31 March 2016

All work deserves payment… and something extra?

You are happy, and so are your parents: you have just landed your first job and secured your first salary. Depending on the sector you will be working in, you might receive fringe benefits too, extras that will make the end of the month that little bit better.

First things first: your salary

Working every day and receiving a salary every month will change your life and your purchasing power. Wondering how your earnings measure up? In Belgium, the average net income for young workers is 1,139 euros per month. For university graduates it is 1,424 euros.

A valuable extra: fringe benefits

Not all employers offer extras, but they are certainly worth having: meal vouchers (received by 53% of employees), a company car, a fuel card, eco vouchers, a smartphone,… All of these benefits reduce your daily living costs. But the 2 most common fringe benefits are hospitalisation insurance and group insurance. The former reimburses all costs that are not covered by your health insurance company. The latter lets you build up capital for your retirement.

What about the future? Start thinking about it now

Before you even started your job you had lots of plans and dreams. And now you might be able to make them a reality. The first step: build up some capital. The easiest way is to start an automatic savings plan. After you have set it up you do not have think about it again. And what about a pension savings plan? It is never too late to start preparing for tomorrow: it lets you add to your future pension pot but also reduces the amount of taxes you have to pay now. And if you have some money left over, why not start to invest it? Shares, bonds, funds: there is no shortage of options.

Are you a faithful employee or a flighty one?

Are you the kind of person who sticks with one employer? Or do you tend to get itchy feet? In Belgium, 58% of young people stay with the same employer for more than 2 years. And they hope to earn a monthly salary of 1,975 euros within 5 years. Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush?