The Worst Day of My First Internship: Pay Day


When I got an investment banking internship, I was SO excited. At the time, interns made the same salary as a first year analyst, only prorated for the amount of time we worked. So I divided $60,000 by 12 to figure out what I’d earn each month. $5,000 - great!

I thought, “Yay! I am going to save so much money this summer!” Just kidding. Let’s be real. I didn’t think about saving at all. I thought, “this is going to be the most fun summer ever.” 

While I knew logically that things would be taken out of my paycheck, I didn’t factor that into my planning. And I’ve found that I’m not alone in this. How many of us actually looked at a paycheck calculator before choosing our first apartment? I certainly didn’t! 

So there I was. My first pay day. Ready to go out and celebrate. I was shocked when I logged in and saw a number that was much lower than I expected. 

Whether we’re deciding whether or not to take a new job, are choosing what to spend on an apartment, or are putting together our happiness allocation (a.k.a. spending plan or budget), it’s important to factor in the number that actually hits our bank account. That’s the number that we have to work with. That’s the number we get to allocate. 

Take a few minutes to plug in your salary, location, and tax allowances into a paycheck calculator to figure out your take home pay. Use this number when you’re putting together your annual plan.