If you are graduating from college, you need a financial plan now!

If you’ve just graduated from college or your tech program and either have or are close to that first job, know what you’ll need right away?  No, not a new car, even though you probably deserve one!  You’ll need a realistic plan for handling your finances as you forge ahead.  And you need to write it down and take it seriously.  The bare minimum to start with is to figure out your cash flow–money coming in and going out.  Simple?  Well . . . simple, yes, but easy—maybe not.

Housing costs should be straight forward—you’ll know the rent you’ll probably pay, at least for the first year.  Food can be tricky:  What kind of groceries will you buy?  Take your lunch or eat out? Do you really need that daily latte?  And utilities–electric, phone, Internet, etc.  Plus, your car, unless you’re lucky enough to live close enough to work to walk or scooter.  You may have debts that have to be paid back sooner rather than later, so list those, too.

It may take a month or two to work this all out on paper after you see just how much cash you’ll really have after deductions from your paycheck.  But, trust me, this is one homework assignment that is really important to complete.