Ric Werme's Finances for Young Adults
Your First Paycheck's Dollars are the Most Valuable

Your first paychecks provided you your first income - However, the time you spent to earn those dollars probably took more hours than any other income you will make. Worse, that first paycheck introduced you to Social Security and Medicare taxes, and if you worked enough hours, income tax.

While the long hours for your dollars does make them precious, it does not make them especially valuable. However, they are - if you can save some of them!

Remember the last page, The Magic of Compound Interest? If you can save some of those first dollars, you can watch them grow for 30 or 40 years. Or longer - yes, there's a good chance you'll be here for a lot of the second half of the 21st century. Yeah, scraping up $1,000 from your first paycheck just isn't going to work because it's nowhere close to $1,000, but if you can save $100 from it or your first paychecks, you could set that aside, and put it in better paying investments over time. Then check every year, and you'll be more and more pleased with how it's doing.

In many ways it's really annoying - if you have a car or an apartment, it can be really tough to save a few bucks. When your income peaks, $100 is a lot less valuable. If you haven't figured it out by now, life ain't fair. People who say it should be are merely doing wishful thinking. Life is hard. Get used to it. It is better than the alternative....

On the plus side - this was a short lecture!

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Last updated 2007 June 30.