Tips for managing finances for a first jobber with a mediocre salary

By | November 22, 2021

Having finished school and college, the next stage for every human being is looking for work. In the professional world, novice workers who have just graduated and are working for the first time are usually referred to as first jobbers . Because they are so common, sometimes they make various mistakes, including the financial affairs of the first jobber which can have an impact on life.

In addition to still looking awkward, the hallmark of this first jobber usually has a mediocre income. Some even have to be willing to be paid below the UMR (Regional Minimum Wage) because they are not employees of PT or CV business entities. Problems began to arise when these lay workers used their earnings uncontrollably, thus making financial conditions worse for the next month.

Let’s say you are a first jobber with an income below Rp. 2 million because you only have high school graduates and the equivalent. Then tempted to buy shoes that are currently popular at a price of Rp. 500 thousand. Not to mention, if you have to pay a boarding house because you work overseas, with a remaining income of only Rp. 1 million, it will obviously be quite difficult to use it to fulfill your daily food and drink.

So, so you don’t become a first jobber who is getting worse just because you mismanaged your financial affairs, it’s a good idea to start learning how to properly manage your first jobber ‘s finances . Including by avoiding a number of fatal mistakes that even burden life before getting a salary next month.

Fatal Mistakes That Haunt First Jobber

After graduating from school, getting a job and having his own income, this first jobber, who is of course still young, is still synonymous with a life of extravagance. Because they are still single and may live with their parents, not many realize quickly that this consumptive habit turns out to have a bad effect on finances.

So, so that you can become a more responsible first jobber , it’s good to avoid the following things. By understanding the following review, the opportunity to have a better first jobber ‘s financial condition is certainly wide open. Anything? Check out the reviews:

1. Refuse to Ask

You could say this is the most basic mistake that is often made by first jobbers . As the youngest at work and completely inexperienced, it would be awkward to ask other people’s coworkers. If you let this habit, it will make you experience fatal errors because it affects work performance.

Whereas as a first jobber , you have the right to ask a world that has just been involved. But of course you have to ask according to the time and place, then it doesn’t bother the party who will answer later. Instead of making mistakes, don’t be shy about asking first.

2. Complaining a lot

When someone has entered the world of professional work, then of course they will be charged with responsibilities that must be completed according to the company’s targets. There are times when first jobbers are so surprised because suddenly they have so many jobs with super tight deadlines . In this situation, you need to be able to stay calm and don’t let yourself complain all the time.

Don’t worry, it’s natural to complain as a human being. But if you are playing the victim and feel yourself as a person who suffers throughout the world, it will make other people reluctant. You should be grateful for being trusted by the company to work on a project according to its potential, so do that obligation to the maximum so that the company feels proud.

3. Only Thinking of Money

No need to be hypocritical to admit that everyone who works would want to have a lot of money and savings. Because of that there are many people who choose money oriented when they want to apply for jobs, including first jobbers . It’s just that as a beginner you have to be aware that the bigger the salary, the greater the burden and responsibility that will be charged.

It is almost impossible for a company to be willing to give a first jobber a salary of Rp. 10 million, but the work is too easy. Because after all the world of work, will see the ability of workers to pay according to quality. For this reason, if you are longing for a big salary, you must also be aware that the burden is getting heavier.

Now, because you are still a first jobber , it’s a good idea to accept any job first so that your experience and skills increase. Later, if the quality of your HR (Human Resources) is better, you have the right to look for a high-paying job, according to your abilities. Too money oriented at the beginning even though your skills are minimal, you will only be treated by the world of work.

4. Lack of Self -Confidence

Being in a completely new work environment and very different from the campus or school atmosphere, of course, a sense of inferiority will be very raging. If you allow yourself to be controlled by feelings of inferiority, this will definitely affect work performance and ultimately affect the company because you cannot communicate with other colleagues properly.

To overcome and even avoid this error, it helps you to blend in. Don’t be shy to say hello first and speak naturally. Believing that the work you do seriously and according to the rules is correct, it will help build the self-confidence that first jobbers really need .

7 First Jobber Financial Secrets for a Comfortable Life

After knowing the mistakes that first jobbers often make and ultimately disrupt their work and finances, now is the time to find out what are the tips for managing first jobber finances properly. So that even if your income is minimal, you can still grow and have fun properly.

1. Differentiate Needs and Wants

You could say this is the first and most basic tip when it comes to managing first jobber finances . Relatively young age and first job, the desire for spree is clearly difficult to contain. Although it sounds easy, the fact is that if you really want an income that is mediocre enough to meet your needs, it is important to know as early as possible what is the difference between wants and needs.

The need for example is daily meals, while the desire is to eat food at a cafe hits that sells fine dining at a price of Rp. 400 thousand per serving. Indeed, the meal can make the stomach full, but why don’t you buy fried rice fringe for Rp. 10 thousand per serving which can also make you full?

Desire is sometimes synonymous with products that are still not really needed, but just want. The online shopping hobby is more or less influenced by this desire, when in fact the product purchased is not needed. So that there are no financial problems, the first jobber must consider whether the items to be purchased are really needed or just wanted.

2. Prepare an Emergency Fund

This is an important thing in someone’s finances that must be owned, even by a first jobber . Emergency funds ( emergency funds ) are very much needed in critical conditions such as suddenly unable to work until they are fired from the company. Usually the amount of this emergency fund is 3x the salary for singles, 6x the salary for those who are married and 12x the salary for those with families.

If your income is IDR 2 million per month, you must at least have an emergency fund of IDR 6 million in your account. How do I raise an emergency fund? Set aside monthly income and bonuses, until you finally reach the desired nominal. Separate emergency funds in special accounts and make sure they are only used in urgent conditions .

3. Record Routine Bills

The next first jobber financial tip that you can do is to always record monthly bills regularly. As a routine expense, you have to know if this bill is an obligation that you inevitably pay until the agreement is finally completed. For example, a monthly boarding bill or an annual house contract, if you do work out of town.

Other routine bills can also be in the form of monthly WiFi subscription fees to maybe motor vehicle installments, if indeed you finally ventured to own a private vehicle after you were able to work. Because it is a bill, you have to separate it directly, as soon as the salary is paid by the company. If necessary, pay the bill and don’t exceed the due date and be fined.

4. Avoid Debt

No less important in discussing first jobber finances is to avoid debt as much as possible. You must know that if your mediocre income is charged again, it will make yourself financially disturbed. For that, don’t pretend to want to have an expensive device in installments which actually gives you an additional burden every month.

5. Always Evaluate

Sounds simple, in fact this first jobber ‘s financial tips are often forgotten for lazy reasons. In fact, by always conducting a monthly financial evaluation, you will know how much expenses and income you have. That way you can know if there are unnecessary expenses that don’t need to be repeated in the next month.

This evaluation that is always done is proof that you are mature enough in terms of finances. Because after all, even though you are still very young and it’s your first time working, first jobbers must start to be wise in managing finances. One of them is diligently doing self-correction.

6. Investment Even If Small

Aah, still a first jobber and a mediocre salary, no need to think long about investment. Very wrong! Investment should actually be started as early as possible even though it is just the first time working. Usually this investment takes a maximum portion of 20% of income. So if your salary is IDR 2 million, then the investment fund is IDR 400 thousand which you can transfer to deposits, mutual funds and even P2P Lending.

7. Find Additional Income

Well, if the previous first jobber’s financial tips were deemed to have no effect and you are still lacking, then the last step you can take is to look for other additional income. As additional income, you certainly have to be prepared with a heavier workload than having just one job.

There are lots of additional income opportunities that you can get even if you currently have a permanent job. Starting from being a dropshipper or online shop reseller , taking advantage of affiliate programs through social media, to pursuing hobbies such as being designers, photographers to freelance writers who are able to increase their financial coffers and are done on the sidelines of their main job.

How? It’s not too difficult to manage first jobber’s finances, right? As long as you are consistent enough in doing the tips above while avoiding some of the fatal mistakes that can occur, you will certainly be able to achieve financial independence even though it is your first time working with mediocre income.

Let’s Prepare a Pension Fund With the 4% Rule Concept

How do you prepare a retirement fund? How much money do you think we need to raise until we don’t have to work anymore? Is it IDR 500 million? IDR 10 billion? IDR 10 Trillion?

If you have reached the financial target, are you sure that the money that has been collected will not run out as long as you live? Or maybe it only lasts 5-10 years, then after that it disappears and is forced to work again?

In this case it turns out that there is an approach that we can use called the 4% Rule. What is it and how do you apply it? Let’s just talk about it!

Know What is the 4% Rule Concept

The 4% Rule is a concept for calculating pension funds that was researched in 1994 by William Bengen, an American financial adviser .

This concept became popular when it was published in the form of an article by Trinity Study in 1998. The title of the article was, “Retirement Spending Choosing A Sustainable Withdraw Rate” . Then what is the concept of the 4% Rule itself? Let’s continue reading to understand more clearly.

So you see, in America everyone who has retired from his office or place of work will usually be given a very large pension. Not to mention the money in the savings while actively working. Most of them will consult a financial planner, then ask: “Of the total savings I have, what percentage can I take each year?”

Why do they ask that? Yes, so that the money they have can meet their needs until they die.

To answer this, William Hengen uses financial data from decades back. He calculates what percentage of investment returns if all pension funds are invested. In addition, he calculates how much inflation or the decline in purchasing power of the currency in decades. He also made a calculation simulation based on the average human life expectancy after retirement.

Based on the results of William Hengen’s research, he concluded that a retiree usually needs to take only 4% of his entire pension fund in the first year. Then the withdrawal of money in the following year stay adjusted to the inflation rate in those years.

Simulation Approach 4% Rule

To be more illustrated, let’s look at the following simulation!

The total savings of Mr. Maman who has worked for 35 years is IDR 5 billion. The assumption is that Mr. Maman only takes 4% of the total money for living expenses in the first year of retirement. Then the rest is put in state bonds with a return of 8.75%. Meanwhile, the annual inflation rate is depicted at 3% (flat).

As already mentioned, Mr. Maman’s retirement savings will be taken at 4% for daily living needs in the first year, which is Rp. 200 million. That means Mr. Maman’s retirement savings are IDR 5 billion – IDR 200 million = IDR 4.8 billion (the rest).

Now the rest will be inputted into state bonds financial instruments with a return of 8.75%. Where there is a tax discount of 15%.

(Rp 4,800,000,000 x 8.75%) – 15% (tax) = Rp 357,000,000

Calculation Table 4% Rule

To understand the simulation more fully, pay attention to the table below!

Year Principal Fund
Return 8,75%
Return After Tax 15%
Principal Fund + Return (Rp) Inflation 3% per year
Withdraw 4%
Remaining Principal Funds
1 5 M 0 0 5 M 0 200 million 4,8 M
2 4,8 M 420 million 357 million 5,157 M 5,022 M 206 million 4,79 M
3 4,79 M 419.6 million 356.72 million 5,152 M 5,004 M 212.1 million 4,786 M
4 4,78 M 419.67 million 355.97 million 5,142 M 4,986 218.5 million 4,768 M
5 4,76 M 417.32 million 354.72 million 5,124 M 4,970 M 225.1 million 4,744 M
6 4,74 M 415.21 million 352.93 million 5,098 M 4,944 M 231.8 million 4,712 M
7 4,71 M 412.42 million 350.56 million 5,062 M 4,912 M 238.8 million 4,672 M
8 4,67 M 408.91 million 347.57 million 5,020 M 4,870 M 245.9 million 4,624 M
9 4,63 M 404.31 million 343.92 million 4,968 M 4,818 M 253.3 million 4,564 M
10 4,56 M 399.45 million 339.57 million 4,904 M 4,758 M 260.9 million 4,496 M
Simulation 4% Rule

It is a simulation of the use of Pak Maman’s pension fund up to the 10th year. Even though he doesn’t work at all, he still has a lot of retirement savings left and can be used until the 20th year with a balance of IDR 3.096 billion. So it can still be used for years to come.

It was only in his 29th year of retirement that Mr. Maman’s pension fund ran out. In the 30th year, Mr. Maman’s savings were minus Rp. 292 million (to meet his needs if he was still alive).

Assumptions Calculation 4% Rule

Oh yes, it should be understood that the above calculation is a simple simulation based on the following assumptions:

  • Stable inflation rate every year
  • Pak Maman’s lifestyle and expenses tend to be stable (not turning into too hedonistic or anything else)
  • Current and stable bond returns for the next 30 years (no fluctuations)

Although the calculation is more simplified, I hope you can understand the big concept picture of this 4% approach!

Overview of Building Our Own Pension Fund

Now from the simulation above, we can start observing how much pension funds we need in the future if we want to retire like Mr. Maman. With a note we must also be committed to maintaining a lifestyle during retirement later.

If we take another glance at Pak Maman’s retirement simulation, Pak Maman’s cost of living is Rp 200 million/year (Rp 16 million/month). This amount represents 4% of Pak Maman’s total retirement savings. That way, 100% of it is IDR 5 billion. This is the amount of funds that must be collected for your retirement fund, which is IDR 5 billion.

But you can adjust to each condition. Whether your cost of living is lower or higher, the calculation can be adjusted accordingly. For example, you also take care of other family members or do you prepare for yourself because there are already individual posts.

Well, let’s say our current age is around 30 years. So you want to achieve retirement savings for the next 20 years. The question is, will IDR 5 billion this year be equivalent to IDR 5 billion in the next 20 years? Then how do we improvise in carrying out the 4% Rule concept?

Understand About Inflation

Yes of course it will be different! Because it will face inflation every year. Try a real flashback, to the year 2010 ago. The purchasing power of IDR 10 thousand in 2010 is definitely different from the purchasing power in 2021.

Try logging on to a future value calculator site. Assuming flat inflation of 3%, you will find that the current value of IDR 5 billion will become IDR 9.03 billion in 2041 later. To be able to enjoy retirement until 2071, we have to collect Rp 9.03 billion.

Now what we need to find out is where should we save our pension funds for the next 20 years so that their value can be eroded by inflation? If it can be pushed also with a high return?

Playing the Annual Retirement Fund Withdrawal Figures

Actually, we can really improvise in the application of the 4% Rule concept if it feels too heavy. Namely by controlling your lifestyle so you can reduce expenses. For example, the rule for taking this 4% can be changed to 3%.

That way, if you use the simulation above, Mr. Maman’s retirement savings will only run out in the 35th year. Well, you can calculate for yourself how much pension funds are needed if you still want to assume the maximum year is 30 years.

Keep Paying Attention to Related Assumptions in Real Conditions

As explained earlier, the above calculation is a simple calculation. Because this is made to make it easier to understand the basic concepts of this 4% Rule. So it does not include assumptions about real conditions, which of course can be more complex and fluctuating.

This is because the return on investment is not always stable within 20 years. Meanwhile, the inflation rate often goes up and down every year. We also haven’t taken into account the cost of changing life necessities. Especially if there is an extraordinary event that affects the national or global economy such as a pandemic.

So ideally to calculate this retirement fund savings is to consult a financial advisor . Because they will take into account all the factors in more detail. They can usually provide advice on alternative investment instruments to risk management.

Other Things About 4% Rule

Alright, we’re almost at the end of the discussion. But before the end I want to explain something else about William Bengen’s research with his 4% Rule for your consideration.

In his calculations, William Bengen also tried to make a simulation with several scenarios. Of course, this is based on previous historical data.

For example, assuming a return of 7.7%/year and inflation of 3%/year. People who retired in 1926 used the 4% Rule concept, so their retirement savings could last up to 50 years. In contrast to people who just retired in 1966, whose pension funds can only last up to 30 years.

Why is there such a difference?

This is due to fluctuations in inflation and changing capital market prices in America. This strengthens, if we also need to consider in detail various related aspects when preparing a pension fund, right?


Every day we cannot be separated from money. We strive to earn money, save, invest to meet the needs of our lives in the present and in the future. However, the phenomenon of the sandwich generation is still happening a lot.

For that, we need to manage finances well from an early age. So that in retirement, where our physical strength is not as much as when we were productive, we can live more calmly and comfortably independently.

With the concept of the 4% Rule, hopefully you can get an idea to plan your retirement fund from now on. Good luck trying it!

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