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Adulting 101: Planning your Budget

There are approximately 12 weeks till graduation and so, seniors, are you ready to adult?


Probably not and that is okay! No one is, however, we can research, learn and plan in hopes that one day we will figure out the complex task that is growing up. The biggest change for many of us will be becoming completely independent and (hopefully) working the full-time job that we all spent so much time and money studying for. The exciting things are obvious, we will be getting paid the big bucks, however, there are some big bills that follow that, so we have decided to make an ultimate list of bills and payments to consider when planning your budget!

The Absolute Basic Necessities


Hopefully, you knew that these bills were coming. They are the most basic and chances are you have already been paying these if you live off-campus. If you plan on moving back home post-graduation, you probably won’t have to worry about these. The rest of you, however, will and although it only seems like a couple things, it will probably be the largest total of all these categories, so definitely prepare! 


  • Rent

  • Groceries

  • Gas/Electricity/Water

The Things You Don’t Need but Probably Want 


These are the things that you won’t die without but you probably want. Some of these may also vary depending on where you live, what type of transportation you use and many other things. These bills can get a little pricey, however, there are a lot of ways to save such as choosing a cheaper cellphone provider, watching TV on a streaming site rather than with cable and arranging payment plans you can actually afford. 

  • Wifi/Cable/Hulu/Netflix

  • Phone

  • Car/Insurance/Parking/Gas/Public Transportation Cost

  • Loan Payments

  • Renter’s Insurance

  • Health Expenses

The Extras


These are the things we splurge on. We want to plan an accurate budget, so be honest when you think of these. As much as we want to say that we will only eat out once a week or shop only when we need it, and if you are anything like me, you know that isn’t true. There is a reason you make this budget so, make it something that both you can afford and can actually stick to.

  • Amazon Prime

  • Pet food/Insurance

  • Babysitting

  • Salon/Barber Services

  • Entertainment/Eating Out

  • Clothes/Shoes/Other Shopping

Things to Save For


These are the hardest because unlike bills you don’t really have to do it, but you 10000% should. Saving money leads to a bunch of great opportunities and possibilities such as going on vacations, allowing you to buy those things you have always wanted and even helping you get the home of your dreams so, make sure you save as much as possible!!

  • Retirement

  • Education

  • Down Payment

  • Vacations

  • Wedding

  • Kids

  • Emergencies

Transitioning from college student to grown-up working adult can be hard, so make it easier for yourself. Research and plan and ensure that you have an idea for what is to come in the next year. 



Sorya Nasir

PS Behrend

Native of Santa Clara, CA Senior at Penn State Behrend Management Information Systems Major HerCampus PS Behrend, President Alpha Sigma Alpha
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