- The Class of 2021 is eager to enter the workforce and kick-start their careers.
- But it’s important for anyone new to the job market to follow a few financial steps when starting out.
- One step to take is getting paid earlier with Capital One’s free early direct deposit feature, which can give customers their paycheck up to two days early.
Despite a tough year, The Class of 2021 is entering a promising job market. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that 30% of employers say they’ll hire more new college graduates this season — up from 16.5% in the fall.
If you’re new to earning a full-time salary, you may already be planning how to spend your first paycheck. But before that, you should be thinking about the financial steps you can take at work that will set you up for future success. Here are a few.
Set up direct deposit that can pay you earlier
When you’re first starting out, payday can’t come soon enough — even a day or two can make a big difference.
Capital One, which was recognized for digital trust among its customers, recently introduced its free early direct deposit feature. It’s easy to use — just set up direct deposit with Capital One’s 360 Checking account and you could automatically receive your money up to two days earlier, for free.
The process happens on the backend where Capital One gets a message that your paycheck is on the way. Once they receive that alert, they can reduce processing time up to two days so you get your money sooner.
Set a budget and contribute to an emergency fund
You never plan for the unexpected to happen, but you can financially prepare for it. Before the first day on the new job, set a budget and understand your financial goals.
There are many resources and digital tools available that can help you create a budget and track your money. Start by outlining all of your fixed expenses and make sure your monthly purchases don’t exceed your monthly income.
As you stay on budget, take the time to also contribute to an emergency fund. Financial experts recommend saving at least three to six months of expenses. These funds can help you in unprecedented circumstances without derailing your finances.
Fund your future
As you’re starting your career, saving for retirement is likely the last thing on your mind. But it’s never too early to save for your future. Most companies offer employees the opportunity to participate in a retirement account, like a 401(k). And better yet, they may match a certain percentage to your retirement account if you contribute to it. It’s like a guaranteed raise.
If your company doesn’t offer a 401(k) option, it’s essential to make saving a priority and build good financial habits. Ask your employer if they can split your paycheck between checking and savings accounts to allocate a percentage of your paycheck into an account that grows with interest. Your future self will thank you.
Save on wellness perks
In the last few years, the conversation around workplace wellness has expanded dramatically, especially on the heels of the pandemic. Now, most companies offer benefits that not only attract and retain employees, but ensure their well-being. The key is making sure you take advantage of them.
For example, your employer, or employer-provided health insurance, may provide gym reimbursements that allow you to save money on something that can have physical and mental benefits. If your new job is offering fitness classes, meditation sessions, or wellness programs —virtual or in-person — you should enjoy using these perks without the stress of breaking the bank.
It can be nerve-wracking to start a new job, but don’t get stressed out by your finances. Spend some time setting money goals, learn from your surroundings, and keep these financial tips in mind to help you build healthy money habits.