How to Prepare for a Big Life Event with a Budget
Many of life’s big events will stick in your memory forever, but the problem is that many of these same events can cost quite a lot of money. Planning ahead can help you prepare for a big life event financially, and a budget is the best tool to help you do exactly that. No matter what your big event might cost you, a budget can help you get on track and find out how long you’ll need to save money for.
Going to College
College is expensive, but there are ways to get an education without piling up a mountain of debt. Most teenagers aren’t very responsible, so it’s your job to help them budget for college. Scholarships are the best way to go and choosing a more affordable college like a junior college can also help. Encourage your kids to get a summer job and put all their earnings into a savings account from GCS Credit Union. While in college, budgeting is also very important, so you don’t spend or borrow more than you need to.
Your First (Real) Job
Now that you’ve graduated college without too much debt, the next step is to get your first real job. You might not be making as much as you’d hoped right away, but a budget can help you live below your means. Be sure not to pay too much for a place to live and don’t go out and buy a more expensive vehicle than you can afford. Be sure to budget for every category including housing, utilities, food, and gas among others.
Getting married can be a fabulous event, but a crazy wedding can put you in debt for years to come. Start budgeting for your wedding in advance, and it’ll take some getting used to when you combine finances with your spouse. Make a budget for your big day and stick to it.
You’ll never forget the first time you laid eyes on your little bundle of joy, but kids are expensive. You’ll need to pay for diapers, formula, child care, schooling, and so much more over the years. Budgeting can be a bit tricky with your first kid, but you’ll get the hang of it over time.
Buying a Home
Buying your first home is an exciting event, but it’s certainly costly. It’s best to put down as much of a down payment as you can so that you can lower your monthly mortgage payments to make them more affordable. Find a house that you can realistically afford according to your budget and do your best not to go over that amount. GCS Credit Union can help you determine how much house you can afford, and we can get you on your way to homeownership.
Once you retire you’ll no longer be receiving your paycheck to live off of. You’ll be living off your savings and investments including your 401(k), money market accounts, and more. Hopefully you’ve put enough away for retirement, and that amount will determine how much you have to work with every month. Your budget will come in handy every step of the way, but especially when you retire.
At GCS Credit Union, we’re here to help you get through life’s big events. Contact us today by calling (618) 797-7993 to learn how to become a member and take advantage of our great financial products and services.