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10 Financial Goals To Pursue Before You Reach Your 30s

10 Financial Goals To Pursue Before You Reach Your 30s

“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.”

Scott Burton

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.

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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.

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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”.

Ken Ndengu

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.

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‘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

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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