Finding A Balance Between Spending And Saving

Finding A Balance Between Spending And Savingook

You may have had a summer job through school. No doubt the first time you got paid felt like you were the richest person on the planet, but nothing quite compares to the first paycheck you get with a brand new job. With the promise of more paychecks coming, and the beginning of a career underway, where will you spend your hard earned cash? It’s your first paycheck, so you should treat yourself right? Hold on for a moment. There are a couple things you should do first.

 

Make Sure You Understand it

 

Your paycheck has a number of pieces of information on it. You’ll see the amount you made during the last pay period, the amount you’ve made to date and the deductions on your pay. Make sure you understand these and that you know what they should be. There’s nothing worse than a clerical error that costs you money that you don’t even notice.

Put 10% into Savings

 

This doesn’t sound like much fun, but it will always pay off later. Get used to putting money away now to get in the habit. The longer you wait to start saving, the harder it will be. Putting a percentage of every paycheck into savings gets you used to the practice and it adds up quickly.

 

Start a Budget

 

Now you know how much you’ll be making every month. Start to plan around that. Look at your expenses like bills, rent and food. Once all of your bills are paid, how much do you have left over? Starting a budget early will help you stay out of debt and will give you a clear indication of how fiscally sound you are.

 

Look at the Long Term

 

You’ve got the month-to-month down and you’re putting some money into savings every paycheck. Now’s the time to look long term. Are you going to be in the market for a new car? Maybe a house in a number of years? Keeping these long term goals in mind will help you aim towards them and adjust your spending accordingly.

 

Splurge!

 

Once you’ve done all the work of understanding your money, then you get to treat yourself. You’ve earned it after all. Your hard work and dedication have provided you with your first paycheck! Give yourself a pat on the pack and a little something else!

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The Pros and Cons of Discussing Salary With Co-workers

In a perfect world we would all know what everyone around us makes and that would be okay because everyone would be getting paid fairly and equally. This is not a perfect world. Here are the pros and cons of discussing salary with co-workers.

The Raise Conversation

The Raise Conversation

No one likes to talk about money. Conversations about money have a tendency to get awkward and can often lead to arguments. This is true in our daily life and our work life. But at some point, money needs to be talked about. At some point, you’re going to want to make more cash. Asking for a raise can be one of the more nerve wracking things you have to do at work. To give you the confidence you need to ask for a bump in pay, we’ve put together some helpful advice on when and how to ask for a raise.

When to Ask for a raise

One of the most common questions about asking for a raise is when to do it. If you’re new to a job, how long should you wait before bringing it up?

In an article about asking for a raise, Forbes suggests “Maybe this seems old-fashioned, given how often people change careers—but in my experience, I’ve found that the one-year mark still seems to be the standard by which most managers distinguish the “probational” employees from the veterans.”

This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but something to be mindful of. Think you deserve a pay increase before that one year mark has passed? You better have some good reasons why.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to when you should ask for a raise is how the company, and your position with company, are doing. Is the company growing? Did it just land a huge client or post great earnings? This would be an ideal time to ask for a pay increase. Did a number of other employees just get let go? Is the company asking you to bring your own coffee to work to save on costs? Maybe wait a little while before you ask about getting more money.

How to Ask for a Raise

Knowing how to ask for a raise is as important as knowing when to ask for one. To start off with, have a sit down with your boss. Asking for a raise isn’t a conversation to have near the water-cooler.

Depending on the situation, you might be tempted to start with a complaint about how you haven’t had a raise recently or that you’re making less than others in comparable positions. Opening with a complaint, or complaining in general is going to do one thing; kill your manager’s interest in the conversation.

Focus on the work you’ve done for the company, the growth you’ve helped achieve and the ways in which your role with the company has developed. A raise, like any business, is all about the numbers. If you can show that you’ve helped those numbers grow you have a much better chance at getting the raise.

An Offer Too Good to Refuse

The best thing you can do to ensure you get the outcome you want is research. Research what others in your position are making. Getraised.com, Salary.com and Glassdoor.com are all great places to look. Knowing what others are making gives you an idea of how much you can ask for.

Also be sure to make an “I’m Awesome” folder. Keep track of your accolades and present them in your meeting. As Matt Wilson writes in The Globe and Mail “If you can go to your boss and say that you are responsible for huge numbers and possess knowledge that is irreplaceable to the operations of the business then your boss will be forced to pay you to keep you happy!”

Getting the Raise
Asking for a raise starts long before you sit down to talk about it with your boss. It starts with research into other positions like yours. It continues as you build up a case for yourself, stockpiling your accomplishments and abilities. Getting the outcome you want is helped by asking at the right time. Getting a raise is all but guaranteed when you are able to make an offer too good to refuse.

Need help budgeting?

Need help budgeting?

Now that you’ve landed a sweet job and you’re getting paid, all that money may start burning a hole in your pocket. Of course you want to spend it. But if you want to make sure you still have some cash by the time your next paycheck appears, you’re going to want to learn about budgeting.

There’s rent, groceries, a phone bill, the cost of public transit or a car, and maybe school debt on top of all that. Before you know it, there seems to be nothing left. Keeping track of your cash can be a chore, but having an App to help you out can take the stress out of money management. Below are our Top Five Budgeting Apps.

Mint -Free

iTunes, Android

As a free app, it’s hard to describe Mint as anything other than great. It connects to your bank account. Don’t worry, Mint doesn’t access your money, it just reads the data. One of the best things about Mint is that it looks at your transactions and automatically categorizes them into things like Entertainment, Food/Groceries, Bills etc. It then puts this information into easy to read charts so you can see how much you’re spending and where.

Mint also allows you to set goals for spending and saving and charts where you are with each of those goals. Saving up for a new laptop? Choose the amount it’ll cost, and when you want have it by and Mint will allot the right amount each month!

PocketGuard – Free

Android IOS

This back account tracking and budget management app shows you how much you have in your accounts along with how much you can afford to spend each day. It connects to your bank card accounts through an encrypted, read-only connection, while automatically sorting your purchases, subscriptions and bill payments to provide you with an estimate of how much you can spend safely without going into the red.

 

Budgt – $0.99

iTunes.

One of the concerns you may have with both of the previous options is that they hooks up with your bank account. This means that they do a bunch of the work for you, detecting your earnings and spending habits. But we understand if you’re hesitant. If you’d rather not have an app connected to your accounts, BUDGT is a great option.

BUDGT has a lot of the same features as the previous app including options for savings, reminders about spending and options where you can set it up to allow more spending on specific days, like weekends. BUDGT is a great option if you don’t mind doing the work of inputting all your own data.

 

Wally – Free

IOS and Android

Wally is great for the organized types.  It helps you compare your income to your expenses, understand where your money goes and set and achieve goals. Rather than logging in your expenses, with Wally you can take a photo of your receipts. With Wally you can create and view expenses while keeping track of how much you’re spending to help you stay within your savings goals.

Your Bank’s App

Having your banking at your fingertips can be really helpful when it comes to paying bills, knowing how much money you have and moving money around in a pinch.

While every bank’s app is different, if your bank has an app, it usually offers a number of helpful features. Most apps now have the ability to deposit a check just by taking a picture of it. This can be really helpful if an ATM isn’t near by and you want to have that money right away.

Pick a Budgeting App

While a budget might be the last thing you’re thinking about now that you have a steady flow of cash, keeping and eye on your finances is essential if you don’t want to spend it all in once place. These are our favorite apps, but there are lots out there. If you have a favorite app we haven’t mentioned, we’d love to hear about it.

Three Great Budgeting Apps

Having money is great. It’s the whole reason we bother getting jobs. But often we end up wasting money on frivolous spur of the moment purchases rather than accumulating enough for the things we actually want. That’s where budgeting comes in. Here are three top budgeting apps to help you make the most of your hard earned dollars.

Negotiating That Job Offer

Negotiating That Job Offer

If you’re applying to a minimum wage job then how much you’re paid isn’t really an issue, but if it’s a salaried job then there’s an opportunity for negotiation.

 

When to negotiate

You need to have salary expectations in mind going into the interview, but the time to negotiate isn’t around: Hi my name is Jim and I’m expecting to make $50K does that work for you?

 

The first interview probably isn’t the time for salary negotiations to start. They should wait until it’s clear that you are a choice candidate. If the company likes you and has chosen to make you an offer then they are likely prepared to negotiate. That negotiation is actually part of the hiring process.

 

Know your number

Salary negotiation isn’t something you start thinking about when you’re in the interview or discussing the job offer. It’s something you’ve prepared for well in advance. You’ve already done your homework and have a salary range in mind before you came into the interview.

 

That doesn’t necessarily mean a specific number, I expect to be making $52,342 a year. Better to have a range, I’m expecting to make in the $50 – $55K range.

 

If you don’t have an answer for the salary question, then that can actually drop you in the ranks if not discount you from the race altogether. It indicates to potential employers that you either don’t value yourself, know your worth, or have done your research. If you couldn’t even prepare yourself for an inevitable job-related question what kind of drive and motivation do you have?

 

Don’t forget about the benefits – they’re part of the negotiation. Holidays, insurance, pension are all topics that need to be addressed. Job perks can make a significant contribution to your salary.  So, like you did your homework on salary expectations, you should know what you’re looking for in terms of medical, dental etc. The other thing you should remember to ask about is the company’s policy on future raises.

 

Don’t act like a thirsty wanderer in the desert

If you go in with the attitude of a thirsty wanderer in the desert of the job market willing to take whatever drops are offered you, you will probably end up with only a few drops. A confident attitude, surety in yourself and an ability to stand up for yourself speaks volumes about what you will bring to the job.

 

Don’t be greedy

If however you’ve been offered what you were expecting or more, then that’s not the time to start asking for more. Asking for more than you’re worth simply demonstrates a lack of judgment.

 

Do back up your expectations

Have reasons for your expectations. Why are you worth what you say you’re worth? Be prepared with examples from your resume and your personal experiences. Just because experiences didn’t come out of a job environment, doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the package you are presenting.

 

Thanks but no thanks

Be willing to walk away. If the job isn’t right for you don’t just take it out of desperation. You’ll end up looking again sooner rather than later. Better to get the right job with the right salary in the first place.

 

Take time to be sure

Don’t feel like you have to make your decision on the spot. It’s perfectly okay to take a day to consider your options.

 

Negotiations can be hard. The employer is going to try and get the best deal for the company while you’re trying to get the best deal for yourself. That doesn’t mean negotiations are negative. They’re an opportunity for you to showcase your value. How you handle yourself during negotiations is indicative of how you handle yourself in general.