I went out to lunch with a few developers yesterday, including a fresh college grad names James. Jim’s quite outgoing, as far as developers go, to the point where a previous recruiter asked him if he was interested in doing technology sales. When we sat down at Chipotle James threw a statement out there that was particularly well aimed considering my interests. “So if you guys want to volunteer any investing advice, feel free to just put it out there.” This sentence fluttered through the air, into my ear, and flipped that little switch inside me labeled “desire to enthusiastically mentor young people.” My lips immediately jumped into action and I was soon filling their heads with the basic knowledge about what to do with your money that they don’t, but should, teach you in school. This got me to thinking about how little I knew about money and finances when I was one of these wet behind the ears twenty somethings (as of this posting, I have 6 more months left of being a dry behind the ears twenty something). There I was with a salary more than 3 times anything I had ever made before, and with no idea how to spend money. I went out and bought a brand new car, surprise surprise. I was renting a fairly expensive apartment in Needham, MA (a very expensive community). I was not contributing to my 401K, with the excuse that I had some left over credit card debt from college (which was true, thought I wasn’t exactly paying it down). And, even though I was taking home more than double what my take home pay was for a 40 hour week 2 months earlier, my bank account curiously stayed the same each month.
This experience has inspired me to give some advice to recent college graduates in the finance arena. Expect a future post on the subject.