BALTIMORE — Almost four million college students will graduate this year.
The average student walks away with a diploma and $40,000 of debt.
But that number can go as high as 250,000 for ivy league schools, plus a post-graduate education.
The average college grad will have a starting salary of around $55,000.
To start paying off those loans, the first thing that you need to do is look at your finances.
You need to get a good foundation of where you currently are and a good idea of what those payments are going be monthly before you can move forward.
Know the 50-30-20 rule, which is spending 50 percent of your budget on essentials, like rent, food, or car payments. 30 percent on non-essentials for pleasure, and 20 percent in savings.
Keep an eye out for “lifestyle creep”.
That’s when your expenses increase at the same rate as your salary, which means the amount you’re saving and investing stays the same.
It is also important to make a concrete plan for paying off your student loan debt, to start saving for retirement now, to start building your credit score, and to seek out financial advice from an expert.