You hear people say “this is the happiest day of your life” or “this is the most important day of your life” or maybe even “this is the first day of the rest of your life”. It most certainly can be, but not just for yourself, but also for your money. While your money doesn’t have a mind of its own, it will experience some up moments and down moments as well. So what are the most important days of your life as far as money is concerned? Do they align with the happiest or saddest days in your life? Let’s find out:
- Your Wedding: Here we have an important day in your life that can either make your pockets happy or sad depending on what you do to it. You don’t want to start of your new life with your partner in debt from a 1 day event. If you want the huge celebration, then do your research. Find out how much things are going to cost. Decide what you’ll splurge on and what you’ll skimp on. Once you budget and see how much everything will add up to be, then start saving. Do not put your wedding on credit unless you plan on paying it off in full.
- The Birth of Your Child: Although they are bundles of joy, babies require preparation. You want to ensure you can provide the necessities for your newborn, such as a roof over their head, a crib, a car seat, and the obvious things like food and diapers. Your bank account will never be the same once you have a child. You’ll be supporting them for the next 18 years, and sometimes even longer. Plan for child care expenses, clothes through growing spurts, education, and maybe the car they’ll be asking for at 16.
- The Death of a Loved One: Now we get to a sad moment in life. Death can bring on a lot of grief, and a large financial burden as well. If there’s no life insurance, you may be stuck with paying of the debts of the deceased. Instead of worrying about what could happen in the event of a death, prepare for it early. Now that my grandparents are up in age, they’ve been bringing up their policies and funeral requests. It may be somber, but it should be talked about. Know what to expect early on.
- Your Retirement: People work for 25 years or more to get to that magic moment when they can retire and live off a fixed income for the remainder of their lives. Before, there were things like social security and pension. These aren’t guaranteed for the next generations. Take your retirement into your own hands and start saving now. If your company has a 401(K) program, be sure to participate, especially if they match up to a certain percentage. If they don’t, or even if they do, open an IRA account for additional savings. You definitely don’t want to get to retirement age and have no retirement savings.
These are just 4 of the most important days of your financial life. Can you think of more? Are there events even more important than the ones listed above?
Briana Myricks is a 20 something freelance writer and blogger. Striving for financial independence as a newlywed, she blogs about young married life at 20 and Engaged.