Planning for the future can be an overwhelming thing, especially if you have children or know you want to start a family someday. It’s hard enough to put aside money for monthly essentials, let alone for future savings, and many people don’t even know where to begin. There’s higher education to think about, money for car and home maintenance, and building a nest egg so that you can retire comfortably.
But planning for things that might come up down the road doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult. In fact, if you sit down and think about what your needs are–or may be–and start small, you can lessen the chances that you’ll feel overwhelmed or stressed. Here are some of the best ways to start planning for the future.
Start putting away for college
If you have kids–or know you want to have children in the near future–it’s never too late to start saving for college. Higher education isn’t cheap, but putting away a little at a time starting now will ensure that you won’t be blindsided when your child is ready to take the next step after high school. Even if they continue to live at home, the expenses for the first year of college can be a harsh reality. Books, tuition, parking passes…it all adds up.
If you’re certain that your child will go to college, consider a 529 plan, which will allow you to save money for your child and comes with tax benefits for you.
Get creative with making extra dough
Many of us are already so busy that we don’t have much spare time, but if you are creative and want to make some extra cash, think about starting an Etsy business, blog, or website that will allow you to monetize your creations. Making art, jewelry, furniture, or clothing and writing are just a few of the ways you can make money online. In fact, if you start a blog, you can set up ads for your page that will help you draw in readers while you earn.
Think outside the box
You might already be on a budget, but there could be some creative ways to save money that you haven’t thought about. Taking your lunch to work most days and carpooling are two of the most popular money-savers, but you can also invest in a smart thermostat, energy-saving light bulbs, and insulation, all of which will save on your utility bill. Or if you have a pooch, turn your dog walking time into a money-making opportunity. Offer your services as the neighborhood dog walker, chances are there are plenty of busy parents or elderly folks with mobility issues who would love to have the help.
Keep your car in good shape
Cars can be expensive to repair, but if you stay on top of wear-and-tear issues and daily maintenance, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief down the road. Get your oil changed regularly, make sure your tires are filled with the right pressure, and take it in for a tune-up once in awhile.
Saving money for the future doesn’t have to be a horrible process. With a little planning and some creative thinking, you can ensure you and your family are well taken care of down the road.
Written by Jackie Waters @ Hyper-tidy.com
Photo via Pixabay by StevePB