While you can’t generalize it, your life goals and needs change at different stages of your life. And so does your requirement for and approach towards money. So, your responsibilities, life goals and money needs will probably be different in your 20s than in your 30s, which may be different in your 40s and 50s and so on!
Most of the people in 30s will look probably to get settled in life, get married, have kids, seek career and social growth and live happily ever after. Usually at this point of time, you are looking to grow in career and socially too. However, this pursuit also makes you susceptible to making financial decisions which are better avoided!
Here are 5 common financial mistakes people make in their 30s.
1 – Upgrading every aspect of your lifestyle
If you can afford it, some amount of lifestyle upgrade doesn’t pinch much. Problem usually starts when you look to upgrade almost every aspect of your lifestyle and stretching too far to achieve that.
Upgrading to a new , better apartments, buying a bigger car, and an iPhone, better vacations … and many other ways – there are many ways you can upgrade.
But your pockets may not permit all upgrades (but you still upgrade!) …
2 – Not planning for retirement
That you are in your 30s, you may still have 20 or 30 years of active career still left. Or may be more. Or maybe even less. Unfortunately, job stability is more often than not, a myth. You may want to retire early. Worse, you may be forced to retire early. You may want to continue working till your body supports – maybe, till well into your 70s or 80s.
You probably can’t predict the future. You may be able to work for long, or you may not be able to. You may live a long life, well beyond 100 or die early. How accurately can you predict?
Lack of retirement planning can hurt if, in case, you have to retire well before you have planned to and have to support yourself for a long life after that.
3 – Lot of unnecessary debt
Home loan, car loan, personal loan, credit card outstanding … There are many ways to get into debt (and then spend years getting rid of it). These debts can severally dent your financial plans.
However, pursuit of upgraded lifestyle often makes this debt a part and parcel of every day lives.
4 – Getting paranoid about spending on kids
Ok. This is a tricky one.
We all want the best for our children. However, in this pursuit,we tend to get paranoid about what we buy & spend. More often than not, we end up spending unnecessarily – be it on toys, clothes, education – and other things. Not that these are not needed, but as parents, we often tend to go overboard.
Where to draw this line?
Frankly, I don’t have an answer. And as a father of a toddler, I am still hoping to find that balance!
5 – Lack of proper safety net
As a person completely (or partially) responsible for running the household (and having dependents), it is important to have a proper backup for “What if ..” scenario. To begin with, a term life insurance & a health insurance is a good starting point. This, to an extent takes care of the cases like death of the primary breadwinner (or co-breadwinner!) (life insurance) or any serious health issue which may turn into a major expense (health insurance).
Having a working spouse can also be, to an extent, be a part of this safety net. So is your assets taking care of a part of your expenses.
Different people can have different safety nets. What is yours?
The earlier your start your financial planning, better it is. If you haven’t started in 20s, then 30s might be the best time to start. But if you miss out starting even in your 30s, then you may be leaving too much for too late.
What are some other major financial mistakes by people in 30s you have observed?