The first time you start earning a good, steady income after graduating college, you may be inclined to spend an excessive amount of your hard-earned cash on luxuries. While it is okay to splurge every now and then, it is important to take this time to start preparing for your future. While there are options to help you when in need, such as payday loans and other types of short-term loans, don't forget to start yourself on the right path toward prosperity. Here are a few tips to help young professionals recently out of undergraduate or graduate school balance their money and secure their financial future:

Understand the 50/30/20 Rule of Thumb.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a good rule of thumb for healthy spending for young individuals is 50/30/20. Ultimately, what this breaks down to is the following: 50 percent of your check goes to the things that you need, 30 percent of your check goes to the things that you simply want, and 20 percent of your check goes into a savings account for future use. Your savings will help you if you get laid off from work, miss time due to an illness or make your first big purchase (home or car).

Start Paying Off Your Debt.

More than likely, you've incurred some level of debt while in school. Whether it be student loans or credit cards that helped get you by, this debt needs to be paid off as soon as possible. Not only will it help your credit score, but it will also help you become debt-free much sooner. The sooner you pay off your debt, the less interest that you'll have to pay as well. Plus, if you get your debt paid off now, you won't have to worry about it later when you get married and begin to raise a family.

Don't Eat Out; Cook for Yourself.

Beginning a career after school can be difficult. You may be trying to get in extra hours for the additional money or simply to prove yourself at work. Whatever the case may be, you may not have a lot of time to cook for yourself. However, when you eat out, you spend a lot of money. That money could be used to buy food for the house. You don't have to cook an elaborate meal each night, as sandwiches will work just fine. If you do want a meal, consider preparing them on the weekend and freezing them in single meal portions to simply heat up and enjoy after a hard day at work.  

Every once in a while, especially since you're just starting out dealing with money, you may find yourself in a bind. If you haven't secured an emergency fund yet and are still working on your financial stability, payday loans may come in handy. They can easily and quickly provide you with the cash you need to handle your unanticipated circumstances.