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home : Money : Personal Finances :

Top Financial Surprises

Upon starting your first job, you’ll begin to learn both the joys of financial freedom and the anxiety that comes with having to pay for a number of new expenses.

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As salaries increase, so do tax brackets (rates). This can be an especially severe surprise for young grads since they have few deductible expenses such as mortgage interest and children to recoup money from taxes.

Health Insurance

You’ll need this. Most companies offer fairly decent plans, at a price. Make sure you understand your options so you can choose a plan that fits your budget and medical needs. And if you’re laid off and want continuous coverage, consider temporary health care such as COBRA ( or

Dental Insurance

Your employer for a nominal fee should provide coverage. Otherwise it may be cheaper to pay for bi-yearly cleanings than dental premiums.

Life Insurance

If you’re single, you don’t need life insurance. However if you are married or have a family, do some investigating now – the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper it is to obtain.

Renter's Insurance

Since this is not covered in your lease, it makes sense to pay a couple of hundred dollars to protect yourself from theft, flooding and fire.

Student Loan Repayments

Many graduates find student loans a significant financial burden. Remember to include repayments in your budget as they will begin within six months of graduation. Most grads are consolidating their loans in order to reduce their monthly repayments. For more information, visit the Student Loan Consolidation Program web site,

Auto Insurance

As a first car buyer – you may be shocked at how much this costs. Premiums are higher in big cities and vary according to what car you drive and your driving record.

Retirement Savings

Investment advisors universally recommend start saving as early as possible and employers often offer beneficial contribution-matching plans. But it is money out of your pocket today. If you can afford it, then sock as much in your 401K as you can.

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