Congratulations Class of 2013!
- Pay close attention to your compensation package – Your salary is more than just the money you take home. Look for a job with good benefits including health insurance coverage, dental, and a retirement plan. You will likely pay a portion of your health insurance and your employer may pay most of it. Same with your retirement plan. CU Career Services can help you with this.
- Figure out your NET pay (take-home pay) – Your net pay will be less than your gross pay. For example, if you are offered $48,000 including a good benefits package, your paystub might look like this:
|Regular Salary (gross salary)||$4,000.00|
|401K Retirement Plan||-300.00|
|Take-Home Pay (net salary)||$2,720.00|
- Create a budget - Get a money app (we use Mint) or a pencil and paper. List your income and expenses. This is your money map going forward so you know what’s coming in and what’s going out.
- Emergency savings account - From your very first paycheck, set up an automatic transfer to a savings account. Ideally you should have 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund in case something happens to you. This type of savings account is also helpful for expenses that aren’t part of your normal budget like tires for your car, oil changes, or saving for a new flatscreen TV.
- Student loans - If you have loans, figure out exactly how much you owe and to whom you need to send payments. You can set up an automatic payment that pays your student loan every month after you get paid. The Office of Financial Aid can help you figure out which loans you have. You typically have six months until you need to start monthly payments.
- Protect your identity - Get a cross-cut shredder and shred documents with your personal information. You will receive dozens of credit card offers in the mail and sometimes you’ll even get pre-approved credit card checks! If you don’t want to apply for the credit cards, shred the offers that are sent to you.
- Credit cards - If you decide to use credit cards, don’t use them to extend your income. View them as a tool to establish good credit. Try to pay off the balance every month but never use more than thirty percent of your credit limit at any time.
- Relax! You got this! You’re on your way to a new life, a new job, and possibly a new location! You’ll have a lot on your mind. If you stumble along the way with your finances, just pick up where you left off. There are plenty of people and resources who can help you out. Just ask!
-Susie Jacobs, CU Money Sense