The number of brownies offered had hardly dwindled down on Wednesday evening, as students focused on learning tips about how to wisely budget after graduation.

The presentations were given by Jim Naugler, the vice president of business development, and Donna Shelby, the vice president of east regional sales manager, both of Citizens Bank. 

Naugler and Shelby switched off with different topics, including: establishing categories of where to put money, how to manage loans, building a budget, and negotiating job salary.

The talk, hosted in MUB 338/340 from 5 to 7 p.m., is part of the two-week Senior Career Send Off, with Budgets and Brownies marking 50 days until graduation.

First, Naugler got into how to establish and prioritize goals, to determine where your money will go.

He categorized goals as either as short, medium or long term, including rent/home payments, car payments, student debt, retirement, vacations, and personal things.  Car payments, home/rent, student debt and personal things were categorized as short term, while retirement, vacations and other personal things like college tuition for children, were long term.

But the first piece of advice Naugler gave was to “pay yourself first” saying that if you worked for it, it’s your money, and put it towards a “me fund.”

“I’d say put 10 percent of pay to different areas,” Naugler said.

Naugler then moved onto tools on how to budget. He suggested a smartphone app or spreadsheet program, or simple pencil and paper as a few options.

Also, a big piece of advice he stressed was keeping a receipt jar, to monitor where you’re spending money for each month.

‘Especially with cash, since it goes as fast as it comes,” Naugler said, after explaining why.

After figuring out your income, Naugler discussed building a budget by categorizing how much you need for each category like car, rent, and groceries.

However, it only works if you stick with it Naugler, mentioned.

“Be diligent,” Naugler advised, “and don’t live paycheck to paycheck, because it’s really hard to get out of that and you end up getting behind easily.” 

After Naugler, Shelby explained how loan repayment works.

“Loan payments start after six months,” Shelby said and went through different repayment plans like income-based repayment, pay as you earn, graduated repayment, and extended repayment.

Shelby dove into the details of what each plan entails, then gave tips and resources on how to manage them.   

“Go to government websites to keep track of your loans if they’re all over the place,” Shelby mentioned as a tip.

Naugler took over again to discuss negotiating.

“You are your only hero when it comes to negotiating,” Naugler said.

He made the point that it’s important to negotiate other parts of your job, besides pay, like vacation time, title, relocation costs, graduate school tuition, and student loan repayments.

Sean Mitchell, a senior with a double major in political science and economics, asked how to avoid going too far in salary negotiation.

“Be confident and believe in yourself,” Naugler responded.

Shelby also suggested saying it in a way that is polite, such as saying “I hoped to get this much instead.”

Mitchell said he found the presentations to be “really helpful.”

“I definitely learned a lot that I didn’t know about student loans, and budgeting,” Mitchell said, “and even though I knew some of it, it’s good to get a refresher.”

“The breadth of different negotiating things was especially helpful,” Mitchell said, “and I’m graduating in two months so I need to know how to get a job, and the whole career week that they’re putting on is really helpful.”

Follow Kyle on Twitter @kkittredge42

Executive Editor