“Freedom and wealth is an outcome of “Time”; the most precious asset that we all possess. Time however is a variable to each individual as our actions from our choices determine the longevity and returns from this asset. To maximize the return on this asset is determined by the energy that we put forth in developing our financial education, relationships and health.”
In your twenties your future is too far away to think about and what is important is the “here and now”.
Your financial habits are not great, as you will have probably maxed out your credit card, delayed any savings and focused mainly on pleasure spending.
Your twenties are the time to have fun and its ok to make financial mistakes. However, the bad financial habits that you have accumulated in your twenties need to be gone before you head into your thirties.
Being in your thirties is different, you become more responsible and yes a little more serious about life.
Living in a cold damp house where it was party central every weekend doesn’t seem so appealing. The comforts of a warm centrally located apartment with your partner or a flatmate is the place you really want to be. You start to drink wine and your parties go from 100’s to dinner parties of 6! No police get called to your dinner parties!
You will find that children, family, marriage, buying houses are the main topics of discussion amongst your friends.
Shopping. Bills. More bills. Your health. Appointments. Money. Credit cards. Rent. Mortgages. Tax returns. Work. Some of these things were present in your twenties, and if you really wanted to ignore them you could but now you can’t.
If you make the right financial choices in your twenties, many of the thirty something life events become not so stressful and far more pleasurable. The reason why,is because you have a good financial base!
However, if you don’t make the right financial choices in your twenties, your life will be one of financial struggle – not only in your thirties but for ever.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you where you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver” Ayn Rand
By pursing these 10 Financial Goals before you reach 30, you will have set the foundation for you to enjoy financial security and independence for the rest of your life.
1. Know Your Personal Financial Profile
“When it comes to money and so many other things in life, understanding your weaknesses and strengths can help you with your future plans.” Tagene Brown-McBean
I know that this doesn’t look like a financial goal however it is the key to your success in achieving your financial goals. You need to know what your values and beliefs are around money.
What is your risk profile? Does spending money give you pleasure? Have you got good saving habits? When you see something you really want, do you justify to yourself how much you deserve it even though you cant afford it. Do you like credit cards? Are you ever able to pay your credit cards off in full every month?
Do you bury you head in the sand when it comes to dealing with money?
There are lots of financial personality profiles assessments on the internet and many of them are free. Here is a link to a great article on personalities and money. How Your Personality Affects Your Finances
Go and find out what your relationship is like with money. Then decide if you have the commitment, desire and motivation to pursue these financial goals before you turn thirty.
2. Write Down Your Financial Goals.
“By failing to prepare you are planning to fail” Benjamin Franklin
Once you have an understanding of your financial personality, you can then start to plan your financial future.
Write down your financial goals – short, medium and long term goals.
The timeframes you set for these goals need to be aligned to your financial personality.
Use the KISS and SMART metrics to write your goals. (Keep It Simple Smart) and (Specific, Measurable, Action, Realistic, and Time Bound).
This financial goal needs you to be disciplined and focused. If you struggle with these personality traits – thats ok. Find someone who can help you or go on the internet and look for templates that you can use to guide you to writing your goals.
Find out how to write your financial goals that are aligned to you and your current priorities in life.
If you don’t take the time to put a financial plan in place by the time you reach your thirties, you increase your chances of failing to achieve those financial outcomes that will enable you to live your dream life.
3. Stop Impulse Spending
“Remember, buying something is not the problem
Give up your bad habits around spending. The sooner you give up the habit of impulse spending, the better off you will be financially.
Try to understand why this behaviour is important to you as it does not serve you well. This behaviour does not support wealth creation. If you continue to spend impulsively your financial future going into your thirties and beyond, will be a struggle.
Don’t stop enjoying your life and spending money all together. You should be spending money on things that make you feel good. Just be realistic about your spending habits. If your spending is reckless and impulsive, then do something about it.
4. Get an App To Track Your Expenses
“There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn” Paul Clitheroe
If you are in your twenties and you have a negative perception or no motivation to budget or track your expenses you need to change right now.
Holding on to these beliefs will hold you back from having any financial security in your thirties and later in life. Keeping a track of of your expenses is one of the key financial habits that will enable you to have financial wealth and independence in your life.
There are some amazing budgeting apps that you can download. Go search for these apps as they enable you to budget and monitor your expenses with ease and no stress.
When you reach thirty it is essential that you are able to live within your means otherwise you will find yourself drowning in debt.
Remember your thirties will bring more expense and cost to your life. Good budgeting habits will ensure you are prepared to manage these extra costs and live within your means.
5. Learn About Investing
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune”. Jim Rohn
To create long term wealth you need to become educated about investment.
The best time to start getting the basics sorted around investment and start building your wealth is now – as you head into your thirties.
With sound investment planning in your twenties you should have an investment portfolio up and running by the time you are thirty.
Investing in your future now, before you turn thirty, ensures that you will reap the financial rewards of security and independence for the rest of your life.Advertising
6. Learn How To Manage Your Debt
“Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.” Henry Wheeler Shaw
Don’t borrow money to buy depreciating assets is a key rule to managing debt.
Debt can work in your favour, but only when you use it for things that tend to rise in value over a reasonable period of time.
Using borrowed money to invest in a house, a business or an investment (which includes your education) is the sensible use of debt. However you still have to pay the debt of and if you don have a plan to manage your debt, then interest will compound and your debt will triple.
Borrowing to buy a new phone, pair of shoes, TV, or car is not a smart use of debt.
Get rid of your BAD DEBT – credit cards, higher purchase or car payments. Avoid credit card debt like the plague.
There is a very simple rule to follow when you spending, if you have to borrow money for it, then you simply can’t afford it – that includes using credit cards.
7. Get Insurance And Start Saving For Emergencies
“The habit of savings is itself and education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought and so broadens the mind” T.T Mauger
In your twenties the concept of an “personal emergency” is never thought about because it just doesn’t happen in your twenties. If an emergency occurs usually your parents will sort it out.
However that it all changes in your thirties and things like Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and Mortgage Payments start to appear in your lives.
You need to protect your future. Setting up a fund and getting insurance for you to call on in an emergency is a great financial goal to have underway as you enter into your thirties.
8.Stop Relying On Your Parents For Money
“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln
If you are still relying on your parents to financially support you when you are thirty, you should be worried.
I get that you may have a student loan and in your twenties your parents were your ATM machine however this is a bad habit to maintain as you go into your thirties.Advertising
It is pretty much guaranteed that if you have bad debt and still rely on a monthly allowance from your parents then your chances of having financial independence and creating wealth in your life will not happen.
That is your reality.
9. Start A Retirement Account
There is no way you would have missed all the hype that has been promoted about how important it is to start saving for your retirement in your twenties.
The book Get A Financial Life by Beth Kobliner focuses on helping people in their twenties and thirties get their personal finances sorted. In her book Beth Kobliner outlines an example to show how the power of time on your investments works.
“Suppose you set aside $1,000 a year from age 25 to age 64 in a retirement account that earns 5% a year (historically, stocks return about 8%, but we’ll be conservative). That’s $39,000 total you invest. By the time you turn 65, you’ll have $126,840. If you don’t get started with saving until you’re 35, you’ll only have $69,760. Starting just ten years earlier would have doubled your total. Yes, doubled.”
When you are investing in your future with the goal to achieving financial freedom, then time is your biggest ally. Start saving and investing now before you reach thirty.
10. Develop A Financial Abundant Mindset
“When we do what we love to do; when we are generous and seek to help others; when we live within our means and save money; when we always seek a more specialized knowledge…we then have an abundant mindset, and are bound to realize financial abundance”.
How you handle your relationship with money in your twenties will influence how you live the rest of your life.
Starting to develop a mindset that supports financial abundance, will help you to prosper in the future both financially and personally.
A person who has a financially abundant mindset is one who has developed knowledge and skills to acquire financial wealth however balances that with philanthropy and generous giving.
Pursing these 10 financial goals before you reach thirty will guarantee you financial security and independence for the rest of your life.
You have the power and the choice as you head into your thirties to create the life you desire.
I hope you choose well.Advertising
‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery” Charles Dickens
Last Updated on March 4, 2019
How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt
Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.
I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.
Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.
Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.
Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources
Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.
I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.
I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.
If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.
Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month
The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.
Using Credit Cards with Rewards
Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.
You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.
I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.
So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.
What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.
Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com