By the time you hit 30, you’ve hopefully built a solid financial foundation during the past decade. In your 30s, it’s time to build on those concepts and keep working toward security.
(If you missed our two posts about good habits in your 20s, or maybe you just need to reset the clock on money matters, you can read our tips here and here.)
Here are five tips for financial success in your 30s.
- Revisit your budget: Your budget will always be your starting point because it sets the tone for everything. If you haven’t looked at your budget lately, now is the time. Life probably looked different in your 20s, as did your income and expenses. If you want to save for a house or a family, or if you already have these, your budget needs to reflect it.
- Tackle your debt: If you have any, work toward eliminating it. Again, you’re likely setting your sights on future spending goals and debt will only hold you back. Student loans, credit card balances, and auto loans don’t need to follow you through this decade.
- Build your emergency fund: Aim to keep three to six months’ worth of expenses in savings in case of a rainy day. If you’re not at the six-month mark, bump up your savings. Also, periodically look at your expenses to see if your monthly estimate is still on target.
- Increase retirement savings: While in your 20s you might have been shooting for 10%, try to up the percentage you’re saving for retirement to 15% of your income. Put as much as you can afford into a 401(k), or at least enough to take full advantage of your employer’s match if they offer one. You can also contribute to an IRA. Each time you get a raise, consider upping your contribution to keep up with your income.
- Manage your credit: If your credit score is low, it decreases your chances of getting a mortgage or car loan when you need it. A low credit score can also affect rental applications, job prospects, and insurance rates. Request your credit histories annually to look out for fraud, mistakes, or other items that could be keeping your score down.
It’s never too late to change the course of your finances or to right the ship if things have gotten off track. The sooner you take steps to reclaim your money, the better off you’ll be down the road.
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