Let’s be real: Our 20s are expensive.
They’re also exciting, exasperating, fun and frustrating, between paying down student debt and trying to save. I’m 24, so I get it. I’m constantly asking myself, “What exactly am I saving for again?!” But then I remember the list of money milestones I hope to achieve one day, and many of them come with a pretty hefty price tag.
So why don’t we do it together? I’ve rounded up a couple of goals to start saving for right now.
1. An emergency
Even though we like to look at the wine glass as half-full, we should still be saving for those times in life when things don’t go as planned. A lost job, sickness or a bestie in need calls for funds to fall back on. Enter your emergency savings fund.
An emergency savings account should have enough to cover four to seven months’ worth of expenses, which can obviously take some time to build up. These funds should be easily accessible in case of an emergency, but not so convenient that we can casually just grab some cash whenever we feel the urge to splurge on new fall boots. A high-yield savings account is your best bet (keep scrolling for great options!).
2. Our retirement
In your 20s, it’s totally normal to feel more concerned about your resume than your retirement. When you’re busy scrambling up that corporate ladder, who has the time to navigate the difference between a Roth and a traditional 401(k)?
But make the time, or you might lose out on years of compounding interest, delaying your eventual retirement. Why work harder when you can work smarter?
Explore the retirement savings vehicles that are available to you, and ask your HR department about employer-sponsored retirement plans, like a Roth 401(k), traditional 401(k) or 403(b). Not only do these plans offer tax advantages, but many employers often match your contributions up to a certain percentage. If you have FOMO because your employer doesn’t offer a plan, check out a Roth IRA; it acts as a simple retirement investment vehicle and offers tax advantages… and is i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t *flips hair*.
Learn the differences between the two retirement plans here, and then sign up STAT!
3. A mortgage
If the Monopoly game were a more accurate representation of millennial life, we’d just be making laps around that game board, paying rent forever. Right?
You can change that narrative! Start saving for that down payment on your dream home, because it might take awhile. A recent study from Realtor.com found that even with the most valuable college degree out there (petroleum engineering), it takes 2.6 years to save for a 20-percent down payment on a $250,000 home. Clicking your heels three times and chanting “there’s no place like home” won’t give you the stash of cash a mortgage requires, but consistently saving and earning interest will get you there. Promise.
And if you’re using student loan debt as an excuse as to why you’re not saving quite yet, re-evaluate. Another recent survey found that 83 percent of non-homebuyers cite student loan debt as the factor delaying them from buying a home, and that’s a mistake, kids. With such low, fixed interest rates, student loan debt shouldn’t stop you from saving for an emergency fund, retirement or a home.
4. A wedding
Between all those bad Bumble dates and terrifying Tinder one-liners, you might just stumble into your soulmate. But sometimes that fairytale ending isn’t always frugal.
In 2016, the average cost of a wedding reached an all-time high at $35,329, according to a study from The Knot. The average spend on engagement rings in 2016 climbed to $6,163, while the average spend of a wedding dress increased to $1,564. For many people, these are the types of expenses that take years to save for.
If you have your heart set on bringing your Pinterest wedding board to life, start saving now. Stash that cash in a high-yield savings account. And when you do take that first step down the aisle, you won’t have to focus on how you’re going to pay for everything. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy the ~magical~ moment!
With all those adorable gender reveal parties, baby showers and babymoons happening, it can be easy to forget that babies also bring along some really big bills.
A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that for a child born in 2015 to a middle-income, married family, parents typically spend between $12,350 to $13,900 annually. That’s pretty pricey, and even if you’re not planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, it might not hurt to start saving a bit and sharpening those budgeting skills. Because if you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians lately, you know things can change in an instant.
OK now that we have our #goals, let’s make them happen. Check out all your options below, and start stashing that cash in a high-yield savings account that works for you! And be sure to follow me on Facebook, and LMK what other money topics I should cover!