A big part of graduating college and finding your first job is becoming financially independent. If you’ve completely relied on your parents up until this point and have never lived by yourself and been responsible for all of your living expenses, this change can be stressful and confusing. However, here are some clear money goals you should establish before you’re thirty. Then, start working toward them and making concrete plans to achieve financial stability and independence.
Get rid of your debt
By the time you’re thirty, unless you’ve bought a house, you shouldn’t have any debt left. You likely have significant student loans, maybe some credit card debt, and possibly a car payment. Create a plan now that allows you to pay off these debts by the time you’re thirty. Consider paying extra on the debt with the highest interest to get it paid off quickly as possible, even if it means cutting back on spending in other areas. You’ll feel an incredible sense of freedom once you’re debt-free.
Stop relying on your parents
A huge percentage of millennials rely on their parents for support after they’ve graduated college and moved away. It’s understandable that your parents want to help you out and the occasional assistance is understandable, but you need to learn to be an adult and take care of yourself at some point. Your parents are getting older and are going to need to save their money for retirement.
Start planning for retirement
The single biggest piece of advice many professionals say they wish they could give their younger selves is to start saving as much as possible for retirement as soon as you can. Most people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need for retirement and only start worrying about it once they’re past thirty. Worry about it now and build yourself a nice nest egg.
Save up for a home
As you’re approaching your thirties, you might be beginning to want to move into a permanent residence that’s your own. Unless you travel a lot for work and know you want to keep renting, or you already bought a home, you’ll want to have a nice-sized down payment saved up to use for your future home. Start saving up as soon as possible; the larger your down payment, the lower your mortgage!
Establish an emergency fund
You might be in perfect health and have a stable job, but we never know what life might throw at us. If there’s some reason you would end up out of work for a few weeks or months, it’s important to have an emergency fund that’ll be able to cover all your expenses for a few months until you get back on your feet. Most people aim to have at least six months in expenses, so aim for this number. It might take a while to build up, but it’ll be worth it.
Stick to a budget
Creating a budget and being able to follow it is the single best step you can take to set yourself up for financial independence and stability by the time you’re thirty. In order to meet any of these goals, you need to create a plan and follow it each month. You’ll need to plan out how much money you’ll put toward each goal every month in order to make your long-term plan a success.