The 20s are often seen as the most carefree time of your life. It’s the perfect time to make mistakes, people say since your task is to simply enjoy being young and free from commitments.
But there’s quite a big difference between the early and late 20s. If in your early 20s, you make financial decisions that lead to an oppressive credit card debt, you may need to spend the years before you turn 30 rectifying the situation. The worst present you can give yourself upon turning 30 is a heavy burden of debt on your shoulders.
On top of that, if you manage to put your money to work early in life, you will enjoy more financial freedom and security down the line.
As experts in investment, we know what smart moves you should be making in your 20s – and we’d love to share them with you.
So, here is our list of top financial goals to achieve before turning 30, to help you continue having fun in your 30s - with more financial freedom.
1. Do What You Can to Pay Off Your Student Loan
While you may not be able to pay off your student loan fully, do what you can to get close to clearing the balance. Many people don’t realize the following truth, but debt can really hold you back in life. It’s extremely frustrating when you can’t afford to make a life decision because of debt you got yourself into 20 or so years ago.
On top of that, think of all the money that goes down the drain when you pay high interest. That money could be put to work and make you more money – or it could pay for your trip around the world in a few years.
2. Clear Up Your Credit Card Debt
While using a credit card sensibly can give your credit score a boost, a growing number of people in their 20s find themselves playing catch-up with regular credit card bills, sinking deeper into debt each month. In the UK, an increasing number of young people are having to borrow money to cover basic living costs.
Don’t let the debt you have accumulated in your 20s limit your financial freedom further down the line. Create a plan of how you can get out of debt and do all you can to clear it up before 30, so you can turn the page and make a fresh start.
3. Start Saving for Retirement
Now, thinking about retirement in your 20s may seem unnecessary at first sight – after all, you just started earning your own money and you have years ahead of you!
But moving it down your priority list just because it doesn’t seem like a pressing financial matter would be a mistake. Research shows that pension poverty is a growing issue, with more and more pensioners in countries like the UK living in poverty.
The good news is that these catastrophic consequences can be avoided - if you start making smart financial decisions from an early age.
Not only do you have to make sure that you’re contributing to your employer’s retirement scheme as much as you can – but also, that you are creating a passive income on the side, helping you pump up your pension pot.
4. Start Saving for a Down Payment for a Home
Owning a home is a goal many people have, but you’re probably aware that getting onto the property ladder is a challenge. Only the few lucky ones will be able to own their first home in their 20s.
Lack of savings is the biggest stumbling block when it comes to being able to afford a property, so do start saving for a down payment in your 20s, and things will be easier down the line. Having a down payment ready will help you qualify for a mortgage, and you’ll be able to afford a place to call home sooner.
5. Establish Strong Financial Habits
While people often stumble through their early 20s as they’re trying to find their feet in the baffling world of finance, establishing some strong financial habits before 30 is key.
These habits are not complicated - but may take some time to form. Simple things like learning to pay for things on time and paying off your credit card bill every month. Creating a budget and sticking to it as much as you can. Learning to control your desire to make impulse purchases.
Probably the most disastrous habit is spending every penny that gets paid into your account – so do yourself a favour and get used to spending less than you earn before 30. These habits will come in handy in helping you secure a financial future.
6. Save Up for an Emergency Fund
When we’re young and healthy, it’s easy to be optimistic about life. We tirelessly run from one task to another at work – and enjoy spending the money we’re rewarded with at the end of the month.
Now, this isn’t an attempt to get you down - but life is full of unexpected and often costly surprises. And those surprises could break you financially before you have time to mutter ‘I’m broke’ – if you don’t have an adequate sum set aside to cover your back.
Having a decent emergency fund to rely on when an unexpected situation hits is more important than you think. You can start small first, increasing your contributions gradually.
7. Get Insurance
The talk about how unexpected life can lead us nicely to the next point – don’t bypass insurance. Insurance is one of those things you feel you can skip because ‘what are the chances?’ - but you shouldn’t.
Things tend to happen when you least expect them, and when you think about how small insurance contributions normally are, it’s nothing compared to how much you could lose, should a financial disaster strike.
You won’t need every insurance product on the market – but it’s worth studying different types of insurance to make sure you’re covered in the areas of your life you need to be.
8. Start Generating Passive Income with Online Investment
You’re familiar with the saying ‘money makes money’, right? Well, the earlier you dedicate some of your money to making more, the better.
There are many reasons to consider P2P investing as a way to create a passive income stream, but its biggest appeal remains knowing the money will grow without you having to move a finger. Did you now that the projected returns on Fast Invest P2P loans are from 8% to 13%? That’s quite an impressive amount of money you can make with your feet up.
A clever investor can gain a lot from P2P investing, and forward-thinking companies like Fast Invest can help you kick-start your investing career before 30.
9. Invest in Promising Innovation
Don’t get us wrong – being in your 20s isn’t all about being a sensible spender and saving for a rainy day. It’s about having fun with your money – but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending it!
One of the advantages of being a young investor is that you can experiment with it a little – maybe a little more than someone with a mortgage can.
For example, how about jumping on the bandwagon of a promising and innovative opportunity, such as cryptocurrency? It’s generally known that younger generations are more tech-savvy, meaning that the concept of investing in cryptocurrencies or ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is naturally easier to grasp.
In your 20s, take the opportunity to invest some of your money in promising innovation – and you can make awesome gains. Learn more about how you could benefit from investing in the Fast Invest ICO here.
10. Set Long-term Money Goals
A little bit of planning ahead never hurt anyone - especially when it comes to finances. Thinking about what you may want to achieve in the next 10 years or so will help you ensure that you can allow yourself to experience the things in life that you want to.
For example, do you think you’d like to get married in the next 5 years? Maybe you’re considering a master’s degree, a career change – or to travel the world? You’ll need money for all of those things, so spend some time identifying your long-term money goals, and doing some research into how big the bills are likely to be. You’ll know what to save for – and have a better, clearer idea of what’s achievable.
It’s Never Too Early to Start Making Smart Financial Decisions
The earlier you learn to be smart with your money, the more benefits you will reap throughout your life.
Curious about how much money you could make while you sleep? Have a look at our current loans and returns on investment calculator. The numbers speak for themselves!