How often do you think about the future? I’m not talking about what Christmas is going to be like this year or even 2017. I mean how often do you wonder where your life will be ten, fifteen or even twenty years down the line. Specifically, I’m curious whether you look at your children’s future and wonder whether you are giving them the best chance. Are you prepared for the challenges that they will face, to help them when they need it. Are you setting your world up for future joys or failures?
I think it’s fair to say that most people try and avoid thinking about the future. They think it’s akin to wishing their life away. That’s not always the case though and sometimes it’s beneficial to look ahead. Not because you’re searching for something to look forward to but rather because you want a plan. You want to know that everything is in place as it should be. So what type of things should you be looking at when you wonder about the future?
Saving Up Is Hard To Do
You do need to think about your savings and whether you’re putting enough money away over the years. Believe it or not, the answer will usually be no. Most people don’t save fast enough or early enough. Instead, they wake up thirty years down the line and find that they are not even close to having what they need in the bank. It’s a grim reality and one I hope you don’t one day meet. Experts suggest that you should be aiming to save roughly one-quarter of your monthly paycheck. I imagine that sounds like quite a lot. But don’t forget your savings are to make sure that you have enough money so that you can retire comfortably.
However, you will find your savings go down several times through the years. You’ll use them to pay college fees for your kids, emergencies if you’re made redundant. You might even spend your savings on a kickass holiday that you feel you and your family have earned. Just try not to waste the money you raise over the years. If you know, you have a large sum of cash somewhere it can be tempting to take the easy way out. Rather than wait until you have some money in your actual bank account, you use your savings. You dip in without a second thought and buy something like a new HD TV. You say you’ll put it back in and then you never do. It’s a dangerous game and one that is sure to get you in trouble if you keep playing it.
The best way to think about savings is to treat them like another bill that needs to be paid. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that they are optional because they’re not. If you don’t save, you will be in serious financial trouble further along the line.
Don’t forget that saving money isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting your kids. You have to remember that there might be a time when you are made redundant. At that point, it could affect your child’s life, not just yours. They are reliant on you, and you may need the money you’ve raised over the years to continue to provide for them. Building a nest egg may seem like something you can put off for a few years. But ideally, you need to be starting as soon as you can.
Climbing The Property Ladder
Do you own a home? By the time you hit thirty, this is what you should be aiming for. I know there are plenty of people who are now saying it’s better to rent. It’s certainly cheaper to rent but better? I’m not so sure because you can spin it any way you like and renting is still dead money. You’re pouring capital into it and not getting any long term benefits which is a problem. Of course, getting on the property ladder isn’t quite as easy as most people make it seem. That’s probably another reason why you want to save. One day you might need to provide money for your kids so that they can put a deposit down on their house.
When you do purchase a home, you shouldn’t see it as something that you can treat however you like. It needs to be looked at as an investment. Otherwise, you might be a little careless as the owner. You might complete DIY work that you know has very little value. Or, you may just leave it an untidy mess. Then when it’s time to sell you realize that there is no way you’re going to get the money back that you put into it. You will sell too because the aim is to buy another, bigger home. Buying property is one of the easiest most secure ways to keep your money safe. By the time you retire, you’ll hopefully fully own a home worth a large sum of money. That is the ultimate goal. That’s what you need to be aiming for when you buy a house.
Similar to the property ladder, you should always move up and forward in your career. You don’t want to be going round in circles, and you must avoid ending up in dead end jobs. Careers where you have no hope of boosting your earnings. You might be quite happy in your current job and think that you can live on the amount you’re making. That’s great but are you still going to be happy with that level of earning ten years from now. If the answer is no then, you can’t put off looking for a new career. You must work to ensure that your career does enable you to get the quality of life that you deserve.
It’s also worth pointing out that many people actually have multiple jobs or ways to earn. For instance, there are quite a few out there who set up blogs in their spare time. Blogging, once you gain some followers is an excellent way of keeping those funds growing. You’ll always have a little extra cash to spend as a successful blogger. You can think of this as a little side hustle, used to make some extra money through the year.
Raising Your Kids Right
Finally, you need to think about your kids and how they will handle future challenges. That’s right, it’s not just you that needs to be prepared. One day, not so far from now, your kids will be out on their own in the world. They’ll be trying to make a living, they’ll probably be struggling. Particularly in their twenties when you are almost always forced to live on a budget. You need to teach them about challenges like this as early as you can and work to improve the situation. You might think that giving kids pocket money simply enables children to have their own money to spend. In fact, pocket money should teach kids about saving, spending and knowing what they really want.
You see, there are lots of challenges that you’ll need to deal with in the future. Most of these do revolve around finances and money because, well money makes the world go around. You can’t but these issues off or push them to the back of your mind either. Eventually they will catch up with you and you’ll be forced to deal. The only question you need to ask is whether or not you will be prepared when they do.