Many of the readers of this blog have graduated from college and have gone on to find work in their respective fields. Now that you’re working you’re likely wondering what’s next? You want to know what to do with your money now that you’re working full time?

I wanted to write about getting the most out of your entry level salary while living in a big city.

Entry level salaries aren’t the greatest paying. College graduates still need to survive and enjoy life in their 20s. This is why I really wanted to write about how college graduates can stretch their entry level salary as much as possible. Don’t worry because today I will refrain from typical advice that everyone else wants to give you like telling you to stay at home with your parents until you’re 40.

How can you push that entry level salary to the max in a big city?

Use public transportation.

I totally recommend that you use public transportation when you start working in a big city. Believe me I feel the same way most of you do about taking the bus. The bus can take too long and it’s filled with smelly people. However, the savings are just phenomenal. If you drive to work, you’re going to spend more on parking than you would on taking the bus both ways.

Enjoy entertainment on a budget.

You spent 4-5 years working hard and pulling all nighters, so obviously you’re going to want to enjoy your life a little more now. I’m not going to preach to you and give you judgmental advice. No matter what a personal finance blogger tells you, you will still drink on the weekends. This is why you need to enjoy entertainment on a budget.

The best way to still meet up with your friends on the weekends while trying to stretch your entry level paycheck is to apply some of the following tips:

  1. Pre-drink at a friend’s place.
  2. Stay in once in a while.
  3. Go out during week nights.
  4. Host a backyard party.

How will you save money on entertainment?

Save money on rent.

Once you graduate from college and starting working as a young professional, rent will probably become your largest monthly overhead expense. It’s critical that you figure out a way to save money on rent. I’ll give you my best tips on saving money on rent:

  • Find roomates.
  • Consider a smaller unit.
  • Move a bit further out of town.

Buy good clothing on a budget.

I always try to dress my best when I go out because you want to be taken seriously. The thing is that it’s difficult at times to be trendy while trying to live in a big city on a tight salary. This is why it’s fun to try to find ways to get good clothing on a budget. I personally prefer to buy clothing from respectable companies, but not over-priced brands. I also recommend taking advantage of seasonal sales. I try to buy my clothing in bulk. When I feel like changing my wardrobe I go out and buy new clothing in bulk so that I’m ready for the next season.

Those are my top personal picks for stretching an entry level salary while trying to live in a big city. How will you survive?

Martin Dasko
Martin Dasko