11: First Jobs
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Susan's favorite water is Topo Chico
Working for a company? Sign up for 401k or 403b or retirement plan at work. ASAP. Your company might be matching but do it even if they aren’t. Start with at least 3% and strive to increase it by 1% every six months. Your ultimate goal is to max out your retirement work contributions. That means $19,500 a year on a pre-tax basis. While you are at work, ask your HR department for a personal finance seminar (hint hint).
Working for yourself? Or Teen summer job? If you work for yourself, open a ROTH IRA ASAP. You can open and contribute to one if you make less than $139,000/year as a single and $199,000/year as a married couple. Open it at Vanguard and pick the Target Date fund for 2040 or later.
Ask for a crumb more. Whether you work hourly or salary. Start with as high a salary as you can. This is the base that you will negotiate on for the rest of your career.
Keep track of your accomplishments at work. In fact, while you are there, negotiate a higher starting salary or ask for a raise and review. It will be easier to ask if you have the ammunition of your accomplishments.
Find a money buddy. Someone to help you save more, talk about money and learn about investing.