It’s not every day that someone turns 30, right? In case you’re curious, I’m still years away from turning 30. But, as I get closer, I can’t help but think about where I will be. Not only where I will be, but where my closest friend will be. Often, when I talk to my friends about finances, it usually ends up with me explaining a few new ideas to them. They aren’t complicated things and not things that make me smarter than anyone else. It’s just what I enjoy learning about and also what I enjoy sharing with others. It’s the same reason why I started this blog: to help other get ahead.
Most young adults wait until they are significantly older to start looking at their finances. This may be because they are busy paying off their student loans or it may be because they don’t make a lot of money. (Side thought: maybe my pursuit of happiness in my job instead of a high paying salary is proof of some delusion that young adults have about finding meaning in their job). Regardless of the reason, young adults often wait too long before taking their finances seriously. If you are looking to get ahead, you might want to start thinking about the following mile markers and how you can accomplish them before you turn the big THREE – O.
Financial Goals To Accomplish Before 30
Have $30,000 in Retirement Accounts
The first thing that you can set your sights on is setting up your retirement accounts when you are in your early 20’s. This will put you years ahead of any of your peers. A great goal to set is to save that many thousand by the time you turn 30. In other words, try to save $30,000 before you turn 30. Even if you don’t save any more money towards retirement after turning 30 (assuming an annual 8% interest rate), that sum will turn into $300,000 by the time you are 60 years old. With inflation, you will want a larger nest egg than that, but it is a great starting point. The first step in setting financial goals is establishing goals that are realistic.
Get a Life Insurance Plan
Too many young adults live their lives without any sort of protection for their families. They tell themselves that it is not necessary because they are in great health. The sad thing is that you never know what could happen and it is better to be prepared. Getting a plan earlier will not only allow you to sleep easier, but it will also provide you with lower premiums. You can read more about how to get your first life insurance plan here.
Pay off Your Student Loans
My boss from my previous employer had a great job. He was pursuing his dream of doing something that was intellectually stimulating. He broke the family cycle of poverty and living paycheck to paycheck, but at one cost. Years and years of student loans. While he never did share the specific amount of school loans, I estimate that he owes a lot of money in student loans. Another important goal to accomplish before you get in your 30’s is to pay off all of your student loans. Not only will this offer you more flexibility going forward (having more money to spend as you would like), but it’s also a sign that you can be responsible with the money that you have.
While failing to meet these goals before you turn 30 will not be the end of the world, meeting these goals will put you in a significantly better position. Not only will it give you the freedom going forward with more cash flow, but it will also help you create the habits that will lead you to financial success. After all, being responsible with your money is often not about the dollar amount, but the habits of prioritizing your money and limiting your splurges.