How This Broke College Grad Got An Entry-Level Job And Could Barely Pay His Bills

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How This Broke College Grad Got An Entry-Level Job and Could Barely Pay His Bills

We have all seen the headlines. “How This Broke College Grad Got Rich Doing [Insert Real Estate, Stocks, Nothing, etc.].” It’s always some clickbait crap about an implausible get rich quick scheme, and because of this very few people bother to even click on them unless it’s an article in one of the few remaining reputable publications. Let’s take a look at a more realistic version of these inspiring articles:

If you had met John Smith at 25, you would have definitely guessed that he would be an entry-level corporate employee at some well-known publicly traded company. After graduating from business school at a state university, he entered the corporate world at a major city in his home state with a closet of cheap suits, Nordstrom Rack neckties, and JoS. A. Bank button downs, squeaking by at $40,000 per year, before taxes.

He found himself living with two roommates in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment in a fringe part of town paying an obscene amount in living expenses, even with the utility split. He realized that in order to fix his financial situation he had to make some changes. Here’s how he did it.

Create a Budget Spreadsheet

In order to make sure he could make the most of the little disposable income he had, he did what almost everyone does. He planned a budget on Excel. He noted what his after-tax income was and took away his share of rent and utilities.

He then attempted to figure out how he could possibly minimize his food expenses without succumbing to extreme malnourishment. He had a few choices. He could live off the McDonald’s dollar menu, Ramen noodle cups, or cook chicken and bags of broccoli at home for massive meal prep. Naturally, he went with noodle cups so he could eat for two dollars per day. That left just enough money for Two Buck Chuck and cheap beer.

He also bought the cheapest health insurance he could find, just to at least have something should he collapse from having a diet that consisted solely of noodles, salty flavoring, water, and two small green specks in the flavoring.

Perform Above Average at Work

John decided that in order to improve his situation he had to earn more money. If he performed his job a little better than most of his colleagues and sucked up to his boss, he could probably make an argument for a 5% raise in a year or two. If he was lucky.

Since it’s difficult to leverage job offers when you have no work experience, especially in the current cost-cutting job market, you have to wait it out for a salary increase. If he was lucky, he might have been in the running to earn the $1000 incentive bonus at the end of the year. It would take a lot of effort and a lot of sucking up.

If he performed above average long enough, he may be able to sell himself for a promotion to a management position. You know, if a position opened up. The promotion would come with at least a 20% increase in pay. “Pretty solid,” according to John.

Such an inspiring story.

Image via Shutterstock

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