Young people don’t do a lot of thinking about budgets. In fact, it’s the furthest thing from their minds. They are focused on finishing high school, choosing a career and a college, and moving to a new town. It is an exciting time. But it’s also a time when they should consider their financial goals. But setting financial goals and sticking with it is one of the most important things you do in life to have financial security.
Financial goals, like any other type of goal, should include a major milestone they wish to achieve, along with specific steps to get there.
Parents can help by showing them how their career and college goals coincide with their financial goals. Every degree should result in a certain level of financial success. Of the hundreds of industries, a student could choose to study, it’s wise to advise them to choose something they love, but to consider how it will be marketable and how it will produce them an income.
Money Isn’t Everything
It’s important to note that money isn’t everything. But it does pay the bills and helps people meet their basic obligations. No matter how much someone likes to do something, they should dream, but also to think about the practical aspects of their work. Will they really like doing what this career involves day-by-day enough to stick with it until they make it successful?
Perseverance is essential because no success was ever met overnight. Delayed gratification is something that young people have not mastered at such a young age. It takes self-discipline to wait on something they want. But it’s important that they learn this lesson and to think about how their skills and chosen career path will lead to financial success.
When planning a budget or financial goal, plan it step-by-step the same way you would plan a college curriculum or other aspects of your life. Here’s an example:
Goal: To get a job that will produce $50,000 per year in income by 2024.
- Step 1: Enroll in college and choose a major. Do homework about the chosen career and find out what the average salaries are in that field by using sites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Step 2: Work hard to complete the degree or certification you need to create the target income.
- Step 3: Think about how you can stand out among the crowd and do something different that will make you a better candidate than your peers.
- Step 4: Try to get an entry-level position in a part-time job in your chosen field. This will help your resume stand out when you apply for jobs.
- Step 5: Shadow or apprentice at a workplace in your industry of choice. Try to impress the hiring team and see if you can get hired as part-time or temporary help. Offer to work for free for a few weeks to learn the ropes.
Be assertive and stick to your financial goal. If you find that your career of choice will not produce the income you need to live up to your standards and pay off student loans, you may want to think about other skills you have that will help produce this income. And remember that it’s more how you save and invest than your income that will determine your financial success. Hold onto as much money as you can and contribute money monthly to your savings or investment plan once you get a job.