Reality Check!

“Hmmmmmm!  I did not know it would cost this much to live!  I wish I had paid attention more in school.”  Ever here one of your former classmates make that statement?

As your school year winds down, you no doubt have purchased a number of items over the paths 9 months, such as electronic devices, sneakers, apparel, caps, maybe your first car. So ask yourself did your new purchase bring you more piece of mind, did it make you have more joy, love of neighbor or  patience?  Did it make you a kinder person, have more self-control or more mild in your personality?

Chances are it did none of these things.  As you get closer to graduation you should be focusing on your needs over your wants.  You should have a transition plan in place that helps you to understand where your focus should be. As you seek out summer employment and start understanding the realities of transition from school to work, you are no doubt developing a clearer understanding of what you need to earn to support yourself.

Remember, to move out of your parents home you will need to minimize frivolous expenditures just to afford a one bedroom apartment.

The average cost for rent across the country is as high as $3600 a month in San Francisco to $450 per month in Wichita Kansas.  So what are the chances you can support yourself when you graduate?

The USDA calculates food costs by age range, according to four levels of plans: thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal. For instance, monthly food bills for a man who was 19-50 years old would break down this way in each category: thrifty, $182; low-cost, $235.60; moderate, $294.80; and liberal, $360.70.
A woman’s average monthly food bills in the same age category are as follows: thrifty, $162.40; low-cost, $203.70; moderate, $251.70; and liberal, $321.20. All of these averages are from 2013. According to the numbers, the averages for this age range tends to be slightly higher than any other age range.

So the next time you are in class and you think you do not need to listen to or learn anything, ask yourself, how do you plan on supporting yourself if you cannot afford the basic necessities in life?


Who will prospective employers higher first?  YOU or your peers?
What does your academic performance say about your skill set?
Are you a team player?  Do you know how to get along with people?
Character is your #1 Transferable Skill. Employers are looking for people who are trainable.  People who have great personalities.  People who have great self-esteem and a good self-image.  What does your character say about YOU!

Steve Brown MS, is the CEO of the  He writes blogs on valuing your education and developing and maintaining good character and  how to repair damaged character.

We all stumble in word, thoughts and deeds.  Some fall harder than others and may cause serious damage to their character!  However, that is not the end of life, it simply means you have to pick yourself up and wipe off the stains and start putting the pieces back together.

Always remember, there is NO ONE who can look you in the eye and tell you they are perfect.

Regardless of whether you have a juvenile record, or stumbled as adults you can still repair your character.  It takes time and effort but you can succeed!

Pursue Virtue, show Valor and you will be the Victor!

Steve Brown MS, CEO