10 steps to financial security in your 30s

Being 30 today is very different from what it may have looked like for our parents. While many baby boomers were married with children by the age of 25, people today are settling down later, taking time in their 20s to establish their careers and explore the world. This makes financial security potentially both easier and harder to achieve. While 30-somethings today have more time to establish themselves career-wise, they’re less likely to have stayed in the same job, or to be on the property ladder. We’ve put together 10 tips for becoming – and staying – financially
secure in your 30s.

1. Get your super sorted
Your 30s is the time to get serious about your super. If you’re anything like the majority of people your age, you probably
spent much of your 20s switching jobs, and super is probably all over the place, accruing fees and getting lost. Consider putting it together and speak to a financial adviser about the best options for your future.

2. Advance your career
You’ve built the skills in your 20s, now put those skills into practice and start moving towards those career goals

3. Save
Put as much as you can away for a sunny future. If you’re planning a family and don’t yet have one, your disposable income is probably at its highest so use it to your advantage and work out a savings plan.

4. Invest for the future
If you haven’t already, start thinking long-term. Do you have plans for a holiday house? Do you want to spend time travelling? When do you want to stop working? How much money will you need? It might seem like a long way off but the sooner you start the sweeter those margaritas on the beach will taste in a holiday house when you no longer need to work.

5. Make a budget
Once you have your goals more firmly set, you can figure out a budget that helps you live within your means and achieve the things you want to achieve. Be realistic, and be consistent.

6. Start climbing the property ladder
If buying property is important to you, then your 30s are a good time to do it. Be realistic about what you can afford to pay on a mortgage, do your research and consider taking advice from a financial adviser. Even if the property is purely for investment purposes in a place you never plan to live, it will get you started and may give you the equity and standing to buy your dream home further down the track.

7. Protect your most valuable asset
Life insurance might not seem the most fun way to spend your money, but it’s important. If you’re in a long-term relationship then it can take the burden off your significant other and children should something happen to you, and if you’re single it can provide injury insurance in the event that serious illness prevents you from working and meeting your financial obligations. It’s a way that helps you keep affording the life you plan for.

8. Pay down debt
It’s time to get serious and pay down that debt you accrued in your 20s. Whether it’s paying off your HECS debt or finally knocking that debt from the gap year you took after university, your 30s are the perfect time to focus on getting out of debt. Also, watch the credit cards. Keep them in check and try to pay them fully every month.

9. Learn to be your own advocate
Whether it’s with your accountant, your employer or business partners, use the confidence and skills that come with having
worked your way up in your 20s. Advocate for yourself and negotiate a raise, a good deal or a better rate – take matters into your own hands and see how empowering it can be.

10. Have a plan
It doesn’t have to be the plan you had when you graduated university, nor does it have to be the plan your family or society has for you – but it’s a good idea to have one. Financially, your 30s can be the power years for making your dreams come true, but you need to be organised in order to make the most of them.

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