Dentist Milad Shadrooh, AKA the Singing Dentist, shares his thoughts on how to financially prepare for the real world post-university – and why thinking about your credit score is important.
Leaving university and becoming a ‘proper grownup’ can be very daunting. There are lots of life lessons to be learned and financial matters are no different, so having a good understanding of the basics can really help you prepare for life post-university.
Your first pay packet
So, you’ve graduated, you're working and you're actually getting paid. This makes your first payday a super exciting time. But, before you get carried away, I’d suggest doing three important things…
- First of all, keep a record of all the days you've worked as you can use this to check you’ve been paid correctly – which is really important.
- Second of all, resist the urge to splurge your pay away the second the money lands in your account. Of course you want to have some fun, and you deserve it, so certainly do something nice with your first pay packet. But also make sure you put away some savings for a rainy day, save some for your taxes, and also try settling some debts and loans.
- And thirdly, make a record of your expenses and keep the receipts because you're going to need to claim that money back.
Your credit score…do you need to think about this already?
The answer is yes! This is because starting to build up a good credit score is a really important part of being financially fit and healthy.
So, what is credit score? It’s basically a number that defines your credit worthiness, which translates to whether a provider will lend you money.
Your credit score has suddenly become very important, and will be even more so when it’s time to think about borrowing money for a mortgage, getting a big loan for a car, or even borrowing money to buy a dental practice in the future.
Lenders will look at this credit score and assess whether they want to lend you money for the things you want and having loads of cash in the bank does not mean you're going to have good credit.
How to build up credit
You can build up credit by applying to be on the electoral roll, by paying all of your bills on time (especially the credit card bills), keeping your credit utilisation low and minimising all of your debts.
Getting specialist advice can greatly help with this and there are loads of resources out there, including services that enable you to check your credit profile for free.
So, hopefully you’re now feeling a little more equipped to transition into the real world. If you’re looking for a bit more information, you can download The Next Step DFT financial survival guide which is packed full of financial information, hints and tips to help you feel more confident in your finances.