6 Smart money moves to make in your 20s and 30s

Achieving financial stability in your 20s and 30s can set the stage for a secure and prosperous future. These are crucial years for building habits that will benefit you throughout your life. 

Whether you’re starting your first job, paying off student loans, or saving for a home, making informed financial decisions now can have a lasting impact. Here are six savvy strategies to help you build a solid foundation and navigate the complexities of personal finance.

1. Create a budget

A budget is essential for managing your finances. Start by tracking your income and expenses to understand your spending habits. Categorise your expenses and set limits for each category. This not only helps in avoiding unnecessary spending but also ensures you’re saving enough for future goals. Budgeting tools and apps can simplify this process, making it easier to stick to your financial plan.

2. Build an emergency fund

Life is unpredictable, and an emergency fund acts as a financial safety net. A good aim could be to save three to six months' worth of living expenses. This fund should be easily accessible and kept separate from your regular savings account. Having this buffer can help you manage unexpected expenses like medical bills, car repairs, or job loss without resorting to debt.

3. Pay down any debt

High-interest debt, such as credit cards and loans, can hinder your financial progress. Prioritise paying off these debts first to save on interest payments. You could consider consolidating your debt or even getting a no-interest balance transfer credit card to help you roll your debts into one place. Reducing your debt load can improve your credit score and free up more money for savings and investments.

4. Boost your superannuation

Your superannuation is crucial for a comfortable retirement. Make additional contributions to your super whenever possible. Even small, regular contributions can make a significant difference due to compound growth over time.

5. Plan for big purchases

Whether it's a home, car, wedding or holiday, planning for big purchases is essential. Start saving early and create a specific savings plan for these goals. Research financing options, compare interest rates, and consider the total cost you’ll be paying in the long run. By planning ahead, you can avoid unnecessary debt and make informed decisions that align with your long-term financial goals.

6. Focus on financial education

Invest time in learning about personal finance. Educate yourself on topics like budgeting, investing, and retirement planning. Read books, follow financial blogs, and attend workshops or webinars. A solid understanding of financial principles can empower you to make better decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and take advantage of opportunities to grow your wealth.

Implementing these smart money moves in your 20s and 30s will help you build a solid financial foundation and secure your future.

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Last updated 23 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • Savings Account

    5.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    4.75% p.a.(for $0 to $1,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus variable rate is available for the first 4 months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

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  • Reward Saver Account

    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)

    0% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 5.25% for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months, reverting to 3.25%. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals.

    Introductory bonus rate for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals. Start your account online in under 10 minutes and earn interest on balances up to $1,000,000 (T&Cs apply). No monthly account fees, helping you save smarter and faster.

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  • Savings+Bonus

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    2.00% p.a.(for $0 to $250,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Minimum $100 monthly deposit and no withdrawals to earn bonus interest each month.

    Earn a generous interest rate on your at-call savings (T&Cs apply). Interest is calculated daily and paid to you monthly. A $5 monthly membership fee will not apply if your total account balances with First Option Bank exceed $1,000 or you have a credit card or loan with the bank.

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  • Bonus Saver Account

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Glide transaction account.

    Start saving and earn interest with just a $20 deposit and make 5 eligible transactions each month. No fees or penalties for withdrawing money.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Maximiser

    5.50% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)

    0.55% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    For customers who have an Orange Everyday account, deposit $1000 into a personal ING account, make 5 eligible transactions and grow their nominated Savings Maximiser account each month.

    Great variable rate every month when you grow your balance each month in addition to other eligibility criteria. No ING fees to pay. Save even more with ING Everyday Round Up. Mozo Experts Choice Awards Everyday & Savings Bank of the Year winner for 2024.^

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