- Buy vs. Rent
If you haven’t purchased a home by age 31, you are statically behind the average. That doesn’t mean you need to rush out and become a homeowner, but it does mean that you should consider if your housing plans are financially smart for your budget. If you can’t afford a home right now, then you are making the wisest decision in abstaining as many first-time homeowners often take on more house than they can afford. Maybe this is the year that you begin saving for a down payment for homeownership.
- Adequately Insured
When you are younger, it is easy to feel invincible. As you get older and have more financial obligations and responsibilities, it’s only prudent to make sure that you have home, health, life and automotive insurance.
- Smart Credit Choices
It can be tempting to buy things you cannot afford. Opting to pay for things later and overextending your financing is something that will not serve you well later in life when your resources will be needed for retirement savings and college tuition if you have children. Debt that exceeds income earnings is a lifestyle choice not well suited to adults planning for a financially stable future.
- Saving for the Future
In your late 30s, retirement seems like a distant hope or dream. Regardless of how unreal it may seem, the day will come that you can no longer work and will need to rely on money that you have saved for a distant day. Now is the time to start saving for the future. Meet with a financial advisor and begin planning a long-term plan. In the meantime, begin with simple IRAs and 401k through your employer if offered.
- Credit Monitoring
Your credit report is important outside of large purchases. You should active monitor your report for errors or signs of fraud as a step in your regular financial checkup.
- Emergency Fund
Rainy day funds should be stocked with at least three to six months of living expenses. Emergency funds are a protective measure to prevent the need to take expensive loans. By saving a rainy day fund, you can forgo further debt when a crisis happens.