For all of the soon-to-be college graduates who are experiencing the stress of the inevitable future, we feel your pain. Graduation is an exciting time, but much needs to be done to make sure you are ready for life after graduation. At this stage in your lives, most of you are no longer dependent on your parents. You are officially entering the “real world,” where the time has come to find (and hold) a full-time job, search for a new apartment or housing, and learn how to manage your personal finances wisely.

Landing a job

The first thing on every graduate’s mind is landing that first job. Some are fortunate to have a job lined up before graduation. For most, the job search can be an emotional roller coaster lasting way past graduation. Start with the resources that your school offers. Your university Career Center should offer a job portal for current students and alumni with plenty of job listings that are bound to fit your needs. Your major departments should also have access to job listings for graduates in your specific major as well. Your Career Center should also offer resume help and interviewing techniques to help you land that job you are thinking of applying for. Take advantage of all they have to offer before (and after) you graduate.

Finding new housing

After years of living in college housing, the idea of changing your living style can be exciting and scary. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when making your next move. Are you looking to rent an apartment or rent a house with co/workers or friends? How far away from work are you willing to live and how long of a commute can you handle? What kind of lease are you looking for – year leases or month-to-month? How much can you afford per month with rent and utilities combined? These are basic questions to ask yourself before starting the housing search. In college, students can go with the flow when it comes to housing but after graduation, the stakes are raised and the full responsibility will land on you to make these decisions.

Saving your money

If you got through college without starting a Savings account, now is a pivotal time to do so. If you talk to any of your older friends and family members, they will tell you that having a savings account is necessary in the real world. Car issues, hospital bills and other un-planned instances will arise and it is smart to have some sort of financial backup. Make saving a priority before spending money to go on that graduation trip to Cabo San Lucas. If you have already started a personal savings account, take it a step further and start saving for retirement. Take advantage of your employer’s 401k plans.

Keeping track of bills

You’ll quickly learn that paying your bills on time, every time is huge in developing and building your credit score. Graduating from college is a tremendous feat, but for most, the bill count rises after graduation. You’ll soon have to start paying off student loans, paying your own utility bills (if you were previously living on campus) and any other expenses that you take on after graduating like buying a new car, or opening up a credit card account. For these reasons, make sure you are paying your bills on time by keeping track of them with a personal finance app like Finovera. Establishing smart personal finance habits at a young age will reap large rewards for the future.