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Ahhh…First Paycheck Memories

As I’ve mentioned before, my younger sister moved in earlier in January to start working in downtown Houston.  She came home yesterday with her first ever paycheck from an after-college job!  I totally remember that feeling I had in 2005 when I saw that check.  :-)  It was amazing!

First Paycheck Memories

My first ever “real” paycheck was a bit smaller than my sister’s, but the budget for hers is so similar to the one I created way back then!  Here is the general breakdown of what our first paychecks were/will be used for:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Car/Transportation
  • Work Clothes
  • Tiny Entertainment Budget
  • Miscellaneous
  • Debt

Honestly, talking about her plans made me feel like I was 22 again.  When Mr. BFS and I just started out, we were broke, happy, and had retirement dreams before we even both landed real jobs.  :-D

My First Real Paycheck Budget

And, just for fun, I went back in my budget records and here is our budget from July 2005 when we were taking home a grand total of $2500 a month after taxes (Mr. BFS didn’t start teaching until the following year).  :-)

  • Rent (550 square ft apt) – $400
  • Car Payment (we just had one) – $200
  • Car Maintenance – $100
  • Gasoline – $200
  • Groceries – $150
  • Fast Food/Restaurants – $200
  • Water – $20
  • Electricity – $100
  • Cable/DSL – $110
  • Land Line – $30
  • Cell Phones – $110
  • Meds – $30
  • Fun Money Savings – $100
  • Entertainment – $50
  • Cash – $100
  • Savings – $600

Learning from the Past

Looking back at my first ever budget versus what my younger sister will be working with, I am happy to say that she is already on an even better track than we were way back then.  By renting a room for $500 a month instead of an apartment (which would be $600-ish in this area now), she gets to skip a lot of stupid extra expenses too like cable/DSL and utilities.  Her lack of a car payment is sort of evened out with Park & Ride expenses, but she spends way less than the two of us did on entertainment and groceries.  And she has a super affordable cell phone plan through Boost mobile since she doesn’t use as many minutes as me.  Overall, she could probably save for any huge expense she wants in the next two years.  Go, girl, go!!!

Do you remember your first budget or that feeling of seeing “real” money?  What sticks out to you?

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9 comments to Ahhh…First Paycheck Memories

  • We moved out when we were 18, and have been working full time since. And oh boy do I remember that first paycheck after I had to start budgeting because I had bills to pay. Lets talk about broke! haha

  • I remember my first paycheck. All I wanted to do was buy candy. I was 12 and didn’t have any expenses, but I did have to save a little and give a little. I bought candy with the rest.

  • I think I was surprised by the number of different deductions there were. I kind of had a rough idea of what percentage would be taken out ‘for taxes’ but to see all the different line items associated with that was a bit eye opening.

  • I remember feeling awesome and then disappointed as I realized 1/3 of my paycheck was missing.

  • Wow, way to remember the first check! I remember the first time I played trombone and got paid for it. That was one of the coolest days of my life!!! Great post..

  • The first paycheck is always remembered. I can still recall when I had mine. I gave my mother the first half, and the other half I treated my friends. Life is a bit different now.

  • retired

    I became a paper carrier. Started out with 75 papers over an 8 square mile area, had to collect weekly. On weekdays I delivered after school, on weekends I got up at 5AM. I wanted to buy clothes that would fit, because my older sister’s hand-me-downs were inches too short in an era with mini skirts. By the time I quit, I had 125 customers, had worked out a collection system, opened a checking and saving account and could pay for my driver ed course, gas for the car, and a few new outfits. Boy was I proud.
    Went from bicycle to driving a car in 3 years, of course turning 16 helped too, lol.

  • DJ

    That is awesome to hear. Working on a college campus, I often marvel at how many students are clueless when it comes to creating a budget or understanding very basic personal finance concepts.

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