Your 20s are a time to enjoy life a bit and “test the waters” – financially speaking. However, once you reach your 30s, it’s time to put all the fun and games behind you. Now you need to get serious, determine your financial priorities and consider what you can do now to protect your financial future.
One of the best things you can do to protect your finances in your third decade of life is to figure out the most common mistakes made – and then avoid them at all costs.
If this is your strategy, you’re in luck. Here you will find several mistakes that are made and what you can do to avoid them.
- Not Saving as Aggressively as Possible
Saving 10 percent of your total income and contributing enough to your 401(k) to receive an employer match should be just the beginning of your savings plans. You need to make a goal to save more aggressively as your income goes up.
Consider saving 20 to 30 percent of your total income and maxing out your 401(k) contributions.
- Waiting to Start an Investing Account
A huge part of saving is making sure that your money works for you. Even high-interest savings accounts won’t provide enough in the long term to provide protection against inflation.
The first step is to max out your retirement accounts and if you have money left over after paying all your bills and saving for retirement, you can use it for funding a brokerage account.
When you invest small amounts of money regularly while you are young you will build a nice and comfortable cash cushion for when you get older. The key is to make sure you don’t wait too long to do this.
- Not Discussing Your Finances with Your Significant Other
As you develop a more serious relationship, you may start to talk about getting married. When this happens, you have to talk finances.
The fact is that money is the top reason that couples fight. Getting everything out in the open is a great way to avoid this tension.
- Determine How You Will Handle Money Emergencies
When you are first saving or developing a financial plan, you may not have much money stuck back for emergencies. While it is best to build an emergency fund at some point, if you don’t have this yet, what options do you have?
You can ask family and friends or max out a credit card, but are these really the best options?
Another option is to turn to a payday loan. If this is the road you choose, make sure you find the right lender by taking the time to read the latest reviews on licensed payday lenders.
Avoid rushing into any decision just because of the urgency of the situation. Make sure you are protecting your financial future by doing your homework.
- Not Making Financially Responsible Decisions
It’s easy to be somewhat frivolous in your 20s. After all, you are still learning about finances. However, by the time you reach your 30s this frivolous spending should come to an end. When you are ready to purchase something, make sure to consider whether or not you really need it. If not, put it down and walk away.
Saving money in your 30s doesn’t mean you can’t have any money; however, you should always think about your future first. Doing so will help ensure your ongoing financial health many years down the road.