When it comes to making smart moves in life age is not a determinant. You can make choices at any level in your lifetime but they have to be good ones that would not only benefit your life currently but years to come. Life does not warn people before it throws things at them, that is why you need to be prepared and the best time to start that is in your 20s.
Fine, you might still be single and someday you will eventually end up with a man, nevertheless you need to brace yourself and make positive financial choices that can set you up to the next level and at the same time take care of your future.
Here Are 8 Smart Moves You Should Take:
1. Save for Your Future
It is very important to set aside money for your financial goals that you want to reach in the future. There may come a time when you want to purchase your own home or pursue your long term goals and begin building equity instead of renting.
2. Create a Financial Plan
A financial plan can include everything from your career plan to your retirement plan. If that feels like too much start out with a five-year plan. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you need to do financially to get there? Then break it down into yearly and monthly goals and steps. Be sure to include long-term goals like retirement as part of your plan. This may include going back to school to get your education to help with your next career goal.
3. Focus on Climbing the Career Ladder
Now is a great time to focus on the career ladder. It takes time and hard work to move up. Make clear goals and determine what you need to do to reach them. It may mean switching companies, moving to another city or going back to school. It may mean that you do side work or create a professional network and find a mentor to help you reach that goal.
Break down the steps for the career path you want to take and start taking them. It is okay to switch directions at some point and choose to go a new direction if you find a better fit for you. Dreams can change, but the key is to keep moving forward toward that dream.
4. Make Sure You Are Budgeting
Budgeting is one of the biggest tools to managing your money properly. When you are single, it is easy to justify not creating a budget. Your expenses are straightforward and if you pay your bills what does it matter when and how you spend your money?
However, your budget can help you find areas you can cut back on spending to put more money toward savings or debt. Make your income a tool, and budget effectively. This does not mean you should not have fun, but determine how much you can afford to spend while working on your financial plan and stick to that amount.
5. Start Planning for Retirement
Contributing early and regularly means that you can get by with contributing a lower overall percentage of your income and you do not need to worry about catching up later. It makes sense to plan as though you are going to be responsible for your retirement on your own. This allows you to save enough and will leave you prepared. It may help you to be able to retire early.
6. Build Your Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is essential if you are single. It can be the thing that save you from being homeless if you were to suddenly lose your job. It can help cover unexpected expenses and take the worry and weight off. For people living on one income, a year’s worth of expense is a good goal. This will give you time to find a new job without too much pressure.
7. Take Care of Your Credit/Debt
Your credit and debt can affect your ability to take your next financial step from buying a home to taking out a business loan to open your new business. Paying down your debt will free up additional money you can use toward savings. Late payments can make it difficult to qualify for a loan. Taking the time to fix any past mistakes and clearing up your credit report will make it easier for you reach your goals in the future.
8. Put Everything in Order
Finally take the time to put everything into order. It may seem like it is too early to worry about it, but having a will and final wishes can make things easier for your loved ones if you were to pass unexpectedly or if you were to become ill suddenly.
A document that includes any insurance information, bank and loan accounts will make it easier for someone to help you out if you need it. Usually a parent is a good person to give that information to, but if not you can give it to a trusted friend who understands the situation.