8 Personal Finance Habits You Should Have by Age 30
Turning 30 is a huge milestone in your life. You’re saying your goodbye to young adulthood and becoming your own independent adult. With age comes great responsibilities, and at the top of your list should be taking charge of your finances! Our finances play a huge role in our lives—money is always one of the top stressors, and it causes the biggest discord among couples. To help you get on track, here’s what you ideally should have achieved by age 30.
You should have mastered the art of automating.
Sending a percent of your earnings automatically to your savings every month means you’re paying yourself first! Make a habit of this!
You should be anticipating, preparing, and saving up for big expenditures.
For example, you should factor in your wedding, a house, children, a pet, and other similar major expenses. By planning for these events, you’ll be adjusting your lifestyle to afford your future expenses and avoid going into debt for these items. Budget a realistic amount so you don’t go into debt. Another thought is to forgo some of these expenses—really question if it’s a necessity.
You should already have an emergency fund.
Experts generally recommend six months’ worth of living expenses, but some say a year’s worth is a better buffer to account for things like medical emergencies or unemployment.
During your 20s, you should be trying to raise your credit score.
Your credit score has a huge impact on what kind of deals you will be able to negotiate for buying your first house, car, and other major expenses. The better your credit score, the better position you are putting yourself in to get a great deal when purchasing a home or vehicle.
You should know how to live within your means but enjoy life at the same time.
You should be able to prioritize what’s worth spending on and save in other areas so you can enjoy your guilty pleasures. Even if it’s daily lattes, you should indulge yourself as long as you’re aggressively cutting costs on other items. Remember, what other people cut out may not be what you would want to give up.
You should already have some practice with negotiation—with salary, with service providers, and more.
The more practice you can experience in these areas before it’s time to put your skills to real use, the better! By gaining experience and building your skills to negotiate, you put yourself in the best position to have the negotiation go your way.
You should already have read a couple of personal finance books.
This will help you to truly master these skills, as well as providing you with many more. When it comes to personal finance, there is always more to learn: new ways to save, new apps to help with budgeting, etc. To start with, check out Your Money or Your Life ($9) and Total Money Makeover ($15).