The best part of our lives starts in our 20s. This is when we take our destinies into our hands, tread on paths not yet taken to get the best things of life, and by 30, we must have attained some financial goals.
You are through with university, dropped your ‘NYSC khaki’, then reality sets in. You are faced with several career and life’s choices; whether to get a job, take professional courses, go for your Masters degree or get married. And the clock ticks 30 before you know it.
So you are not caught in the web of regrets, here are five beneficial goals to financial freedom you will find helpful.
1. Get rid of debt
To be in debt is to be in slavery and you will never move forward in life with a creditor always on your neck.
Whether you borrowed money to pay your tuition fees, to meet an emergency or to satisfy a personal craving, you must decide to get out of debt at all cost. You may not be able to pay it all before you turn 30 but you can always take necessary steps towards clearing them.
Get a job and if you already have one, initiate a debt payment plan that could include setting apart an amount of your salary monthly to pay off the debt.
When you manage your debt properly and pay it off, it opens a chapter of opportunities for you to do better things with your money and life.
2. Develop financial discipline
It takes a lax financial habit to ruin the dream of ever becoming successful.
A crave for adventure is heightened in our 20s, and all pleasures seem inviting. You would visit the cinema and spa, change your groceries, enjoy the finest of cuisines at the top eateries and spend, spend, spend. This lifestyle leads only to lack and debt.
Frugality is an asset to financial freedom. As one of your financial goals, you must cut all unnecessary expenses and prioritize your spending.
Having a strong financial discipline is like a capital for business and when developed at your 20s, it is an investment with much dividend for years to come.
3. Have a fat bank account
Proper preparation is a key to success and there is no better way to being successful before 30 than saving enough.
Borrowing the words of George S. Clason in The Richest Man in Babylon, “wealth like a tree grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow.” So, if at turning 30 you don’t want to live from hand to mouth and being a liability to friends and family, the best time to save is now.
Saving a small amount soon builds up to a large amount and before you know it, you would have saved yourself from penury at 30.
4. Start a business
It is good to save but it is not enough to save. You must save to earn and let your money work for you, and what better way to go about this if not to invest in a business idea?
Still borrowing Clason’s wisdom, “a fat purse quickly empties if there is no golden stream to refill it.” A 9am-to-5pm job won’t lead to a fat bank account. You have to do something you have never done to have something you have never had.
You are on your way to financial freedom when you invest in a business idea that provides solutions to others. Only be ready to start small, dream big and work your way to the top.
5. Have a plan B for contingency
Life is unpredictable but acting smart means planning not to be caught unawares.
This means expecting the best and preparing for the worst. You must establish an emergency fund to cater for whatever life may throw at you before you turn 30; be it a layoff at work, illness or business downturn.
Having a ‘plan b’ also means preparing for early retirement. You should have a monthly budget to help you with this and even when you have a detour in your career and life, you will always have something to fall back on.