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You Graduated! What, Now?

Job hunting, apartment hunting, budgeting … you’ve got a lot to do.

Adulting can be hard. We dive into tools to smooth out a new graduate’s transition. Apps for graduates can help!

Budgets gotta balance.

From loading up your student card with meal money to realizing your new job salary won’t go as far as you thought …for high school AND college grads, knowing where your money’s going is important.

mint app iconMint

This popular budgeting app is great for starter budgets. Some prefer a more customizable platform, but Mint’s easy-to-understand interface shows bills and money together, so you can see what you have in the bank and what needs to be paid out.

spending tracker iconSpending Tracker

A more sophisticated budgeting tool, Spending Tracker, is much more customizable, allowing you to manually input all your spending and goals into different buckets, so you know exactly where your money goes each month. Some prefer this method, because it keeps you on top of each transaction. It’s more painful to spend if you have to account for each penny!

For more budgeting apps, including great budgeting advice, check out this article from NerdWallet.com.

The job hunt is on! These apps for graduates focus on career.

Now that you’re thinking about your budget, it’s time to think about how you’re going to go out and earn those dolla dolla bills.

Gone are the days of circling wanted ads in the newspaper. Today’s job search is all about scrolling through the online job boards. Luckily, there are apps that comb through job websites for you, curating a list of postings that match your criteria. Here are some of our favorites:

facebook app iconFacebook Jobs

Yes, that Facebook. They recently rolled out a Jobs feature, allowing users to post when they’re open to hiring new talent. Word to the wise: discretely remove any photos on your Facebook profile involving questionable activities … you know the ones we’re talking about. This is important even if you’re not applying through Facebook Jobs. Employers check Facebook regularly when they’re vetting new hires. Get the Facebook app on Google Play or iTunes.

LinkedIn app iconLinkedIn

Wait … you’re not on LinkedIn, yet? You better dig out your most professional headshot and get networking! It’s social media for professionals. But it’s not at all like Facebook, and there are some ground rules you should know.

1. Don’t post personal/party/religious/philosophical/kitty pics or articles. Really. Unless, somehow, those posts relate directly to your job. LinkedIn is all about the professional world. You should find and share relevant stuff about your industry (or the industry you’re aspiring to!)

2. Do take time with your profile. This is your online resume, and it includes past work experience, a descriptive paragraph about yourself, even testimonials by people you’ve worked with in the past. Increasingly, employers check out LinkedIn to see who you are, at least professionally.

3. Only connect with people you know, or people you know through a trusted connection. The game isn’t about winning as many “friends” as possible; it’s about creating a trusted professional network on the platform. Hint: if you don’t have much in the way of a professional network, yet, add professors you worked closely with, and classmates you respect.

Once your profile is set up, you can search for jobs through LinkedIn, and even apply through the platform.

glassdoor app iconGlassdoor

What sets Glassdoor apart is thousands of reviews posted by actual employees, so you get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like to work somewhere, and what the interview process is like to get hired. It’s Glassdoor’s policy to never alter or take down negative comments at the request of the business, too, so you can trust what you read.

Learners gonna learn. More apps for graduates for learning.

Lynda

You searched through thousands of job posts and narrowed it down to the ones that would suit you best. Great work! Now comes the next step: continuing to learn, grow, and get better. With Lynda.com, you can take course to learn more about almost any skill. Decision-making? Check. Effective communication? Lynda’s got it. If you’re looking for more in-depth courses, Lynda has you covered there, too. Just sign up through LinkedIn and search for your new skill set.

If you’re still in college, there are tons of supplemental learning sites to get you through to that degree. Here are some of our favorites:

HomeworkTutoring.com

If you’re really, really stuck, this is a great resource for you. It’s a little pricey at $60/hour, but if it comes down to cutting out the morning Starbucks for a while or having to retake Calculus, well … you do the math.

Brainmass

Powered by smart folks with PhDs and Masters Degrees, you can get step-by-step assistance for your toughest assignments. The fee structure isn’t based on time spent getting help; it’s based on credits and how quickly you need your solution.

And now: apartment search!

padmapper app iconPadmapper

If you’re looking in a major city in the U.S. or Canada, this is a great website. It combines data from Craigslist with key info like neighborhood walkability and street views.

hotpads app iconHotpads

With similar data and functionality to Padmapper, Hotpads adds listings from Craigslist plus other major listing services, so it has a more diverse mix of housing to show you.

zumper app iconZumper

With a walkable maps feature, digital rental applications and real-time listing updates, Zumper is a great apartment hunt option.

With so much information about rental listings online, it’s easy to find useful apps and websites to help you in your search. Pro tip: try out a couple and see which user interfaces make the most sense for you.

Smartphones and the Unlimited Plan

Now that you’re winning at apartment and job searching, take a moment to reward your hard work. Kick back and catch up on your favorite vintage Netflix shows. If you’re using your smartphone or tablet for streaming video, you’re going to want Verizon’s Unlimited Plan. At $40 per line/4 lines, it has you covered with Unlimited 4GLTE data, Unlimited Talk & Text, and lots more.

Hum turns any car into a smart car

Hum by Verizon plugs into your car’s OBD port, and tracks performance to make sure everything’s in tip-top shape under the hood. Hum also connects you with a mechanic if you should need one. And Hum helps you out with features like calling emergency services (even if you’re unable to), roadside assistance and even money-saving features on the app–which are great for your new budget!

Know a grad you’d like to congratulate? Check out our Graduate Gift Guide!

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