Getting a paycheck is a great feeling, and receiving your first one from a new job can be even more exciting. It's the moment your hard work pays off — literally — so it's essential to have a plan.
There are so many things your money can do for you, no matter your age or salary. So, what do you do with your paycheck?
It's important to have these three things in place:
A checking account is a great way to store money safely while keeping it easily accessible. You can use this account to manage everyday purchases and monthly bills. Online convenience services can make managing "to-dos," like paying bills or making money transfers, a little bit easier. Shop for an account that provides the features that matter most to you. Some offer additional perks if you maintain certain account balances or complete other actions. When opening your account, be sure to understand what you can do to help limit account fees.
Are you dreaming of getting a new car or taking a trip? Perhaps upgrading your phone or enrolling in an online course is on your mind? By opening a savings account, you'll be able to set extra money aside for your goals. Your savings account is also a great place to put aside money to prepare for financial emergencies.
So how do you start saving? Decide on an amount you can afford to save after paying bills each month. Even if it's as little as $1 per day, make it a point to save money regularly. To make it easier, consider setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account each pay period. Do your best not to use these funds until you have met your savings goal.
Cashing a check can feel exhilarating, however, it may not be your safest or cheapest option. Cash can be lost or stolen, and some stores don't even take it anymore. Additionally, some check cashing services may charge fees that can reduce your paycheck.
Instead, get exactly what's on your paycheck and avoid the inconvenience of picking up your check or waiting for it in the mail by setting up direct deposit. Your employer may even be able to split each check across multiple accounts, depositing some into your checking account and the rest into your savings account.
If you have questions about opening and managing checking and saving accounts, or setting up direct deposit, talk to your local banker.