It’s that time of year when young adults excitedly graduate college, start their careers and begin living independent lives. My fellow Forbes contributors have offered sage advice to the graduating class of 2019, including “What The Future Holds For The Class Of 2019,” “How Parents Can Help a New Grad Get A Job,” “An Open Letter To The Class Of 2019” and “A Crash Course For College Graduates On How To Get Their First Job” (the last one’s from yours truly).
After some time has passed since I’ve previously written about this topic, there’s more for me to offer the upcoming graduates than advice on how to find a job. I’d like to share some unpopular, hard-hitting and real-life gritty advice to the new graduates, their families and friends. Be forewarned—this is not the squishy, feel-good, save-the-world stuff you hear at endless commencement speeches, while standing in the hot sun for hours just waiting to break free.
After completing your degree, move right back home with your family. Yes, your friends will mock you when you do this. The media know-nothings will wag their fingers and say, “Look how lazy and spoiled Millennials and Gen-Z kids are. They’re moving back in to live with their mommies and daddies.” Ignore them, as they are giving you terrible advice. Look at the math. If you are over $100k in student debt, the deficit will be even greater when you factor in the interest on the loans and the penalties you’ll acquire when you miss payments. You’re carrying a huge financial burden that will last for most of your life time.
An apartment in any major city or suburban town, even if you have roommates, will cost more than $1,000 a month. This total doesn’t include the cost of food, furniture and utilities. Add in health insurance, a car, your phone bill and ordinary living expenses and the financial costs become enormous. At a starting salary, there is no way you can pay for all of this without maxing out your credit cards. Once you start purchasing stuff on your credit cards, you won’t have enough money to pay your bills.