Making smart financial choices in your 20s and 30s can help set you up for long-term financial wellbeing. That's why it's important to work on building healthy financial habits early in life so that you can reap the rewards later.
Whether you want to buy a house, build up your retirement nest egg or spend time travelling the globe, these 7 financial tips will help set you up for a better financial future.
Yes, the dreaded 'b' word. Budgeting isn't very exciting but creating a budget allows you to take control over your money. The process can help you pinpoint lifestyle changes you need to make in order to grow your savings and become more financially stable.
After you create a budget, it's important that you stick to it. Regularly check-in with your budgeting goals so you don't spend more than you can afford to repay. The key is to live within your means and calculate how much you could save on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Not sure where to start? Moneysmart's budget planner is a quick and easy budgeting tool that can help you get set in the right direction.
Now is a great time to set financial goals. By setting short-term, mid-term and long-term financial goals, you'll be one step closer to being financially secure. A long-term goal, for example, might be saving for retirement. A mid-term goal could be saving to buy a house. These are all big goals you'll want to plan for financially.
Getting a sense for when you might want to reach each goal can help you make choices about how to use money you've already saved and how to continue saving and growing your money to help meet those goals.
Start by estimating how much money you'll need to meet each of your goals and align these with your budget. One key to achieving these goals is to assign them specific dollar amounts and the date by which you want to achieve it.
A great step to take in your 20s and 30s is to establish an emergency savings fund to cover any unexpected costs that may arise. Ideally, you want to have enough stashed away to cover all your daily expenses for a few months.
Debt can hold you back from doing many things with your money. When it comes to high-interest debt, you can lose a lot of money by making payments that go toward interest, so it's best to pay-off that debt sooner rather than later.
Credit cards are a great way to build your credit when used properly. But they can sometimes lead you to spend more than you earn and get into credit card debt.
Check your credit card statement for the due date and make sure you pay on or before that date. By doing this, you'll avoid paying extra interest or late fees and also help keep your credit score healthy. And if you can make higher repayments each month, you will pay off the debt faster and save money.
Similarly, many popular Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services are often advertised as 'interest free' or '0% interest'. But they charge fees that can add up quickly. They may charge:
To compare fees charged by different providers, see buy now pay later fees on the Australian Finance Industry (AFIA) website.
When you're in your 20s and 30s, retirement may seem like light years away. However, now is the best time to start saving for the retirement lifestyle you want. Why? Because the power of compounding - time is truly on your side. Some small simple steps now can boost your super and make a big difference later.
One way to grow your nest egg is to negotiate with your employer to increase super contributions by salary sacrificing. These contributions are on top of compulsory contributions made by your employer (currently, your employer must contribute 10.5% of your salary into super).
Salary sacrificing into super is an agreement between you and your employer to pay some of your pre-tax salary as contributions into super. Doing this can also be tax effective. Salary sacrificed amounts to super are concessional contributions. The amount you contribute to super is taxed at up to 15% (and up to 30% if your income is over $250,000 per annum) rather than your marginal tax rate, which might be up to 47%. Keep reading to discover more ways to grow your super.
As you begin a career and find your place in the workforce, take advantage of personal growth opportunities, professional development courses and skills training. Work with your employer on a career pathway, working on moving up and establishing steady income growth.
Where do you want to be in five years? Ten years? Start there and work backward. How will you get there? Taking steps to prepare yourself for a great career can help increase your earning potential for decades to come.
The best time to start planning for your future is as early as possible. Establishing healthy financial habits in your 20s and 30s can help you design the lifestyle you want to live and help to unlock financial wellbeing in retirement.
If this is something you’re looking for, we suggest seeking help from a qualified financial adviser. You can look for a financial adviser on the moneysmart.gov.au website or through an industry association such as the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) or the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
This article is issued by OnePath Custodians Pty Limited (OnePath Custodians) ABN 12 008 508 496, RSE L0000673, AFSL 238346 and OnePath Funds Management Limited (OnePath Funds Management) ABN 21 003 002 800, AFSL 238342. OnePath Custodians and OnePath Funds Management are part of the Insignia Financial Group of companies, consisting of Insignia Financial Limited ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (Insignia Financial Group).
You should read the relevant Financial Services Guide (FSG), Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Target Market Determination (TMD), Additional Information Guide (AIG), Investment Funds Guide (IFG), and product and other updates (for open and closed products) available at onepath.com.au and consider whether OnePath products are right for you before making a decision to acquire, or to continue to hold any OnePath product. Alternatively, you can request a copy of this information by calling Customer Services on 133 665.
Taxation law is complex, and this information has been prepared as a guide only and does not represent taxation advice. Please see your tax adviser for independent taxation advice.
Before re-directing your super or moving your money into your product, you will need to consider whether there are any adverse consequences for you, including loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover), investment options and performance, functionality, increase in investment risks and where your future employer contributions will be paid. Any investment is subject to investment risk, including possible repayment delays and loss of income and principal invested. Returns can go up and down. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
The information provided is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives. Before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to your needs, financial circumstances or objectives. The case studies used in the articles on this website are hypothetical and are not meant to illustrate the circumstances of any particular individual. Opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors only.