Congratulations, you’re on the first chapter of financial independence. Getting your first pay is undeniably one of the most unforgettable experiences of your working life. But as Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Welcome to the real world of never-ending bills!
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As fresh graduates, no one can be choosers with jobs. Ideally, we apply for jobs that could give us the best experience rather than prioritizing the pay. Most likely, you’ll get lower than you like so budgeting and a lot of financial juggling is a good skill to master. Here’s how to make it possible:
Make a daily budget.
As you may probably be living paycheck to paycheck on your first job, creating and sticking to a daily budget from your salary is important. Planning your day and budgeting from your transportation expenses, lunch, and emergency fund (or emergency gimik) is fundamental. Religiously compute your other expenses such as your rent, phone bill, utilities, etc.
Unless you have a transportation allowance, be frugal on your commuting expenses. Take the bus or train instead of taking cabs. On your food, take time to prepare if you really have the tight budget than buying from somewhere else.
The money you will save after budgeting your apparently small, daily expenses will be big savings if you’re going to compute it on a month’s time. For example, if you take the cab instead of trains: P100 of taxi vs. P50 of public transportation. You will save P50 a day (which you could think as nothing for a day) is P1,000 a month and P12,000 a year. Come to think of it.
Take note of your ‘wants’.
Putting your needs on your priority, your ‘wants’ should also be acknowledged for budgeting purposes and so you could know how and when to take it away from your system. Be realistic, from time to time, you’re going to be invited by your new friends to a party or a group lunch or you might go for shopping for new clothes. You should have money saved for these kinds.
Just remember that these things are not part of your priority so as much as possible, listen to what your wallet is saying.
Develop a habit.
Saving is not fun especially during this stage where the money is really an issue. Make it less of a chore and more of a habit. The key is to be consistent and you’re going to work around with it. For sure, after a certain time, it will make you feel that your effort is worth it. To make saving a habit, make it the first thing you do every payday. Save first before spending.
Your salary will increase over time, but that only goes to show that your savings should increase as well. Follow these steps and budgeting your money could be a breeze. Responsibility and consistency is key.
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