Friday, July 05, 2024

5 Important Money Tips for First-Time Job Seekers

Your first job will be a significant milestone and will mark the beginning of an important new phase in your life. But amidst the thrill of earning their own income, many first jobbers get overwhelmed with the prospect of managing their funds for the first time. You yourself may be unsure of how to manage your salary effectively, especially if you haven’t had prior experience budgeting for monthly expenses or dealing with financial obligations such as rent, bills, and loan repayments. Moreover, the allure of newfound financial freedom inevitably brings about the temptation to overspend or to make impulse purchases, which in turn makes it all the more challenging for you to stay within budget and prioritize your savings.

As a new income earner, it’s important to know what to do with your salary and how to set a precedent for good financial habits down the line. Without proper guidance, you may fall into the most common pitfalls that will hinder a new professional’s financial progress. The key to building a strong financial foundation for yourself and achieving your long-term financial goals lies in learning how to handle your income responsibly. You’ll want to avoid costly financial mistakes early on and set yourself up for a brighter financial future as you climb up the professional ladder.

To help you navigate the complexities of personal finance and make the smartest decisions about your hard-earned money, here are some important money tips to consider.

1) Open a Savings Account

One of your first steps towards financial stability should be to open your own savings account. This should be your designated place to store your savings, and it should allow you to build a financial cushion for your future needs.

When choosing a bank and account type, consider factors such as interest rates, fees, accessibility, and additional features like online banking and mobile app access. Your search for the ideal savings account product doesn’t have to stop with traditional banks; why not open an account with Maya, the top digital bank in the Philippines? You’ll be able to enjoy competitive interest rates up to 15% p.a. and a zero maintenance balance to maximize your savings, plus neat features like Maya Personal Goals for allotting your income towards goals like saving up for a new vehicle or your dream vacation. Saving, spending, and earning more wealth across your professional career will be easy from a unified and reliable platform like Maya.

You can also set up regular automatic transfers from your salary account to your savings account. This will ensure consistent savings each payday and mitigate your temptation to spend a big chunk of your paycheck.

2) Be Aware of Your Paycheck Deductions

Once you start receiving your paychecks, you’ll soon realize that your salary comes with deductions. Take the time to review your pay stub and familiarize yourself with each deduction, including the specific amounts and what they cover.

In the Philippines, common deductions include taxes, Social Security System (SSS) contributions, Pag-IBIG Fund contributions, and PhilHealth contributions. Learn about the paycheck deductions you’ll typically receive to better budget your take-home pay and to avoid being caught off guard by unexpected deductions. If you have questions or concerns about your deductions, don't hesitate to reach out to your company’s HR or finance department for clarification.

3) Devise a Monthly Budget

Creating a budget is key to managing your finances effectively and ensuring that you're living within your means. Start by assessing your income, including your base salary and any additional sources of income such as bonuses or commissions. Next, identify your fixed expenses, including rent, utilities, insurance premiums, and loan payments. Then, determine your variable expenses, like groceries, transportation, entertainment, and discretionary spending.

From here, allocate a portion of your income towards savings and investments to ensure future financial security and to work towards achieving your financial goals. Also consider using budgeting apps or tools to help you track your expenses, monitor your progress, and make adjustments as needed to stay on track with your budget.

4) Commit to Controlling Your Spending

It's easy to get carried away with your newfound financial freedom, which makes it all the more essential to control your spending. After creating a working budget for yourself, take time to understand your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back. You can also set spending limits for each expense category based on your budget and stick to them rigorously.

Try to avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary expenses by practicing mindful spending habits, such as making a shopping list before going to the grocery store and waiting 24 hours before making a non-essential purchase to curb quick impulses to buy.

5) Build an Emergency Fund

Even if you’ve just recently become employed, it’s a good idea to start building a substantial emergency fund as soon as possible. You never know how soon you’ll need a safety net for unexpected expenses or financial emergencies, such as medical bills or car repairs.

One common recommendation is to aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses in your emergency fund to cover these essential costs and to maintain your financial stability during difficult times. You can start small by setting aside a portion of your income each month and gradually building up your emergency savings over time.

You could also set up a separate savings account specifically for your emergency fund to prevent it from being used for non-essential expenses and to ensure that it's easily accessible when needed.

And just because my friend Trixie Esguerra Bugia is behind this video, I'm going to share it so you can #GetBankedWithMaya! 

In the first few months of your entry into the workforce, remember that managing your finances effectively is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Follow these essential money management tips, and you'll be on the right track toward financial independence and prosperity.

*Photo by Resume Genius on Unsplash

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