Turning 30? Here are 8 money mantras to keep in mind

Congratulations, all ready for the big THREE ZERO? 😉

Turning 30 is a momentous event, as you enter a new phase of life with greater responsibilities. Becoming financially secure should be among your top priorities, and these 8 money mantras will help you do just that.

1. It’s never too late to start saving money

In a previous post, we had highlighted the importance of saving early and the power of compounding. Ideally, saving should begin right from the time you start earning, but even as you’re turning 30, all is not lost. Think about your future goals and set aside some money each month from your salary.

2. Track your spends, pay bills on time

Do you know how much money you’re spending each month, and where? Do you have a monthly budget? Are you paying your credit card and utility bills on time? Fortunately, all three are possible with Walnut — download it now and take charge of your spends and bill payments.

3. Build a good credit score

30 is an interesting age — you’re financially independent, having the time of your life as well as looking at the prospect of upcoming responsibilities. Having a good credit score can open a lot of doors and make your financial dreams a reality. Live within your means and resist the temptation to max your credit cards (except in an emergency). Try and avoid revolving credit or using the EMI option on your cards — these can blow a hole in your credit report, and improving your credit score can take time.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

The first financial advice you get is usually from your parents and putting part of your salary in a fixed deposit is the popular choice in most families in India. Nothing wrong with that, but the interest is taxable and coupled with inflation, you’re hardly left with any tangible returns. Besides fixed deposit, there are other asset classes like gold (physical or ETF), real estate, mutual funds, PPF, NPS. If you’re not comfortable investing directly in the stock market, equity mutual funds are an option and you can do so via a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), which helps you plan and save for upcoming spends.

5. Get life and health insurance

With the steep rise in medical costs over the years, a health insurance cover is a must, and earlier the better. At a young age, with no pre-existing diseases, the premiums are much lower — not just for health insurance but even for life insurance so that your dependents are not financially affected in case anything happens to you. The premium you pay for both life insurance and health insurance (self, dependents, parents) is also eligible for a tax deduction.

6. Pay your taxes and file returns on time

Whether you’re a salaried employee, a business owner or a freelancer, there’s no escaping income tax. Depending on overall tax liability and tax deducted, you may also have to pay advance tax by the stipulated dates, and then file your income tax return, usually by 31st July each year.

7. Set aside an emergency fund

A lost job, an accident/illness, a family emergency — all these are unpredictable events that can suddenly make a big dent in your finances. This is a good time to set money aside for an emergency fund. While the size depends on your lifestyle, it should take care of 6–8 months worth of living expenses and commitments. Most importantly, it should be quickly accessible to you and family.

8. Start planning for additional responsibilities

Marriage, kids, their education, buying a house, higher paying job, vacation abroad every year, retirement corpus — everyone has their own laundry list of financial goals. Some may prefer to focus on their career and marry/have kids later. Some may want to buy their own house, others may prefer to live on rent and utilise the money elsewhere. While priorities will differ, the bottom line is — you have to start planning for all these and the best time to start is NOW! :)

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Originally published at www.getwalnut.com on April 5, 2017.