New Parents Dilemma: Should I Save For My Child’s College Or My Retirement?

This story originally appeared on Forbes.com as New Parents: Which Comes First, Saving For Your Kid’s College Or Funding Your Retirement?

Saving for college before funding retirement seems like a no-brainer for new parents.

When a new baby is born, you may think, “College is only 18 years away, while retirement is way down the line!” You may even think you’ll never retire at all, so why worry about it now? You certainly don’t want your kids burdened with student loans like you were.

This knee-jerk reaction could pose problems later. Regardless of your gut instinct, saving for retirement comes first.

You may be wondering why a financial planner is discouraging new parents from saving for college — aren’t planners always telling people to save for their goals?

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5 Easy Ways To Keep Some Of Your Money

When your paycheck hits your bank account, it might not look like much.

Federal, State, Social Security and Medicare taxes are taken out. Medical, dental and vision insurance and your 401(k) contribution are withdrawn before you even see your check.

Automatic deductions such as your Employee Stock Purchase Plan, car payment and transfer to savings hit, too. Your net pay looks a lot different than your gross pay. Don’t let that fool you though.

When you look at one single net paycheck, your income stream might look small but when you look at how much money you make over your lifetime, it’s astounding!

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Watch Six On History Channel But Watch Out For The Negative Money Message

Love the show, Six, on The History Channel.

Hate the money message, though.

After seeing actor, Walton Goggins play Boyd Crowder on “Justified,” I’ll watch him anytime anywhere. That means I am watching — “Six” a mini-series based on Seal Team Six.

My take: entertaining show. I love the positive theme “Never leave a brother behind.”

It’s the underlying money message that really bothers me.

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One Easy Financial Move To Start Your Year Off Right

Are you looking to make your financial life easier? I just came across a tip you might have heard but forgotten.

Review your credit reports to spot errors – for free.

There are a lot of errors, by the way. A Federal Trade Commission’s study showed 25% of credit reports had errors and 80% of disputed claims produced some kind of modification. Since it is free, it’s worth it. Check your credit report at least once a year.

Guess what? I just got mine and it only took me 5 minutes from start to download. Most of that time was spent answering questions to verify my identity such as streets I’d lived on and dates of financial accounts I’d opened.

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