Goodbye frat house, hello poor house?

If you’re one of those lucky few who was able to land a job right out of college, congrats! Now, before splurging/splooging your first paycheck on a trip to Atlantic City or Las Vegas, you might want to read the rest of this.

According to an article on, most people without a pre-thought-out plan end up wasting their newfound money and going into substantial debt. So here’s the best plan of attack:

1. Pay off high-interest credit card debt – this stuff can get out of control real quick. Make sure you know what kind of interest your credit cards are charing you. If it’s something around 12 or 13%, your best bet is to put all your extra funds to kill that monster before it grows another head.

2. Take out a chunk of those student loans – even if you have less than $25k in loans, you are in the minority. Most students graduating college have well over that amount in loans.That can be a major burden on you later in your 20s if you want to buy a house, a car, or start a family. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you guys are just messin around and having some fun, but think ahead a little bit. For the baby’s sake.

3. Savings – Now is the perfect time to start building some up. No matter how awesome this job is, remember things can be kind of unpredictable in the job market. Just look at all those bright strapping young grads who thought they would have nametags at Bear Stearns this summer. So put a portion of your earnings into a high-interest CD savings account or a money market savings account.

4. New duds – If you’re starting a new job, first impressions are key. Everyone will notice if you keep wearing the suit you interviewed in everyday to work. So go out and prep out your wardrobe with some decent shoes, belts, ties, dress shirts, dress pants, and a couple of blazers/ suit jackets. Note: don’t dress like your favorite outrageous SportsCenter commentator. Keyshawn (wearing a gray pinstripe suit, pink polka dot tie, and blue checked shirt) is probably blind.

5. Little splurge – After all the debts and necessities are taken care of, feel free to treat all your most loyal homies to feel cold brews down at the local saloon. Even the experts from the MainStreet article agree that going out and getting obliterated is a good idea. Also suggested: getting a massage. Not specified: what kind of massage, and how it will end. Just show up for work, I guess.

MainStreet: How To Get Your First Job Bonus To Go The Extra Yard, April 24, 2008