MoneySense Q3 2018 Issue features Chef Miko Aspiras and Millionaires Under 30. Grab your copy now.
# Money #Goals You Should Achieve Before You Turn 30
Our 20s can be a tumultuous journey. After being cocooned at home and in school for years, now, you’re thrust into the world of work and responsibility. You’re officially an adult. Sort of.
But your 20s can also be a time of tremendous growth. This is your opportunity to really get to know your strengths, your passions, your identity, and your direction. The sooner you figure things out, the better for you.
When it comes to your financial goals, this decade is the time you should be setting and meeting milestones. Because when it comes to money, time is your friend. And you, my friend, still have plenty of time.
So, don’t blow it.
By the time you turn 30, you should have achieved most, if not all, of these money goals:
FIND YOUR CAREER PATH. You should know what you love to do, what you’re good at, and what will earn you a good living. This will take some trial-and-error, maybe a bit of job-hopping, and trying different things. If you already knew during fifth grade what you want to be when you grow up, great. But most people don’t know what they want to be even at their twenty- fifth birthday. That’s why we call it a mid-20s crisis. So, this is the decade you need to get this right. And once you do, it will set up the wheels of motion. Stick to your niche, get better and better at it, and soon momentum will be in your favor. You’ll find more opportunities, you’ll become a recognized expert, and money will start flowing.
BUY YOUR FIRST CAR. Maybe your parents bought you your first car in college. That doesn’t count. Buy your own. A car represents a big enough expense that will make you feel like an adult. But it’s not as expensive as your own home. Getting a loan, paying monthly amortizations, taking care of the car— these are very responsible adult-like behavior. And that is good for you. Now, if you manage to get your own house or condo unit, that’s even better.
MANAGE YOUR CREDIT CARD WELL. You should be using at least one credit card. Having one shows you have some financial capacity. And using it properly is plain good training for you. It’s possible you’ll misuse it and find yourself in debt. Hopefully, you’ll get yourself out of it by cutting back on your expenses, finding extra sources of cash, negotiating with the credit card company, doing balance transfers, etc. That’s a painful lesson. But it’s an important lesson. It’s better if you avoid it in the first place, by learning how to control your spending impulses, budgeting your expenses, and paying off balances on time every month.
SAVE MONEY FOR YOUR WEDDING (AND FIRST FEW YEARS OF MARRIED LIFE). I’m not sure what’s the arrangement nowadays, but it’s often the guy (or the guy’s family) who is expected to pay for wedding expenses (and this includes the honeymoon). Nothing shows your soon-to-be bride’s parents that they can trust you to take care of their daughter more than, let’s face it, your financial capacity (and of course your character). So, in a way, it’s like applying for a bank loan. They look for the same criteria! If you are planning to get married in a few years, then you better start setting aside funds for the big day—and for your first few years together.
USE A BUDGET. I know this is basic, but it’s surprising how many people don’t know how to make, much more regularly use, a budget. Knowing your personal balance sheet (assets and liabilities) and net worth is good, but the most important thing to know is your monthly cash flow. You need to have a handle on how much comes in and how much goes out. And you have to be responsible enough to decide how much you want to allocate to each of your expenses. If you build the habit of tracking your expenses every month against your budget, then that’s even better.
BUILD YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO. When it comes to investing, you are at a huge advantage over everyone else. You don’t have to invest as much as someone in their 40s and 50s, for instance; partly because you don’t earn as much, but the main difference is that you have a much longer time frame. You have 30 to 40 years ahead of you before you retire, not 10 or 20 years. And investments, even at more modest returns, compound powerfully over the long haul. So slowly and regularly buy stocks and funds (these days, you just need a few thousand pesos).
MAKE YOUR FIRST MILLION. Seriously. What’s stopping you? You can earn and accumulate your first million before you turn 30. I know it’s hard but it’s not impossible. If you establish your career or business early, learn to manage your expenses, and save aggressively, making your first million is within your reach. So, challenge yourself and make it happen!