Nothing beats the feeling of being hired for a first job right after graduation. You will also feel excited, nervous and stressed at the same time. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, as you should start thinking about the challenges, responsibilities and commitments.
As you transition into adulthood, you are likely to have questions about many things. One of them is your finances, as you should start thinking about your savings, expenses and bills. Getting your first paycheck is a lot of fun and yet anything easy to figure out how to go about it.
Proper planning of your expenses is important to avoid any unwanted mistakes. Your first payment may end as soon as it reaches your bank account, and that's fine. This is the best time to show you how to manage your next paycheck. But remember, the lifestyle you are setting up right now can prepare you for long-term financial management.
Before you blow your whistle completely into the shopping game, here are some smart money moves you should read about.
1. Track your cash flow and expenses
You may see your first paycheck as an unlimited supply of money, but it will go faster than you think. The best way to do this is to look at how much you will spend on your monthly expenses on groceries, bills and necessities like new clothes or albums.
When you track your cash flow, you may not find yourself in a situation where you have spent two weeks' pay on dinner and your electricity bill is unaffordable. So, when you think you have spent too much, you know what to cut. For example, if you find yourself constantly spending money on coffee, you might consider buying a coffee machine that will save you some money in the long run.
2. Start planning your loan repayment
If you graduated with a student loan, you should start planning how to settle the debt. There are different ways to pay off your loan, whether you settle for the lowest balance first or a loan with the highest interest rate. It depends on what you think is convenient and what suits your financial situation.
It is important to pay off your debt as quickly as possible because, like any other type of loan, your student loan charges interest when you take out a balance. Therefore, it will take less time to earn interest when you pay it earlier, so you will pay less in the long run.
3. Find the best insurance for you
It seems trivial to pay for not being sure whether it will happen. However lucrative it may be to save a few dollars a year without buying health insurance, it may come back to haunt you. After all, there is only one accident to get into your account.
Having insurance doesn't mean paying for your expenses when you get sick or in pain, but it also benefits your loved ones. For example, if you can't work, taking out life insurance can help your family financially, so you don't have to worry.
4. Set a savings goal
As you work longer, you will start dreaming of making big purchases like upgrading your car, home or your mobile phone. This is where the savings goal comes in. It's good to have savings goals because they help you visualize your progress, and the sooner you start writing for these expenses, the better.
When you have to achieve a certain goal, you will know how much money you will need. One suggested method is to have your money automatically deducted from your bank account to your savings account. It all depends on how much you want to save each month. The most important thing is that you stick to your savings plan.