After four years of struggling and grinding through college, it has finally led you to this moment today —
An unemployed fresh graduate who’s still in their bed past 12 noon.
Now, you probably think that it isn’t so bad until you realize you haven’t showered in three days, and have binge-watched every single season of Friends, Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy in the three weeks since graduation day while devouring all your family’s snacks.
Your parents have been telling you to work on something and your siblings, who are experiencing online classes again, tell you that they envy you. Despite the unsolicited advice and comments full of envy hurled at you, you only tell yourself, “This is only until I hear back from the hiring company. They’ll get back to me soon.”
To that, I reply:
What happens then? What’s the plan when you’re hired and get the job? What do you do when they hire someone else?
If you don’t get chosen, there are other ones who are willing to take you. But, you did get chosen. You’re now a new employee under a great manager and with an even greater pay. The question stands: What’s the plan now? Unfortunately, you don’t have the same culture as Andy from Toy Story who moves out for college or Beca from Pitch Perfect who does the same. For you, you’re more like Gabbie from Four Sisters and a Wedding.
As a Filipino, you are raised to be under the same roof with your family until you get married. Thus, by staying in your childhood home, you are bound to contribute to the family expenses. Hopefully then, you’ll be exposed to the different things your parents are paying for now and expect the expenses you’ll be paying on your own in the future. For now, you can offer to aid your parents and give back to them by paying for a few things.
For example, you can enter The Adulting Life by being more involved in the family taxes and fees, for the house and lot or the car. If the amount is too large, a small percentage of your salary can suffice — I can only see how appreciative your parents would be to have some weight off of their shoulders. However, if you do want to pay for something in full, you can consider paying for the electricity and water bill. Depending on the size of your family and their usage of these utilities, the numbers could range from being an ant-sized amount to an elephant size. On the other hand, if you want to be more involved in not only the financial side but also in terms of experience, you can opt to handle the groceries. Buying groceries demands your money, time, and effort. Unfortunately, sometimes spending your salary is only the easy part. Finding what your family needs and lacks in the pantry is the difficult part. Without a doubt, deciding to contribute via this manner will prove to be a challenge. The next option only applies to those who have younger siblings. You can also consider paying for their tuition fee. The advantage of this option is that you can choose whether you want to pay in one go or in installments. And a huge plus, you can boss your siblings around until their graduation day.
The options above are only some of the expenses you can contribute to the family finances. However, there is also another option: Rent. After graduation, you will have to schedule The Talk with your parents about how you will be living moving forward. During this time, you can address your desire to give back to them. However, if you realize that you don’t exactly have much time to do extra work and errands, you can negotiate with them how much you can contribute as your rent fee.
Although some parents will accept anything and in any amount you are willing to offer, there will be some who will decline. After all, contributing to the family expenses is not your obligation as their child. What you can do now is to save for a family trip, fine dining or any new experience you and your family can try out together. Coming up with a new bonding activity is something your parents can ultimately be appreciative for given that years are passing by too quickly.
On the other hand, you might also consider moving out on your own immediately after graduating. Although it is traditional to stay within the walls of your childhood home, times are changing and moving out has been one of the tempting options of fresh graduates. Since you will be handling all your finances, make sure that you are mentally and financially ready to do so. To learn the basics of personal finance, you can read through this article.
Overall, there are so many paths you can take after graduation. Whether it be staying with your family and contributing to the expenses, or moving out on your own, you always have to make sure that you have a plan and you know what you’re doing. If you choose to go on your own, you have to be ready and predict all kinds of issues you can potentially experience. If you choose to stay, you can opt to contribute to any of the options mentioned above, or find another option. Nevertheless, you should also realize that your decision to contribute is only done voluntarily. You are not expected to give back out of tradition or necessity, but out of gratitude and appreciation.
After all the things you’ve experienced in your life, you’d think that you have already answered the life questions aimed at you by your parents, your professors, and your peers. Despite seemingly knowing what you will do post-graduation, there will be more and more questions. Again, I ask you:
What’s the plan now? And right now? And at this moment?
With that, I urge you to keep planning and predicting all the factors that could affect your life and adjust accordingly. Although you may not know all the life answers now, you should have some idea — and you can make use of that. Include your family, friends and all those that make you genuinely happy. Remember that you don’t invest just to earn more money. You should invest in order to become financially independent and to become financially successful. You should invest to be happier, doing what you love and with the people you love.
- UP JFA Pisopedia