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10 Financial Goals To Pursue Before You Reach Your 30s

10 Financial Goals To Pursue Before You Reach Your 30s

Have you set your financial goals? Being in your 20s is an exciting time – you finally have the freedom to set your own rules, and you understand the value of independence. However, a big part of independence is being able to support yourself financially.

It is a great feeling knowing you are on track with your money, and now is the perfect time to start working towards financial security.

Check out 10 financial goals to pursue before you turn 30.

1. Focus On Paying Off All Of Your Debt

This does mean all of your debt; student loans, credit cards and any auto debts. All of these payments come with interest, and some of the interest is very high. Focus on paying off your debt first; the repayments and interest will keep sucking up your money until they are totally paid off.

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Paying off your high interest debt makes hitting financial goals and saving money much easier, and you will feel great once you have made that final payment!

2. Create A Monthly Budget Plan

Saving and paying off debt is much easier when you have a budget plan in place. When you have a free evening, sit down and write down all of your earnings and expenses. Set money aside for rent, bills, food, entertainment, paying off debts and savings.

When you have a set amount of money to spend, you will notice you are saving money without having to think about it too much.

3. Stop Impulse Spending

Impulse spending can decrease your savings – as well as often being a waste of money! Before you buy yourself something, ask yourself these questions; Do I need this? Why? Am I paying for this with my weekly allowance, or with my savings?

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A good rule of thumb is if you are paying with your savings, put it down. If you are paying for it with your weekly spending budget, come back the next day and buy it then if you still want it.

4. Set Career Based Financial Goals

It is likely you already have plans to advance your career and earn more money, but writing these plans down can help you to solidify them, as well as motivating you to work towards them. Try to set a rough time limit to achieve them, as this way you can check that you are staying on track.

5. Get Rid Of One Luxury

Most people have a few luxuries or treats they regularly buy. Try to track your spending for a month and see if there is any money that is being wasted.

For instance, many people buy lunch or coffee every day, but swapping to homemade can make a big financial difference. Try to cut out one luxury, and save the money instead. Keep your other treats as a reward for your savings!

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6. Pay Your Bills On Time

One of the most important financial goals in your twenties is to pay your bills on time. Unpaid bills will leave you with bad credit, and they can pile up and become even harder to pay. Try to stay on top of the bill by setting up an automatic payment so you never miss another one.

7. Aim To Have Emergency Savings That Equal 6 Months Of Living Expenses

It may seem like a large amount of money, but through monthly saving you will eventually have enough savings to cover half a year of living expenses. The future is uncertain, and your life will feel less stressful if you know you have a safety net for worse case scenarios.

Try to also put your savings in a high yield account to benefit you financially as you save.

8. Save For A Home

It isn’t essential to save for a home in your twenties, but if you have paid off all of your debts it is often a smart idea. Saving up for a home takes a long time, and the sooner you start, the sooner you will be able to get on the property ladder – if that is something you are interested in doing.

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9. Invest Wisely

Investing is a useful way to increase your savings, but be sensible if you are going to invest. Seek guidance from trained professionals, and let them support and guide you whenever you make investment decisions.

Try to take notes, too, as they will help you to make your own financial decisions in the future.

10. Start To Save For Retirement

While saving for retirement might feel like something you could put off for another decade or so, putting a small amount of money aside each month will make a huge difference.

It doesn’t have to be much at this point, so take a look at your budget and see how much you can spare. Even $10 a month will help to set you up for the future.

A general rule of thumb is to try and save 5% of your wage, and slowly raise that up to 20% over time.

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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