When you work within an emergency loan program, you see all kinds of reasons why people have a sudden need for money loans. Sometimes, life has just handed these individuals a huge pile of lemons. Other times, the landslide has been on the horizon for a while. There are a few times in your life when it’s easy to fall into financial imbalance – such as taking too many student loans in your early twenties. During your thirties, it’s not as easy to see it coming.
Here are some easy financial mistakes to avoid in your thirties
Trying to Keep Pace With Your Friends
By the time you reach the age of 30, you should be focused on improving your financial health and looking toward the future. However, many people at this stage of life find it difficult to avoid comparing themselves with friends and neighbors. For example, a neighbor may have just bought a $700 cell phone, so now you may be itching to make this purchase as well. Trying to keep pace with your friends and neighbors can cause you to spend excessively and can prevent you from saving and investing as needed. While you may be envious of items your friends purchase now, they may be envious of you when you are able to retire years earlier than them because you saved your money rather than spent it.
Carrying High Credit Card Balances
Many adults accrue a considerable amount of debt in their younger adult years, such as with student loans, a car loan and credit card debt. Unsecured debt typically has the highest interest rate, and revolving debt on credit card accounts is notorious for being difficult to pay off. If you still carry balances on your credit cards, focus on eliminating this debt. Then, pay down your secured debt balances. Work toward achieving a debt-free status.
Living Beyond Your Means
At this stage in life, many career-minded adults enjoy some level of professional success, and they may have a higher income level than previously. This, combined with a strong desire to keep pace with your friends, can cause you to live purchase a much larger home or a much more extravagant car than you can afford. It is best to live well below your means at this stage in life so that you can save and invest for the future. Time is on your side when investing, and investing now means that you may be able to retire sooner and more comfortably later in life.
Spending Too Much on the Kids
Many adults in this age group have started families, and parents often want to provide their children with the best possible life they can. While there is something to be said for giving unselfishly to your loved ones, there is also a point when kids simply do not reasonably need any more clothes, designer shoes, high-end electronics and other expensive items. Rather than spend so much extra money on your kids, invest in their future by funding a college savings account and purchasing a life insurance policy that can provide for them if something happens to you before they are financially independent.
Not Planning for the Future
There are many steps that you can and should take to plan for the future at this age. For example, you should have opened a retirement account by now, and you hopefully are contributing the maximum amount possible to it each year. Ideally, you will regularly review your investment account status and reconcile your savings efforts against your retirement plan. You should also have a life insurance policy, a will and a medical directive set up.
Remember, we’re here for life’s emergencies, but we hope that they don’t happen to you!