Last week you were a student, and now all of a sudden you have a salary, investment options and a day job. Stay on track by first committing to spend less than you make. Sounds like a no-brainer, but most people can't meet the challenge. Then use the extra money to take advantage of that 401(k). "Most people think of this as running a marathon, not a sprint, so it's okay to pace yourself and do a little bit at a time," says Brian T. Jones, author of Getting Started: The Financial Guide for a Younger Generation. If you contribute just $100 a month until retirement and your employer matches with half, your investment—if it grows at 8 percent annually—could be worth more than half a million dollars in 40 years.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.