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Money Management for Young Workers

July 27, 2014
Plain English Version

money managementYoung men and women who start working should start thinking about money.

Below are recommendations from the experts:

Set a budget. Write down your goals. Enter them into an app, such as Intuit or Mint, for tracking. Getting your goals on paper and in the computer makes it easier to track how you are doing in reaching those goals.

Save for emergencies. You might lose your job or be unable to work. Set aside enough money for three to six months of living expenses. Do not use the set aside money except in a real emergency.

Take stock of debt. Look at your credit card, student loans and other debt such at auto payments. Consider refinancing multiple different loan payments into one loan with a lower interest rate and lower payments.

Think about retirement. The rule is to set aside and save about 15 percent of your salary (including employer contributions) for retirement.  Make sure you put enough money in to match any employer contribution to a 401 (k).

Put your savings into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Think about a Roth IRA. It allows you to save money without having to pay taxes when you withdraw the money.

Manage risk. Do you have enough insurance? You should have  homeowners/renters, auto, health, disability and life insurance.

Manage taxes.  Look at the amount being withheld aside for taxes in your paycheck.. If you got a big refund, you had too much money withheld. Withholding too much is like an interest-free loan to the government. If you owe taxes, you had too little money withheld.

Also, keep track of tax-deductibles such as charitable donations and mortgage interest payments.

Money management is a lifetime task that begins early in adulthood.

Source: The Wall Street Journal July 6, 2014

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