Income smarts

Starting your career and having a steady stream of income is an exciting event. There are many things you can do once you receive your first big check. It is always nice to treat yourself, but you also have to look at short and long term financial goals.

  • Don't forget to factor in the differences in the cost of living for the areas you are considering moving to by using cost comparison tools by and
  • Spending less than you earn may sounds simple, but it is something easier said than done. Track your expenses and see where you are spending your money and create a spending plan for yourself.
  • If you have extra income left over start saving it for a rainy day. Having an emergency fund can cut a lot of stress out of life if you fall on hard times. It is recommended you save up three to six months worth of income, or enough to cover the expenses you know you will have month to month like; rent, utilities, mortgage, groceries, etc. An easy way to ‘pay yourself first’ is to have a specific amount or percentage of your paycheck automatically deposited to your saving account.
  • If your employer does not offer insurance, look into buying health insurance.
  • It is never too early to start saving for retirement. Again if you do not have a plan with your employer, this is something to consider.
  • Be sure to understand how taxes will affect your paycheck.