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The average starting salary for your desired position

Determine the average starting salary for your desired position after graduation by either using the Internet or asking those working in the field (you can likely ask your major professor). You must cite your source using APA Style (asking someone is also a source). Then, calculate your monthly pay with the appropriate taxes taken out. Use the following table to determine the percentage of tax taken from your salary.


List all your monthly expenses. Again, cite your sources.

Use Zillow or another realtor site to find a place to live in your desired city. Add the cost of rent to your monthly expenses. Again, cite your source.

Then, create an Excel spreadsheet of your monthly budget detailing each month’s income and expenses. Make sure to budget for rent, food, gas/public transportation, cell phone, electricity, water, student loan payments, etc. Remember to also budget savings and special expenses like gifts and vacation. Your expenses should also be less than your income.

Use Zillow or another realtor site to choose a future home (house, condo, townhouse, etc.), land, or office space in your desired city. Calculate how much you need to save each month for your down payment and for how long you need to save for this down payment. A typical down payment is 20%. Incorporate this calculated savings amount into your budget. Look up the current mortgage interest rates. Do the calculations for the monthly payments and total home cost for a 15-year fixed and 30-year fixed rate. Then, identify which home loan you will choose. Again, cite your source.

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