Budget Now, Live It Up Later

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The issue of budgeting is something every working person deals with. The idea of budgeting now to pay for retirement later is one of those topics I disagree on with many of my peers. The reason is simple. People have to strike a balance between do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and being financially secure in your retirement years. You can have it both ways, and I will explain my idea of how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Basic financial planning dictates you must have a budget. It is not an option. Whether you have a little money or a lot, a budget is essential for everyday living. Part of a sound budget is having an emergency fund. Unless you hit such a bad streak of luck that every year has an emergency packed into it, you can take yur emergency fund every year and put what is left into a retirement fund. You may not be able to do it every year, but the rule of retirement savings is the sooner you start, the less time it will take to make your retirement goals.

How this is different than creating some type of special retirement budget plan is beyond me. Personally, I think it is a mistake to take tomorrow for granted just as much as I think that you should not plan for the future. There has to be a happy medium, and my view is that if people plan to increase their income by just 10 percent a year, meaning that there will be times working a full time and part time job for a period is necessary, you can increase your retirement savings over time and still take advantage of the opportunities life gives us today to enjoy. The younger you are to incorporate this “extra work” mentality, the sooner you will be able to create a stable retirement situation.

I am not suggesting that you live irresponsibly or fail to consider your future when you are younger, though that often is the mentality of people. Your youngest years are the ones where you have the most time, energy, and optimism to make the necessary budget adjustments. Those adjustments are slanted towards saving more because you are not likely to be married or have any significant debt that will suck up a good portion of your income. One difference between today’s economy and that of 40 years ago is that the age when you can start making decent money as a teenager starts much earlier. That means you can begin saving and still have the money to do most of what you want.