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:
- Plan Ahead in job searches Job Hunting Tips for the New College Graduate  and How I intend to help my daughters secure jobs they would like – Preparing for the Interview 
- Plan your route in 10 Simple Behavioral Changes That Save Gas 
- Plan Ahead With Pet Insurance in Reader Question: When High Pet Costs Threaten Your Finances 
- Plan ahead for college in Three Tips for More Financial Aid