Saving money has always been something people did when they had the extra cash. Now that we are in an indefinite recession, saving cannot be more critical. The question of saving for a home or retirement needs to take a few things into account. Doing these few things will not only help ease the financial burdens, but put you on a path to retirement and home buying.
1) Live well below your means. Just because you get a raise at work shouldn’t mean your spending habits increase. Obviously you are getting by with what you are making now so live that same way when you get a raise and save the extra money, for a home or retirement.
2) Have approximately 6 months of your salary saved up before investing in a house or a retirement plan. By doing this you will create an emergency account. If the car breaks down, if you lose your job, if your child needs to go the hospital, you will be able to pay for it. These are all very real circumstances that put many people into a financial burden, forcing many to pay for things with credit. That brings me to my next point.
3) Eliminate debt. Debt is not good, bottom line. Credit cards cause more problems than they provide solutions. The only type of debt worth having is for a home. Even car payments create unnecessary debt problems, especially when trying to purchase a new home. The latest and greatest car will get you to work just the same as an older car you can pay for in cash if you just save.
Now with all of that said, I am for saving for retirement. As we see in our current economy, money comes and goes, nothing is certain. One year a person might have the nicest house on the block, but next the year brings foreclosure. By following just those few tips above, your savings account will grow surprisingly fast. Making a down payment on a house won’t be as bad as it may have been in the past.
By putting money away into a retirement plan, you will have money for your future. The markets will bounce back, money will come and go, but if you start planning for your retirement now, regardless of age, a bad economy will not control your life. With numerous retirement plans available, there is no reason why every person should not have at least one retirement account.