First real job? Start thinking about your finances

Three strategies to make the most of your new paycheck.

You just accepted your first real job. Now it is time to think about your finances and how you can avoid living paycheck to paycheck.

Watch your money

Set up a monthly budget and stick to your budget. Make sure to pay yourself first; put money into savings even if it is a small amount. If needed, make a category for “fun;” this will allow you money to go out with friends.

Make saving automatic

Check if your financial institution will set up an automatic transfer from your checking to a special savings account that you don’t touch unless it relates to your savings goals or plan. You may be able to have part of your check automatically deposited into your savings verses the full amount going into your checking.

If you save $25 a week, that’s $1,300 a year!

Cut the fat

You are paying for a gym membership, but you have only used it twice in the last two months. Is it worth to keep paying for it? Do you need both Hulu and Netflix’s? Think about some of the items in your budget that you may be able to eliminate or reduce.

Remember, check your cash flow to make sure you have more coming in than you’re spending.

To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H career preparationmoney management and entrepreneurship programs, read the Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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