It’s fair to say that many people in their 20s don’t yet have a firm grasp on money management. Maybe you’re trying to pay off your college tuition, or maybe you’re not making quite as much money as you should.
It is also fair to say that for many, that all starts to turn around in your 30s, when you have experience on your side and the income begins to flow a bit more freely. Now is about the time for you to start thinking about money with a longer-term view as you advance your career and more financial opportunities pop up.
Here are five quick tips every thirty-something should keep in mind when it comes to money management.
If you’re not already in the habit of making and sticking to a personal budget, do so now. If you do tend to stick to a budget, it may be time to revise it.
Coming up with a budget you can follow over the long term is a good way to save money, but you should also take into account that your life situation may change from year to year.
The first step is knowing how much money you have and how much money you make. You also want to take into account any debts you might have and determine your net worth. Figure out your recurring monthly expenses and enter all this money into a database.
This will give you a sense of your bottom line, and you can then make adjustments as necessary, depending on what’s going on in your life.
When you’re in your 30s, retirement isn’t exactly top-of-mind, but this is one of those things that’s never too early to worry about. You’re going to want to retire eventually, and now is as good a time as any to begin working towards that goal.
The general rule of thumb is to save 15 percent of your income to put towards retirement, but a number of factors come into play. Enter your information into a retirement calculator to give yourself a good idea of what you should be doing to set yourself up for later in life.
Now that you have a comfortable amount of income, it’s time to start thinking about investing some of that cash.
If learning to invest your money wisely was easy, everybody would do it. That’s not really the case, however. Take some time to seriously look into and learn about investing your money wisely, and come up with a plan that makes sense for you.
Also, just as important as investing your money wisely is not investing your money poorly. Learn some of the red flags that could indicate you have a scam on your hands.
In the old days, it could be difficult to know what banks and lenders looked for and how the moves you made affected your credit score. Now there are all sorts of tools designed to help you track and manage your credit score, including ways you can do so for free.
Some of the key pieces of advice when it comes to managing credit are to pay down as many unnecessary debts as you can and to keep a low balance on your credit cards. If you show that you can make regular payments on time, it will go a long way toward boosting your credit score.
If you’re not making conscious effort to lead a healthier lifestyle, you’re making a huge mistake. Everyone is unique and so are their health concerns. But everyone benefits from regular medical checkups and routine health screenings.
Be active, eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, breathe clean air, and practice safety and hygiene.
You may be at a point in your life where you’re feeling more stressed out – you may be parenting or planning to start a family, juggling a career, caring for aging parents, etc. By practicing healthy habits, you’ll be able to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your life.
This tip may not seem like it belongs on this list, but think about it — the easiest way to manage your money is to avoid over-spending in the first place. One good way to start is to stop eating out so much and to make the majority of your meals at home.
If you’re no chef, teach yourself a handful of must-know recipes you can make at home. If you already know how to rattle the pots and pans, learn to take your cooking to the next level and experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
After all, when it comes to your bottom line, there are few things more frustrating than over-spending on food you could easily make at home.
Managing money wisely is a process that takes time to learn, so do yourself a favor and put in the effort. Your future self will thank you, as will your bank account.
Guest Blog: Anum Yoon
Anum Yoon is a millennial money expert. She shares her hard-earned insights on her blog, Current on Currency.