Easing Into The Real World

mm
  • June 21, 2011
  • INK Team

This post comes from INK alumna Rachael Genson.

Last month I traded in my book reports and finals for press lists and bylined articles as I graduated from The University of Texas and claimed my spot among all the other professionals in “the real world.”  Last week, I was welcomed into the working world when I started my career as the Account Coordinator for INK.

Working is not a new concept for me.  I have been employed in various jobs since the young age of 16, but it doesn’t take the brain of a recent college graduate (that would be me) to realize that the “working” I have done in the past is vastly different than the work I recently began.  It’s not that the tasks are any more difficult.  In reality, they are strikingly similar to what I have been doing for some time.  Rather, it is the increased level of personal responsibility that comes with a salaried job that takes some adjustment.  Suddenly, I have dozens of bills to pay and expenses to save for, and I don’t have any idea how to do it.

A friend of mine directed me to this great website called Mint.com that helps organize every aspect of a person’s financial life.  It is a secure, online site that allows you to pull all of your financial information in one, easy-to-view location.  Using your monthly income, the site assists you in creating a personalized budget.  It breaks up each expense into different categories, making the process easy to understand for the budgeting newbie like me.  Then it tracks your spending throughout the month and lets you know when you are getting close reaching your limit via friendly emails and text messages.  You can even set up goals, like paying off college loans and saving for a car, and Mint will keep track of your progress toward reaching those goals.

With identity and credit card theft at a peak these days, I was initially worried to store all my financial information electronically, but Mint touts its security.  The site features bank-level encryption and provides email and text alerts for unusual account activity.  Additionally, as a “read-only” service, Mint.com prevents you (and anyone else) from moving funds within the site, which made me much more at ease about using it.

After using the site for a week or two, I am thrilled.  The hassle of balancing my bank accounts and keeping up with dozens of different payments dates is nearly non-existent and Mint.com has made my transition into the real-world, relatively stress free.  Now, if only I could acclimate myself to this whole 9-5 thing, I’ll be set!