Previous: 7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Accepting A Job | The Financial Diet
Next: An Honest Q&A About A Nightmare Job | The Financial Diet



View count:259,862
Last sync:2024-07-18 11:15
Here are 10 money saving tips and essential steps anyone should take before turning 30. And here are 7 Habits to Make You Good with Money:

How to Invest When You Have Student Loans

24 Terms Your Boss Will Expect You to Understand

The Financial Buddy System

The Financial Diet blog:

Hi, I'm Chelsea.

And I'm Lauren. And we are-- The Financial Diet.

And we also have Mona here today with her fresh summer cut. So as most of you guys know, Lauren has mostly moved behind the camera now. She helps make the videos even more beautiful and produces them, et cetera.

But we're doing a little bit of a refresh today on a lot of the most important stuff that we've covered on TFD. And so she thought she'd say hi for that. And I also wanted to come back on to say hello because there's so many more of you.

There are so many new subscribers. Yeah. So many.

Ah! So that's also part of the reason why we wanted to do this little refresh for some of you who might be new. So without any further ado, let's just jump right in to the 10 big money steps that you should be taking before 30.

Number one is create a six-month emergency fund. Now, this is definitely something we've touched on in the channel before, but it always bears repeating. Nearly 70% of Americans have under $1,000 in their bank account at any given time, which basically means that if literally anything bad happens, they're screwed.

And there's really only one surefire way to know that if that something bad happens, you'll be covered. And that is an emergency fund. Now, some people say it's three months' worth of total living costs.

Some people say it's nine. We think six months is about the right amount to have to make sure that no matter what happens, you're covered. So that means six months of total living costs and expenses in a bank account you can immediately access, like a savings account.

If you don't already have an emergency fund, it should be your number one priority. Before anything else financially. If you don't already have one, the easiest way to go about it is to challenge yourself to live super minimally for a few months while taking on extra side jobs until you have that cash socked away.

Number two is to overcome your bad spending habits. Whether you're an impulse spender, a chronic avoider, or a card abuser, being honest and upfront about your bad spending habits is the first step of all financially responsible adults. One of the most common bad habits amongst young people is impulse spending, which can usually be tied to anxiety, unhappiness, or stress.

Some good ways to fix bad spending habits are to track your budget closely and everything that you're spending money on, to make a plan for yourself, and to never impulse buy on things that are non-essential items. Give it time, and wait on those purchases. Chelsea actually made a really good video on how to fix bad spending habits, and we'll link to that in the description below.

Number three is master budget making. Now, there are a million good ways to track a budget. You have apps.

You have Excel spreadsheets. Some people like to do all-cash budgets. Whatever your system is, the point is you have to be closely tracking your money in and your money out.

But when it comes to the actual breakdown of a budget, while everyone's situations and needs might vary, there is a pretty simple rule that helps most people figure their numbers out. It's called "the 50/30/20 rule." And all it means is 50% of your budget should be going to fixed costs, like your rent, your monthly bills, your groceries, et cetera. 30% of it should be going to your financial goals-- your savings, your investment, your retirement, et cetera. And then 20% is your flexible spending-- travel, going out with friends, movies, whatever.

Now, you're going to have to tailor it to your own needs, obviously. But it's a great way to start structuring your spending. Number four is to master on-time bill payment.

So it took me a long time to build up the habit of paying my bills on time. Life gets really busy, and I tend to be a little bit forgetful. So it would always slip my mind when credit card bills were due and when my student loan payments were due.

Thankfully, I got it under control fast, because that could have decimated my credit score. It's important to figure out a system that works for you early on to keep yourself on track. So you can do things like automate bill payments.

You can consolidate certain bills so that you have less of them to think about. And you can also set up a ton of alerts and reminders in your phone. Even something like, for me personally, putting Post-Its on my refrigerator with the dates that my loan payments were due is super helpful.

Number five is have at least one side source of income. Now, this can be active income, like a side job. Or it can be passive income, like investments.

But the point is you need to have at least one more source of money coming in that isn't your regular job. And this is good for a lot of reasons because obviously, like with new side jobs and stuff, you can learn extra skills and sort of build your resume. But even just in terms of pure money, you build up a huge sense of security in the fact that let's say something does happen to your main job.

Clearly, it's still terrible. But it's not the only source of income that you have, so it's less devastating. And the more of those you build up, the more freedom you have and the less pressure on your one job.

You're not putting all your eggs in that basket. Number six is to have a good credit score-- obviously easier said than done, but there it is. So this is a really important one because having a good credit score opens you up to all those really fun adult things that you want to do, like getting a mortgage, securing a loan with a very low interest rate, getting a credit card with more favorable terms, leasing a car, all those things.

So we've talked about this on our channel before, but a really quick refresher on how to raise your score quickly is to pay all your bills on time, to keep your credit card balances low, to pay off your debt, and to also never open up too many cards at one point. Now, credit scores of 700 and above are generally considered good. And you can use sites like Credit Karma to check your score and help to raise it.

Number seven is make the right debt repayment plan. Basically, the debt repayment plan that you start out with when, let's say, you graduate from college with student debt may not be the right way to pay off your debt for the rest of your life. As you grow and change, everything from programs like the public service loan forgiveness program to consolidation to refinancing to whatever it may be are all available to you to make sure that the debt repayment that you're doing fits your needs, as well as your financial goals.

Make sure to do at least two check-ins throughout your 20s to ask yourself, is my debt payment plan the right one for me? Or should I do some restructuring? My husband actually refinanced his loans twice since he's graduated from college, and he's only 28.

And he's super happy with it. It's a badass move if it's the right one for you. Apps like Student Loan Hero are great for checking in on your debt and seeing what could be done with it.

Number eight is to start saving for retirement. Your 20s are super valuable to your long-term retirement goals. And the earlier that you set up those accounts, the longer your money has to sit and grow and accrue compound interest.

So there are a lot of retirement accounts to get started with, the most common of them being 401(k)s, IRAs, and Roth IRAs. Basically, a 401(k) comes through your employer, whereas you yourself get IRAs. But they accomplish very similar goals.

And if you do have a retirement account through your employer, make sure you're finding out whether or not they'll match a percentage of the money that you put into it because you really want to maximize that benefit. That's essentially free money that you're missing out on if you don't. So obviously, everyone's goals are going to be different.

And the amount you'll have saved by 30 will look different. But we did a great interview with our friend at Fidelity teaching 20-somethings how to get started with retirement accounts. Number nine is become financially fluent.

Basically, in everything from investing to mortgages to just day-to-day money actions, there are a lot of terms that you need to be familiar with in order to really speak and understand the language of money. The more you really understand money concepts, the easier it is to decide your financial goals and also make plans to achieve them. We did a video breaking down some of the most crucial money terms that everyone should know the definition of, and we'll link it below.

Number 10 is to build a money community. Yeah. So as you approach 30, this is going to be something that is of tantamount importance.

Tantamount. Tantamount. So tantamount, we're using the word "tantamount." Your money community is essentially comprised of people that you feel like you can confide in, that you can express your long- and short-term money goals, fears, and dreams, and people that are going to be there to support you along the way-- basically, people that you can have open and constructive conversations with.

You also want to have someone like a more formal financial advisor or a financial buddy. And we actually did a video on financial buddies, and we'll link to that below. Not everyone can afford a financial advisor.

But if you at least have one or two really trusted people in your immediate community, that's already a big step. So obviously, there are plenty of other steps you'll also be taking on the way to 30. But those are 10 of the biggest ones that if you master them, you will have way more control and way more freedom in your financial life.

So it was super fun hanging out. And as always, thank you for watching. And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and go to for more.