One of the best things about getting your first job is the paycheck that comes with it. Unless you worked a summer job when you were younger, this is probably the first time that you have ever laid your hands upon money that you have actually earned, and even if you did work a summer job, chances are that the paychecks you received then are still dwarfed by the one you just got. It is exciting to get that first paycheck but, you need to remember that it comes with responsibilities. Sure it is your money, but that does not mean that you can just spend it in every which way. A little self-control is always very important, and you need to practice that now that you have your own money.
Create a Budget
Managing your money is simple enough, but actually pulling it off is the challenge. Remember when you overheard your parents talking about the weekly budget; well it is time for you to construct one of those for yourself. Having a budget that is carefully outlined can help you identify just exactly what are the most important things that your money needs to go to. It can even help you figure out how much money you are actually free to spend.
In order to create a comprehensive budget, you need to take every little expense into account. This will include your fare if you are just using public transportation or gas money if you are lucky enough to have your own car. It is also smart to set aside a food budget that you can adhere to. Figure out the prices of the dining joints that are near your office, and find the one that you like best. If their prices are inexpensive, then that is good news for you, but if it is a bit on the high side, then you can still eat there regularly, but just make sure that you are not exceeding what you have previously outlined in your food budget.
Another benefit of having your own budget is that you can also define a set amount that you will just leave untouched. Use this as your own private stash for you to pull out when you see something like or when you are in the midst of some financial trouble.
Of course, all of this can seem to be a bit much. You are just on your first job after all, and saddling your paycheck with a budget just seems to rob you of fun you could be having, but this is not the right mindset. The thing is that it is never too early to become fiscally responsible. If you develop that financial discipline within you early on, then you are more likely to maintain it even as you get older. The budget does not have to take anything away from the experience of your first job. It will in fact, help you adjust better for what is to come once you start having greater responsibilities.
Crystal Jackson is a financial planner. She has worked for numerous financial consulting firms all across the state of New York. She also has over 11 years of experience as a financial planner. During her spare time, she writes also on her blog, topics like Securus Payments and other business-finance related.
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Category: Money Basics