First Job, First Salary: What Recent Grads Say

04/03/2015 07:00 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2015

After years of part-time jobs and living on a shoe-string budget, earning your first salary after college rocks.

Before you know it, though, you're paying the rent and utility bills for your nice apartment, for the commute to your new job and for those expensive nights out with friends.

The costs of living on your own after college add up. That's why we asked a few recent college grads to tell us about their experience making a full-time salary and the money habits they've developed since. NerdWallet's Vice President of Talent Florence Thinh also reflects on her experience just starting out.

Take a walk in their shoes so that you know what to expect before bringing home that first paycheck.

About our interviewees (in order of appearance):

  • Jibran Khan is a 2012 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He now works at HotelTonight doing market strategy.
  • Onn Rubin is in business development at San Francisco startup Jhana. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.
  • Teddy Nykiel writes about personal finance for NerdWallet. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Florence Thinh is the vice president of talent at NerdWallet with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry.