7 Things to Budget for when You Get Your First Job ...

It’s such a great feeling knowing that you’re earning a wage/salary, but not so wonderful knowing there are things to budget for when you get your first job. The thought of your very first paycheck is exciting but hold on to your hat – there are a number of costs involved just in the whole process of going to work. It’s quite a rude awakening to see just how much it “costs” you to work, but be prepared by knowing the things to budget for when you get your first job.

1. Commuting

Until now, your travel costs may be been pretty minimal – to and from school, some trips with friends, or your parents may even have been your personal taxi service. One of the things to budget for when you get your first job is your commuting costs. Whether you drive or take public transport, there is a cost involved. You need to always make sure you have money to be able to actually get to work.

2. Wardrobe

You may suddenly find you need to adopt a completely new way of dressing when you start work. Casual school/college clothes don’t fit the needs of a professional office girl. If your employer provides special clothing or a uniform, that’s terrific; if not, you’ll need to start building up a working wardrobe suitable for your job.

3. Cell Phone

You might imagine that you can’t use your phone any more than you do already but while at work, you’re away from your family and friends. For example, you might have restricted or even no access to the internet at work and you’ll be using your phone more to connect online (on your breaks, of course!). Ensure your tariff is going to match your increased usage.

4. Lunch

Lunches and refreshments are another of the essential things to budget for when you get your first job. Whatever the setup of where you work, you will have to eat. Few places offer free food in a staff canteen/restaurant. You will need to decide if your paycheck can afford for you to buy from shops each day, or whether you brown bag it.

5. Socializing

This is hard to budget for when you start your first job because you have no idea what your workplace social scene is like. Does the whole team decamp to the wine bar for happy hour every Thursday? Will you need to join a regular lunch party to be "one of the girls”? Obviously, how you choose to and the extent to which you socialize at work is a purely personal decision, but include it in your budgeting.

6. Stationery and Equipment

Your company should provide all the tools you need for you to do your job but you may not find them satisfactory. You might need a wall planner where they only provide a paper diary. They might provide nasty cheap pens and you simply can’t do without your Sharpie. If you’re picky about your stationery you’ll end up buying your own.

7. Incidental Expenses

One of the most common overlooked expenses that comes with a job is how much you might fork out on minor expenses. Minor they might be but they can soon add up, really depending on your particular workplace. What are minor expenses? Gifts for fellow workers (many you will never know or even meet, but it’s the done thing!), sponsorships and even things like corporate charity events where you’re expected to meet your own expenses.

It’s important to remember that the things to budget for when you get your first job are in addition to anything you need to put by for taxes, insurance and living expenses. It can all sound a bit daunting, but just remember to do your budget and stick to it. How excited will you be to receive your first paycheck?