While setting aside money for retirement is important, don’t forget to stash money for “this is life” expenses. Having a rainy-day fund means you can replace the dead refrigerator without putting it on a credit card. Ditto for holiday shopping – and that planned vacation. And what if, in a worst-case scenario, you lose your job? How long could you manage to pay your bills if it takes a while to find another job?
It might not seem like something to worry about now, especially as you’re juggling student loans and car payments and trying to figure out if you can afford a vacation, but not saving for retirement while you’re young could mean you never get to retire.
As you pay off student loans, it’s natural to wonder how you could spare your children similar debt. That’s the ultimate in Financial Adulting. Fortunately, there are several programs that can help. The key is to start when your children are young. As in all savings, the sooner you start, the greater the gain.