I had no idea how important it was to educate myself on personal finance is until I got my first job.

Anyone who’s ever received a first paycheck remembers that Paycheck shock feeling.

You have just completed 1 month in your first job, and you are more than ready to turn up and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You even start planning on buying all those unnecessary things you’ve always wanted but could never afford.

Pay day finally shows up, only to open that pay slip or mobile banking app and be greeted by disappointment.

You are confused because you clearly remember negotiating a salary of X amount. But when you look at that slip you realize sh*t, this is almost half of what we agreed on. Confused and in shock, you rush to the Human Resources department to inform them they have made a mistake….ALAS, it wasn’t a mistake but you’ve just paid taxes.

Typical case of daylight robbery you think?

*side note* Did you know that the term daylight robbery was derived from a tax issue?

Apparently, In 1696, William III of England introduced a property tax which required house owners to pay tax for each window in their house. In order to avoid the tax, house owners would brick up all windows except six.  (The Window Tax lasted until around 1851, and older houses with bricked-up windows are still a common sight in UK.)  As the bricked-up windows prevented some rooms from receiving any sunlight, the tax was referred to as daylight robbery.    

Taxes can be daunting and are certainly a painful reality of the working world. Its simple really, What you earn is not what you keep.

first paycheck funny

Its amazing how much schools don’t teach us about personal finance. In high school you could take a class in woodwork or art but not a class in investing. It makes me wonder who even carves their own tables and chairs today from my old classmates.

Somehow the story of money is still so taboo, but in fact, the average person makes 4-6 financial decisions a day. It could be from something as basic like, deciding to buy a cup of coffee to bigger things like what should I do with my mortgage? More than 80% of my peers feel some sort of insecurity when it comes to money.

1 year ago, I knew absolutely nothing about personal finance. When it comes to the world of investing, three words come to mind: overwhelming, intimidating, and scary. For us “regular Janes’,” the questions seem never-ending.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.
When it comes to investing, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. Do the necessary research, study and analyse before making any investment decisions

On that note, there are a few highly effective habits people who are financially successful have which we can all adopt today.

  1. They have a “big dream.” Thinking outside the box allows you to develop clear financial goals and priorities that are worth sacrifices, because strong desires bring strong results. Start by writing down your financial goals. Then, list realistic target dates for each goal. It’s important to also list short-term goals such as vacations and major purchases.
  2. They have a plan. Developing a long-term financial plan that supports your financial goals provides a clear sense of direction. It should include a realistic budget and spending plan that fits your personal lifestyle and prioritizes items accordingly.
  3. They are financially educated. Understanding money and credit, including your credit report, interest rates, and how to protect yourself from scams and fraud, are key elements of success.
  4. They know the value of saving. Money set-aside for a rainy day, an emergency, or even the holiday shopping season will protect your budget and credit card balances from any temporary setbacks. Building savings for the future will also help develop good financial spending habits.
  5. They are confident. Don’t get discouraged by temporary setbacks. Success begins with a state of mind; you must believe you’ll be successful in order to become a success. Your road to financial freedom doesn’t have to be perfect. You can ‘try again’ as many times as needed.

Building a secure financial future is hard work, but the payoff is true financial freedom. Work hard and make all the necessary sacrifices to get what you want to become a financially successful person.