Having worked at SALT for a few months, the amount of new information about student finances that surprises me is starting to slow down. But the latest SALT webinar was absolutely eye-catching.
It brought up a lot of ideas I’d never considered, and I think they might interest you too. (Register now!)
“Income: Chart Your Future” (tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET) looks at the income of recent college grads, explaining how it is broken down and where deductions come from. From there, it shows how to plan for your income and expenses.
Here’s what I found especially helpful.
The webinar starts on a pleasant note by mentioning that the graduating class of 2011 earns an average starting salary or $51,171. Sounds more than reasonable to me. In fact, it made me feel quite optimistic. (For an average, that seemed surprisingly high. I wondered if it was only counting those grads that actually have a starting salary, and not those still looking.)
But the webinar quickly snapped me back to reality, showing why that money isn’t always what it seems. From that point forward, I was all ears and listened to each way that $51,171 dwindles.
And man, there are lots of ways. The webinar takes you through each of them, from the obvious like taxes, to the not-so-obvious, like where you live. Sure, you may get a higher salary in an expensive city, but sometimes it doesn’t offset the difference in expenses.
The webinar even looks at how student loan payments fit in to the salary game. As a student borrower, I paid close attention and considered how this would affect my future (frighteningly near future, actually).
My favorite part of the webinar was the roadmap portion. It gives a list of questions that any recent grad or soon to be grad should consider before entering a career or accepting a job. For example, it asked, “Have you truly considered what you want to do and where you want to go?”
The list of questions got me thinking about my own future and how I can affect it. It brought up saving now, my long-term plans, and even things like how to negotiate for more salary.
I don’t know what my salary will be a year from today. I don’t know what benefit package or other deductions I’ll be dealing with. But I do know that these questions are on their way, and it was good to start learning about them sooner rather than later.
Register here for Income: Chart Your Future!