I saw an interesting story in the Memphis Daily News about the job market for college graduates – it’s improving. According to the Labor Department, the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates – defined as those ages 20-29 who have earned a four-year or advanced degree – was 10.9%. That rate falls lower than the previous year of 13.3% and is the lowest since 2007’s 7.7%.
Although that’s good news for college graduates, it may not be great news. Just because there may be more jobs out in the market doesn’t mean a dream job will be out there. Many times, college graduates will have to settle for a lower paying job than desired or maybe even a job that’s not in their field of study.
“I’m finding that all these entry-level jobs are requiring experience I don’t have or degrees that are just unattainable right out of college,” says Howard Rudnick, 23 years old, who’s currently earning $25,000 a year working for an online shoe company after earning his political science degree.
“The worst part is that I’m afraid at some point I may have to go back to school to better myself and take on more debt just so I can get a better-paying job,” Rudnick continues.
Life after earning your college degree doesn’t come easy for everyone. Some people struggle to get a job they enjoy while others struggle to get one with a satisfying pay.
My advice for both situations is to live within your means and save your money. That’s the best way to avoid debt.
It’s important to know how much you’re earning so you don’t live above that line. It’s easy with the abundant availability of credit cards to live above your salary, but it can be a recipe for disaster.
You may tell yourself that you really want something, or even “need” something that you really don’t actually need, and if you don’t have enough money for it, then you can always use your credit card to pay for it now and then just pay the credit card off later. However, we never know what unexpected things life will throw at us.
Let’s say you graduate from college and find a decent-paying job within a month and you’ve been approved for your first credit card. Instead of keeping your current lifestyle, you go out and upgrade your apartment, your clothes and you begin to go out more with your friend for drinks. You’re making a little bit more money now than you were in college, and you have a credit card…why not?
However, I advise that you keep your current lifestyle for a little bit longer and save money instead.
It’s easy to swipe your credit card to buy something knowing you can pay it back later, but these credit cards come with interest rates that can bury you quicker than you imagine. At the same time, you never know when your car is going to breakdown or you’re going to need to go to the emergency room – which are both big costs.
However, if you would have saved up some money out of the gates by just living in your original lifestyle, then you’d have a cushion to handle these incidents and stay out of debt.
I’ve practiced bankruptcy law in Memphis for over 30 years and I’ve seen countless people come into my office that are deep in debt as a result of an unexpected incident they weren’t prepared for.
When you get your first job out of college, and in general, whether it pays a lot or a little, save your money and live within your means. Save money to create a cushion for the incidents life is prone to throw at you.
However, sometimes life just throws too much and debt can be unavoidable. Here in the US, we don’t have to live enslaved to that debt and can have another chance through the bankruptcy process.
By filing for bankruptcy, your debts can be discharged through a Chapter 7 or lumped into an affordable payment plan through a Chapter 13.
Here at Darrell Castle & Associates, we not only want to help you get out of debt by walking you through the bankruptcy process, but we also want to help you recover and thrive from it.
We do this by offering you access, free for clients, to a great 14 week program called “7 Steps to a 720.” This program will teach you things the banks don’t want you to know in regards to re-establishing and rebuilding your credit the right way.
If you have any questions or if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you can speak to one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers, free of charge, by filling out the “Get in Touch” form below or by calling us at (901) 327-2100.