Navigating the murky waters of financial planning in your 20s is no easy task. With the economy perennially in a state of flux and debt on the rise, maintaining a healthy financial life has proven to be even more challenging. We spoke to some finance gurus and experts to glean from them the following that could throw ideas and provide some relief:
- Save. This money is not for immediate use, it isn’t even for foreseeable use. This money is for the long-term, and can be diversified through a number of different investments and unit trusts. These banking faculties ensure that the money you’re putting away is reaching its maximum potential and will serve you well, when the need for it arises. The amount being saved will depend on monthly income and expenses. Increasing this as you progress to each stage of life is recommended and will serve you well when the time comes to reap these rewards.
- Budget. Keep track of your monthly expenses and reduce frivolous spending. A detailed review of your expenses in a month can help determine the money you need to cover it. After all essential expenses such as rent or loan repayments, the cost for essential items such as food and toiletries should be calculated next. The last to follow is optional expenses such as eating out or luxury spend. In doing this, it ensures all the important factors are covered while leaving room for the occasional splurge.
- Emergency funds. Life can be unpredictable. With this come unforeseen costs. To prepare for this, experts recommend creating an emergency fund. This fund is an accumulation of money that is put away to access should the need arise. It can be used on an unexpected medical emergency or sudden job loss. The creation of this ensures that debt is not incurred and long-term savings are spared. It should be placed in a bank account that is quick and easy to access so the funds are available immediately should you need it.
- Assets. Acquiring assets such as vehicles or property is an important investment into the future. Using the finance options available also has its benefits. Creating a positive credit score is important for anyone especially later on in life when business loans may be needed or when opening accounts. While vehicles depreciate quicker, these are assets that can be kept for years at a time and can be used as collateral for a better model when the opportunity arises. Property is also an investment and does not depreciate.
- Retirement funds. Time waits for no man and age catches up with us all. This is why saving for retirement is something that should be started as early as possible. Everyone wants to age comfortably. To do this, it means taking the initiative while you’re young. Over and above the pension or preservation fund being accumulated through your job, setting up a retirement annuity is also highly recommended. This ensures that either a lump sum or monthly stipend is received ensuring that you age in style.
Being in your 20s can be exhilarating and terrifying all at once. The events of your 20s are a significant factor in how you approach the rest of your life. The one thing you want to make sure is that your finances are in order. Debt globally is the highest that it has ever been, and the economy is in recession. Preparing now makes sure that you weather the storm. With calmer seas, you’ll reap the rewards instead of being stranded with no lifeline. Let your finances be one of the things you do well in your 20s.