How to Budget After Starting Your First Job
Congratulations—you just landed your dream job! The exhausting search for a full-time gig is over, and regular paychecks will soon start streaming in. This probably has you feeling quite excited, especially if you’ve never worked more than part-time before. Just remember that it’s important to live within your means. If you want to avoid taking on debt, follow these budgeting tips after starting your new job.
- Know the difference between gross and net pay: Your salary might look great on paper, but that’s your gross pay. By the time your 401(k) contributions, health insurance premiums, and federal, state, Social Security, and Medicare taxes come out, you’re looking at a net pay of about 60 to 70 percent of your overall salary. Keep this in mind when planning your budget.
- Follow the 50/20/30 rule: This rule states that you should put 50% of your paycheck toward non-negotiable costs like rent, utilities, and groceries. Then, put 20% into savings or investments. The final 30% of your paycheck is for everything else.
- Compare apartment costs: If you have to move for your new job, don’t jump on the first apartment you find. Instead, research what amenities you can get for the lowest price. Look into any special savings, discounts, or move-in packages you may qualify for. And consider getting a roommate who can share the rent and lower your housing costs significantly.
- Track your spending habits: If you’re not sure why your bank account always seems emptier than you would like, break down your spending habits. Hold onto your receipts and review them at the end of the month. You might start noticing impulse purchases right after you get paid or more trips to the coffee shop than you realized. Being mindful of your spending is the first step toward controlling it.
- Work extra hours: If you put in more than 40 hours per week, you may qualify for overtime pay. Volunteer to take extra early, late-night, or weekend hours to help boost your income if money starts getting a little tight.
- Keep budgeting even after you get a raise: Don’t forget everything you’ve learned about good money management just because you start earning more. Continuing to save and live within your means will help you prepare for whatever the future holds.
Despite your best budgeting efforts, surprise expenses can still crop up. When that happens, VIP Title Loans can help you get back on your feet.
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