I had the opportunity to counsel a young engineering graduate yesterday. She had just received a really fat offer from a very good aerospace/defense firm in my state, and she was asking my advice.
First, I said she should say "thank you", and maybe "and when do reviews happen?" because the offer was very generous and the job will be fun for her (certainly for a few years - manufacturing and test can be great, or it can be great for a while).
Second, I said "and you're not buying a car for at least five years". This caught her up short, because apparently her mom had (jokingly?) said "Now you can afford that Audi!". As thought that were a funny joke. Ha.Hum.
We then had a crash discussion of the core principles of Mustachianism as relate to a student who is really tempted to dive into the newly-employed lifestyle inflation that I have (regrettably) done myself and seen so often. She had just assumed that this would happen. She had no idea that you could NOT succumb to this.
I asked how much she had lived on in the past few years. The average was about $24k. This is more than necessary, but certainly not insane given her preferences (she does not like roommates, and has cats...sigh). So I just asked her if she could keep living on that amount. This was like cold water.
(Her, eyes wide) "Well, yes, I guess."
(Me, eyes narrow) "So do that."
That would automatically put her in the admirable category of 50%+ savers, and this would be of discretionary take-home pay, not including the pretty-good employer match 401k. I pointed out that this would allow her the privilege of deciding to do whatever work she wanted in a fairly short period. This was news. It was not news she expected, but I hope she realizes it is good news, and that she can take this unique opportunity to start off right in her career.