The Financial Mistakes Most Employees Make Starting in Your Career. Financial Mistakes I Made During my First Employment Years
My first job meant my financial freedom and stability in life. I was young and energetic, and I knew I would start driving soon, own a home, buy expensive furniture, clothes and probably shop at expensive malls. This was quite lame thinking or stupid of me. However, the sad part is I executed all the stupid ideas during my first employment. Today I feel I wasted in terms of my free years and money which I could have saved. Right now am married; this my 5th year in marriage. I am 28 years, and I got my first job right after college at the age of 21. My college life was fruitful, but my first two working years I consider them wasted. However, I learned and made positive changes which I will highlight in my story.
My Financial Mistakes don’t define me now; they were great lessons. I will give details on few mistakes I made during the first two employment years.
I Couldn’t Trace My Money
My husband always laughs when I mention that I didn’t understand where my money was going. Okay, my salary was directed to the bank every end month. However, by the fifth day of the new month, I had a quarter the amount. I couldn’t trace my spending since no item concrete-like car purchase, or furniture was there to show. I used to get a bank statement to see my transactions. Yes, the withdrawals were more, especially during the first payment days.
This meant I was overspending and not keeping any records of the money. This happened for like five months, and I knew something was wrong with me. I bought a book and wrote down my expenses which seemed important then, but now they don’t apply. Every amount I withdrew, I would write down to help me trace my salary expenditure. By the end of the first month, I realized that I had awful spending habits.
I Never Thought of Retirement Savings.
At my workplace, there were retirement schemes and financial experts. They would offer sessions on sound financial management. I took some sessions, but I never liked the retirement saving concept. The stupid and crazy move I ever made was requesting my boss not to save my share but to include it in my salary. Today I think to myself, “my boss must have silently thought of me as a foolish human being.” I was young and thought retirement is for older adults. It never clicks in my mind that the old started saving when they were young.
That was already done; I strongly advise you to save as much money as possible in your retirement schemes. Today I save 50% in saving schemes and retirement schemes. I could have a lot more if I started early. Back then, my money free since I had no family to cater and also, my parents didn’t require any help from my salary. Now I save and focus on other expenses though I get help from my husband.
No Emergency Funds
When my job ended, the company was sold off, and the new managers wanted a new set of employees. I can say we were laid off or fired, but I am glad it helped me wake up. I didn’t have any emergency funds and had to go back to my parent’s houses and depend on them for a while. I used to spend my whole paycheck and had to wait for the next. It never occurred that the job can end, and I don’t have anything to fall back to. I thank my parents for accommodating me and helping me get back to my feet. Besides the emergency fund issue, I learned a lot about accommodation.
Renting My Own House
Once you finish college, the first thought is you won’t have to live without a roommate or friend again. You’re independent and can pay your rent. I quickly got myself an apartment which used a considerable amount of my salary. I wanted a private life and show off to my friends that I have my own space. My parents had talked me into moving back home and driving to work. It could have saved me a fortune.
I was too proud and wanted my freedom. So I paid rent and spend on food, the electricity bills, water bills were crazy. However, I couldn’t show since I wanted a perfect luxurious life. There is no harm or shame in cost-sharing on rent with a friend if you have a family. It helps save on food and bill, it’s also not bad living with your parents and saving the whole amount. I could have been in a better saving position if I were back at home. My parents could have guided me on spending and financial investment plans.
Debts from credit cards
Since I was a spender, I fell into debt pits through my credit cards. Once my checking account was drained, I continue purchasing using my credit cards. I would reach my limits since I knew my paycheck is coming soon. This leads to too much debt pilling up. Again I thank my parents for the financial burdens I made you bear. They helped me clear the debts and build my credit card report.
My friend’s circle
High spending meant having an expensive circle of friends. I remember most of my dinners I ate from expensive restaurants. We used to buy expensive modern gadgets, clothes, cars and have a high lifestyle. It was a negative part of my finances though I still use some of the gadgets today. However, I regret everything we did to impress. The worst part was my paycheck was the least, but still, I cruised the circle. My advice stick to your financial lanes, don’t try to keep up with anyone. Life is about you and you only. Nobody stood with me when my job stopped or when I sunk into debts besides my parents.
Today I have made wise financial decisions; my husband is very supportive. I have tried to recover what I lost and always advise graduates not to make the same mistakes with my finances. It’s easy to slip into luxurious life with your first job payment, but it’s also easy to build your foundation with the first job.