Vital tips, whatever your job, whatever your income.
(1) Understand your benefits package. That includes health insurance, pension plans, savings options, life and disability insurance. Make a list of questions and be sure they are answered.
(2) Take advantage of direct deposit if your company offers it. It ensures that there is money in your checking account so bills can be paid. Some employers allow you to split your deposit between checking and savings to ensure that you put something away on a regular basis.
(3) Be on top of your tax situation. Make sure the correct amount is being withheld from your pay, so there are no surprises when you file your return.
(4) Look to the future. Find out when you are eligible to participate in your company’s retirement plan and contribute to the max. Also, give serious consideration to disability and life insurance.
Marriage and Parenthood
Getting married and having children are as much financial milestones as emotional ones.
Marriage: A few questions you should consider before and shortly after marriage. Do you need a prenuptial agreement? What are your mutual and individual financial goals? How do you budget as a team? Should you and your spouse mingle your funds in whole or in part? Do you need two health plans? If not, whose is preferable? How about retirement plans?
Parenthood: An average family in 2000 spent about $165,600 to raise a child to age 18. Those numbers DON’T include college. It is critical that you protect your family’s financial security by making sure funds are available to care for them in normal times and in times of disaster. Also be sure to have a will detailing how your children should be cared for —
and by whom —- in the event of your death.
To be continued…