The One Thing 30-Somethings Should Do to Save Money

by Daniel Barna
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@monikh

When it comes to saving money, young people can be pretty shortsighted. Do I have enough to pay rent? Check. Can I afford few after work beers with friends? Check. Can I pay my phone bill? Check. But once you enter your 30s, life can come at you fast, especially if you plan on getting married, having children, or buying a house. In order to take those steps, your finances need to be in order, and that starts with how you save.

Sophia Bera, who founded Gen Y Planning, a firm that helps people in their 20s and 30s plan their finances, sat down with Business Insider to discuss the one thing that 30-somethings can do to ensure their financial future is a bright one. Bera suggests that instead of a monthly budget, which people so often follow, an annual budget is actually far more beneficial.

"When we budget monthly, we have a hard time forecasting that we're actually going to need extra money throughout the year to pay for irregular expenses, even if it's things like your car insurance premiums," she said. "When we look at our budget on a yearly basis, we're much more mindful of 'Oh yeah, I pay my life insurance premiums yearly' or 'We take a family vacation every year and it's X amount of dollars.'"

Bera believes that taking these so-called irregular expenses into consideration at the beginning of the year allows you to be prepared for them when they do inevitably arise. "I encourage you to take a look and say, 'If I were to budget yearly, about how much money would I need for these different things?'" she suggests.

The best way to do this is to examine past bills and bank statements and calculate all the money you spent on irregular expenses. "That's going to make you really prepare for 2017 and figure out how much you put into these different accounts per month," Bera adds. "You want to have that money there when you take that next family vacation, but it's still part of the yearly budget."

For more advice on how to save money pick up a copy of Millennials and Money and let us know if you have any budgeting tips.

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