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Credit scores: Advice to a college student

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We have no credit card debt. I have two student loans which I am paying back on a ten year repayment plan. Once has a balance of $14,800 at 6% and the other, 7,200 at 6.1%.

As for other goals, we are planning on taking 9 months to a year off in several years to travel. The plan is to have enough save to do this and still have 10-15,000 left in savings when we come back. We are not entirely sure how much this will cost, but I anticipate we would need at least another 10,000 saved. Aside from that, we want to purchase a home eventually, but that’s likely not going to be for at least ten years (we are both 23).

So, our month to month financial situation is that we spend $500 to $800 less than we earn, depending on the month. Aside from continuing to save for a trip, where else could we put our money? I have toyed with the idea of contributing more to my student loans, opening a Roth IRA for my wife (she is a student and doesn’t have any retirement account set up), or some other type of investing. What would you suggest?
- Jeff

Whenever someone asks a question about what they should do with extra saving or investing dollars, I respond with the same general thing.

Set some goals.

Sit down with your wife and talk about where you want to be in five years. If you like where you’re at and want to simply retain it with more robustness, I’d pay off the debt. If you want a more secure retirement so you feel safe switching jobs later, I’d build the Roth IRA. If you want a home, I’d start saving cash.

Your goals lead what you do with the money.

Q4: Preparing for job review
I’m writing to you looking for some advice as to what I can do to prepare for an upcoming Job Review (1 year). I feel like my job is going well, I am liked by those around me and I feel like my employers value me. However, I also feel like they don’t care how much work they give me – they just pile it on day after day with no regard – thus deadlines are stretched and my stress raises. I don’t feel like I am compensated fairly, but I don’t know if a raise is in my future or not. I suppose my question is: what do you suggest, if anything, to do to prepare for a job review?
- William

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