Life after college marks a new exciting chapter in everyone’s life.
You just got a nice job. Getting paid. Enjoying your freedom and making choices of your own. You’re probably thinking of moving out, getting your own house, and living life just like what any other adult is supposed to do. All these are the perks of being an adult. But they come with a ‘price’ too.
That includes taking control of your finances. Good for you – these days you can find a personal finance app to help you spend wisely and balance your cash flow. But in order to secure your future – before you start a family of your own, grow older, and retire – you should focus on making your money grow.
Your 20s is the best time for you to explore and save up for the future as you have fewer obligations and more energy and motivation to do great.
Are you taking the right path?
Here are the money milestones you should achieve before having children of your own!
5 Money Milestones You Should Hit Before Having Kids
#1. Establish A Stable Career
It’s hard to be financially secure when you don’t have a stable career.
Whatever path you’re taking – whether you’re getting employed in a corporate world, pursuing a profession in public or private service, or starting your own business, you should aim to have a stable career.
If you can find more ways of making money, that’s better.
Alongside your regular job, take time for the hobbies you enjoy the most. Whether it’s photography, arts and crafts, writing or cooking, there could be an endless stream of opportunity out of doing things you love and excel in.
#2. Have Disposable Income
After paying your federal, state, and local taxes from your hard-earned salary, what’s left for you is your disposable income.
Your disposable income defines your spending capability, lifestyle, and of course – your potential savings. It includes your utility bills, groceries, transportation, mortgage, and all other expenses.
If you find your expenses higher than your income, you should think of ways to up your earnings and reduce your spending.
#3. Pay Off Your Debt
Before you have kids and double your chances of securing more debts, you have to ensure that you pay all your existing debts first.
It could be the personal loan you secure to get your first car, a business loan for your start-up capital, or a cash advance to pay your tuition fees in college.
Your first few years as a young adult is the best time to pay off your debt because you have fewer financial obligations.
#4. Have A Sizable Emergency Fund
Here’s the shocking truth: only 39% of Americans have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency.
Before your savings potential wane, now is the perfect time to save up for emergencies. Whatever it is – a medical emergency, a car wreck, or a broken water heater, dealing with unexpected situations like this is difficult when you don’t have a buffer cash.
How do you build an emergency fund?
- Set a monthly savings goal. Consider opening a high-yield savings account which is easy to access.
- Keep the change. The traditional piggy bank still works!
- Learn how to cut expenses. Save first before spending.
- Get supplemental income.
- Save your tax refund.
#5. Be Able To Save For Retirement
Yes – you should have two types of savings – one is for emergency purposes and the other is for your personal goals.
Unfortunately, just as many people struggle to save money for emergencies, nearly half of American families have no retirement savings, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
As early as now, you should start saving up for retirement. You basically don’t want to grow old without enough fund to continue your lifestyle long after you retire. In addition to your 401(k), consider establishing an individual retirement account (IRA).
A Final Note
Time is of the essence.
When it comes to securing your finances and saving up for the future, there is no best time than TODAY.
By the time you have established a stable career, achieve a disposable income, paid off your debts, made a sizable emergency fund and saved up for retirement, you are more than prepared to enter another chapter in your life – that’s it – to start a family of your own.
This way, you are at a greater advantage of securing your children’s future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lidia Staron has been working as a writer, editor and literary coach for 5 years. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making processes.