3 Financial Skills to Master Before You’re 30

When you hit your thirties, a couple of thoughts may cross your mind. For starters, you’ll probably feel pretty awesome about making it this far, but then you’ll realize you’re halfway to retirement. You’ll look at your debt or your savings, and wish you had done better when you were younger. We all dread that feeling, but what are we doing about it? It’s time we look at three financial skills to master before your thirtieth birthday. 

Top 3 Financial Habits to Nail Down Before You’re 30

In today’s world, your finances are a huge part of your life. Every year that passes brings you one step closer to retirement, and you’re probably not thinking that far ahead. Instead, you’re worried about what’s in front of you. It’s understandable, but risky. Take some time to start learning these three habits now, so when you’re 30, you don’t have to be wondering what the future holds. 

1. Don’t Spend Your Entire Paycheck

Spending your entire paycheck is something many 20-somethings do constantly. Whether it’s for fun, or you just need every dime, all of that money is going somewhere. The problem with that, is that you’re not saving anything. Even if you can’t afford to put anything aside, look for ways to cut down on your costs so you can.

Try living off of 90% of your income. With that other 10%, perhaps you could start thinking about retirement by contributing it to your retirement fund. If you’re working with a company, make absolutely sure that you’re taking advantage of any matching contribution they offer, as these can be the secret to success with retirement savings. As your finances improve, start contributing more and more to your retirement and savings.

2. Get Your Debt Under Control

By the time you’re thirty, you’ve acquired debt. Whether it’s student loans, credit cards, a mortgage, or even a car loan, you’re going to have it. For these things, you need to have a plan in place. Some of them will take a while to pay off, but others could be manageable in a shorter time. When you’re learning how to manage your debt or handle your credit score, it’s important that you consult a reputable finance website, so you have the knowledge you need at your disposal. In any case, it’s also important to stay organized with this kind of debt management. Keep a spreadsheet with your due dates, balances, and even your budget so it’s all in one place. Setting reminders will also help you better keep track of your payments and due dates.

3. Create an Emergency Fund

Stuff happens, it’s inevitable. You should be prepared to deal with any major emergencies in your finances. In today’s world, if you’re careful about where you make online purchases, you could end up in a bad situation with no money. You can get the stolen funds back, but what do you do in the meantime? This is why it’s important to have an emergency fund in place. Most finance experts agree that you should have at least $1,000 saved up for emergencies. To reach this emergency fund goal in 10-months, simply put aside $50 from each paycheck into your emergency fund. Once you’ve done, set goals for yourself to continue contributing to it. Ideally, you should have the equivalent of three months living expenses in your fund.

Regardless, save as much as you can, because the older you get, the more you’ll notice that things can and will go wrong. This way, you’ll be ready.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your finances in mind as you approach your thirties is a great way to set yourself up for the rest of your financial life. Start making these habits a part of your daily life and you’ll find that you’re well-equipped for the future. 

Quincy Sands is a financial writer with over a decade of experience helping people take control
of their financial health and futures.
How are you preparing for finances in your thirties today? Let us know in the comments!