Tonight I went to a workshop called “Financial Literacy Workshop”. John Hutchson led the discussion. He is a current business student at the College of Charleston. He first introduced himself to the group, and explained how he had served the military for 20 years. He was a nuclear operator in the Navy. He is now 40+ years old, and working to get his college education. He brought up topics that every college student tries to avoid- budgets, insurance, taxes, and everything else that has to do with “adulting”. I found out about this from a flyer that the Office of Sustainability put out. It was a contribution to Sustainability week, and caught my eye because I am always wanting advice when it comes to finances and saving. Knowing how to sustain a good life requires being responsible and knowing where and how to put your money. In less than a year I will be expected to understand 401Ks and other things that come with building and choosing the right career. I am clueless when it comes to things like that.

I have only worked part time jobs and have always just blown through paperwork- not looking at the benefits, W4s, or the fine print. I always have just put down what I was told, and worked. Tonight, I learned about what really goes into a W4 and how to properly find out your individual needs. He mentioned the “IRS W4 Calculator” that can help anyone if they’re not entirely sure. While on the subject of budgeting, he broke down a paycheck. He gave us an example paycheck, and explained how much youll actually get out of it, and why things are taken out. It seems silly at first, but a lot of people don’t quite understand. Being that when we graduate and start job hunting, it will be crucial to understand why things are set aside for you in the paycheck. He also gave us some tip on what to do in your first 4 years of your first full time job: ask about employer paid health insurance, signing loans, and don’t get a pet. Well, I am already breaking one of those rules, but my Golden Retriever is worth it. This event was highly related to our class because money is a huge contributor to how our environment is being impacted. What stood out to me most before deciding to go to the workshop, was that that it was a part of Sustainability Week. Knowing the power of money, and understanding how to spend it wisely is very important for one self, as well as the environment. He brought up the idea of buying a new car when you graduate and get a job. He said that you should just wait and use your old car until it cant run anymore. A lot of people rush to do this, and dump their old car, because they will be able to afford it and it looks nicer. This reminded me of perceived obsolescence. It is so important for many reasons to be careful with your money and decrease your consumption. It saves your future and the earth