What: College grads' guide to money management discussion
When: Monday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St.
More info: mcnaryfinancial.com/
Next week as the University of Colorado sends off thousands of young graduates, many will be learning to budget their newly earned paychecks for the first time.
Broomfield financial planner and author Judy McNary has a few tips in her book "Coin: The Irreverent yet Practical Guide to Money Management for Recent College Graduates." She'll be speaking at the Boulder Book Store on Monday at 7:30 p.m., just in time for graduation.
Why did you write this book?
I'm a financial planner, and I wrote "Coin" to give new college graduates the hows and whys of creating a basic financial plan. My goal was to make it short, sweet and funny, and absolutely free of jargon so they can get going with the money.
The whole world of finances, the investing world, there's a lot that makes things more complicated than they need to be. I took a lot of it away. There's a lot of ways that people can make mistakes with their finances and there's a lot of pressure and fear and anxiety, and rather than go down that route, I want to have this generation coming out of college feeling like they can actually be successful and have fun.
Do you have recent college graduates in your life? I have a 23-year-old and twin 22-year-olds, and I had a large group of young people in their age group who I've been working with for years.
It's different from my generation. Over 25 percent of people in that age group have tattoos, so it's an accepted part of the culture for that age group. It's great to embrace it and enjoy it, but let's all do it and understand the trade off. If you're spending money on that, you're not spending it on this.
One of the things in the book is talking about how to budget for a tattoo, and if you've got one that maybe it's time to get rid of... if it's going to hamper your job opportunities.
What are some of the biggest issues facing college graduates today?
Student loans are sort of the elephant in the living room, and I do have a whole chapter on that. Student loan debt, it's over a trillion dollars. It's crazy. That can add a lot of stress.
There's a lot of pressure when you're getting out of college when you have that first job, you've got a lot on your plate to figure out how to be successful in the workplace. By simplifying your finances, it's one more thing you don't have to be worried about. Really understanding how to allocate money for now versus later. People look around and they see other people who seem to have everything. They have a nice car, nice clothes, the newest gadgets. What you don't realize is that most of those people also have pretty awful credit card debt.
What are issues facing today's college grads that maybe their parents didn't face or don't understand?
There are a lot more ways to mess up now than when I was growing up, mainly credit cards. No one would've given me one, so I didn't have the opportunity to accumulate credit card debt. That's definitely a generational thing. We didn't have individual retirement accounts, we didn't have any of those kinds of ways to set money aside.
What are a few quick tips you can give for recent college grads?
You can't afford everything. Figure out what's important to you and spend according to your needs and goals. For 20-somethings, very few are going to have pensions available in the work place. Start taking responsibility for that. The sooner you do, the better off you'll be. Even a little bit really adds up.
Not all debt is bad. There's a function and a purpose. It's having the right amount, and credit cards -- if you pay them off every month -- they are a useful tool. You get into trouble when you can't pay them off and you can't manage how much you're spending.
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.