Your 30s is the time to start living your life on your terms.
You’ve seen a lot by now.
You know what you like and what you don’t.
You eat at the restaurants you love, there’s less decision-making when buying drinks at bars (if you’re still going to bars) and you don’t waste time catching up with average friends anymore.
It’s just as well that you begin to have more clarity with personal decisions, as you’re likely to face plenty of challenges when it comes to your financial decisions.
If you’re going to get ahead financially in your 30s, you’ve got a lot of hurdles to jump.
It’s likely you’ve got a huge mortgage that doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller despite your chunky monthly repayments. Most will start a family which could mean finding a bigger home, upgrading the car and managing the transition from a double income household to just one.
Regardless of your situation, there’s little doubt that this is a time where you need to be making real progress with your money. It’s a time where being a little more measured can have a big impact in helping you to make smarter financial decisions.
Here are four things that you should be doing in your 30s to get ahead quicker:
Kick the debt: Get rid of that lingering debt from bad decisions in your 20s. It may be credit card debt, a personal loan or perhaps you still have to pay down that car loan. If you have been holding onto this debt for some time, chances are that this debt has already held you back from doing some of the things that you want to. This isn’t going to change. Start by establishing a loan repayment plan to ensure you create momentum. You might also consider a balance transfer for your credit card which will give you some time to get on top of your situation without high interest charges.
Be proactive: If you’re diligent with what you spend, you’ll likely to notice that you’re saving a little bit every week. Do you start a share portfolio? Do you save for an investment property? Spend it all on a two-month holiday in Europe? Whatever your path, you need to have a plan. Be proactive about setting goals and priorities and then be intelligent about understanding your options. Once you’ve done this, determine what’s best for you and then commit to it.
Avoid the big financial mistakes: As your bank balance grows, so too will the options. Your 30s is a time to start planning for the future and investing goes hand-in-hand with these plans. One of the biggest drivers of your financial success is the success of your first few big investments. The reason for this is that investments in your 30s are always big. To provide example, an average first home buyer using a $60,000 deposit to buy a $600,000 home is effectively buying an asset ten times bigger than your total net worth. The comparative size of these investments will never be experienced again. You also have more time to reap the compounding benefits of good decisions. If in doubt, call in the professionals to make sure that you get these crucial decisions right.
Know your limits: Amidst the indulgences that you’ve started to enjoy, it’s important to know your limits. This goes beyond how much money you can afford to spend each week – you need to the balance day-to-day costs and also your plans for the future. Make sure you’ve putting regular funds toward the bigger goals you have in life. Have clarity on every goal by knowing when you want to achieve it, what it will cost and what you need to be doing right now to be able to tick it off the bucket list.
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