At any age, money management can prove challenging. Emergencies and unexpected costs can arise without warning, wreaking havoc on savings. Of course, saving money is particularly challenging when your car breaks down, you catch the flu, and you drop your phone in the toilet in the space of a week.

Young adults just starting their careers can have even greater difficulty pulling together their finances. Student loans, early-career salaries, and inexperience with money management can all scramble a budget for those just starting out.

Still, many financial experts agree that getting your finances under control at an early age is essential to a lifetime of fiscal responsibility. Here are five tips for the young wage earner to stay afloat:

  1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt
    One of the biggest struggles for young earners is learning to manage debt. Student debt is often hulking and will require years to pay off, but other debts can be reduced more quickly. Under 30 CEO recommends paying off credit cards on-time and chipping away at big debts to avoid spending too much on interest rates. Most Americans spend about 26% of their annual income paying down debts, but with diligent planning, young people can reduce this percentage to spend money more wisely on other necessities.
  2. Construct a Budget
    Another essential step for young people is actively keeping track of their spending. Though U.S. News and World Report admits that budgets can feel restrictive, remaining conscious of where your money goes each month can help young consumers make better choices. Using a budget might also help young people find room for more fun spending after they’ve accounted for other essential bills.
  3. Start Saving Now
    Finally, U.S. News insists that young people must begin saving as much and as early as possible. Saving before you have a mortgage or kids will carve a smoother path for those later-in-life expenses. Specifically, saving for emergencies and for retirement will help new wage earners climb out of financial insecurity quickly. Though retirement may seem distant, U.S. News reminds young workers that many companies will match retirement contributions, so starting early can help them reap rewards for decades.

By following these tips, any twenty-something can go from getting by to getting ahead. Start early for a lifetime of relatively stress-free financial stability.

Are you one diagnosis away from bankruptcy? Then imagine how you’ll feel in retirement. To save on health costs in retirement, you need to start planning now.

With rising health care costs a very scary reality, people who are soon entering retirement need to be thinking about how they can save on their health care expenses. While the average age of retirement is 63, people enter retirement at all ages and at all levels of financial stability. And without a normal income, it’s important for retirees to be smart about their health care expenses. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways you can save on health care costs in retirement.

Take Preventative Measures

One of the easiest ways to save on health care costs is to stay healthy so you don’t need to visit the doctor more often than necessary. So if you do have any health issues, you should address them before they escalate. And even if you aren’t sick right now, it’s still important to take precautions. By visiting the doctor and dentist regularly, you can ensure any problems that do arise are noticed sooner rather than later. You can even take advantage of opportunities like dental school cleanings — and with dentistry being considered one of the 10 most trusted professions, you can get a free cleaning and help students reach their goals. But overall, it’s important to truly take care of yourself. You should try to have a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy foods, and get regular exercise. While this may be a new adjustment for some people, treating your body better now will save you money in the long run. So be precautious and stay as healthy as possible.

Think Long-Term

When you’re thinking about your health care needs, it’s important to not only think about what you need now, but what you may need in the future. Thinking about your long-term health care needs is one of the best ways to reduce health care costs. While it isn’t always pleasant to think about the medical needs we may have in the future, it’s an important step to take. You should consider aspects of health care like hiring a home aid, medical equipment, prescriptions, and other medical care. Already, it’s estimated that 65% of people over the age of 60 experience dizziness or loss of balance on a daily basis. You never know what medical issues may come up, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible. This can also include taking steps like installing handrails in your home and ramps next to stairs. This can help prevent falls, which in turn can prevent expensive medical bills. It’s also important to consider establishing a health care proxy and getting your legal forms in place in case an accident does occur. All in all, considering your long-term health care needs can be a simple way to reduce health care costs.

Know Your Health Care Plan

And last but not least, it’s absolutely crucial to fully understand your health care plan. This is important for a few reasons. First, it’s important to ensure you’re not getting overcharged in any way. You should frequently check your bank statements to ensure you’re paying the same amount — this can also help you ensure your payment information is stolen, like the 15.4 million U.S. consumers who were victims of identity theft in 2016, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. Secondly, it’s important to know which medical expenses you’re covered for. This is beneficial when you have an unplanned doctor visit and need to know how much you’re going to have to pay out of pocket. And lastly, it’s important to know if you’re getting the right coverage or not. Remember that not all health care policies are the same, and you may need a different one than what you currently have. Knowing your health care plan can help you ensure you’re getting the right coverage at the right costs.

Entering retirement is an exciting time, but there is still work to be done. So make sure to keep these tips in mind and always revisit your health care plans to ensure you’re saving as much money on health care costs as possible.

Too busy doing the apps to have children

Not too long ago, a young couple living together would be socially condemned in suburban America as “living in sin.” People often married young and started having kids without a second thought. Today, 5.5 million unmarried couples live together in the United States. Many young people think of marrying someone before living together. They also believe that being intimate to be an archaic — and sometimes dangerous — notion.

Waiting Longer To Get Married

Even when young people do get married, they’re waiting longer to do so. In the 1950s, the median age for women to get married was just 20 years old (for men it was 23). As of 2004, those numbers rose to 26 and 27, respectively.

Researchers are pointing out that divorce rates have dropped significantly since millennials came of marrying age. From 2008 to 2016, the overall national divorce rate dropped by 18%. You may say “well that’s because fewer young people are getting married in the first place!” And you’d be partially right. But researchers also adjusted the numbers to account for the drop in marriages taking place and demographic changes. Yet, they still concluded that an 8% drop in divorces has happened in the United States.

Marriage and Divorce

In this particular study, the reasons cited for a drop in having children are because marriage and divorce are familiar to many millennials. More of them are going to college and starting careers. They feel that path is expected of them by family and society. Being busy with building a career and bogged down by college debt means less time for worrying about marriage. It also means more caution about making the right choice in partner. Divorces increased over the past 200 or so years because societal stigma against divorce lessened. Has marriage decreased because stigma against being unmarried has lessened?

Of course, the fact that young people are currently laboring under a combined $1 trillion in student loans probably doesn’t help, either.

It’s not just U.S. millennials who feel this way. Young people worldwide are becoming increasingly connected by the internet and other forms of media, forming progressive views in the process. The result? Young adults worldwide are choosing to delay marriage and delay having children, or skip these life events altogether.

Japan, for example, has the third lowest birth rate in the world at only 7.7 per 1,000 people. Their population is actually in a slow decline because of this birth rate issue, causing a lot of controversy amongst the Japanese.

Poverty, Birth Control and Family Planning

Although you’d imagine that poverty would be a factor in low birth rate (kids are expensive), the opposite is true. When populations overcome poverty, birth rates decrease. There are several reasons for this. For one, mortality rates decrease with decreased poverty. When more of your children will live to adulthood, you can afford to have fewer. Second, birth control and family planning education are more readily available in a growing or wealthy country. Third, cultural values can change with a movement of wealth and technology. People tend to take on some Westernized ideas (like smaller families) when supplied with Western-dominated media. Fun fact: more children around the world aged two to five know how to use a smartphone app (19%) more than tie their shoes (9%).

Overpopulation

The world is slowly but surely working its way out of the deepest kinds of poverties. Some experts are estimating that high birth rates in Africa, the Middle East, India, and island nations worldwide could decrease in the next couple of decades as birth control and other resources are more easily accessible. Is this a good thing? Some would argue no, the preservation of culture is at risk. Others would say yes, overpopulation is going to become an urgent issue for our planet soon. What do you think?

We’ve all been there.

Hat Tip: Bizarro Comics.

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If you’re under the age of 30, then technology has probably been a part of your romantic life since you hit puberty. In middle school, it was awkward, flirty chats on AIM, then stalking your cyber crush on Facebook, followed by modern dating apps like Tinder or OKCupid. Of course, that’s not the only part of our relationships that have shifted to the online space.

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It was inevitable that this topic would come up on a personal finance blog about couple’s finance.

Like or not, Dave Ramsey is one of the nation’s best known personal finance gurus. I wanted to review his take on marriage and money, then share what he’s getting right and what he misses.

Here is a quick clip where Ramsey outlines his views on marriage and finances.

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