The decisions you make today regarding your finances play a role in your future years from now. You may be thinking about buying a new car now, one right off the lot that has all of the bells and whistles. Yet, that vehicle may not be the ideal choice if you are hoping to save up to buy a home. Smaller things matter, too, such as how much you save from each paycheck.
Whether you are looking for financial future planning as a student or as a couple, Goodwill of Central and Northern AZ offers a variety of tools to help you. Let’s focus first on a few areas that are most important when it comes to creating a financial future for yourself.
Create Savings Now
One of the most important first steps every student, young family, or young professional can take is to establish a savings account. It will allow you to benefit from compounding interest, which is interest that builds on the balance and continues to build year after year. Even if you do not have a lot to put into it now, having a savings account is a solid first step.
Aim, at first, to deposit at least 5 percent of your check into savings. Work that up to 10 percent with a goal of reaching 20 percent. That helps you to focus on your budget on the remaining 80 percent of your income (and ensures you’re continuing to build your wealth over time.
Work to Build Career Goals
Working to improve yourself is one of the best decisions you can make for your future. You may have questions about how to create a strong career or build skills that employers want. Outstanding employees are always in demand. When you have the skills employers need, you know that you’ll have the career you desire.
Perhaps you are not sure of your career path, or you may be stuck where you are right now. That’s not uncommon, but it does require taking steps to improve your future. Goodwill Career Services can help you. This program allows you to get help building advanced career skills, and there is no cost to you for being a part of it. We can help you with a wide range of steps and strategies, including:
- Providing career assessments: We’ll help you determine what type of career may be best suited for your needs based on what your skills are as well as what your interests are.
- Skill training: Our team can provide you with computer and soft skills training, which are both valuable assets that employers expect today’s employees to have. You’ll need to be sure you have these to showcase to your would-be employers.
- Interview skills: Even if you have all of the skills necessary to thrive in a work environment, you may not have the interview skills to help you shine. We’ll help you build confidence, so your interviews go well.
- Job search strategies: Our team will help you to find the jobs that may be available to you that match your skills and qualifications. Often, just knowing how to find key positions is a big step in the right direction.
- Connections to leads: Goodwill has many employers that we work closely with on a consistent basis that could help you to get your foot in the door, so you can begin to build a resume.
- Resume assistance: Having a resume that outlines your skills and clearly demonstrates what you bring to the table is critical. Our team will ensure that your resume looks the best it can.
Your team at Goodwill of Central and Northern AZ is here for you. We want to help you with future planning. It is hard to move forward in this process if you do not have these basic skills and supportive services. Let us help with one-on-one career coaching, onsite hiring events, and access to community resources. Visit our website for more details.
If your dream position is one that requires specific skills or even a degree, it is critical to have a plan to get there. For students, the costs of being able to go to college can seem daunting and limiting. However, there are resources that can help you.
To get started, focus on Federal Student Aid. It is a website that can help you to find a wide range of financial aid programs. It doesn’t cost you anything and there are no ads involved. It is clear information you can use to help you learn what your financial options are for paying for college.
Landing a Job
Once you get into a job, you’ll want to make the most of it. That often means more than just working your shift. There are some other tools your employer may be able to provide that can help you work to build a stronger financial future. Your future planning may benefit from these options if available:
- Extended training: Some employers offer ongoing training and education programs to help their team to remain competitive. Find out if your employer offers any programs.
- Money for college: If the employer does not offer training, they may provide scholarships or financial support to help individuals obtain certifications or advanced degrees.
- Retirement accounts: Employer sponsored retirement accounts are essential to set up. They allow you to contribute to retirement now, allowing you lots of time for the value to build up. What’s more, many employers contribute to your retirement account on top of what you do, and that’s free money that’s building your future.
Work with your employer for advancement, too. Building your resume allows you to potentially qualify for a wide range of opportunities down the road. Remember, everything you do now is going to help you for years to come.
Work to Create Some Goals
A big part of future planning is having goals. Even if you’re unsure what your future holds for you, especially for couples, create some goals now. Here are a few questions to think about:
- What is your dream career? How can you get there?
- What are your short term goals for housing? Do you want to own a home in the future?
- Are there ways you can raise your income now that could help you achieve a better financial future?
- Is now the right time to consider investing in assets or perhaps even opening a financial investment account?
- Do you have a lot of debt? If so, create a plan that focuses on paying down your debt without building more debt.
Consider a range of future scenarios. What do you want your life to look like? When you’re young, you may be focused on getting the most out of every day. Yet, creating some plans now allows you to define your future.
That could mean going back to school or simply taking a new career path. There are tools and supportive resources available for just about any path you desire. We’re happy to be able to provide you with some of the support to get you to that point. Learn more about future planning success by visiting our career services page.