At this stage of your life you’re probably ticking off a long list of firsts: your first job, your first time living away from home, your first big relationship, and perhaps the first addition to your family. There’s a lot of calls on your cash. You may be paying back student loans or saving as hard as you can for the deposit on your first flat or house. A word of advice – the sooner you can make a start on a financial plan for your future, the more chance there is that you’ll get to where you want to be in the years ahead.
To get a mortgage, you’ll need to show that your finances are in order and that you can comfortably afford the repayments. Good budgeting skills are essential. Serious savers will tell you that going easy on trips to the coffee shop and making yourself a packed lunch are all good ways of cutting your living expenses and building up your funds. If you can afford to start investing now, rather than keeping your cash in a bank or building society that pays little interest, it will give your money a chance to grow. Plus, there is plenty of time to ride out any short-term ups and downs in the stock market.
Although retirement is the last thing on your mind, ideally you should be planning for it the moment you start work. The most important thing to remember is that being young means that you have time on your side. Getting into the habit of putting money regularly into your pension now can help ensure that by the time you reach pension age, you have saved sufficiently to enjoy rather than endure your retirement years.