First pay from a new job

I’ve just recieved my first pay from a new job and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. Not as in “what should I blow it on?”. More as in “what do I feel I should use my money for in general?”.

In my cultural background there is a feeling that what you do with money you first receive (after not having money for a while) communicates who you are and dictates your future directions in both finances and life in general. So you should try to do something good with it. Although I don’t really believe in the spiritual side of this custom, I do think it is based on something of merit. What I spend this money on will communicate (to some degree) what I’m about; Not only to others, but also to myself. It could also provide a vague peek into my future (via reasonably deduction).

Here’s an example. Let’s say that I blow my first pay on video-games (something that only I benefit from). You could infer that at some level I may always be wanting for money (because I spend all that I have on “frivilous” things as soon as I get it). It also communicates that I’m a selfish git, and reflects poorly on me and my family (who presumeably raised me to be this way). Another example: Maybe I could save it, but does that mean I’ll end up miserly? Is it right to hold onto money in case of future hardship even though there are so many people who need it right now? Final example: Obviously going straight to the casino is a bad sign!

Anyhow, (long-story-short) I’ve pretty much decided to donate a reasonable amount of my first pay to various organisations, give some to my family, spend a bit on Heidi and myself, reinvest some into my business ventures, and then put the rest into a new bank account. (I’ll have to wait for my second pay day before buying those games…)

So what would you do with your first pay?

3 thoughts on “First pay from a new job”

  1. Although donating money to a charity is noble and all. Do you really just want to give it away like that? I’m always a little cynical about giving money to charity, as I have seen on the roads, a number of brand new cars belonging to those sorts of organisations. I mean if they really wanted to do the most amount of good, why would you buy a brand new car instead of a moderately priced a to b sort of car?

    I also see charity organisations paying people to walk door to door to collect money. So everything you donate, at least 10% goes directly to the person you are giving the money to. Sure, they have a hard time raising money and door to door fund raising might but necessary, but already a percentage is not going where you intended it to go. What actual percentage of the money you donate, is going to the people who you thought you were going to help?

    By all means this is not saying don’t donate, I just think, considering its your first pay, you should buy something you need. If there isn’t something you need, then you should save the money for something that you need in the future. For instance, how much money have you saved towards your retirement?

    For the record, I do donate money to charity (when I have it), but I usually donate what I can afford, and rely on the fact that everyone donates a little peice, rather than the few donating a lot.

    Either way, if you do decide to donate, do it just before you do your tax, so you benefit not only from karma, but also by reducing the tax you pay.

  2. I think that’s a very cynical point of view.

    Good practise for charities is generally measured by the 70/30 rule which states that they should be spending around 70% of their money on projects and 30% on administration, advertising, and collecting (funds).

    I wouldn’t donate to a charity that I don’t consider to be financially responsible and transparent. For example, I won’t deal with charities that do not publicly disclose how their funds are allocated or on the progress of their various aid programs.

    I find it odd that people are so judgemental when it comes to charities. You generally don’t think of how much profit a restaurant is making when you dine there, and the rate of pay for a public servant or politician is generally higher than that of a charity worker.

    There are a very large number of charities operating in Australia and picking out apparant misuse of funds from a single charity shouldn’t tarnish the reputation of all others. Some portion of donated money will always be required to sustain an organisation, but the rest will go towards the operations of that organisation.

    Bottom line is that the purpose of charities is charity work. There are no shareholders and no profit margins. If the general public attitude is to not contribute, they can’t conduct charity work. If people do donate, they can. If a particular charity’s efficiency in their task is your concern, I’d say choose another charity.

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