It’s easy to be irresponsible with money when you’re young. You don’t realize how important it is until you start getting older. Here are 6 money moves you should start making by the time you’re 30.
1. Set up a savings account
Setting up a savings account is just the first step. You have to actually use it once you have it. Remember that it doesn’t matter how much you save, as long as you’re saving something. The numbers add up whether you save $10 a month or $50.
2. Start saving for retirement
You might think it’s too early to start thinking about retirement, but it’s never too early. The earlier you begin saving, the more you can potentially save. If your work offers a retirement plan, you should look into it and take advantage while you can. It never hurts to plan for the kind of retirement you’d like to have. Remember that once you retire you will have less money to live on than you do now. If you hope to maintain the same kind of lifestyle or do things such as travel, it’s important that you begin saving now.
3. Stop spending more than your earn
This is a good habit to get into as soon as possible. The sooner you start spending less than you make the sooner you can start saving. Spending more than you earn will only get you into debt. Don’t rely on any savings you have to cover the extra bills you rack up. That’s not what savings are for. It’s important that you know exactly how much you earn, so that you can spend less.
4. Learn to budget
This goes hand in hand with spending less than you earn. A good way to do this is to figure out all the numbers. First, know how much you earn. Next write out all of your fixed expenses (the ones that stay the same from month to month). Some bills, such as groceries, may vary from week to week, but you still want to have an idea of how much you can spend instead of just spending willy-nilly. A good way to save money when grocery shopping is to plan meals ahead of time so that you buy only what you need.
5. Start actively paying off your debt
If you have debt, don’t wait to pay it off. When you don’t pay something off the interest begins building. Interest can add up to a lot of money, especially if you continue to put off paying off your debt. Eventually you could find yourself paying hundreds of dollars a month just in interest. Having unpaid debts also effects your credit, which can hurt your chances of buying a home or a car.
6. Learn to negotiate
You might think that because items have a price tag, that’s exactly what you have to pay. You can actually negotiate with sales people and get a better price. This comes in especially handy when you are in the market for big ticket items such as stoves, refrigerators and washers and dryers. You can ask for a better price or you can even ask to purchase the floor models to save money.
Instead of looking at finances with dread, look at them with excitement. They really can be exciting, especially when you begin thinking about the future and saving for your dreams.