The first pay cheque in a new job is always an exciting prospect to look forward to. However, many people get carried away and blow the first month’s pay into the wind with frivolous purchases or indulgences. Before you head to the shopping mall for that walk down “indulgence lane” give your cash a second thought. Ask yourself these three questions:
• Would I regret this purchase tomorrow?
• Do I really like the colour of this handbag or am I just buying it for the sake of indulging?
• What was the financial reasons behind me accepting this job? To just splurge or raise my income higher to achieve financial independence? If it’s for financial independence, blowing it away on a novelty is definitely not the best of financial independence.
The best advice would be to set it aside and wait for a period of at least 3 months before you decide to splurge as this would give you a buffer of cash reserves in case the job does not work out and you are left jobless. In today’s business environment, many things can happen that can set us back financially. So it is only wise to create a storehouse for a “rainy day”.
If you have a debt, work at paying off the debt and building a savings pool. This will come in handy when you decide to purchase a home or a car later, which would need a considerable amount of cash as deposit or downpayment.
Remember always that “Cash is King” and get into the habit of buying with cash. Do not be lured by the attractive prospects of credit cards as they will lure you into an abyss of debt and desperation. If you really see the need for a credit card for emergencies, make sure you use only what you can afford to pay at the end of the month.
Being wise is being cautious and knowing what you are getting into. If you plan to invest your first pay cheque, make sure the investment is legal and safe. If an investment sounds like it is too good to be true, it is definitely worth staying away from it. In such investments, there is always a catch which can lead you to lose money or your entire investment.
Seek the advice of experienced and successful business people or professionals who know the pitfalls in financial management through years of experience. It’s not always necessary to learn the hard way but being smart and heeding to the advice of seasoned experts is another way of staying clear from trouble. Remember, be careful with the first “golden egg” and you will see many more to come. Be patient and don’t expect to multiply overnight as good investment schemes need time to grow and mature.