Most financial planners encourage you to have, at least, 6 month worth of your living expenses set aside. If you’re just graduating, this can seem a long way off especially as you’re trying to figure out how to repay your students loans, moving to a new location, etc. However, it is never too late to start so, just start saving!! Start by aiming for, at least one month of expenses saved, then two, and so on. The goal of an “emergency” fund is have savings so you can avoid credit card debt. Even $25 a month is a place to start to help build this emergency fund. You can utilize this website to help you plan for building your emergency fund. http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/emergency-savings-calculator-tool.aspx
Be wary of any messages you might receive from “scholarship application services” claiming to locate scholarships for you. These services are NOT FREE and they tend to not identify any more sources than are already available on your school’s website. A recent one is “degreedup” and they are not free, either – it requires that you submit “$5 (cash only to help defray mail handling, document shredding and product costs).”
Mary B. W. Fenton, M.A.
Director of Student Financial Aid Services
for the Health Sciences Center
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center