Your first job

So you’ve landed your first job after online applications and multiple interviews. In between celebratory dinners with family and friends, take a moment to reflect on your financial situation and plan ahead.

You’ll likely have many uses for your first paycheque. You may decide to pay off debtDebt Money that you have borrowed. You must repay the loan, with interest, by a set date.+ read full definition, save or investInvest To use money for the purpose of making more money by making an investment. Often involves risk.+ read full definition. You may also decide to do all three. Your first job is not only an opportunity to work towards your career aspirations, but also a time to think about how to reach your financial goals.

Here are 6 things to consider shortly after you start your first job

1. Pay off debt

You may have graduated with student debt like many Canadians, and you may also have other debt from credit cards or a line of creditLine of credit An account that you set up with a financial institution (often a bank) to borrow money. It lets you borrow what you need, when you need it, up to a certain limit.+ read full definition. Now that you have a new job and steady income, think about ways to reduce your debt. If you’re not sure which debt to pay off first, use our Pay Off Credit Cards and Debt Calculator to help decide.

2. Save

Buying your first home, starting a family, or even planning for retirement may seem far off into the future. However, the earlier you start saving, the better prepared you will be for the future. If there is room in your budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition, think about contributing to an RRSP or a TFSA. These plans have certain taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition advantages and can help your savings grow faster. RRSPs and TFSAs can hold cash, GICs, stocks and other investmentInvestment An item of value you buy to get income or to grow in value.+ read full definition products.

3. Invest

According to our research study, Missing Out: Millennials and the Markets, that 4 in 5 Ontario millennials are saving, but only 1 in 2 are investing. There are several reasons for this but not knowing where to start shouldn’t discourage you. Check out our Getting Started hub for resources on where to begin. You can also ask us your investing questions at Re: Investing to get unbiased answers.

4. Budget

You may be tempted to indulge on new clothes, travel or food. A budget can help you keep track of your spending, prepare for unexpected expenses and find ways to save money. Be careful not to fall into the trap of spending more than you earn.

5. Take advantage of your company’s pension plan

Find out if your new employer offers a workplace savings plan, such as a pensionPension A steady income you get after you retire. Some pensions pay you a fixed amount for life. Others save up money for you while you are working. You use that money to create income after you retire.+ read full definition plan. Contributing to your company’s pension plan can be a simple and convenient way to save and invest for retirement. Most employers will help you along by matching some or all of your contributions.

6. Look for resources to help you

When it comes to investing and managing your finances, you may choose do it yourself and use resources like GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca along the way. You may also choose to work with an advisor who can help you invest and set goals that suit your individual needs. It’s important to check the registrationRegistration A requirement for any person or company trading investments or providing advice in Canada. Securities industry professionals are required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business.+ read full definition of anyone trying to sell you an investment or give investment advice. Registration helps protect you from unqualified individuals. Visit CheckBeforeYouInvest.ca to learn more.

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