Do you know your credit score? If not, I highly suggest you find out. Credit Karma is a good site (FREE) to find out. No it’s not fun to actually see your debt-income ratio on paper because then it becomes real. It’s the moment you realize you’ll be paying bills off for quite a while (at least for some). Trust me I felt it too, I was dodging Sallie for a while. At least this way you know what you’re up against. It’s not something I was thrilled about doing but now that it’s done, I’m almost stress-free (almost). It can be easy to ignore our future liabilities while still dealing with our every day in your face won’t leave me alone finances (Sorry I got caught in my feelings). Most of us don’t think about the money we will need two months from now let alone for retirement that may be 20+ years away. Well see here is the thing, we take this “time” for granted. We keep pushing it off. For some we don’t contribute anything or we put the bare minimal in our 401K or IRA or whatever retirement accounts you’re enrolled in. The truth of the matter is this, this “time” that we think we have, will be here quicker then we’d like.
I recommend filing all finances and important life records. This will keep you organized and makes it easy to keep track of all the things you need to pay. Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach is also a great read if you have the time (Its an older book but still relevant and an easy read)
You don’t have to do it alone. There are financial advisors that you can talk with to help you get a grip on your financial goals and its usually free. Your financial institutions should offer these sessions. They have different specialist for home loans, investments, business loans, etc… Even if you’re not ready to buy a home now, they can tell you what will need to be done to get you to that point. That way you’ll have time to work on your credit, income, etc. so when you’re finally ready to buy a house you won’t have to wait and you will already be well informed. Now what about your savings? It is recommended to have at least 3-6 months of income saved for unexpected emergencies. If you find yourself having difficulty saving, you may want to redo your budget. Do you really need to eat fast food every day? Or what about the 20 pair of shoes in your closet you’ve never worn (I know ladies, I struggle with this too)? And is that luxury car really necessary? Don’t get me wrong I love having nice things and hey if you can afford it then by all means, but don’t go broke trying to look rich. Stop competing with everyone, because in the end you’ll never be satisfied. There will always be someone with a nicer car or a bigger house. Learn to enjoy what you have. Get your ducks in a row now and then later on you will be able to buy that dream car or house of yours no problem. But be patient and most of all be smart.