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How To Avoid A Fresh-Graduate Financial Crisis

How To Avoid A Fresh-Graduate Financial Crisis

Graduation is a point in life where we all feel accomplished. We leap in joy, throwing our hats high and falling to the ground gracefully in our gowns. We are excited about life, work, and our future. We look toward our college sweetheart, now soulmate, and make our promises for a bright future together. Our parents pat our backs, wishing us all the luck for our future.

However, eventually life hits us as we walk through every back door for a job interview. If we are lucky, we land an internship position or a dream job in a few tries, but sometimes luck is on the other side and we are forced to scale back and re-think our choices. Student loans and other debts begin to pile up while we wait for the opportunities to knock.

The question is: how do we avoid financial meltdown before it’s too late?

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Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve compiled to help you with this problem.

1. Keep In Mind That Your First Job Isn’t Your Safety Net.

If you’ve noticed, many of us make the same mistakes repeatedly. We assume the first job we land with mediocre pay becomes our safety net. We assume that the very first job is the perfect reflection of our identity and we stop exploring. Nelson Mandela once said that being comfortable is the most dangerous feeling humans can have.

This statement becomes prominent, especially among fresh graduates, as we over-commit ourselves. We put in our first instalment for a car, we purchase a brand new wardrobe, get a new apartment lease, pile up on credit cards, and gather many other unnecessary debts.

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Initially, we enjoy over-indulging ourselves. However, as months go by, our expenses increase and we find it hard to keep up with it. We end up in a loop of debt and payments among other fresh graduates. Eventually, we end up playing catch-up with bills that restrict our freedom to explore other opportunities.

If you’re fresh out of university, always keep in mind that it’s better to save and invest than to purchase material items. Credit cards and car instalments just add up to more debt. Keeping it smart and simple is the best way to ensure your financial security. Opportunities are everywhere, so never assume your first job is your safety net. Instead, give yourself the freedom to explore.

2. Love Isn’t Going To Pay The Bills.

Love is a beautiful feeling shared between two people, and after several years we often feel the need to commit to one another for better or for worse. Unfortunately, many make the fatal mistake of proposing as soon as they’re out of university, with the excuse being time and circumstance. These couples often fail to see that a key part in creating a family or committing to marital life is financial stability.

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As the initial honeymoon period settles, many realize the combined responsibilities of bills, accommodations, food, and many other expenses have begun to take their toll.

You should always keep in mind that love alone isn’t going to pay the bills, but it definitely can wait. If the person is right for you, then encourage them on their path toward self-development, achieve great accomplishments together, and once you’re confident enough in your financial stability, you can tie the knot. This ensures that you and your family can avoid any unforeseen financial uproar later in your marriage .

3. Realize That This Is The Age To Take Risks.

Being fresh out of university is the best time to take risks. However, fear and hesitation can lead many to avoid taking that leap of faith. We stay in jobs that frustrate us, spending hours trailing back and forth on our monitors while looking for new opportunities, but never making any moves. We fail to realize that this is the right time to take some risks.

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As a fresh graduate, you aren’t bound by unavoidable responsibilities and circumstances — you’ve got nothing to lose. You can explore the journey of trial and error and learn from your mistakes. You can take the risk of investing and growing your own legacy. These tiny risks allow you to expand your horizon.

Eventually, these risks give you the freedom to ensure your own financial stability, which will possibly give you the freedom to retire and enjoy the comfort of perfect financial stability for the rest of your life.

In a nutshell, these tips could be your savior in navigating this new realm of independence. Take the time to try to relate and understand how you can avoid financial meltdown.

Featured photo credit: Juan Ramos via images.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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