going to work will cost you were conveniently left out of the curriculum if you didn’t take a business course. Apart from all the papeles you need before you start a job, there are a couple of adult questions you might have regarding your finances.
8. How do I pay my bills?
Thank your lucky stars that you were born in the age of technology. BayadCenters are littered throughout the Metro (you can find a list of branches here). The best part about it? They have hundreds of billing partners, from electricity to water, credit cards to government services—even insurance and memorial plans—making them a one-stop shop. They even have online payment options.
7. What kind of bank account should I open?
The kind of bank account you open will depend largely on your circumstances. If you have money on hand, then you can open a checking account that allows you to write checks for larger sums while earning interest. If you don’t, check out the different savings accounts that your preferred bank offers—some even offer accounts that don’t require you to maintain a minimum amount.
That said, chances are that your future employer will have you open a payroll account with their preferred banking partner. Despite this, you should still open a bank account of your own, if only to keep your savings separate. The harder it is for you to get to your money, the harder it will be for you to spend it.
6. Should I get a credit card?
The decision to acquire a credit card, while tempting, requires a lot of self-evaluation. Most credit horror stories touch on getting carried away and getting buried in debt. If you have the self-control and maturity to handle one, then it’s always a good lifeline to have. If not, then you can satisfy your online shopping needs by getting a prepaid one.
5. Should I get health insurance before I start work?
Most employers will offer health insurance once you’re regularized at six months—but it doesn’t hurt to have your own just in case. Check out providers like Caritas, which offers a program that limits your payment obligation to five years while allowing you to enjoy your benefits for up to five years after your last payment, or Medicard, which offers programs that vary from one-time single-year payments to comprehensive family plans.