Saving for your kids: Now or later?

This question came in through the survey I created recently, proof that I’m listening. The question was: Should you save when kids are first-born or postpone until other financial goals met?

Great question. I’m going to start by saying that this is just my take on the question and everyone’s situation is different.

Now that that’s out-of-the-way, let’s dig into this question. My short answer is that you should wait to start saving for your kids until your other financial goals are met, depending on what those goals are:

  • Pay off debt: Wait to start saving
  • Buy a bigger house: Start saving now
  • Saving for a down payment on your first house: Wait
  • Buy a newer car: Start
  • Save up an emergency fund: Wait
  • Save up for vacation: Start

Obviously the sooner you can start saving, the greater your funds will build up over time. However, you have to look at your other financial goals and whether finishing them will set you up to be able to save more later and help your family.

Paying off debt, saving up an emergency fund, and saving for a down payment for your first house are all things that will set you up to win later and removes risk from your family. The others things won’t.

Many of the goals that will cause you to postpone saving for your kids are short-term goals. They are ones that you can concentrate on for a period of time and then put them behind you.

For example, after you’ve saved up an emergency fund you shouldn’t need to ever go back and do that again unless an emergency comes along. However, newer cars and vacations will come around every so often and you need to be able to budget for those while accomplishing other long-term goals (such as retirement or saving for your kids).

What type of financial goals are you trying to tackle? Do you have a question about what order to tackle them in? Leave them in the comments below. If you have something else you’d like to add, leave that below as well. If you’d like to ask a question specific to your situation, use the contact form to send me something directly.

Featured Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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