I feel like I do not know the true value of money, as I have never really had a job. I have only worked internships that were handed to me by my parents. What does it cost to live? How much does it hurt me that I only see numbers and not actual ‘costs’?

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Posted by jacob (MONEY FORUMS: 2, Answers: 0)
Asked on September 8, 2015 10:29 pm
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Jessica makes some really good suggestions. To add to her point about paying attention to your spending, I can share an exercise I make my (college) students do. They have to track their spending (over a week), keeping track of the date, the place, the reason, the amount and the method of payment. After a week, they examine their spending, figure out how much they are likely to spend in a week, take that amount out in CASH, and ONLY SPEND CASH the second week. They keep the same records the second week. They examine their spending and reflect on the difference between the two weeks. Often that experience helps them appreciate the "value" of money as it literally slips through their hands.
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Posted by Beth Tallman (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 61)
Answered: October 30, 2015 8:51 am
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For your first question, cost of living really depends on your circumstances and where you are living. Someone living in New York City is going to need a lot more money to live than someone in St. Louis, and even someone living at home with their parents is going to have a different sense of how much it costs to live in a specific place than a peer who is renting. Some websites will give you information on salary differences depending on cost of living, and that might help you learn more about your own area in terms of reasonable salaries and cost of living. As for your second question, this is a common issue today as we frequently don't use cash when paying for items. Paying with credit cards can be very useful but also makes it seem like money is fake. What might be useful is to begin to pay attention to your spending habits. How much are you paying for groceries or entertainment? If you live at home and have never had to think about rent or car payments or utilities, ask your parents about their own experiences. Do they have a budget they've set each month? How much do they save of each paycheck? Your parents can be a very useful resource! You can also talk with your peers. They can give you a good sense of what young adults are paying to live in different areas of a city. Build a budget for yourself, either real or imagined, and see how your actual spending aligns. The more you pay attention to spending habits, the more you will get a sense of what is reasonable and what isn't within your own budget.
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Posted by Jessica Ozar (MONEY FORUMS: 2, Answers: 18)
Answered: October 28, 2015 11:56 am
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