You’ve finally landed a position with the promise of a real paycheck every few weeks. When compared to the pennies your university work study job paid, your new salary makes you feel straight up rich. Your eyes turned to dollar signs when you saw the number! But don’t be led astray-- avoid these new grad money mistakes to set yourself on course for financial abundance.

Don't rush to the nearest Ann Taylor or J. Crew.

You’re starting to feel insecure about your university duds. All of a sudden your festival style ensembles and oversized flannels are looking quite juvenile. You realize your interview outfit is the only professional set you own.

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You begin thinking that it’s time to clean up your act.

All this makes you want to run to the nearest mall and set yourself up with a glamorous new wardrobe that will make you feel the part of working adult. You start to envision yourself stepping into your new office looking crisp, stylish and competent. You’re willing to spend money to turn that vision real.

Don’t do it! Instead...

Do try out unconventional shopping strategies.

You’ve just secured your first job with a decent salary. The last thing you want to do is spend your whole first paycheck before it even arrives in your bank account. That move would set a terrible precedent for your future #Finances. You’d be playing catch up for a long time.

So how can you put together that polished work look without racking up a big bill? Here are a few ideas.

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First, build realistic expectations. You might be dreaming of an uber-chic office where everyone dresses like Olivia Pope on Scandal. The reality might be a lot more like the guys from The IT Crowd. If you get a chance to visit your office before Day 1, pay attention to what your future coworkers are really wearing. Maybe the culture is casual and you can get away with a decent blazer over a fun T-shirt.

Second, crowdsource your clothing. Does anyone you know have a few items they are looking to unload? It can’t hurt to ask, and folks are often excited to help out a fresh graduate.

Third, go secondhand. Maybe you are a seasoned thrifter and maybe you’ve always found used clothing to be a bit skivvy. Either way, you should know that professional name brand items often hide amongst the mess of a secondhand store. This author recently scored a brand new J.Crew tweed blazer at her local Goodwill!

When thrifting, start low and move high. If I’m looking for a certain type of item, I’ll begin at really cheap stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

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Sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I don’t. Then I move on to Thredup. Thredup is an online used clothing store with an amazing selection. The site allows you to narrow your search by size, favorite brands, colors, and style. I find many fantastic items every time I log on. Finally, if I still haven’t found what I need, I visit higher-end consignment stores. In my area (Boston) a great choice is Second Time Around.

If you end up needing to round out your wardrobe with a few new items, that’s OK. For example, it can be very tricky to find good secondhand shoes. But if you follow these tips you will still save hundreds. You'll begin your working life on better financial footing.

Don't assume your money will manage itself.

Your new salary sounds awesome. You think to yourself, “Why, I won’t even know how to spend that much money!” Maybe you are planning to just spend what you need and not waste too much thought on where the dollars are going. After all, you’ll have lots of other things on your mind, like career building, romance, friendships, travel…

Big mistake.

Money doesn’t manage itself. Money looks for holes in your wallet and it will escape if you don’t pay close attention. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll end up short on your goals, whether they are short-term like travel or long term like buying a home. So how do you get more involved with your money without making yourself miserable?

Do learn to love personal finance.

When I was a new graduate, I hated thinking about money. The mere word filled me with anxiety, so I ignored it. It’s only when I started to view money management as a hobby and a fun challenge that I transformed my financial life. During this phase of discovery, I went from saving $0 a month to saving 50% of my income a month. And I didn’t even get a raise to make that happen!

Right after graduation is the PERFECT time to make money a hobby. Treat your finances like a game-- how much can you sock away each month in your long and short term saving accounts? How low can you get your grocery budget? How high can you push your 401k retirement contributions? Oh, and yes, you really should be contributing to that starting now.

A quick search online will bring up hundreds of awesome personal finance blogs that will set you in the right direction. I recommend you start with The Financial Diet, Stefanie O’Connell, Broke Millennial, and Frugalwoods. I guarantee these will inspire you!

The fun thing is, once you start playing the money game you actually open doors to new hobbies. I’ve seen frugality lead many people to learn how to cook, learn how to ride their bike to work, and learn how to make small household repairs. When I started budgeting, I taught myself how to cut my own hair and searched online for free events in my city. Living on a budget can actually make you a more well-rounded person!

Don't give in to lifestyle inflation.

Lifestyle inflation means that when you make more you spend more. This might sound like an easy thing to avoid, but often people are unaware when it’s happening to them. As your income rises, you begin to allow more treats to creep in without being aware of your own behavior.

You stop limiting dinner or drinks out with friends. You sign up for that cool new spin class. You book the ticket for that outer circle friend’s destination wedding. Then you realize... somehow you are burning through your whole paycheck each month!

There are a few easy ways to limit lifestyle inflation. First, automate your retirement savings. Financial experts say you should be saving at least 10% of your paycheck in pre-tax retirement accounts. But you can do better than that! Unless you are aggressively paying off debt, aim to max out your retirement account each month. That’s $1,500 a month. If you have debt, also automate those payments and make sure to pay above the minimum.

The second way to prevent lifestyle creep is to use zero-sum #budgeting. This means that EVERY dollar of your paycheck is accounted for in your budget. You’ll have standard lines for rent, utilities, groceries, toiletries, and transportation. But you’ll also add in lines for debt repayment and savings. When you receive a paycheck, immediately move your savings to the correct account. There-- no temptation!

The best time to create your zero-sum budget is when you receive your brand #New Job offer! Don't wait until your lifestyle has already inflated.

Do keep living like a university student.

In university, you were totally content with your lifestyle. Maybe you shared a house with a bunch of roommates. Maybe you worked a side job that paid your entertainment costs. Maybe you chose the cheapest bottle of wine. Maybe you picked up a free coffee table on the side of the road. Maybe you avoided paying for cable and made do with Netflix.

Don’t play into the mindset that says that because you are an “adult” now you need to prove it with material comforts. That’s an idea that advertisers work hard to perpetuate, but you have the ability to reject it.

Avoid spending on “trappings of success” like a new car, solo apartment, and high-end electronic gadgets. You’ll be miles ahead of your peers (even if they look miles ahead of you). Find a roommate. Take the bus. Watch your savings and investments grow and grow.

So let's recap. You've just graduated and landed an awesome job with an "adult" salary. Start your professional life on the right foot by making sure to...

- Shop "outside the box"

- Make money management your hobby

- Push back against lifestyle inflation

Ok, good luck out there new graduates. Go get 'em!