Throughout life, we encounter a lot of milestones. By age 18, we need to attend college, by 25 have a career and so on.
Life seems like a lot of milestones doesn’t it?
One of the most important milestones that we focus on is financial milestones. Whether you feel positive or negatively about money, you cant deny its importance. We use money to pay for our most basic necessities and to take care of those we love most.
We expect to have money to cover bills and to buy use new things when we need them. In order to continue to have money work in our favor, we should create a plan. Sticking with this plan as closely as possible will allow us to get closer to the financial freedom we all want.
If you aren’t in your 20’s then don’t worry, its always better late than ever(or earlier if you are still a teen!) Starting to properly respect and plan your money will pay off almost immediately.
Here are some milestones you should try to reach in your 20’s(and beyond)…
- Financial independency. Having to rely on someone else for money can not only be stressful for you, but it can also put added stress on those who financially support you. Being able to take care of yourself financially is a key step to controlling your money now and moving forward.
- Established emergency fund. We all experience emergencies and disasters. Car batteries die and jobs end. Having at least 3-6 months of living expenses saved up allows you to relax because you know that you always have a cushion. After you save up the first six months, keep going. It’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
- Have an investment portfolio. As scary as stocks and bonds can be, they are essential to having a fluffy retirement account in the future. Sit down with an investor, weigh your options and start investing.
- Get on top of your bills. Are you still behind on paying your bills? By your 30’s, you should be focused on financial growth so you need to make sure you can stay on top of your current bills. I know paying bills can hurt a whole lot when you can think of better things to do with your money, but your wallet and credit will thank you later.
- Know how to budget properly. Maybe you are on top of your bills and have everything paid off. So now what do you do? Go on a shopping spree and eat ramen noodles the rest of the month? Budgeting to make sure your money stretches until you get paid again is just as important as paying your bills in the first place. Make sure this step doesn’t go undone.
- Pay off most or all of debt. Nobody wants to be on the brink of retirement and still owing for student loans from their 20’s. There are a million and one ways to attack and pay down your debt. Find a way that will work for you and stick with it until everything is paid off. If you are having trouble putting money towards debt think about how much more money you would have once your debt is paid off. Create a chart or a graph showing how far you have come and keep track of your progress.
- An increasing credit score. By your 30’s, you should a few bills in your name, a credit card or two and possibly some debt. Working on improving your credit score will save you money in the long run and keep you from paying higher interest rates on housing and cars. The easiest way to boost your credit??? Pay your bills on time and pay down your debt(go back to steps 4 & 6.)
- A retirement plan. Similar to having an investment portfolio, you should make sure that you have a retirement plan setup in your 20’s. Make sure that you contribute as much as you can to your plan. Think of retirement plans as paying yourself later if you start to get discouraged.
A lot of the money that you make in your 20’s will go in one hand and out of the other. With trying to pay down debt, save money for a house and retirement you may feel like you have nothing left for yourself.
Remember when you feel down that this is only temporary. You will be debt-free. You will have good credit and you will have more than enough saved for retirement. Tough out your 20’s and live the rest of your life like a champ.
If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!