BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. ( TheStreet) --It's a big moment when recent college graduates get their first paycheck from an employer. The excitement quickly fades as they're introduced to the concept of payroll deductions.
Older workers know them by heart: income tax withholdings, medical and employee benefit deductions, FICA and employee retirement plan contributions. For younger workers, learning these and understanding the pay stub is a critical component of understanding their cash flow -- the guidepost to knowing how much they really have available to spend.
The personal cash flow is critical because it sets the foundation of a person's financial future. Having an accurate cash flow allows you to live below your means so you can set aside money for long-term goals. People who do not have a handle on their cash flow are more likely to overspend and build up credit card debt.