Getting your first big paycheck at your first job out of college is one way that really solidifies Adulting. You’ve been busting your ass day after day, eating Ramen Noodles, peanut butter and jelly and cereal for weeks. Once that direct deposit hits your bank account and you’ve had a celebratory drink or two at the local Happy Hour spot down the block, you are now left with the task of figuring out how you’re gonna spend your hard earned money.
After you put aside some of your coins in your savings account, figuring out how to spread your newly acquired wealth around, so you’re not left on the noodle-PB & J- cereal diet in another two weeks can seem perplexing.
So often when we get that first big paycheck, we squander it on half-priced drinks, overpriced appetizers, and the latest department store sale, instead of spending it wisely.
Sure spoiling yourself a bit after you busted your ass(sometimes literally) to get that hard earned money is totally fine, but to avoid blowing through your entire paycheck before the ink is dry, take a look at these 5 things to consider spending your first paycheck on that will show you that your hard work paid off.
1. Bills, Bills, Bills
While it’s incredibly dull and not the slightest bit fun, paying off your rent, phone bill, car note and any other mandatory expenses you will need to survive is an absolute must. You don’t want to start off Adulting in debt or out on the street, so after you pay off your bills, give yourself a pat on the back for being responsible. It may not seem like much but paying your bills can free up any potential stress or problems in the future. While you may have solidified your adulthood and stepped out into the real world, there’s nothing like having to worry about your phone being cut off because you didn’t pay the bill or coming home to no lights because you didn’t pay rent. Avoid having to take showers in the dark or having to sit posted in Dunkin Donuts for hours to use their free Wi-Fi and just pay your bills first thing.
2. Tech Talk
With cell-phones costing hundreds of dollars, electronics have become quite the expensive investment. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your phone or tablet, or you’re on the market for a new MacBook or camera to film your Youtube videos with(because there’s only so much storage your phone can hold), using your first paycheck to put toward a technology upgrade doesn’t hurt- even more so if you use it for work.
3. Grocery Gallivanting
One of the great things about getting your first big paycheck from your first real job out of college is that you get to do what millions of Americans do every day-go grocery shopping. If you’ve been wanting to finally try those vegan recipes you saved to your Pinterest but didn’t have the Whole Foods money to do so, using some of the money from your first paycheck to go grocery shopping is a great way to spend your coin. Not only are you able to choose healthier options for your meals and forgo the fast food and cereal you’ve been surviving on, but you’re able to meal prep and monitor how much you eat and will need to last you until your next paycheck. Plus you finally get to be one of those people who bring their deliciously-smelling cooked home meals from home and give your co-workers major food envy during lunch.
4.Ticket To Paradise
Sure it seems a bit early to start planning for your first vacation but putting a little bit of money toward a plane ticket or beginning a vacation savings fund doesn’t hurt and saves you from having to tightly budget and squander money two weeks before your vacay. You don’t necessarily have to have a destination in mind or put aside a significant amount, you can start with as little as $20.
5. Spoil Yourself
It’s natural to want to go cray-cray on payday and hit up all the local sales, but when it comes to going shopping after your first big payday, the major key is to not have a moment of temporary insanity and blow all your money on clothes, shoes and Lush bath bombs. To avoid overdraft fees and only having $4.35 to survive off of for the next week and a half, try taking out a set amount of money when you hit up your local Forever 21 or Macy’s. Also, try to balance out shopping spree and buy maybe a blouse for work, a cute pair of shoes for yourself and ONE bath bomb instead five. Avoid the temptation of going overboard and spoil yourself in moderation. That way you’ll be able to indulge and enjoy your purchase and still have money in your wallet.