As a third year student, you are probably feeling the stress more than ever right now – with what probably feels like a mountain of assignments to finish, you might have pushed the thought of life after university (yes, there is life after university) to the back of your mind.

Transitioning from a student to a graduate often comes hand in hand with full-time employment and the responsibilities of real adult life. Your circumstances quickly change, meaning that your priorities will also change. Whether you are saving for a home or a car, you will have your own individual goals, and these will need careful financial planning.

Personal pension provider True Potential share their tips for managing your financial goals:

Identify your goals

Your goals will be individual to you, but making them manageable and affordable is the first step. Common milestones are buying a home, a car, or saving for a holiday – but you might also want to consider putting money aside towards your pension. You can never start too early.

Whilst it seems a long way off, starting early could secure you a more comfortable pension. In a survey by True Potential, it revealed that the average UK citizen is estimated to receive around £6,000 per year in retirement – but in reality, you’ll need an annual income of £23,000 to live comfortably.

Quantify your goals

After setting your goals, you’ll need to set a time frame establishing when you want to achieve them by. By quantifying your goals, you have a clear view of how you will achieve them to make sure you won’t fall behind. Remember to keep it realistic – setting unachievable goals in short timeframes can put pressure on your finances, which could have a knock-on effect with your other commitments.

Set a budget

Access your current financial situation before you start putting any of your money aside. You’ll need to figure out how much you can realistically save or invest without leaving yourself struggling with your other outgoings. Look to see if there are areas you can cut back on, and establish areas which are a necessary finance. Group them together into categories so that they are easier to manage. Make sure it is a true picture of your finances and then set your budget.

Invest it right

After working out your budget, you’ll need to make sure you choose the right product that could make your money grow. An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax efficient way to save or invest, meaning any interest your money accumulates is all yours.

If you’re looking to raise a significant amount, a Stocks and Shares ISA could be a good option. The amount you invest can be spread across bonds, property or stocks and shares, so you could get out more than you pay in. However, there is a level of risk involved.

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