The Twentysomething's Guide to Money

October 4, 2011 | | U.S. News & World Report |

Spending. First jobs come with unavoidable start-up costs, such as a new suit and possibly wheels to match. Those expenses can easily overpower a starting salary. That's why Liz Pulliam Weston, author of The Ten Commandments of Money, recommends pretending that your new salary doesn't exist. "Most people would be better off if they continued to live like broke college students for a few years, until they get a handle on expenses," she says.

"Diminish your expectations," advises Tamara Draut, author ofStrapped. Small things such as bringing your lunch, buying coffee at a deli instead of a coffee shop, and waiting to buy a new car can make a big difference, she says. Living at home can also provide financial breathing room, Draut adds.