Plan Ahead: 6 Steps to Secure Your Financial Future

Posted by Madison on May 6, 2008

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a planner. Planning ahead has allowed us many rewards that we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity for. Some of the successful planning tips we have used are:

Save for college before children are born. We opened 529 plans for our future children before they were born. Before we had our kids we had much more disposable income. By saving for their college before they were born, we’ve freed up some money now that we have them while still meeting our goals of providing for an education for our children.

Pick the right house for your intended family size. When we built our house two years ago, we knew how many kids we were planning in the next 5-7 years so that we wouldn’t be faced with having to move because of our expanding family.

Plan your financing needs ahead of time. We saved low interest money available for student loans years before buying a house. We didn’t have a need to take out the student loans, but we could secure them at a rate much lower than a potential mortgage, obtaining a form of creative financing.

Address long-term needs early. I opened my first retirement accounts at age 16. The power of compounding will work much harder than starting to save later down the road.

Select a marketable degree. I picked a major in school with good job placement rates and funding for scholarships. I believe in following your heart and doing something you love, but it is also good to keep in mind whether or not you can be fairly compensated for your work.

Align your goals to your finances. Currently we are planning ahead for early semi-retirement by reducing our budget and growing our business money. Follow the series to plan your dollar plan and align your goals.

What have you done to plan ahead?

Find more tips from others who have planned ahead:

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Comments to Plan Ahead: 6 Steps to Secure Your Financial Future

  1. Great advice on selecting a marketable degree. So many folks simply take the path of least resistance, or follow their hearts desire with little regard for post-graduate oppotunities. Always a good idea to balance what your heart is telling you with real world opportunities.

    Frugal Dad

  2. Addressing long-term needs early is key. Especially since the earlier you start the sweeter your situation will be long term. If you start preparing for retirement at age 20, you’ll be much more likely to have more than enough of a nest egg.

    Writer’s Coin

  3. The more money you save the more willing banks are to give you a better rate. It pays to save but it really pays to borrow to invest!

    Personal Money Tips

  4. Planning is great, but you took the next step and followed through with your plans. THAT is the key to success!

    Thanks for the link!


  5. Thanks for this. Agree with what you have said here. Planning is the key.

    Michael Miles

  6. Good advice, especially about a marketable degree. I am starting to hire more people in which their second degree is the marketable one. It just took them a while to figure it out.

    Best Wishes,


  7. Planning is such a good idea and process which a person must have. But after a person formulate his/her plan, the very big question which they encountered is that how they followed the steps or how they apply it in this dramatic world?


  8. @ D4L: Wow, a second degree, that’s a very expensive route for someone to go.


  9. I agree with early acknowledgement of finances. I would even suggest incorporating the balance of income and expense planning as early as possible through discussing how the money you spend on groceries, eating out, electricity all derive from “mommy/daddy’s” paycheck from working so hard! Then as your child gets older and requests the in-style clothes and accessories, you can incorporate the value of hard work. For example, when your child asks if she can get a new purse, barbie, hot wheels, etc. you can ask “did you work (aka do chores) this week? You can use your EARNED allowance to buy it!” yay!


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