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How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Investing, and Student Loans

How to manage saving, investing, and student loans all at once.

No matter what variables we weigh before making a financial decision, almost all of them have something in common — influence over our future and how it will play out.

The future is an incredibly difficult thing to plan for, and especially to balance with the present. We have to walk a tightrope between catering to the near and long term, and missteps can be detrimental.

While it’s crucial we put back money for a rainy day, it’s also incredibly important to invest for retirement and pay down our debts too. It’s a dichotomy of saving and investing vs reducing liabilities — but how can we do all of them effectively?

How to save, invest, or pay off loans according to your goals

Your financial well-being will almost always be a balancing act, sometimes more so than others. While you still have student loans, that means catering to them alongside your other financial priorities of budgeting and saving.

A few tips to navigate this

  • Prioritize the minimum payment: Thanks to the on-ramp built into student loan repayments return, missing a payment won’t send your loans to delinquency right now. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to make the payment if possible. For some borrowers, your monthly minimum payment might even be $0 if you qualify under the new SAVE repayment plan.

  • Work on creating a savings buffer too: It’s important to maintain at least some level of safety net at all times, even $1,000 is a great place to start. Aim to contribute any leftover amount every month to a savings account, even if you’re making student loan repayments. And if you can go above and beyond that, even better — aim to make saving a part of your budget.

  • As for retirement, this is something where the priority level depends on your situation. Having a savings buffer and meeting your minimum payments should usually be priority number one, and you should focus on these until you have room to invest as well.

  • Ultimately, the most important thing here is to take some time to understand where you are now, and where you want to go eventually. This is where your goals come into play and can help shape your plan of action going forward.

Connecting your accounts on Origin is a great way to understand your financial health, set your goals, and stick with them

By providing you with a holistic overview of your financial situation all in one place, connecting your accounts to Origin allows you to get a true bird’s eye view of your finances.

  • Big picture: Having that overview perspective will help you to see your situation clearly, and subsequently show the path toward where you want to go. Your Origin account overview will help you get a feel for your spending, saving, and investing habits all in one place, and provide you with actionable tips to help improve each.

  • Budgeting: If you’re under a lot of financial stress, the budgeting feature can quickly alleviate some of the confusion by giving you a clear, real-time picture of your financial health and where your money is going every month.

  • Personalized insights: Origin will consistently bring you personalized insights to help you make decisions, such as if you have any money that could be working harder for you in an investment account or if you have enough savings to cover an emergency. The more you know, the more you grow, and Origin puts you in the driver’s seat of your finances through the power of information.

  • Investments will provide you insights into how your retirement accounts are doing, where you may be behind, and the precise moves you can make to improve your investing.

  • Sidekick provides real-time, personalized guidance. You can think of it as your AI-powered planner. Ask Sidekick any money question and you’ll get personalized answers, tailored to you.

  • Your financial planner: Starting later this year, Origin members can pay per session to meet with a dedicated financial planner.

Other tips for balancing these three financial goals

On a macro level, there are a few perspectives that will help to keep you grounded throughout all of the ups and downs of your financial progress.

  • Shore up defenses: Short-sighted decisions are most commonly the result of panic, and panic, if we trace it to its origins, often stems from a lack of preparation. This can be avoided by shoring up your defenses before the unexpected strikes—bolster your savings, invest more if possible, and make yourself as invaluable as possible in your field. By doing these things, you’ll feel more secure in times of uncertainty, and reduce the likelihood of making regrettable moves.

  • Craft your plan: A solid long-term plan will be at the core of many of the tenets for keeping a cool head. It’s easier said than done, and something that will take a lot of time and thought, but paramount nevertheless. If you don’t yet have one in place, it’s time to take a look at your current situation, career, goals, and retirement dreams, putting them all together to help formulate your path forward.

  • With student loans, stay informed and proactive: The whole student loans situation is in flux right now with political and moral agendas being waged right and left. News on the matter is coming out consistently, and it pays to be informed on the latest happenings so you can plan accordingly.

  • If you ever find yourself confused or wondering about something, we’re here to help: Origin is waiting in your pocket at a moment's notice with a bevy of resources available. Whether you want to learn about student loans, talk with your planner, or ask a simple question to Sidekick, we’re ready and willing on all fronts.


The balancing act is tricky, but Origin makes it easy to have a clear view, set a plan, and stick with it. We’re here to empower you with as much information about your financial situation as possible, and then help you navigate that too — we won’t leave you stranded or do half the job.

The process becomes much less overwhelming with this immersive product suite that allows you to manage your money all in one place — whether it’s your planner, Sidekick, personalized tips for you, or even just finally getting a visual of your finances, Origin makes it easy. Try Origin for one month free, then $12.99/month.