Climbing the career ladder, perhaps buying a home and starting a family – the 30s are an exciting stage of life. However, decisions made now can make a big difference to future financial wellbeing, and with so much going on it is understandable, even inevitable, that the best decisions won’t always be made. So what are the common financial mistakes that 30-somethings should be alert to?
1. Buying an expensive car
New cars plummet in value when driven off the showroom floor, and the higher the price tag the greater the fall. Buy with borrowed money and you’re paying interest on an asset of diminishing value. Settling for what you need in a car, rather than what you want, can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your future nest egg.
2. Living on plastic
If you don’t pay off your credit card balance in full each month you’ll be paying a high rate of interest on the carryover balance. Over time, the growing interest bill makes it increasingly difficult to clear the debt. If not used carefully, buy-now-pay-later schemes can also become something of a debt trap.
3. Forgetting to save
A rule of thumb is to save at least 10% of your income, but saving even a small amount is better than doing nothing. And in your 30s you have time on your side. For instance, when you turn 30 if you put away $200 per month at an interest rate of 5% per annum (after tax), by the time you’re in your 60’s the savings will grow to $166,452. If you wait until you’re 40 to start your savings plan you will accumulate just $82,207.
4. Getting caught up in investment fads
Tulips, alpacas, ostriches, the tech boom, crypto-currencies. Investment fads have come and gone, making fortunes for a few, but big losses for many. It pays to heed tried and true rules such as only investing in things you really understand, and diversifying investments to reduce risk.
5. Not insuring your most important asset
For most 30-somethings your biggest asset is the ability to earn an income. Most health-related absences from work are due to illness or non-work related injuries – things that are not covered by workers compensation. Income protection insurance can replace much of the income lost due to accident or illness.
6. Being too hard on yourself
Let’s face it. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, if we beat ourselves up about a mistake we have made it may compound the problem. The sour taste of a bad investment, for example, might put us off making a good investment. That would be a pity because the 30s is a decade of huge potential. Good advice now can help you unlock that potential. To find out more, contact us today!
This is general information only