When you first start working, you don’t earn much. Every young professional knows this. There aren’t many careers where you earn a decent salary at an entry-level position. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be in charge of your finances. In fact, because you earn a less than ideal paycheque, you should be more concerned with your finances than anyone else. Which is why there are four financial decisions every young professional should make.

The decision to save

You need to start saving as soon as you start earning. It may seem like there’s too much month at the end your money already, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save. At this point, it’s more about getting in the habit of saving than having an impressive savings account. Just start off by putting aside a little amount after every payday. You’ll eventually get used to that amount coming off your paycheque and won’t even miss the money.

The decision to plan for retirement

It’s never too early to save for retirement. The younger you start putting aside money for your future, the sooner you’ll be able to retire and the more you’ll be able to enjoy your older years. The truth of the matter is that you’re not going to be able to work forever and you don’t want to be a financial drain on your family or live an uncomfortable life. You should start preparing for retirement as soon as you begin working.

The decision to spend consciously

Budgeting is important and the sooner you learn to do it, the better. But it’s not only about crunching the numbers and adding up your expenses. You actually have to adapt to living according to your budget. That means not overspending on your groceries or buying that shirt your really want but haven’t set aside money for. It means thinking carefully about each purchase you make and deciding whether you can live without that item.

The decision to look after your health

Your health is the most important thing and you should take as much care of yourself as possible. You may be thinking that looking after your health has nothing to do with finances. But that’s certainly not the case. Having health insurance is one of the best ways to care for your health. You should be looking at hospital insurance in South Africa as soon as you have an income. That way, you know for sure that you are taken care of if anything should ever happen.