30 is a divisive number. To the young, it’s the time when you’re thrust into full blown adulthood, whether you’re ready or not. To the young at heart, 30 may be considered the early years before your true confidence shines, in your career, in your relationships, or even in yourself. Either way, your 30s are an incredible age when you’re comfortable with a bright future ahead.
The same can be considered for your financial planning. By thirty, debts should be under control or non-existent. But just because your ‘fun fund’ may be growing, doesn’t mean it should be spent. Most financial professionals agree that this age is the perfect time to start tackling these three financial goals:
1. Retirement Goals
Yes, we’re talking retirement savings planning, again. A fantastic article by Forbes covers 7 commandments a 30 year old should make from a financial standpoint. One of their primary decisions revolves around how accepting a job offer can severely impact your retirement future. “A 30-year-old who doesn’t carefully research his or her benefits and chooses to work for a company with no company match or retirement contribution could be way behind someone who works for a company with robust benefits. For example, a 30-year-old making $75,000 a year who saves 10% of his or her income in a 401(k) and earns an 8% average return would have a balance of just under $600,000 at age 55. Compare that to a 30-year-old who saves 10% at a company that matches 5% and adds a profit sharing contribution that averages 5% a year. He or she would have almost $1.2 million in their retirement account—double our first example’s amount—at age 55.1”
2. Emergency Fund
Even if your money is tight, it’s so crucial to plan for an emergency fund. After all, you’ll never know when an emergency might strike, so do as the boy scouts do and always be prepared. Nerdwallet suggests, “Start by aiming to save enough to cover up to three months of your household expenses and gradually grow your emergency fund to cover at least six months of expenses. If money is tight, building an emergency fund can be overwhelming, so start small. Contribute an hour’s worth of wages each workday and gradually increase it to two hours’ worth of wages per workday. If that’s unrealistic, save $50 per week ($200 per month) and increase it to $75 a week or more as you are able. Use automatic deposits to your savings account to ensure regular contributions.2”
3. Major Purchase
And finally, your thirties are an amazing time to start planning for some major purchases in life. Whether that’s a new car or a new home, always try to look at the bigger picture. Short - term sacrifices can lead to a long term gain when you’re lying on the beach in Mexico after you’ve saved up for that big family vacation!