7 Money Habits You Must Learn by 30

7 money habits you must learn by 30

You are in your late 20s. You’re feeling old already, and wiser (hopefully). Your parents, relatives, and neighbors are overwhelming you by saying that you must turn a new leaf – that you cannot be ‘irresponsible’ anymore (don’t you hate it when they say that?).

But there is one thing you must learn to be more responsible with. And that’s the one thing you don’t want to talk about — money.

I’ll cut to the chase, and be brutal. You cannot be happy if you don’t enjoy financial freedom. And happiness doesn’t mean movie binging, or buying a new phone which costs more than a motorbike. Happiness is about experiences. The more you collect experiences, the wiser you become. To gain these experiences you must have an open mind. You must push yourself outside comfort zone. And for that, you need financial freedom.

Now that you are pushing 30, here are seven money habits that you must imbibe deeply to lead the life you want to:

1. Prepare for Financial Freedom

For centuries, ideologies have been handed down. Our forefathers gave it to their children, who handed it down to their children. They handed it down to their children, who did the same to us. Some ideologies, like values, are good. But instructions on what we should do in life ‘to succeed’ are a little ambivalent. Because this is 2016. Things are different.

So don’t get sucked into ideologies that elders hand over to you. To be truly happy, you must do what you love. And happiness is the road to financial freedom, not vice versa.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

2. Make Saving a Habit

Yes, it’s time for responsibilities. You have loans, and will soon have kids (if you don’t already). Money will fly out of your hands fast. Things will get tough. For now.

Make saving money, no matter how less, a habit. It will be difficult to begin with. Gradually, you start feeling good — when you see money in your account at the end of the month, rather than worrying about how far the 1st of the next month is.

And don’t just leave money in your bank account. Invest it in a vehicle  which gives you good returns and saves tax.

3. Don’t Fear Losing Money

The most common reason why people don’t invest is ‘fear’. Fear of losing money.

Contrary to the myth, money invested isn’t lost. In fact, investing it means that your money works for you. And if, due to poor judgement, you do lose money, don’t pity yourself. You have gained a valuable lesson. These lessons, over time, will make you wise enough to pursue financial freedom by the time you’re fifty.

4. Clutter is Expensive

The biggest cause of our money woes is spending on things we don’t need. Take fifteen minutes and scour through your room. How many things haven’t been used in over six months? Think about how much you spent on them, and how much you would have saved if you curbed your impulses.

But it’s never too late. Start decluttering your life now, beginning with your room. Sell things that you can do without. Or better, donate them. Someone, somewhere, needs what you have no use for. Imagine the joy you can bring in their lives, along with the calmness in yours.

5. An Unexpected Hack — Exercise

Exercising for thirty minutes a day keeps you physically fit and mentally alert. It also makes you want to eat healthy food. Thus, in comes a good diet and out goes junk food. Think about what you spend most on. I’m assuming it’s food and drinks.

Diets are an incredible way to regulate your expenses. Plus if you are unhappy with a few extra pounds of fat, diets double up as a great way to become healthy. Every buck you spend on unhealthy food or on new clothes because the old ones don’t fit, can go into a nice investment vehicle.

6. Reading Helps to Save Money

Yes, read. A lot. Now that you’re at the juncture where you will have a family of your own, reading good books is essential for wisdom and discipline. Not only will they enhance your knowledge, but they also will reduce your need to watch movies and television. Thus, you will save money by spending less on movies and tasteless junk food. Reading is quite inexpensive if you take a library membership or read e-books.

7. The 30-day rule

Put a decision to buy something on hold for one month. At the end of 30 days, decide whether you want it. Make a rule: You can buy necessities immediately. For anything else, wait 30 days before buying.
Put a list on your refrigerator. When you feel the urge to buy something, put it on the list along with that date. After 30 days, you can buy the item. More often, you won’t. Because the urge to own it has passed. If you follow this rule, you overcome the negative effects of impulse buying.

These money habits will hold you in good stead for the rest of your life.

Vishal is the founder of Aryatra, a venture to help individuals improve their productivity and live more fulfilled lives. He also is a digital marketing consultant helping businesses generate revenue from their online presence.