Congratulations on joining the workforce! Making a steady paycheck is a great feeling, but odds are your first job won’t make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. This means it’s still important to save money where you can and make decisions that will benefit you in the years to come.
Getting your first job doesn’t come with a handbook, but we’ve created a guide to negotiating your salary, making a good impression, and more. Check it out before you start your job—or even before you start the job hunt.
Pay Off Your Student Loans
Many student loans come with a six-month grace period after you graduate. If you’re lucky enough to be employed before those six months are over, remember that student loan payments are going to catch up with you before you know it. Now is a good time to take stock of your student loans before you start making a budget.
Get a Roommate
Roommates aren’t just for students. It might be tempting to live on your own as soon as you can afford it, but the costs can add up dramatically. Splitting your rent and utilities is one of the biggest ways to make an impact on your overall spending (and, thus, savings)—which puts you that much closer to making a down payment on your first house later on.
Save on Work Necessities
Getting a new job can come with some unexpected expenses. If you need a new wardrobe to fit the office dress code, consider shopping at second-hand clothing stores for great options at a lower price. And while you have to eat lunch, you don’t have to go out for pizza five days a week. To save a little extra cash, start packing your leftovers from dinner to have at work the next day.
Understand Your Paycheck
Your pay-stub may have a lot of different categories that look unfamiliar to you. Learn how to decode your paycheck with our handy guide so you can start creating a budget that makes sense for your income.
Save Without Even Trying
The easiest way to save money is by making it automatic—if the money is invested before it even shows up in your paycheck, you won’t ever miss it. You can do this by setting up a 401k through your employer. If you’re lucky, you may even get an employer match, which basically means free money. All of this adds up to a secure retirement fund once you eventually stop working.
Good luck on starting your career! We hope you’ll find lots to look forward to in your new job.