If you took the time to establish a solid financial foundation for yourself in your 20s, this is the decade to focus on building and protecting your wealth. You’re no longer transitioning into adulthood, you’ve now arrived. This is an exciting (and sometimes challenging) time when you’re likely settling into a lifestyle and financial plan that you’re comfortable with. But there may still be a few areas where you’d like some guidance.
By now, you should have a solid understanding of your bills and recurring expenses. But if you haven’t already locked in your favorite budgeting method, the 20/30/50 method works for most by dividing your funds into budgetary needs, discretionary purchases, and potential investments. And if you have a firmly established budgeting method in place already, the next move is to regularly check in on all of your accounts. This is a good time to reevaluate and update your financial goals, savings plan, and retirement objectives.
When you’re starting your career in your 20s, your emergency savings may be minimal. Most 20-something-year-olds have trouble meeting the recommended three to six months’ worth of living expenses in savings. Now that you’re a bit more established in your work or have gained more experience, have had time to practice your favorite savings techniques, and maybe even started sharing the load with someone else, it’s time to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. While the exact number will always vary depending on individual details, many experts recommend an emergency savings goal of $11,097 to $22,194 in your 30s.
While most employer 401(k) contributions max out around 4%, experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement. This means that if your employer provides 4% and you contribute 4%, you’d need an additional 7% to meet this goal. If you open up a separate Roth IRA, you can contribute even more (up to $5,500 per year) to this account, take advantage of compound interest, and enjoy tax-free money in your retirement. Use bonuses, raises, tax returns, and other windfalls to pad your retirement savings and give your future self a gift you’ll be grateful for later.
When you’re buying your first home, there are a lot of different factors to consider, and plenty of different options to choose from, too. From single-family homes and condos to apartments and townhomes, plus millions of homes on the market at any given time, making a decision can feel daunting. But choosing the right home type for you based on your price range, geographic and size needs, and other individual factors can both save you money and help you find the place that you’ll be the most comfortable in. This major life purchase is one that shouldn’t be rushed.
As you grow financially, your insurance coverage may not meet the same needs that you had in your 20s. If you’ve moved into a bigger apartment, purchased a home, gotten married, or bought a new car in the last few years, your new situation may call for additional protection. But even if you haven’t delved into any of these major changes yet, periodically obtaining insurance quotes gives you the chance to make sure you’re still getting the best deal and not throwing away money. Whether it’s health, renters, homeowners, or life insurance you need, try to obtain three quotes to compare rates and benefits before choosing the best deal.
Last year, the average American wedding cost a total of $33,900. Aiming for a specific vibe rather than getting hung up on details, being open and honest about the budget, and considering creative alternatives are just a few of the many ways you can keep your wedding budget under control. Getting ready to start a family, fill a home with furniture, or purchase a new car are some of the other major life events you may face in your 30s. You can save on each through methods like doing your research, searching for deals, and buying at the right times.