While out on your own after college, you’ll quickly become aware of all the expenses necessary to live—even to live a simple life. You can make it easier on yourself and help your paycheck go further if you can plan for all the costs you might run into over the course of a year.
Take a look at the Budgeting for the real world worksheet and note the expenses that apply to you, or that will apply to you after you graduate. This budget covers a lot of areas and will give you an idea of a whole range of costs you might incur in many different areas. Some costs listed you may know you won't have.
When you’ve filled in the worksheet the best you can, you'll be better able to allocate your paycheck from your first job out of college. If you know what an average starting salary is for your field (remember that the gross salary amount will be reduced by taxes, insurance, and other things to arrive at your net salary), you can get an idea of how your finances will look when you start your job. This snapshot also can help you see if you need to cut some expenses so that your paycheck will cover everything.
Budget worksheets like this are helpful tools for your entire life to keep track of your finances and take an objective view of your income and spending patterns.