by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
A couple of weeks ago, I attended my friend’s thirtieth birthday party. A week later, she called my office to schedule an appointment. While I was delighted to accommodate her, I couldn’t help but scratch my head a little. She never asked me about money before. What was going on?
It turns out that like so many people entering their thirties, she suddenly felt overwhelmed with financial responsibilities. Would she ever be able to pay off her student debt? What about buying a home? And retirement, it had dawned upon her, wasn’t as far off as it had seemed before. Nor was the whole baby thing.
It is true that your thirties bring a ton of financial responsibilities - but it is also a decade of wonderful opportunities! Below are six smart money moves and stepping stones toward a prosperous future.
- Learn to prioritize and keep your expenses down. While a few people pick this up in their twenties, many people never do – and they rarely enjoy a better-than-average standard of living.
- Pay off your credit cards. Not only will you save a bundle on financing charges, but as your FICO score improves, you can obtain better rates for mortgages and many other things.
- Build an emergency fund. Most experts recommend that you keep enough money to cover six months worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. This is especially true today.
- If you haven’t done so already, start saving for retirement. You are best off stashing this cash in an account that scores you tax benefits, such as a 401(k) or a Roth IRA.
- Watch your debt. Get into the habit of spending less than you earn, making room for savings. Stay clear of high-interest and toxic debt.
- Review your insurance coverage. Chances are you have some sort of medical insurance already. Other types to look into include long-term disability and homeowner’s insurance (if you are planning to buy a home).
You don’t have to deal with them all at once. Just keep them in mind, and work on them whenever possible.