For an adult who is just learning the ropes, the twenties can be understandably challenging. A ton of responsibilities like health insurance, student loans and job security are major things you can’t pass off to your parents to take care of anymore. While the road may be rocky for some, it is important to stay consistent in a few areas. The finances are one of these areas. There are a few wise financial moves every person should make before they enter their 30s. With consistent planning, discipline and intention, anyone can make moves in the right direction regarding their financial security and future.
1. Pay Down Debt.
If you were able to manage to graduate from undergrad and grad school without any student loans, that’s wonderful. However, most people in their twenties are dealing with a sizable amount of student loan debt. Unfortunately, many credit card companies also choose to entice college students with credit cards with high-interest rates as well. If you didn’t avoid the credit cards and ended up with an amount of debt, it’s important to pay it all off. There is going to come a day when you’ll get tired of renting and will want to buy a home. When mortgage lenders look at your finances, they need to see a solid credit history. They also don’t want to see a ton of debt on your plate either. Do your best to make your payments on time and pay down as much debt as possible. When you become intent on taking care of the debt, you’ll get into a better financial position. This move will set you on the right path for the rest of your life.
2. Build a Solid Savings Account.
Research states that the average American doesn’t have enough money saved in their savings account to be okay if they lose a job tomorrow. You don’t want that to be you. Go against the odds and do your best to save money. If you’re currently in the habit of living paycheck to paycheck, get on a budget and pull yourself out of the hole. This type of living is very dangerous. Once you budget the amount that you plan to spend for a specific pay period, be intentional about sticking to the budget. Make sure to move a certain amount of money to your savings account and plan for purchases. Planning for purchases will also help you move out of the paycheck to paycheck mentality. If you know you’d like to go on a shopping spree for fall clothes, set aside money each pay period and plan for this type of purchase. The same goes for vacations or any other important expense. Set money aside for car expenses such as new tires and oil changes, if you have a car. These types of expenses are bound to come. It’s important to be able to handle them when they arise. Plus, it’s always good to have money saved up.
3. Maintain an Emergency Fund.
“An emergency fund is specifically for emergencies only, and a sale at your favorite department store is not an emergency,” said Yellow Brick Road Financial Advisors. If you were to lose your job, you should have six months of expenses saved in your emergency fund. This will give you enough time to find a new job and live without worry. If you are single, put aside a year’s worth of expenses in your emergency fund. There’s a reason why it is so important to have money set aside for a rainy day. Rainy days are guaranteed. You may not know when they’re coming, but they will come. In order to make sure you’re not completely caught off-guard, do your best to set aside money. Even if you don’t have the full six months’ worth of expenses set aside, begin to move toward saving at least $1,000 in an emergency fund account.
These financial moves require discipline and may not be fun do at first. It’s easier to live on impulse, but it’s also very dangerous. Before you enter your thirties, take consistent steps in these directions and you’ll set yourself up for a very bright financial future. You’ll thank yourself down the road when you’re debt-free and can enjoy the fruits of your labor.