Your first paycheque is always special. After years of spending your parents’ money, there comes that one day in your adult life you see the magic words “Your Salary Has Been Credited” for the first time in your mobile phone.
Irrespective of the amount or the company, that moment is always special. We asked a few people, and based on experience, have compiled a list of the best things you can do with your first paycheque.
1. Buy everything you’ve always wanted to
That branded bag. The speakers. You know how you always went past a shop, and looked lustfully at the glitzy product and thought to yourself “Once I start earning, I’m coming here”. That moment is here. While saving is good, this moment let go and let your materialistic side take over. You’ve worked hard and you deserve yourself a little treat.
2. Clear off your dues
Do you remember the number of coffees your older and earning friends took you out on while you were a student? Or all those chai-sutta accounts with the college canteen you forgot to settle in a huff of exams and placements. Now is a good time to sit back, do a round of audit and clear off all your loans and dues. Preferably with a thank you note. Clearing your dues also includes various bills like your mobile phone, credit cards etc. Living debt-free is one of the most effective ways to live a peaceful life.
3. Send a token of your gratitude to those who helped
Often, we get so caught up in the excitement of a new job, and all the other news things that come with it, that we forget about the people who directly or indirectly helped us get there. The people who told you about a job, the people who referred you or simply someone who guided you through the interview rounds. While all it takes is a free “thank you” or a personal note to remember those people and thank them, it is extra special if you can send them a personalised thank you gift which could be sweets, chocolates, a gift or simply a dinner treat.
4. Start investing
You may consider your first salary too paltry or yourself too young to actually consider investing. But each and every penny invested correctly helps multiply the money over the long term. The sooner you start investing, the better. Open a recurring deposit with the bank of your choice after due research and earmark a certain sum to be automatically siphoned off from your bank account into the deposits account. 5 years down the line, you’d thank yourself when you count all that interest, and of course all the savings you can count on for your future. Here are some good investment options.
5. Get a tattoo
Let’s face it. Tattoos are an expensive art, and especially if you want it from the best artists. Which you should because a tattoo is for life and one thing you absolutely cannot skimp on. So if you’d always waited for an auspicious moment and some disposable money to invest in a good tattoo, now’s a good time. It will also help serve as a souvenir for this big moment of your life. Make sure the tattoo is non-intrusive and doesn’t violate a dress code at your new workplace. Now, getting fired for getting a tattoo with your first salary would be a bit ironic!
6. Help someone
You’ve just embarked on a path to self-dependence and financial freedom. You can buy yourself things, eat fancy food, travel etc. But remember there’s a big unfortunate section of the society which can’t. While you may consider paying income taxes good deed enough, the fact is these people hardly depend on the government, and more on the compassion of people who have the privilege of helping. Think of a cause close to you, and donate an amount you think you can afford, or simply spend a little to make someone’s day.
7. Go on a trip
You’d always looked at those people on Facebook checking in at fancy places and grudged them because you couldn’t afford to. Now you can. Don’t let the lack of money come in between exploring the beautiful world. You’re an adult now. Like a wise man once said, invest in experiences, not products.
8. Pamper yourself
So busy you’ve been grappling with a new job, placement hassles, and going back all way to your exams and studies, that you forgot to give yourself the tender loving care you needed to. Go get a nice spa massage, a facial or simply binge on some ice cream. You have worked hard, and your salary is the most tangible form of reward of your hard work. A little indulgence can be forgiven.
9. Get a gym membership
Your busy days are about to start and it’s the advent of a sedentary lifestyle. Right now is the best time to buy yourself a gym membership to keep yourself disciplined about keeping fit for the rest of your working days. Sitting around at your desk all day and doing late nights will take a toll on your fitness and mind. An early headstart into fitness and your back will thank you later.
10. Invest in life and health insurance
Even if your company provides these two, investing in a good policy is a good idea as not only will it cushion you against any sudden medical emergencies, but also help with saving tax at the end of the year. Many youngsters complain of paying high taxes, but realise that they could’ve minimised the amount of taxes by planning their investments early on. An insurance policy is best bought sooner than later to enjoy most benefits. Also, usually, the younger you are, the lesser premium you on pay on health insurance.
11. Thank your parents
They took care of you for decades. They saved on their basics, so they could buy your luxuries. They toiled hard so you could reap the benefits. While no amount of money can repay your parents’ efforts for you, a few meaningful gestures and thoughtful gifts can surely bring a smile to their face. Take them out for a nice dinner, buy your dad a new spectacle frame, your mother a new Saree and your little sister the guitar she’d always been air strumming.
When it comes to first salary, it’s family first.
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