I remember landing my very first job. It wasn't anything spectacular, but I was only 16 at the time. While I did put money away from my paycheck to cover the down payment on my first car and to pay my cell phone and insurance bill, I didn't have a good financial plan. When I read the article, Life Stages: First job, first paycheck, and first budget, I felt that I had greatly missed out on starting a strong financial future
I was good about paying my bills, but the rest of my money was spent frivolously. The truth is I had grown up poor and having money that was my very own caused me to spend it recklessly. Looking back, I wish I had saved even $10 a week; thirteen years later I could have had a nice savings account built up.
What really bothers me though is that I didn't focus on budgeting until some time in college. This was well after my first credit card and numerous financial mistakes. As I close in on 30, I feel that my life could have been so different if I'd had good financial advice in the beginning.
The article above was actually useful not only in looking back at what went wrong, but helping me look forward as well. One piece of advice I took away from the article was to find a financial adviser. I really believe this would help me make the best decisions.
If I could offer one piece of advice to those receiving their first paycheck it would be to get in the habit of percentages. Put a percentage towards savings, a percentage towards bills, and a small percentage towards fun. More importantly though, have at least 5% of your paycheck that isn't set aside for anything. This ensures that should an unexpected expense come up, you're able to cover it.
Post presented by Genworth Financial
Written by Amy