Just Got A Job? Here's How To Handle Your Newfound Income

If you’ve lived on a tight budget for a while because you’ve been out of work or gone back to school, it’s a little bewildering to start drawing paychecks from a new job. You may feel rich, but your wealth will be determined by your budget rather than your income.

Money After Graduation offers financial tips for recent college grads, but they apply to anyone who finds themselves newly employed. Here are some highlights:

* Start a retirement fund. Contribute to your 401(k), at least to the maximum point your employer will match. It’s best to start building your retirement fund as early as possible, and establish the routine so you don’t come to rely on those funds for living expenses.

* Build a reserve fund. The fact that you’re new makes you particularly vulnerable to layoffs. Prepare for the worst by socking away as much of your paycheck as you can until you’ve got a comfortable cushion.

* Strive for financial goals. If you’ve dreamed of a new car or house, now is the time to take solid steps toward those visions. Enjoy your money but use it to better your life rather than flush it away on fleeting trifles.

How To Spend Your Money After Graduation [Money After Graduation]