So, as a father of four children, my responsibilities have only increased since I graduated from college. Even though I knew that there were costs involved with growing up, I was grossly unaware of the large discrepancy between what I thought my future would cost and what it really costs. So much for thinking that I had it all figured out in college, huh?
Today I am going to discuss a couple of important steps to help navigate the financial burden. If you haven’t already, it may be important to take out life and disability policies. These can help avoid further issues incurred from a financial catastrophe. Whether it is through work or on your own, as your family grows, so does your financial responsibility.
It is also a great idea if you are saving for retirement to automate your saving. Make sure that you set-up automatic withdrawals into your investment accounts and don’t be afraid to escalate those percentages or amounts each year.
Now that high school and college are completed, cleaning up your bad decisions with concern to credit can really help your ability to buy that new car, refinance or purchase a new home, or protect you from having your identity stolen. Get a copy of your credit report and call the companies with credit cards that you don’t want to cancel them. Your credit report can also be a great road map to plan on paying down your debts.
Don’t forget to maximize your company benefits. Most people don’t take the time to read their employee handbook when they are hired and it is full of great options with concern to insurance, retirement, and disability. Your company is paying to have the benefits, you may as well take advantage of them.
Start or continue contributing to an emergency savings account. The best measures have suggested 3 to 6 months of your take home income in case of emergency.
My final suggestion is to teach yourself the basics of investing, if you don’t have a financial advisor, they can help to teach you, but it never hurts to be generally knowledgeable with the concepts of investing and how the market works.
As you can tell, financial planning is extremely focused on preparing and trying to deal with catastrophic situations. Not everyone will deal with an emergency or catastrophe, but it never hurts to be ready.