Being in your twenties is the perfect time to start building a solid financial foundation. While some of us may have missed the 20’s mark already, it will be a huge help to take the time to pause and check your financial standing and the financial moves you’ve made over the years to know if you’re still on the right track. To help everyone not yet in their twenties, already in their twenties, and even those past their twenties, we compiled a list of the top 10 money moves you should have been doing in your 20s.
1. Develop a Budget
It’s important to start developing habits to ensure you are set for success later in life. With that, develop the habit of budgeting based on a financial flow that suits your needs and aspirations. Take baby steps by trying the 50/30/20 rule which requires you to segregate your finances to 50% needs such as bills, food, transportation, 30% wants — yes, your travel expenses fall under this category, and 20% savings which also includes investments.
It pays to have a schedule every few months where you take the time to backtrack all your finances to ensure you’re still on track.
2. Identify your Goals
This doesn’t really take a lot. You just have to know where you want to go in life in order to make moves that will lead you towards that direction. If your goal is to have your own house or your own car by a certain age, then your financial moves should be towards the direction of realizing those goals.
3. Cash > Credit Card
While it’s convenient and easy to go for the credit card option, it’s also easy to get into credit card debt. In fact, it’s easier to get into one than getting out of it. You don’t always have to pay in cash, but when using credit, always make sure that if it’s really the better option — think rewards, good credit standing, and discounts.
4. Build a Good Credit Standing
In connection to the previous money move, it’s also important to make sure that your credit standing is always positive. It helps to develop the habit of always paying your credit card in full. This way, it will be easier for you to be approved for loans of all kinds in the future.
5. Start an Emergency Fund
Take the steps, no matter how little, to building your own emergency fund. This gives you the peace of mind that you are covered no matter what life brings your way such as unexpected medical expenses, property repairs, and even unemployment. Save up somewhere around three to six months’ worth of your income for your emergency fund, and keep adding to it as time goes by.
6. Know and Reap your Benefits
Make sure your employer is diligent in paying off your government mandated benefits. Aside from those, discuss your other employee benefits with your employer or HR manager. Maximize your benefits such a health, travel, and even clothing and rice benefits for some. Do take note that each workplace has different policies.
7. Start Investing
Since you’re still young and probably don’t have a lot of money yet, you may want to take baby steps on this as well. Do your research and find the right investment for you because it really does pay to start as soon as you can. Read more here: http://bit.ly/RightInvestmentForYou
8. Start a Retirement Fund
Always remember, the soon you start saving for retirement, the earlier you can retire. So why not start now? If you start saving for retirement now, you give your money more time to grow. Contributions don’t have to be too big every month, because as long you’re consistent, you will reap the benefits hopefully in no time!
9. Be Patient
This can be tough, we know. It’s probably your first time earning your own money and the temptation to splurge and treat yourself all time may be strong, but you have to be patient with yourself. You can want everything but remember that you can’t have it all in an instant. Like what we’ve been saying, there’s nothing wrong with starting small. Don’t make the mistake of living the lifestyle you desire but can’t afford just yet.
10. Enjoy your Twenties
Your twenties are some of the most exciting years of your life. You’ve finally reached #adulthood and have all the right to make your own decisions. So live it up! It helps to set up a personal account for guilt-free wants-only funds. This way, you don’t feel deprived and avoid the risk of overspending when you find yourself in a difficult or stressful situation. Remember, everything should be done in moderation.
Whether you’re still in your twenties or already past it, you still have time to make changes in your financial lifestyle. Just tick off these 10 things, and you’re off to a great start — no matter what stage in life you’re currently in.