Building wealth doesn't have to wait until you're settled down and "old". In fact, the sooner you start the better. Whether you want to buy a house one day, or start saving for retirement, starting to generate wealth earlier on will help you achieve these goals sooner.
Your 20’s & 30’s pose an excellent opportunity to build wealth as these years allow you to learn from your mistakes and take risks with a minimal downside (far fewer than if you started this process when you've got a family to support or an upcoming retirement).
There are two important notions to remember: this is not a get-rich-quick scheme, nor does it need to be complicated. Building wealth is more about setting yourself up on the fast but responsible track to wealth in later years.
8 Tips on how to build wealth
Below are 8 tips on how to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to generating wealth.
- Create a living expenses budget and stick to it
It might not sound glamorous, but budgeting and saving money is not as bad as you think. Creating a budget for your living expenses (and sticking to it) is one of the surest ways to grow your money in the long term. Explore options like the 50/30/20 rule or 70/20/20 rule to establish what to spend on needs, wants, and savings each month and provide frameworks that allow you to save more money.
Living on a budget doesn't mean skimping on luxuries, it simply means managing spending money on luxuries and not overspending. It also trains us not to live paycheck to paycheck and instead determine exactly what we are spending our money on and ultimately save more money for the things we want to do in life (like buy a house or build a healthy retirement fund).
Financial independence takes work but is not entirely out of reach for anyone. One needs to start building a financial plan today in order to accumulate wealth further down the line.
2. Start eradicating your debt (from credit card debt to student loan debt)
Prioritise paying off your debt and living within your means in order to build your personal capital. Of course, sometimes debt is unavoidable, but bouncing back is imperative to building wealth down the line. Consider saving up to pay off your debt before using those savings for investments.
The 20/10 rule stipulates that you use a maximum of 20% of your annual net income on consumer debt, while each month you use no more than 10% of your net monthly income to pay off this debt. Ideally, stay away from consumer debt entirely and prioritize paying off anything you owe so that you can have more money in the long run.
3. Explore the working world
Your 20s are a great time to try new things in the job world. Explore new opportunities and build your experiences to grow your earning potential down the line. Consider each new job experience an opportunity to grow your skill set and increase your earning potential as you ascend the corporate jungle gym.
While a job might not pay more money, the experience it gives you can leverage your next job and result in greater financial success. It also might help you find money-minded friends, a great benefit to have when building wealth and personal capital.
4. Increase your income streams and make more money
While you're gaining experience in the working world consider building multiple income streams through side hustles, your own business or freelance gigs. Not only will this too contribute to a wider skill set, but will also create additional income streams which can be used for investments or holidays. You can build wealth while enjoying life, and additional income streams are the surefire way to do this and achieve financial freedom.
5. Educate yourself on finances
You're more likely to grow financially if you understand finances. Never underestimate the power of being financially literate and having the right money mindset. Use your twenties to read books, articles, and blogs to gain both knowledge and street-smartness to help you navigate your journey to financial freedom.
First, and as a continuation of the point above, do your own research before investing in any asset class. Investing from an early age can have ample benefits (read up on compound interest for one), but doing so without understanding how investments work can have dire consequences. Educate yourself or consult a professional, and start small. You don't need a huge amount of capital to get started.
7. Build an emergency fund
An emergency fund is 3-6 months' worth of living expenses and is a major contributor to financial wellness and laying the right financial foundation for later in life. Emergencies in life are inevitable, whether it be a medical emergency, a family crisis, or a car or house emergency, and an emergency fund is a surefire way of avoiding financial ruin as a result.
Learn more about building an emergency fund in our 7 simple steps to start (and build) your emergency fund article.
8. Get started with your retirement fund
It might not sound sexy, but starting to save for your retirement in your 20s is ideal. Starting to save for retirement when it's right around the corner isn't advised, so why not start now so that it can grow into something substantial by that time? Imagine what two to three decades of retirement savings might look like, compared to a few years.
As always, do your research and start small. You might even find that you can retire much earlier than expected. This is the number one mistake that young people make today.
There's no time like the present to start considering your financial situation and what you can do now to make it prosper in the years to come. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes and use the time to take educated risks, the earlier you start working on your growing wealth journey, the better.
Even if you're not earning a lot, be diligent and consistent and you will see results. Start building these habits now and you will reap the rewards along the way.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for communication purposes only, you should not consider any such information, opinions, or other material as financial advice.