If you have decided to move back home with your parents, it won’t be long until you hear them telling you to “get a job!” If you have decided not to move back home, you realize the need to have money coming in to pay your bills. Either way, you are most likely going to be starting your first ‘real job.’ The first step to budgeting is understanding your income. It is important to understand how much money you earn each pay period (gross) and how much your paychecks will actually be (net). A $30,000 salary may seem like a lot when you are used to working part-time for $15 per hour, when the reality is your take-home pay will add up to much less than your annual salary. (BTW, $30k per year is only $14.42 per hour) Be sure to account for Federal and State income taxes, along with FICA, health insurance, and 401(k) contributions so you know how much money you have to spend each period.