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For years you’ve lived on a college budget, scrounging meals where you can, buying gas on a trip-by-trip basis, and never once pondering the term “401(k).” Getting that first paycheck from your employer is going to feel like more money than you know what to do with. But before you start daydreaming about fancy cars and beach vacations, make sure you have your longterm ducks in a row with these ten financial tips.
Know your worth in salary negotiations
Negotiating your first salary is difficult, but you’re not without leverage. Use resources at your disposal, such as your college’s career center and other recent college graduates in your industry, to assess if the offer you’ve been made is sufficient market value. Otherwise, you certainly don’t need to take the first offer that comes along.
Be realistic about moving out
After experiencing four years of freedom, you’re probably not jonesing to move back in with your parents. But if this is an option, it’s worth considering, especially if you’re among those saddled with significant debt. Saving on monthly rent payments lets you save money and pay down loans at an more impressive speed. Besides, you’re going to want a nest egg before you take on signing a lease.
Match your company’s 401 (k) contribution
When you get a job, you will have to decide what percent of your salary you want to contribute to your 401(k) retirement plan. Your employer will most likely offer to match however much you’re contributing up to a specific percent; you want to make sure you’re contributing at least that amount. If they offer up to 3%, contribute at least 3%. To do anything else would be leaving money on the table, and that money’s interest will compound significantly over time to set …….