How to fix your finances in your 30s
How many of you went to that app that showed you how you would look when you got old? It was fun, wasn’t it? What if there was an app that you could use to see how your finances would look in your old age?
Well, there may not be a specific app for that, but there are ways of calculating how much your money will grow if you invest it in mutual funds or PPF or some other investment instruments. So if you are in your 30s, you can actually figure out how much money you need to invest today so that you can enjoy the same or a better lifestyle in the future. And believe me, the figures can seem daunting.
For example, if you want to enjoy a lifestyle that comes with a price tag of ₹40,000 per month, then 15 years down the line, you will need approximately ₹1,00,000 per month (after factoring in inflation at about 6% year after year). To achieve that, you need to be investing at least ₹1,00,000 every month starting NOW! Seems incredibly daunting, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t need to be because when you are in your 30s is actually the ideal time to figure your finances right. Here’s why:
You are stable in your job
By the time you hit your 30s, you are quite settled in your work. Your work-profile is established, your spoken reputation is well-known and your income is steady. This makes it the perfect time to establish a regular investing pattern.
You are earning more than you did in your 20s
Your 20s were a time when you may have lived salary-cheque to salary-cheque; spending money before it had been credited to you. Though by the time you hit your 30s, not only has your salary increased, but you have also gained a certain amount of financial maturity.
Your spending is in check. It is possible that you have already started some long-term investments plans. So now, the important thing to do is remember how you lived in less money. Retain a frugal lifestyle and use your salary increase to feather your nest. Invest it in mutual funds, SIPs and maybe even stocks.
By now it is possible that your family may have increased – in case you have got married and may have even had children. While the expenses will seem to have increased, also remember that your income has also doubled – when you include your spouse’s earnings.
The 80s and 90s were a time of the DINKS (Double Income No Kids) who were the target group for many lifestyle marketing strategies. Now, you need to realise that even with your double income, you do not really need to double your lifestyle expenses. Stick to your financial investment goals and whatever money you can save over your planned investments, invest it in liquid funds. Keep it for big-ticket expenses, for fun spends or for any dream realisation.
If you don’t account for it, it will vanish
Account for every penny you earn. When you are listing spends, include your investments too. The basic rule of financial maturity is to spend less than you earn. However, if you are having a tidy sum left over after all your expenses – including your investments – it is time to increase your investments.
Get that term insurance. Build a better health insurance package that makes sure you have good coverage for the future as well. Include your parents in your health insurance cover, especially the one provided by your employer, this usually costs you some money for the premium but can save you a lot of stress later. Increase your SIPs, this should ideally be done in line with your future financial goals.
Put more money into your PPF account if you can, PPF is good to have as a part of your portfolio since it has a fixed interest. Use this extra money wisely and make it work for you. If you just treat this extra cash as a bonus and spend it on frivolous stuff or let it sit in the bank, it will most likely go up in your groceries and eating outspend and you won’t even realise it.
Remember, your 30s are a time to stabilise yourself professionally and financially. Invest well now and join the increasing tribe of early retirees if you must. Live life on your terms and that can only be realised by making investments that enable a sound financial future.
Whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, it always the right time to invest. Download the Basis app to get started.