Many young people fall into the exactly same manner of life: graduation, work, marriage, kids, and regret. This happens so often because people rarely plan what will happen but instead just let each day bring what it will. Or, kids become so anxious to start their new lives, without parents, that they simply rush into things or make bad decisions. Some vague plans may be harbored, like a plan to change jobs – someday, but mounting responsibility can prevent those plans from seeing the light. Planning for your future, mapping it out, step by step, can give you a much happier future – if you stick to the plan.
It’s good to be spontaneous on occasion but even if you have a life plan there’s plenty of room for spontaneity. Your overall plan shouldn’t change, though, unless you change it on purpose. It’s hard to tell what the future will bring and sometimes things that happen really can keep you from seeing your life’s goals come true but make the plan anyway and hope for a positive future.
The first thing to think about after leaving school and home is where you’ll stay. In order to have a home and pay the bills related to the home you’ll have to have money coming in steadily. So, you’ll have to think of the way you’ll earn a living. If you’ve finished college your chances are much better for making a good living. If you didn’t go to college you may have to work your way up the ladder at your job. Or, work at a few temporary jobs until you get the skills for a higher-level position. You can also work a day job and go to school at night to further your education for a better position in the future.
Working your way up the ladder can take some time. While you’re doing that save as much money as you can. Many singles spend leftover money on shopping but limit your spending to what you absolutely need and save the rest for your future. Choose accommodations that are not extravagant for now. If you have an intended mate he or she can do the same until you’ve both put back a little nest egg for your future plans.
Marrying immediately and starting a family can be the downfall of a career. After starting the family your extra time is spent with upkeep on the house and quality time with the kids. That leaves little time for going to school at night or putting in those extra hours to impress your current boss. It’s best to have your career well-established and a nice size bank account before marrying and starting a family.
As your bank account grows think about investing some of the money so that your nest egg will grow even quicker. Money is the most important thing when planning to have a home, mate, family, vehicle and other expenses. Without it life will be very difficult indeed. Talk to a financial advisor or do your own research online before making investment decisions.
When you decide the time is right for marriage consider waiting a couple of years or more before having kids. Once the family is started there’s very little “me” or “us” time for the couple. This can cause stress, resentment and anger towards one another. And, with kids in the picture, you’ll have to decide between losing one mate’s income so that he or she can tend to the kids, or paying expensive child care costs.
In addition to the loss of income due to babysitter costs you’ll have the extra expense of food and clothing for the children. This is never-ending until the kids leave home – many years down the road. There are lots of other children’s expenses too, including insurance, medicines, sports, personal care, school items and a lot more.
A good way to decide if your income is enough to start a family is to decide which bills will rise and which will stay the same after kids. For instance, the rent or house payment will stay the same, unless you move, but food costs will go up substantially. Car insurance will stay the same but family insurance won’t. Figure how much your bills are now then double or triple the ones that will rise with the addition of mate and child. This will give you a general idea of the income you’ll need before beginning a family. You’ll need to make above and beyond that figure as well, to plan for college, vacations, retirement, and unexpected emergencies.
Life won’t always take the path we intend but with no plan at all you leave fate to choose everything for you. Sometimes fate can be very cruel so leave nothing to fate and choose your own path in life. And, sometimes, you’ll have to change your plan because of the current circumstances in your life. Plan carefully with your entire future in mind, not just the next year or so, and you’ll likely do well.