Congratulations! You finally got your first paycheck!

Don’t you just love looking at those numbers? Who would have thought you’re now earning something for yourself?

Whatever amount of money you have on your paycheck, you need to know how to manage it well. Knowing how much to spend and how much to set aside can be the difference between surviving the entire month or totally going broke.

While your first instinct might be to buy the things you always wanted when you were students and couldn’t afford it (that, or your parents wouldn’t buy it for you), you’ve got to hold it right there. Would it be wise for you to go on a shopping spree?

Manage your money from your first paycheck.
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Here are a few things you could do with your first paycheck that you won’t be sorry for. Just a warning: it’s not as fun as you think they would be but trust that these are investments for a better future.

Get an Insurance With Your First Paycheck

Get an insurance.
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Getting in an insurance may not be the very first thing you’ll consider when you have your first paycheck. What for? You may ask. You’re young, fit, and don’t see you’ll need it in the next month or year.

But guess what? Insurance does not only cover life insurance. You can opt for health, accident, savings, or investment insurance. These can be very helpful helping to cover emergency expenses (like if you’re a little accident prone and you accidentally fractured a toe). A savings policy is also helpful for those of us who just can’t seem to save any money.

Think far in the future and your future self will thank you for it.

The 10% Savings Rule – Pay Yourself First

Set aside 10% of your paycheck as savings.
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Ever heard of this rule? If you have, you better start doing it now. If you haven’t, it’s simple.

The rule is to set aside at least 10% of your paycheck as your savings. You can open a savings account in any bank, put it in an account that earns you a higher interest, or you can simply keep a piggy bank or jar if you trust yourself that you won’t take a bit of it anytime. You could also set different savings goals for different things such as long term savings, emergency / short term savings, buying that car, or going on a vacation with the family.

The savings you’ll earn every year might just help you get a bigger investment in the future. A car? A house? Starting your own business? The possibilities are endless when you develop the habit of saving money. Keeping a lookout for promo codes when you shop online is also a great way that you can save money. Zalora promo codes and Taobao vouchers often offers discounts up to 20%!

Needs vs Wants – 50% Necessities

Consider buying what you need first before buying what you want.
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Getting your paycheck is always so tempting. Once you see how much you’ve earned, your mind flies into the shopping malls and travel destinations. But wait! Stop right there.

Have you bought what you need? There’s a reason why many savings tips tell you to set aside 50% for your daily expenses.

There would be things you’ll want to buy – clothes, shoes, bags, and the latest phone – and you may want to argue that you deserve it and you’ve earned it.

But before you do any impulse buying, you need to buy what you need first. This might be a long list of your toiletries, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even your transportation budget. Create a monthly budget projection of your daily needs to make sure you’ll get by just fine until your next paycheck.

Stay Healthy and Fit

Stay Healthy and Fit by committing to a daily exercise.
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You won’t be young and healthy forever. When you’ll grow older, you’ll understand. We know this doesn’t sound like budgeting tip, especially for your first paycheck, but what they say is true: health is wealth. The lesser time you spend at the doctor’s, the more money you’ll have.

While you’re still at a very active age, invest time in staying healthy and fit. You can enroll yourself in a gym or just buy your own sports apparel and commit to a daily exercise.

Keep yourself in tip top shape so your future self will thank you for keeping your body healthy, strong, and alert after all those years.

Invest on Gadgets

Invest on Gadgets.
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Consider buying a quality laptop that you can use for freelancing during your free time (like the weekends!). You could do some designing, coding, or even writing. Or, if you’re good at photography, try getting yourself a DSLR and taking up gigs. When you do well at your freelance jobs, and word gets out that you’re good at what you do, it could possibly open up to future business ventures and collaborations.

Which just means more money for you. That’s a win-win! Of course, this doesn’t mean you can splurge all you want on gadgets. Think of which ones would be useful for you, and save for it if you have to. Don’t spend half your salary on a purchase by telling yourself you can make money with it, because you’ll regret it for the rest of the month when you’re living on bread and water.

Grow. Learn. Expand.

Enroll in online courses to grow. learn, and expand.
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Keep in mind that it’s also important to grow, learn, and expand your horizons. Sometimes that means moving on to certain ventures after a period of time, but sometimes that can also mean staying in your company and growing with them. You can enroll in online courses and update your knowledge on your field, or try to learn new things. Check if your company offers you a budget for learning and expanding yourself. If they do, great! If not, you can still take up courses both on and offline. Just remember: it’s your first paycheck, so start allocating your budget accordingly.

This way, you expand your horizons while learning at your own pace and time. With your added knowledge and certifications, you’ll definitely become an asset in the company. This might even open up to a salary increase or a promotion! (You’ll never know until you try.)

It might take time and money, but it will definitely be a worthwhile investment.

“Do something your future self will thank you for.”

You probably have read this line many times while you scroll through the internet. That’s because it is true.

While some people believe that they have to spend and splurge NOW because you won’t take your money with you to your grave, but flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to your personal finances will lead to you being very unhappy in your day to day life.

It doesn’t sound fun but it wouldn’t be fun either when you catch yourself broke and in debt. So start learning how to manage your first paycheck and it will be easier when your next paycheck appears in your bank account.

*Featured Image Credit: Bench Accounting | Unsplash