Rattlers, are you ready? Net checks end after graduation

With my graduation steadily approaching, reality is finally kicking in. Mommy and daddy are cutting off the funds, and I’m moving to New York City where the rent is high enough to make you go crazy.

Soon, life-saving net checks are finally going to stop coming in to save the day.

So my question to my Florida A&M University colleagues is this: how many of us are really financially prepared for life after school?

For the most part it seems like we blindly enter the proverbial “real world” after college and aren’t prepared for the financial responsibilities that lie ahead.

Lucky for me, this realization hit me during the middle of last year, and ever since I’ve been hustling to save money for post-graduation. After working more than 30 hours a week at T-Mobile, I opened a Certificate of Deposit account with a higher interest rate than a regular savings account.

Instead of blowing my net check on unnecessary clothes that are going to be out of fashion in three months, I put the majority of my money into the bank to save for life post-graduation.

I don’t think I’ve made a better decision in my entire life.

There’s nothing scarier in this world than to look in your account and see a digit lower than your average value meal at McDonald’s; and God only knows the last thing you want is to move back in with the parental units after you graduate.

But the question remains, what are you doing to prevent that from happening?

I urge all my fellow Rattlers to sit down for a minute and think about what you really want to do with your life after graduation. Think about where you will live and what kind of career you want to pursue, and then think about the cost to get that dream rolling.

Rather than wasting your expendable income on the newest Sidekick or Coach purse that you allegedly can’t live without, why not put yourself on a savings budget that will allow you to fund your future?

You’ll be surprised at how fast money adds up when you start getting into a routine.

Even if it’s just $50 a month, you’re still making a conscious effort to fund for your future.

It’s been almost seven months since I began my savings crusade, and in that relatively short period of time I’ve managed to save a considerable amount of money.

It’s a great feeling to know my future is looking financially stable, even with a big move to NYC in the near future.

I hope my experience will encourage fellow Rattlers to make smart and responsible monetary decisions before they graduate, so they can experience this carefree feeling of saving up for dreams that deserve to chased.

Mike McLafferty is a senior magazine production student from Port Charlotte. He can be reached at McLafferty@t-mobile.com.