Deny it as you will, it won’t be long before a number of you are venturing off into the real world of taxes, mortgages (or rent), and 401K’s. Probably the first major financial obligation that most of you will incur is the purchase of a new automobile (or pickup!). Before you set your sights on your first new vehicle (for most), you’ll need to know what it’s going to take to put you into it- i.e., what are you going to have to shell out for the auto of your desires. Unless you nail a really fat sign-on bonus, for most that means you’ll need to know what your payment is going to be and whether you’ll be able to afford it on your salary. To help you decide whether the salary your prospective employer is offering will put you into the auto of your dreams (or at least a starter vehicle), I’ve discovered a nifty GUI-based calculator that will help you calculate the monthly payment on an automobile based on the purchase price, down payment you are able to make and those dreaded taxes and fees. I say nifty because, in addition to offering a bit of a life’s lesson in economics, it also provides an excellent opportunity to put into practice some of the concepts we have been talking about in class.