I covered the first 5 steps you need to take in order to get set up for financial success. This post will cover steps 6-10.
6. Get a side job : One way to make extra income temporarily is by getting a part-time job. You would be surprised how easy it is to get a part time job in this economy. There are many jobs that require little or no experience and allow you to set your own schedule.
* Become a tutor: universitytutor.com
* Drive with Uber/Lyft
* Pick up and deliver to customers: Favor/Postmates/Door Dash/UberEats
* Help customers complete tasks: Task Rabbit
* Care services: Care.com
* Freelance Jobs: Fiverr/Upwork/Flexjobs
*Your own business: If you’re crafty, you can sell items on Etsy /Amazon/Webuyblack.com
7. Build up an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses: As postdocs, we often fear that our PIs may not being able to enough funding to pay us. This insecurity can cause people to work under unhealthy and unsafe conditions. By building up a 3 – 6 month emergency fund, you know that even if you get laid off unexpectedly, you have a cushion of support while you search for another job. This support will allow you to project confidence in interviews and potentially land your dream job. Don’t believe me? Save up your first $1000 and see if you don’t feel differently!
8. Save up for everything you need: I have a confession…I’m a shopaholic. It’s pretty bad you guys. However, since I got on a budget, I can still shop! In my budget, I included money for shopping. Your budget gives you freedom to do that. You can include a line item for things like clothing in your budget so even if you don’t need to buy something that month, you are building savings for the item into your budget.
9. Save up to buy an affordable home & pay it off in 15 years: Homeownership might not be a dream for some. However, real estate is one thing that usually goes up in value. Once you have your 3-6 month emergency fund. Start saving up a down payment for an affordable house. Want to know how much house you can afford on an average postdoc salary? Click here
10. Save! Save!! Save!!!: Let’s dream a little..
* You have no debt
* You have a 3-6 month emergency fund
* You have saved or are saving for your house
Now, it’s time to invest. Look into your institutions’ policy for retirement savings for their trainees. Ideally, you want to put 15% of your income towards retirement. Here is a tool to determine how much you need to invest monthly to enjoy the retirement you deserve.
I did this exercise using the base salary of $47,476. I think it is definitely possible to achieve this dream. Keep in mind that your salary will not be stagnant over 25-30 years. You will probably make more, and invest more over time. If you are ready to start saving and your institution doesn’t offer retirement options for postdocs, consider opening up your own individual retirement account (IRA). You can contact a financial advisor who can help you get started here. So don’t give up hope! The best way to have money for retirement is to START.