What if there was an easy way to get rich quick?
It would be nice, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, the road to becoming a millionaire isn’t simple, and for most of us, it won’t ever happen. Let alone in our 30s.
But, don’t despair. Instead of wanting to get rich fast, why not focus on building your wealth, and getting into good money habits to set you up for life.Your 30s is a great time to start improving your money skills to help you reach your goals. It can be a tough age group to be, though – you likely still want to keep having fun, but also might want to buy a house soon, or maybe start a family.
How can you balance everything?
If you get into good money habits now, you can really help your savings grow.
Reduce your debt
Having high-interest debt, such as credit cards or payday loans, can be stressful. Repaying money month after month can make it really hard to break the cycle of debt, making it really hard to get ahead. We’ve already talked about tackling your student loan.
Break those bad habits
It’s likely your 20s were spent having heaps of fun and spending lots – good on you! But at some point, it’s time to get serious about your money. Learn to budget, start a savings plan, and really take charge of your money.
Live within your means. Create goals for things you want to achieve. It sounds boring, but it will pay off and you’ll get big rewards later!
Contribute more money to KiwiSaver
For most Kiwis, contributing to KiwiSaver is a great idea. Your money gets locked away and you can use it to buy your first home and to help fund your retirement. When you contribute regularly, your employer and the government give you money too. Who doesn’t want free money!
Plus, because your money is invested in the financial markets, you can get returns on your money – probably more than in a regular savings account. Look at how much you’re contributing to KiwiSaver – could you afford to put in more?
The more you can comfortably contribute now, the bigger the benefits could be later.
Build a backup
Creating an emergency savings account can help during tough times. It’s a great way to avoid reaching for that credit card or payday loan. Aim to build up at least three months of expenses that could cover you in an emergency.
Look at buying a house
Buying your first home can be a great investment for some. In some areas outside Auckland, housing is fairly affordable.
Your house can become your biggest asset, and it will likely increase in value over time. It also offers you security and perhaps the lifestyle you want – no more moving between rentals. But buying a home isn’t for everyone. It’s a big financial commitment and you need to work out if it’s right for you. You might not be able to afford it. And borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad might not work for you.
Avoid overstretching yourself – you never know what might happen in the future with your finances. See a financial adviser to find out how you’re placed to buy.
Mix up your investments
Diversifying helps reduce your risk. If you spread your money across different investments, if one dips then you reduce the chance of losing lots. If your only investment is property, why not look at something else in addition, for example, shares.
A good rule is ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. A financial adviser can help with good choices here about what’s right for your situation.
Manage your risk
Once you start to build your money, you’ll want to protect it. Diversifying is one way to reduce risk, but also look at insurance. If you’re single, or the sole earner, you might want to look at income protection.
Don’t get too obsessed with money!
Despite the serious points in this article, don’t get too serious about saving every cent!
Life is for living too, and it’s all about balance. Restricting yourself too much means you could miss out on some amazing life experiences.
And for some, travelling to exotic and far-off places, is something best done in your 30s – before you get too many responsibilities!
Published December 2018
Story by Claire Connell, JUNO, and James Paterson, Pie Funds
James Paterson is the Head of Wealth and an authorised financial adviser at Pie Funds. You can access his disclosure statement free of charge at www.piefunds.co.nz. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.