Getting closer to age milestones like our 30s tends to encourage us to look at the larger picture of life and yet appreciate the existing situation. The past decade may have seen you transitioning from being a student to an ambitious employee or business owner. Your lifestyle may have gotten better, bank balance a lot bigger, and financial awareness much clearer. That’s why it’s said, there are responsibilities that come along with getting older, and personal finance management may be one of them. Turning the age odograph onto a new decade is a great reminder to take stock of whether your personal finances have found pace with changes in your life. Below, we have compiled a detailed personal finance checklist that will help you ascertain if you have got all your ducks in a row!
Until your late 20s, you could sustain with a bare minimum emergency fund. This is doable when you are single and have no dependents. However, when you have more dependents (kids, spouse, elderly parents), the implications of an emergency can be profound. There are expenses that get added in your 30s, which you could do without in your 20s. For instance, making ends meet when your business is not making money would not have been a challenge when you have fewer dependent members. But when you have a family to look after and are low on funds, this won’t be possible. Thus, finance experts recommend reviewing your emergency fund periodically and saving at least 6 to 12 months’ worth of living household expenses in your emergency fund account. So, if you currently have 4 months’ worth of funds saved up, now is a good time to bump up.
If you are a single earner with elderly parents, a spouse and/or kids, it’s a no-brainer that you need health and life cover. Moreover, if you have parents depending on you for financial support in their later years, you might want to upgrade your insurance policies to ones that offer higher coverage in order to protect them should something happen to you. Importantly, remember that the tenure of these policies should not be too short as they may lapse much before you settle your financial obligations. Wealth managers suggest that the sooner (28 to 30) you invest in a policy, especially life insurance, the more premium cost you can save. Lastly, consult a finance expert to help you compare insurance plans on aspects like assured sum, features offered, and premium.
This is one of the most crucial steps to take in this decade. Your 30s will most likely throw up many responsibilities and decisions, a majority of which need some amount of financial and investment planning. When you have multiple family members relying on you, building savings for them and their future needs is essential. Accumulating funds in a savings account is the most obvious move, partly because your savings are easily accessible and do not require much thought. However, once you have created enough reserves to cope with emergencies, it is ideal to consider other investment options like long-term bonds and stocks that provide an opportunity for higher long-term returns. However, keep in mind that stocks can be volatile and risky as compared to bonds that offer more stable and consistent returns. But with the guidance of a reliable wealth manager, you can generate high returns from both financial instruments.
The 20s and 30s are when most people borrow loans for various reasons. However, these are also the years when you should work towards a single goal: to become debt-free. If you are bogged down with an education loan, mortgage payments, personal loans, and credit card payments, build a strategy and tackle them right away. One common debt repayment strategy is the snowball method: focus on your smallest debts first, irrespective of interest rate. Dedicate as many funds as possible each month until it is repaid. Then switch over to the next smallest debt. In the due process of debt repayment, avoid creating more debt if you wish to see your debts disappearing.
Though your retirement may seem a little too far off right now but the sooner you start, the more you accumulate. We hear you - it’s highly likely that you are tempted to prioritize other things - like upgrading your car - which can be financed through other means, you can’t afford a deficit in your retirement account. This would only mean that you depend on your children for your basic financial needs or work in your old age to make ends meet. Consider investing in plans that will offer you regular cash payouts during retirement.
A lot will happen in your 30s. You may set up a business, get married, purchase a house, and grow your family. In this decade, you will most likely hit your emotional and financial milestones. This checklist will help you with the latter. Put your best foot forward but also remember that everyone’s life follows a different path and everybody is on their own timeline. Someone who graduated from a top-tier business school with no education loan to repay will naturally be much ahead as compared to someone who is switching jobs and has dependent family members. The intent of this personal finance checklist is to offer guidance, not trigger anxiety. Follow it and build a flourishing financial future for yourself! A wealth management company like Dezerv can guide you along the way and help you tick your financial goals.