In Your 20’s
Make sure that you protect your credit by paying bills in a timely and responsible manner. Your credit is the most important part of your finance picture. It will have the biggest impact on any lines of credit you may be offered; including cars, homes and loans. Poor credit will either cause you to incur super high interest rates on lines of credit, or it will cause you to be denied the credit all together.
Now is the time to get the jump on your student loans. It may be tempting to get deferments and forebearances, but if you don’t need it, don’t do it. Aim for paying more than the minimum payment, but be sure to pay at least that each month.
Start saving. Even if your income isn’t what you’d like it to be at this stage, aim to consistently put away at least 10% of your take home pay for major purchases and emergencies, and even for retirement. The money will grow quicker than you realize and you’ll be glad it’s there when life throws you a curveball.
In Your 30’s
If you haven’t already, get really serious about your retirement planning. Learn what types of investment options your employer offers and how they differ from other options on the market. Be sure to take advantage of any matching contributions your job will invest on your behalf. Understand how much risk is associated with your investment. Figure out how much money you will need to live comfortably at the age you plan to retire, and determine how much you should be investing in order to reach that goal.
Now is the time to put that good credit and savings to use. Consider whether homeownership is right for you. By now, you’ve been in the workforce a while and are hopefully earning a nice salary which will help lessen the financial burden of maintaining a home. If owning a home is a step you see yourself taking, good credit and a respectable down payment will help make that goal a reality.
In Your 40’s
Got Kids Headed to College?
If you have children, now’s about the time when college could be looming on the horizon. We all know, college tuitions are not getting any more affordable. So financing a college education is a formidable task that many parents want to help their children shoulder. Look into your options so that you’re prepared when the time comes. Do you have enough liquid savings to help with the cost of school? Are you prepared to take on a parent loan? Or maybe, you need to talk to your kids about them financing their education entirely on their own? Whatever path you’re headed down, you don’t want to get caught off guard when Junior presents you with those college applicationsInvest Wisely
Now that you are good and grown, and have possibly already made that first major investment in a home, you may want to consider other investments. Take your investment portfolio to the next level. Stocks and bonds can be rewarding investment opportunities with manageable levels of risk. Or maybe you have always thought about purchasing some smart art pieces. You work hard for your money, now’s the time to start letting your money work for you.
Leave a comment below: What do you think, Frugalistas? What’s the best piece of financial advice you’ve received in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s?