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It’s not uncommon to rack up debt in your 20s. It’s the time many of us deal with student loans and adjust to living on our own. Unfortunately, letting your finances get out of hand during your 20s can have serious consequences by the time you’re in your 30s. Setting money goals to reach before you turn 30 can help make your 30s a time to enjoy. These money goals will help you get there:
Stick to a Monthly Budget
First things first, when it comes to setting up and reaching financial goals is to create a monthly budget. This way you’ll know how much money you need to have for bills and other obligations and how much is available for all of the fun extras.
Create a budget by estimating what you spend each month and separating it into two lists. One of the essentials (bills, groceries, gas, etc.) and one for non-essentials (eating out, new clothing, etc.). Trimming down what you spend on the non-essentials and putting it towards debt can help pay down bills faster. Try using a budget app, like Mint or PocketGuard, to keep track of your budget on the go.
Avoid Impulse Spending
Avoiding impulse spending is a great way to avoid adding to your debt and staying within your budget. You can reduce impulse purchases by avoiding the mall, online retailers, or calculating how many hours you’d have to work to afford unnecessary purchases.
Figuring out how long you’d have to work to afford something can help put that purchase into perspective. Rather than spending money, consider spending your time making money instead. Picking up a side job, such as Lyft can give you the flexibility to work whenever you have the time. This will help you make money and keep you out of the malls for a double pocket-padding whammy!
Pay Off All of Your Debt
The average college student will start their post-college life with $30,000 or more in student loan debt. This doesn’t account for credit card debt or car loans. As you can see, it’s easy to rack up debt but paying it off is another issue altogether.
One of the reasons it can be so difficult to pay off debt is because interest rates and late fees add up while you’re trying to pay your debt down. Paying only the minimum monthly amount due can end up costing you thousands more in the long run, which is why it’s beneficial to pay off your debt and title loans. as quickly as possible.
Set small goals, like focusing on paying off one card or loan at a time (while of course continuing to make payments on all of your debts), until all of your debt is paid off. You could also try a peer to peer lending company, like Lending Club, to consolidate debt at a lower overall interest rate.
Pay Your Bills on Time Should Be One Of Your Money Goals
Another way to ensure you’ll be in a good financial place by the time you reach your 30s is to always pay your bills on time. There are many benefits to paying your bills on time.
Paying your bills on time helps improve your credit score, prevents accruing late fees and finance charges. It can also help you get lower interest rates on future credit cards and loans. Easily pay your bills on time by scheduling a designated time each month to pay your bills or setting up automatic bill pay.
Create an Emergency Savings Account
In addition to paying down debt and avoiding overspending, you should also aim to create a savings account in case of an emergency, like job loss or medical issues.
It’s recommended to have enough money saved for three to six months’ worth of living expenses. One easy way to start adding to your savings is to set up your banking account to automatically transfer funds from your checking to a savings account or use a service like Chime.