When you enter into the workforce, there is not substitute for learning how to properly manage your paycheck. In order you get your money working for you, instead of the other way around, you need to be able to understand every nuance. From claiming dependents to knowing exactly how to use flex spending accounts, getting a PhD in your paycheck will pay off in the long term.
Contribute to your 401K
Even if you are just starting out, take the time to make some contributions to your 401k. For more information on how to make the most of your 401K, 401k.com is a great place to start. Putting money in early means you are going to get good with the compound interest process. That is how you are going to grow your nest egg to the next level.
Understand Your Benefits
When you get health and dental benefits from your job, it may feel like Christmas. You want to take full advantage of the benefits that are available to you, but you want to be judicious as well. Take note of the services that you use to make sure you are using the correct level of the plan. Do you need the full dental benefits package if your teeth are healthy and you only go to the dentist for a yearly cleaning? Maybe not.
How much do you actually visit the doctor? If the answer is for a wellness physical and for the occasional sinus infection, it might make more sense to downgrade your plan and up your deductible. But if you have a chronic illness that needs managing, you want to be as smart as possible with your coverage level.
Learn to Get a Raise
Make friends with your boss. That sounds silly and even unprofessional, but it is good advice. Learn how to talk with your boss as a human, not as a corporate drone. There is nothing worse than being in an office that makes you feel like a number and not a person. Make sure that the boss understands what you do and how you can contribute more. That gives you a chance to get more money when you learn how to make yourself valuable and well-known to your boss.
Pay Attention to Your Paycheck
When you have direct deposit, the tendency may be to just let the money show up in your account and celebrate when it down. But you should check your online paystub at least twice a month in order to make sure everything is up to date and you are getting everything you are supposed to get. Especially if you are paid on an hourly basis or you are a seasonal worker. Paying attention to your paycheck is very important to make sure you are getting what was promised.
Saving for your 401K should not be a chore. You need to be aware of what kind of money you want to have in your retirement and how to get it.