MoneyFirst salary: this is how you get by with...

First salary: this is how you get by with your money

Dividing money is important: The joy of the  first salary is great – but sometimes there is a long face when looking at the account: A lot of money is deducted from the gross salary that you negotiated with the employer. 

Not only do social benefits such as health insurance, unemployment, long-term care and pension insurance depend on the  gross salary , but also taxes such as income tax. Therefore, in the end, there is usually much less left than you might have expected. (Also Read: The first week at work: avoid these 6 mistakes )

Don’t just think about saving, but also earn more

How do you get along with the salary? It is important not only to concentrate on saving, but also to ask yourself how  you can increase your salary .

For example, some employers pay so-called  capital-building benefits . This is either in your employment contract or you can inquire with the HR department whether your employer offers such services. The prerequisite is that you conclude a savings contract that is suitable for capital-building benefits. Fund savings or building loan agreements are possible, for example. The employer then pays a certain amount into this contract every month. How high this is depends on the employer. (Also interesting: 6 things to fight back against trouble at work )

Check for an income tax reduction

“You should also consider whether you can reduce the costs you have from the work,” says the expert. For example, those who have to travel a long way can apply for a wage tax reduction and thus receive a higher net salary . It is also possible to get this money back later via the tax return.

In addition, you should know your own worth and not let yourself be negotiated down too much when it comes to salary. Before you go into a salary negotiation, you should find out about its market value. Salary comparisons on the Internet or trade unions can help. (Also worth reading: Lottery for people, dream of going into space with SpaceX)

Two to three months’ salary as daily allowance

Basically, we advises to put two to three months’ wages in a daily money account so that you don’t slip into the expensive overdraft facility in the event of unforeseen expenses. Such expenses can arise quickly – for example due to a defective washing machine. 

Money that is also available and that you do not need in the medium term is invested – for example in a fixed deposit account. You should also keep an eye on your retirement provision and find out about a company pension or a Riester pension, for example. (Also read: The best smartwatches under 100 euros not to be missed )

In addition, it is important to make private provisions – for example via a globally diversified index fund into which you regularly pay. It is crucial that you do not need this money for a short time, but can leave it for at least 10 to 15 years.

Keep a budget book for some time

You should also get an overview of your expenses . Only then do you often see where there is potential for savings . “My advice is to keep a budget book for three months in the traditional way,” says the expert. You can either do this on paper or use the app.

All income and expenses are meticulously entered in this budget book, for example for electricity, for purchases or for leisure activities. This gives you an overview of how much money you spend on what each month. Then you check the savings potential and determine how much money you want to put aside on a regular basis. Allocating money appropriately plays an important role here. (Also interesting: The most dangerous scams you need to avoid on Whatsapp )

Cost factors: electricity, gas and the cell phone

But where is the greatest potential for savings in everyday life for young professionals? “The biggest items are mostly electricity, gas and cell phones

In the case of electricity and gas, it is worth checking the contracts first. You shouldn’t just choose the basic provider, but check who has the cheapest offer. “There are often enormous differences between the providers here.

Potential savings in your own home

In addition, you should also consider where you can save electricity and gas in the apartment : Does it really have to be warm enough to wear a T-shirt in winter? Which devices consume a lot of electricity in stand-by mode? Is the refrigerator possibly right next to the oven and therefore needs to be particularly cool? If the hot water is heated by electricity, it is an expensive idea to take a warm bath every day. 

In many cases, savings can also be made on the cell phone . If you just renew old contracts over and over again, it will be expensiven. Here, too, it is worthwhile to regularly compare the providers with one another. “You can get a good contract for 10 euros,” says the expert. “Also in the higher quality D-network of Telekom and Vodafone.”

Keeping track of food costs

For those new to the household, we have an age-old savings tip: don’t go shopping hungry. “Anyone who enters the supermarket with a hassle often buys too much food that is thrown away in the end.” Conversely, well-thought-out stockpiling helps save when buying groceries: “If the coffee costs only four instead of seven euros, it makes sense to buy three or four packs.” (Also read:The best smartwatches under 100 euros not to be missed)

Another cost factor for many is eating and drinking on the go . While a coffee quickly costs three euros, you only pay a few cents if you take a mug with you from home. Even if three euros doesn’t seem like much at first, calculated over a month with 20 working days, this results in 60 euros. In addition, it quickly pays for itself to eat out regularly for lunch or to get a pizza several times a week. 

Many of them don’t even realize how much that makes a difference. “That is why it is so important to actually take the time and keep a budget book for a few weeks to get an overview of the costs.”

Matthew Leising
I cover market structure for News Alarms, specifically how the bond, derivatives, and cryptocurrency markets work or don't.

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