5 Ways to "Adult" Financially

Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as having a 9-5 job, paying a mortgage or rent, having a car payment, or completing any of the other duties that makes one think of grown ups.

One of the hardest parts of adulting is admitting you're not young anymore. Every year that goes by is another year of compounded interest lost. Below are five easy ways to set your financial future as an adult on the right path. 

1. Participate in your employer's retirement plan: If your employer offers a retirement plan, they often match a portion of your contribution. Take advantage of the free money and contribute at least the amount needed to receive the company's match. 

2. Stock pile an emergency savings: At some point down the road things won't go well. Maybe you wreck your car, you lose your job, or something happens to your home. Having emergency savings will limit some of the financial pain (although maybe not the emotional pain) and having one should be a priority today. Have at least 3 months of liquid savings that will not be touched unless there is an emergency. You don't want to use a credit card if things go bad. 

3. Contribute to a Roth IRA, if eligible: Roth IRAs are too good to pass up. If you're eligible (under the income threshold) contribute as much as possible each month. You'll be happy you did 30 years from now. 

4. Create a student debt repayment plan: Debt burden slows down family formation and home ownership. Create a plan to knock it down even if that means working extra. Prior generations worked extra jobs to accomplish goals and we should not think of ourselves differently. 

5. Pay off credit cards each month: If you're rolling over credit card balances each month that means you're spending too much. Stop it. 

The hardest bias to overcome in order to make the transition to adult, is self-control bias. As your Saturday nights move from the dance floor to the couch and Netflix, your priority from spending should transition to savings. Focus on these five ways to improve your finances in 2017 and in 2018, take your financial planning to another level.