Many of us may not think about building wealth in our 20s; however, your 30s are different! You may have a steady career and may be thinking of your future. There are all kinds of ways that people in their early or late 30s can make the most of their money to build security for their future. If you are curious about what it takes to build wealth in your 30s, continue reading about how you can get started.
Budgeting involves tracking your income and spending to come up with a plan for your money. There are all kinds of budgeting methods out there, and the best one for you will depend on your goals. If one of your goals is to build wealth, you may want to find a budgeting method that focuses on saving as much as possible. For example, the no spend budget focuses on minimizing spending money altogether. Even if you don’t get super specific with a budget, having a general one can really help you organize your finances. Here are some basic budgets that anyone can follow if they are just getting started with managing their money:
The 50/30/20 Budget
The 50/30/20 budget involves splitting up your income into three categories of expenses. Following the 50/30/20 budget, 50% of your income will go towards necessities, 30% will go towards recreational spending, and 20% will need to be put into savings. This budget provides a good balance of spending and saving, and you don’t have to worry about how much you allocate towards each spending or savings category.
The Zero Sum Budget
The zero-sum budget is one of the simplest budgeting methods out there. To follow this method, you will need to “spend” all of your income. You will have to create some spending and savings categories, and either before or after you get paid, you will have to allocate all of your money to them. For most people using this budgeting method, any leftover cash at the end of the month will be then allocated towards their savings. This budget can help you be more mindful of your money rather than just spending any leftover funds you can use for something worthwhile.
Envelope System Budgeting
To do the envelope budgeting system, you will need to create envelopes (you can use various apps or have physical envelopes) and have a budget for each category. You can then add your funds virtually or physically into these envelopes. As your month progresses, you can pull from each envelope, and once it is empty, you will know that you have spent the maximum amount. The envelope budget can definitely be fun and useful; however, it may take a few tries to get the category maximums or minimums right.
The pay-yourself-budget is one of the most rewarding and doesn’t compromise saving money. The plan here is simple: you pay your bills and recreational expenses first, and then whatever money you have left over should be put into a savings account. If you aren’t ready for an extremely tight budget right away, the pay-yourself budget can be an excellent place to start. However, if, over time, you find that you aren’t able to save money like you may have wanted, it may be worthwhile to try a stricter budget.
Take Advantage of Your Employer Benefits
Depending on your employer, you may have benefits other than healthcare. You may not think using these benefits may be worthwhile, but they can help keep more money in your pocket and, in some cases, help you with planning and saving for your future. Here are some common benefits you may find at your job:
Many people have to go into an office five days a week, and some companies will either reimburse that cost or provide extra funds for it upfront. If you are also a commuter, it may be worthwhile to ask your employer or HR department whether your company offers commuter benefits. By taking advantage of these perks, you could be looking to save up a few hundred dollars a month! And that money could go towards your savings or any other goal you may have.
A Work-from-home Credit
Due to the 2019 pandemic, many workplaces switched to remote work. Because of this, many companies offer a work-from-home credit, which can help employees purchase any necessary items so they can work from home successfully.
This can be one of the most money-saving benefits out there! A gym membership or classes can cost a few hundred dollars a month. So, take advantage of employer discounts or credits to save more money every month.
A 401k is essential to your financial future, and many employers will match contributions up to a certain amount. Although a few thousand may not seem like much, even a small contribution, when matched, can really help you plan for your future.
Phone Bill Reimbursement
If you use your phone for work, then you may also get your phone bill covered by your employer. That could mean savings of a few hundred dollars a month and a few thousand dollars annually.
Creating a Retirement Savings Plan
Most people in their early 30s may not think of a retirement plan. However, planning for retirement is an essential part of planning for your financial future! And so, if you don’t have retirement accounts, retirement income, or a plan, then it is critical that you start. A certified financial planner can help you grasp everything about retirement planning, but you can also get started on your own with some basics. Here are some things you can do on your own:
Set up a Roth IRA
An individual retirement account or IRA can be set up at a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. One of the most significant benefits of IRAs is that they are tax-free when you retire and take out the funds. Any return from the account will come from investments and compound interest. Most account holders average a return of 7%-10%.
Set Up Your 401K
As mentioned above, a 401k is a retirement account from an employer. By contributing to your account, you may also see a match. Like your Roth IRA, a 401k can help you have financial security when ready to retire.
Create a Solid Emergency Savings
Another thing you can do to set yourself up for financial success is to have an adequate savings fund for emergencies. A solid emergency fund is vital, as it can mean staying afloat if unexpected expenses come up. It can also help you stay away from predatory loan options like payday loans that come with extremely high interest rates. No matter where you are with your financial planning or savings goals, having a savings account will be essential to your financial health! You can start saving with just a few hundred dollars a month if you haven’t done so before. One way to ensure that you save is to set up automatic payments to your savings account every time you get paid or every month.
Pay off Your Debt
Whether you have student loan debt, credit card debt, or high-interest debt from loans, it will be a good idea to pay them off if you are trying to build wealth in your 30s. Higher interest debt can really tie up your income and prevent you from investing in future financial goals, not to mention losing money through high interest.
And so, it will be helpful to really think about a debt repayment plan. You can aggressively pay off your credit cards and loans if you have a large take-home pay and minimal living expenses. On the other hand, even paying more than the minimum monthly payment can help you get rid of debt. There are all kinds of debt repayment strategies that you can pursue on your own! But, if you have bad money habits or need some help, credit counselors and financial planners can help! Paying off debt can also help you get a better credit score, which can mean access to financial products that can help you build even more wealth.
Invest Wisely for Wealth Building
Investing is a great way to earn passive income—making your money work for you—and build wealth. There are all kinds of investment options out there; some are riskier than others. A few examples of investing include real estate investing, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc. If you haven’t invested before, talk to a financial advisor who can look at your finances and help you develop an investment portfolio.
The Bottom Line With Building Wealth in Your 30s
You can take all kinds of steps if you want to build wealth in your 30s, and even if you are older, it is never too late to start! Financial moves like budgeting, paying off debt, retirement planning, creating an emergency savings account, and investing can all help you build wealth!