Twenties are often the age when many throw financial responsibility to the wind. While living up your youth, it is easy to overlook 401k, savings, credit scores, and investing. However, if you work on building up your finances in your 20’s, you will be set up for your 30’s. The more work that you put in now, the less you will later. By taking just a few extra steps, you will be organized and financially savvy by the time you start thinking about major purchases. Do these things now, and you’ll thank yourself later!
Get Clear On Your Financial Goals
In order to get started, think about where you want to be in your thirties. Start asking yourself questions about your future goals. Do you want a house? Do you want to start a family? Do you want to move to a new city? Do you want to invest? While everything is subject to change, take some time to get clear on a couple goals you have for your thirties.
It could be as simple as, “I want to be debt-free and ready to buy property,” or “I want to be financially stable enough to start a family.” Whatever your goals may be, this is the most important step before you move on with further course of action. This will give you your “why” as to the reasoning behind organizing your finances in your 20’s. Knowing your end goal will drive you to keep up with the financial plan you create for yourself.
Set Up a Credit Card + Build Credit
One of the most important things you can do in your twenties to set yourself up for success in your thirties is building credit. Having a solid line of credit is key for many of the goals you might have for the next 10 years. It is something that, no matter what your income, can really benefit you and your wallet. Having good credit is essential when renting an apartment, buying a home, buying a car, and other high profile financial decisions. You are going to want to open a credit card as soon as possible start building your credit.
What does “good” credit look like?
Excellent Credit: 750+
Good Credit: 700-749
Fair Credit: 650-699
Poor Credit: 600-649
Bad Credit: below 600
No matter where you are on this chart, there are ways to improve your credit score and meet your financial goals. To ensure you succeed in this process, you will need to repair your past credit, improve your current credit, and make habits going forward.
For more information on this topic, we have a guide to growing your credit and easy ways to overcome credit card debt fast!
Get Started on Your 401k
If you’re thinking that you don’t need to worry about retirement in your twenties, you may want to reconsider. Many of us will put off tasks until absolutely necessary, however, when it comes to retirement savings you want to start ASAP. Putting this off could cost you more than you think. You are going to be missing out on precious years of saving and chances to reach your goal faster.
According to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 41% of respondents said that they or their spouse has taken the time to estimate how much money they’ll need in retirement. It’s important to set aside some time to calculate a well-thought out plan before you start saving. This will help you reach your goal more efficiently and effectively. The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey reports 64 percent think they will need $500K or more, with 37 percent needing at least $1 million. This is a hefty amount to save with no plan whatsoever.
If you’re in your 20s or even 30s you may be thinking that retirement is in the distant future. While this may be true, financially every year counts tremendously when savings for something as important as retirement.
Build an Emergency Fund
If you have nothing in your emergency fund, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 GoBankingRates survey, about 67% of millennials have less than $1,000 in their savings account, and 46% of us have a balance of $0 sitting in a savings account.
Regardless of your lifestyle, having at least $1,000 saved is a goal you should set for yourself. You may think you don’t need one of these funds when you accidentally pop a tire, drop your phone in the sink, or discover a mouse infestation in your home. It’s these random life surprises that can put you in a tough place and build up credit card debt.
Take these steps in your twenties to set yourself up financially for your thirties. You don’t have to trade in financial responsibility for a fun youth. You can take these simple tips and make them habits in your daily life. Overtime, you won’t notice