Coming to the end of your stint in university can feel enormously relieving. After all, university is fun but it’s jampacked with deadlines, projects and exams. Most students are running busy social lives in between trying to get a degree. So, the past three or four years have likely left you feeling a little worse for wear. That’s okay, the memories and friends you’ve made will stick around for awhile if not forever and your degree is going to stand you in good stead for a sturdy career. But you now have to begin your adventure in adulthood.This can feel incredibly overwhelming but you’re allowed to take it slowly.
Many young adults move out of university and back into their parents’ homes. This feels like regression but if you using your time to sort out some life stuff before heading out on your own then you’re doing it right. You see, life is expensive. And, juniors in any field are not paid the big bucks. In fact, many will find that their living costs exceed their monthly remuneration and when this happens you’re in dangerous territory. The last thing you need is debt especially if you’re already paying back student loans and the like.
The very first step to take after university is to make a list of the things you simply have to sort out. Mom and dad can’t keep paying for your car. You will then have an idea of what your monthly expenses should look like and how much you need to earn. In reality, many students who are employed as interns or juniors take on a second night job to make ends meet. And while this feels like a terrible decision you can learn a lot by doing this. Managing your schedule for one thing will teach you incredible responsibility and you’ll likely learn the cost of a rand very quickly. If you need to learn about budgeting then working two jobs will teach you. Juggling two bosses, two salaries and two sets of responsibilities gives you great insight into your capacity. What’s more, never negate the value of that second job. Because you’ll most probably find yourself waitering or tending a bar, you’ll be learning customer service skills, communication skills and basic bookkeeping very quickly. These skills are useful in the corporate world too.
So, you need to think long and hard about what you need to do. Here is a list of the big things that are suddenly your responsibility:
This is a big deal. You are not allowed to remain on your parent’s medical aid as a beneficiary when you are an adult. Exceptions are made for adult children in university who can be proven to still be dependent on their parents but this is a challenge. As soon as you’re finished studying you have to sort out your own medical aid. Also, you cannot afford to not have medical aid as public healthcare in South Africa is precarious. You can wait for months for treatment and the facilities are subpar. However, medical aid is expensive. You need to shop around and choose a scheme that suits you and your budget. There are a variety of different options which include comprehensive cover, hospital plans and medical insurance. You need to collate a list of health insurance company products and whittle down what you feel you really need cover for and then find a correlating scheme.
Insurance can run your bank account dry so you don’t need to sign up for everything but some things are just necessary. As an independent individual with no dependents yourself, don’t concern yourself with life insurance just yet but do sign up for income protector. You see, you don’t have kids or a partner who would benefit from the payout of life insurance but you do have parents who possibly cannot take care of you should you lose your job. You will also need car insurance as if anything untoward happens to your vehicle you could find yourself paying out thousands of rands for a vehicle you no longer have or cannot drive. Worse still, you might have an accident that sees you paying for the damage on someone else’s vehicle. Running into problems such as these can leave you in an enormous amount of debt and financial ruin.
If you’re still driving your parent’s hand-me-down vehicle or an old car you manage to save up and purchase for cash then you’re probably looking to upgrade. Be cautious about the vehicle you drive though. You need a sturdy car that’ll keep you safe but you also need a car that won’t cost you a fortune in repayments and fuel. Furthermore, your insurance will be hefty if you decide on an expensive car. You can pick up a secondhand car in excellent condition quite easily but shop around and make sure you do your homework.