My financial plan for the next 10 years is a question I'm always asking myself. Being 25 years old I look at the last 5 years and see how much better off I am financially. I am a single mom of a 4 year old child and before I got my RN degree we were struggling. When I had a steady income I created a budget for myself. After all the apartment living, I was able to purchase my first home. Again, I rethought the budget. Now, I have a boyfriend. He is paying off his debt while I still maintain our budget. We do well. I am a big coupon clipper and use them wisely. I work night shift to accommodate my son and get a couple extra incentives.
In the future we have decided to pay for our own wedding. I would like to start a wedding fund within the next year for us to fund the wedding. I also contribute $422/mo to my ROTH IRA. My jobs, yes jobs, provide a good retirement, but I like to fund my own retirement. I have an age aggressive option. I also fund my sons college. I don't give him as much to his account because as selfish as it sounds, I want to make sure i'm taken care of. He will be fine when he goes to college because there are loan options. And like me, he will have to pay for his education.
My big expenses with having a child is of course daycare. I pay $400/mo in that alone. I can see why couples choose to be stay at home moms or dads.
My financial goals for myself in 2010 are to fund my Roth to its max again, keep my 2 jobs and thrive at them by obtaining certificates and continuing to teach. I also will be funding my son's kindergarten in full of $2000. For fun, I would like to take a vacation. Not sure where yet, but it's on the list. We also have cut back on our grocery bill. Attempting to pay only $100/month for the 3 of us. I always cook meals which helps that a lot.
The next 10 years, I hope to be married (funding my own wedding), have another child or two (which means finish the basement which is a financial cost), and just enjoy my family without having to worry about money because we will have our budget to follow.
The recession hasn't really affected me because I have started my financial life/journey when I was in my own recession. Struggling to give my son what he needed without child support, working 2 minimum wage jobs, and going to school. I am financially flourishing considering where I came from. Sometimes when I do wonder how were going to afford something, I think back to where I was. If I lost my job, I have another to fall back on. If I lost that, I have about $18,000 in an emergency fund. Luckily, with my career I wouldn't have to worry too long because nursing has a shortage. If inflation became a bigger issue, budgeting would have to change. If a depression happened, we would definitely get rid of luxuries (cell phone, TV etc).
Advice I would give those in their 20s is budget budget budget!! Don't spend more than you make. Be creative with things to do that doesn't cost money. Think about your future, not just the moment in time. Get RID of credit cards. SAVE SAVE SAVE. Become computer savvy. Use websites and blogs to give you new goals and ideas for financial success. Oh and PLAN PLAN PLAN for the future and for now. If you need to finish your degree, go back to school, NOW, not in 10 more years.