Building healthy financial habits in your twenties is a great way to put yourself on the path to success in your thirties – because the financial decisions you make in your thirties have a huge impact on your future.
If we’re being realistic, there are probably dozens of money mistakes to avoid in your thirties, but we’ve narrowed it down to three of the biggest and most critical. If you can avoid these three money mistakes, you’ll likely find that your finances will improve quite dramatically with each passing year.
Not saving for retirement
Financial experts often emphasize the importance of starting to save for retirement early. But most young people, approximately 66% of millennials, don’t feel like they are on track when it comes to saving for retirement.
Many may feel that the increase in living costs is a key reason as to why they’ve fallen behind in their retirement savings. Which is why it’s so important to make a realistic budget and stick to it. When you feel prepared to do so, you can also create a monthly budget which will allow you to cut back on unnecessary expenses.
Spending too much on things you can’t afford
This includes running up credit cards, buying a house (or even a car) you can’t really afford. Not tracking your spending habits might have made sense in your twenties, but your thirties is a time to keep tabs on where your money is going and how much of it is going towards it.
Control these expenses by setting a budget for yourself. A certain percentage of your income should be dedicated to each spending category – this percentage is variable and depends on the category. For example, in the mortgage industry, there’s the convention of the “28/36” rule – no more than 28% of your income should go toward housing, and 36% for total debt, including the house payment.
Not setting financial goals
And finally, the most critical money mistake to avoid in your thirties – not setting any financial goals for your future. If you’re in your thirties, and haven’t set any money goals, this is a great time to create both short- and long-term financial plans.
Establishing financial goals now will provide you with financial direction and a timeline for achieving those goals. A great way to start is determining how much money you want to have saved in five years, and how much of your monthly income is going to go towards achieving that goal. Hint: experts say you should ideally be putting away at least 20% of your monthly income, every month.
Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain healthy money habits. In fact, a lot of us judge our spending habits on those of others – but it’s crucial to try and resist this type of thinking and instead, keep track of your individual spending habits.