Making smart moves is essential at any stage of your life. It is important to start out strong and make choices that will prepare you for wherever life takes you.
You may stay single, end up with a partner or start a family, but the positive financial choices you make in your 20s can set you up to meet the next adventure and know that your future is taken care of.
Learn ten steps you need to take now.
1. Start Planning for Retirement
The first thing you should do is the plan 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.
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 for 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. Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance
Insurance is there to protect you. It can be frustrating to see your income going to insurance each month, but it is there to protect you.
When you are a single, short-term and long-term disability insurance can be a lifesaver, especially if you do not have an emergency fund saved up.
This insurance will protect you if you are suddenly not able to work due to an injury or illness. Health insurance can keep you from going bankrupt when you are suddenly ill. Renter’s insurance can help you avoid the stress of replacing everything if you are robbed.
Take the time to make sure you are protected.
6. Build Your Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is essential if you are single. It can be the thing that saves 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.