You’ve no doubt learned a lot of valuable lessons by age 30, but have you learned everything you should know about money? Here are eight important financial lessons to take into your 30s and beyond:
Stick to a budget. You won’t reach a better financial situation by living paycheck to paycheck. By 30, make sure you’re using your collected financial skills and perseverance to create and stick to a budget.
Build an emergency fund. Being ready for the unexpected is always a good idea. If you don’t have one already, work toward an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of living expenses, so you can handle job losses, repairs and medical emergencies without racking up debt.
Make career moves. Working your way up in your career is the best way to grow your income. Continually work to understand changes in your field and look for higher-paying positions to maximize your income potential. Don’t be afraid to take career risks. This is the prime time to refine your professional goals.
Invest in yourself. Your income potential is your greatest asset, so it pays to continually invest in your own professional development. A good rule-of-thumb is to reinvest three percent of your annual income in professional development such as conferences, classes and certifications.
Avoid unnecessary debt. When you take on debt, you need to make sure you can repay it. According to Investopedia, you should try to keep your monthly necessary debt payments (including rent or mortgage) under 36 percent of your monthly income. This will make it easier to make payments without stretching your budget. Continually work to minimize debt and only take it on when absolutely needed.
Talk money together. Getting serious? Engaged? Already married? Talking about money with your significant other is important. Get on the same page about money early and continually check in on financial matters.
Prioritize retirement savings. It’s hard to focus on saving for something so far away, but saving for retirement now will help you increase your long-term savings through compound interest. The longer the account exists, the more interest is built. Get as much money as you can into retirement accounts now so you can better prepare for your future.
Splurge where it matters. Save in advance and allow room in your budget for things like travel, high-quality equipment to pursue a favorite hobby or life’s small pleasures. You likely won’t regret spending your money on life experiences and good quality items that will last, so it’s good to find a balance for enjoying life now and saving for later.
With these financial considerations, you can set yourself up for a solid financial future. Learn more about how to manage your finances and stay on top of your budget.