Costs starting out can be really high, especially if you're living in a major metropolis where a lot of entry level jobs are (like me, in NYC) and you also don't have as much experience managing your money responsibly as you will later. On top of that, your paychecks are unlikely to be as high as they will (hopefully) someday be.
Despite all of that, it's no fun struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck.
With care, planning, and appropriate resource use, you can avoid having to do so!
Graduating was a huge budget shock to me, because I moved from having scholarship support and minimal bills at Harvard to being entirely self-sufficient and in charge of my own bills and sky high rent in Manhattan. I used to go with the general rule of 'just try not to buy too much stuff' but quickly realized that wasn't going to be adequate to survive in NYC.
For starters, I had to finally create a grocery budget and an eating out budget. Spending $300+ on food in one week for one person (!) sounds ridiculous, but it really isn't that tough if you're doing all your shopping in tiny gourmet grocery stores that make Whole Foods like cheap, cooking dinners and baking treats for friends all the time with highly specialized ingredients, and eating out at fine dining sushi restaurants like sashimi and sake grow on trees.
Spoiler alert: that kind of lifestyle will drive a young grad into the red faster than Charlie Sheen can hit on a barely legal bimbo.
The first step is to be aware of your spending and undertake action to correct any financially unhealthy habits that you may have. Luckily, the modern age of tech makes it really easy to track your spending, analyze your spending patterns, and make a budgeting plan that works for you.
The SunTrust Bank Online Resource Center is one that I find helpful, with everything from step-by-step guides for budget creation to awesome tips and tricks for avoiding budget pitfalls like unnecessary ATM fees. They really add up!
How do you handle your finances?
Do you use any apps?
Do you have a written budget?
Being intelligent about your personal finances is always important, but especially when you're just starting out with your first job, first place, and first bills after college.
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.
To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.