It’s time to get serious when you’re almost in your 30’s. Not that you shouldn’t be when you’re younger, but… you know what I mean.
Turning 30 is a big milestone in a person’s life. You’re not getting any younger. It’s time to focus on the security of your future rather than just living in the present.
They say that with age comes great responsibilities and one of them is taking charge of your own finances. Some are lucky to be able to nail this whole money thing even at a young age but for others (including me), we still need to step up our money-game to get our finances on track and prepare for the future.
To help you optimize the remaining years before hitting the big 3-0, here are 10 personal finance moves that you should be doing right now.
1. Have your own emergency fund.
According to the experts, you should have around 6-9 months’ worth (more or less depending on your situation) of living expenses saved at the bank for rainy days. It’s very important to build a strong emergency fund in order to prepare for unforeseen circumstances like medical emergencies, loss of a job, etc.
2. Save up for big expenditures.
Start setting aside money for future big purchases – car, house, wedding and kids to name a few. Just because you’re single right now, doesn’t mean you’re not bound to face these expenses in the future. Slowly saving for this will help you prevent going into huge debts when that time comes.
3. Make your payments and savings automatic.
Setting up for automatic payments and savings is easy in today’s tech savvy world. If you automate consistent payments and set up automatic transfers to your savings account, you won’t have to worry about late payments or spending the money that you should be setting aside.
4. Pay off all debts, or close.
Aim to become totally debt-free by the age of 30. By now, you should be prioritizing paying all your debts especially the ones generating the highest interests.
5. Try to raise your credit score.
A strong credit score is essential when making big purchases in the future – cars, house, insurance, etc. Establish smart credit card habits to earn a good credit score.
6. Buy the insurance you need.
Start evaluating your needs and budget and find the coverage that is right for you. Dealing with insurance is complex and confusing so before you sign anything, make sure that you do your research and choose one that perfectly fits your situation and needs.
7. Set-up a retirement plan.
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Experts recommend setting aside at least 10% of your income and increase it every year or whenever you get a pay raise.
8. Create long-term career goals.
Don’t just settle. Look at the future and have dreams and goals for your career. Evaluate where your career is going and find ways to improve it. Learn how to negotiate – whether it’s for a promotion, proposed salaries, better deals or better prices. Don’t be afraid to try. Remember, no one succeeds without effort.
9. Start a side business.
When you have the means, don’t be afraid to venture in a business or another means of income. It doesn’t have to a big one; you can invest little by little. Use your passion and skills and make extra money out of it.
10. Know how to live within your means.
Last but not the last, you should already know how to prioritize and live within your means. You’re not young enough to forget the consequences of fun, enjoyment and satisfaction. Know which ones are worth spending on and which ones you can just forego. Control your spending habits and think about the long term effect before making any purchase.