So you’ve marched and gotten your diploma and made it into the real world. Congrats, kid, you’re ready to adult now! But what does “adulting” even mean? College never gave us any courses or required units like Paperwork and Financial Literacy or Adulting 101.
Sometimes we feel like we’re on our own, just guessing our way through it. Isn’t there a way to learn how to manage one’s money without it being too complicated? Now, don’t worry just yet.
Here’s how to get through all those fresh grad problems college never prepped you for.
When you need a valid ID to apply for another valid ID
We don’t get it either. You’re applying for a valid ID because you have none yet! But don’t panic because it seems like you can’t pull one out of thin air. On some occasions, your student ID can pass. Lucky for you, there are secondary government IDs that you can apply for in the meantime.
Pro-tip: Just like a card collection, start off with the easy-to-get ones.
Start with your NSO/PSA Birth Certificate, which is valid for a lifetime. Order it here. Your student ID can sometimes also function as a secondary ID.
For a more detailed list of valid IDs and how to get them, check our Comprehensive Guide To Government IDs.
When you need previous work experience to get work experience
Has this happened to you? You’re gunning for an entry-level position, given your fresh grad status. There you are, filling out an application form, and it asks for previous work experience. Wait, what?
Aren’t entry-level jobs designed for recent graduates, so shouldn’t they be free of any experience- related requirements?
Don’t worry if you haven’t interned or done an OJT (on-the-job-training) program yet!
Pro-Tip: Focus on your education and skills.
Particularly interesting or relevant classes to the job. List down the industry-specific hard and soft skills you were learning in school! Got busy with extracurriculars, organizations, and other projects in school? Talk about those, too.
When you need an initial deposit and minimum balance to open up a bank account
If you thought the emotional and social pressure of adulting was hard, what more the financial part. Some banks require you to make an initial deposit of up to PHP 5,000 to open up a savings account. What’s more, once your account’s open there’ll be an amount you won’t be able to touch. This is called your minimum maintaining balance, a required amount so that your account doesn’t close.
What if you just don’t have the funds? Or what if you need to dip into that minimum balance?
Pro-Tip: Enroll in starter savings accounts that don’t require maintaining balances or initial deposits.
One such account is GCash: a mobile banking platform you can sign up for with just your mobile number! It’s secure, too—you need a PIN to log in the app, and you can take extra steps to verify your account.
Another benefit to GCash is GSave, a virtual bank account on the GCash app where you can deposit any amount and earn interest—no minimum balance needed!
When you don’t know how to start paying for your bills
Paying your first bill with your own money as a fresh grad is probably one of the most empowering feelings. It’s like a rite of passage into the inner circle of what adults really do. But while financial freedom seems sweet, it can be pretty scary, too. The thought of churning money every month to keep up your phone line, your electricity, and even your rent can make anyone work up a sweat.
How did our parents do this all the time?!
First, do all your billing transactions from one account, so you can consolidate and monitor all your costs and remaining funds. Paying your bills via GCash is more convenient since they cover utilities, telecoms, healthcare, and even tuition for some schools! You can find a list of GCash partner billers here and partner merchants here.
Pro-Tip: Stick to a monthly savings budget.
Try the 50-30-20 Budget—more on that in this explainer article—which works even if you’re not math-savvy. Essentially, 50% of your budget goes to your needs, 30% to your wants, and 20% to your savings. Speaking of savings, we’re big believers in the “Pay yourself first” philosophy.
Set aside a monthly budget for investments. Don’t let your money just sit there and go—let it grow!
ICYMI: GSave offers up to 3% interest rate per year—which is a pretty good introductory rate for a savings account and a mobile money app. Win-win!
When it’s (finally) time to pay your dues but your 9-to-5 leaves you with no free window
Getting your first taste of the workforce really puts a lot of meaning into the old adage, “Time is money.” When you land a traditional office job, you focus most of your energy and time into the work hours. More often than not, these clash with bank hours, too. So where can you find time to deposit your hard-earned cash or, more importantly, pay your bills at the necessary centers?
Pro-tip: Do all your transactions online and on your phone.
Trust us, these days it’s totally secure and your money won’t go anywhere you won’t want it to. With a mobile wallet like GCash, you can easily and safely deposit money as well as pay for your bills with just a few taps on your phone. First time paying the bills on the app? You can get some of your cash back, too, if it’s a Friday.
Keep your funds in-check while keeping up with your new life in the real world! Managing your budget becomes simpler and less confusing when you do it from your phone. And hey, with GCash, spending and saving just got easier.