When you look into the future, what kind of life do you see yourself having 10 years from now? If you don’t know, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about what financial path you are on. Now is the perfect opportunity to evaluate where you are at, where you are going, and how you plan on getting there.
1. Graduating from college
When you receive that diploma and start off on your own, you’ll often be confused and unsure about your financial future. What should you do to help your financial situation?
- Do the best you can to ensure financial stability. Don’t rely on someone else to worry about how you spend your money.
- Live within your means. Don’t spend a great deal of money on credit that you couldn’t possibly pay on.
- Save every penny you can. Life throws a lot of curveballs and the next day you could be unemployed. Take the opportunity to save while you can.
While it’s good for college graduates to consider debt as unwise, taking out a small line of credit and paying it off responsibly may be beneficial to some people. It could help to raise your credit score, which could make you eligible for a bigger loan, which you may need later. In the meantime, take it slow and steady, and never go crazy with large ticket purchases. Don’t waste money on expensive lunches or going out every night with friends. Instead, offer to host a party at your home where you can cook the food and provide free entertainment. This saves everyone, including yourself, a lot of money, which will entice your friends to visit even more.
2. Getting that first job
Once you leave college, you may be facing a multi-thousand student dollar loan. Pay off any private loans first and leave the lower interest government loans for last. Also, if possible, consider switching your repayment plan to a income-based solution. In addition to making payments on your loan, you should consider saving for retirement and emergency situations. You never know when things could go downhill, and you’ll want to be prepared for when it happens. However, in an emergency situation, you might consider applying for a payday loan.
3. Getting Married
Good credit is an absolute must and when you’re getting married, credit is extremely important. Talking to your future spouse about his or her credit history, even if you are unsure about what you may find in the past, is always a wise idea. Also, observing your significant other’s parents could be revealing. More than likely, he or she learned their spending habits from his or her parents and this can shed some light on what to expect.
Lastly, ask the important questions. Who are you expecting to handle the payment of bills? Is control a big factor in your decision to merge finances? This is something you’ll want to address in order to avoid any animosity towards one another when it comes to financial decisions.
Prior to your retirement, you should look into remodeling your home and turn it into a place you’ll want to spend the majority of your time. As you get older, it may be difficult to get out and about as you get more frail. Keep that in mind as you renovate areas such as the bathroom and other potentially hazardous areas of the house. Renovations to your house could include:
- Fixing those unsightly cabinets
- Repainting your favorite room in the house
- Replacing any old flooring for a more modern look
Some companies have begun to offer various services which will turn your house into a safe place to grow old without sacrificing the look of the home. It’s never too early to make improvements to put your mind at ease for the future.
5. Things to avoid
When it is time to buy a house, don’t buy a larger house than you might need. This will mean you have a much larger space to take care of and pay taxes on year after year. Avoid living paycheck to paycheck if at all possible. Back in 2007, less than one percent of household earnings in the United States were put into savings.
Another money sink is to buy a new car. If you’re in a tight financial place and unsure how long it will take to pay a car loan off, don’t buy it. You’re making payments on a vehicle which will depreciate in value very quickly, making it hard to resell if ever the time comes.
It’s important to monitor your finances at every stage of your life, even if you aren’t at a crucial turning point. Should an emergency situation ever arise, you’ll always have the opportunity for a short-term loan to get you through the rough patch.