20 money rules everyone should learn by 30

Mastering Money: 20 Essential Rules for Financial Success

4 min readFeb 13, 2024

20 money rules everyone should learn by 30

1. Always negotiate job offers. Never accept the first salary you’re offered.

2. Protect your credit score at all costs.

Good credit will open doors to the best loan rates for big purchases like cars and homes.

Pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low, and regularly check your credit report to maintain a good credit score.

3. More income will allow greater flexibility.

Focus on increasing your career earnings potential through skills development, training, and education.

The best investment is an investment in yourself.

4. Avoid impulse purchases.

Take time to think about whether a purchase is necessary or if it’s just an impulse buy.

Wait 1-day before deciding on small purchases, 1-week for mid-sized purchases, and 1-month for large purchases.

5. Always buy quality items over cheap stuff.

Cheap stuff seems like a bargain until it breaks.

Spend more upfront on well-made durable goods.

Cost per use is the best tool to make better decisions when shopping, to determine if a purchase is worth the cost.

6. Learn to DIY what you can.

Being able to DIY saves a ton of money vs. paying others for basic home and car repairs.

You can find tutorials for just about anything nowadays.

7. Build an emergency fund.

Life throws curveballs like job losses, illnesses, and car problems.

Make sure you have 3–6 months of living expenses set aside in a high-yield savings account for unexpected expenses.

An emergency fund helps you avoid going into debt when the unexpected happens.

8. Invest in yourself.

Spend money on books, courses, career development, and your health.

Continuous learning will expand your skills, knowledge, and opportunities.

This will improve your income potential and overall well-being.

9. Learn to cook some meals at home.

Meal prepping can save you a significant amount of time and money.

Eating out adds up fast.

10. Always take advantage of employer retirement plans.

If your company offers a 401k with matching contributions, opt-in immediately.

Otherwise, you’re walking away from free money.

And let it grow tax-deferred for decades.

11. Start investing in low-cost index funds.

Aim to save at least 15% of your income for retirement, overall.

The earlier you start, the more time your money has to grow.

Time is your biggest asset due to compound growth.

12. Keep the long game in mind.

Don’t overreact to market swings and stay focused on long-term goals.

Patience and consistency are key to building wealth.

13. Create a financial plan.

It maps out target saving and investing amounts to put you on track for future goals based on realistic assumptions.

Set short-term and long-term financial goals and create a roadmap to achieve them.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

14. Budgeting matters.

Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most important financial habits you can develop.

A budget helps you to see where your money is going, make informed decisions about your spending, and ensure that you are saving enough for your future goals.

Use the 50/30/20 rule to allocate income towards needs, wants, and savings.

15. Live below your means.

This means spending less than you earn.

Stick to a reasonable budget focused on needs over wants.

Negotiate bills, reduce subscriptions you don’t use, and eat out less.

Shop around for better rates on insurance, cell plans, internet, etc.

Small changes add up.

16. Comparison is the thief of joy, especially when it comes to money.

Comparing yourself to someone who earns more or spends more will only leave you feeling discouraged, frustrated, and like you’re behind

Focus on your own goals and priorities, not what others are doing.

17. Pay down high-interest debt first.

If you carry credit card balances, direct extra payments to the card with the highest interest rate to pay it off quicker.

This will help you save money on interest over time, and pay off your debts more quickly.

18. Don’t get distracted by get-rich-quick schemes.

These are high-risk strategies that are more like gambling than investing.

Slow and steady wealth-building beats speculation.

19. Life is unpredictable, and having the right insurance coverage provides financial security.

Review insurance needs regularly — health, life, disability.

Insurance will protect your wealth.

Make sure you’re protected in case of the unexpected.

20. Automate your finances.

Set up automatic transfers to savings and investment accounts.

Automate bill pay.

This puts your system on autopilot.

21. Create a will and estate plan.

Protect your assets and provide for loved ones with a will, powers of attorney, and beneficiary designations.

Your family will be grateful you dealt with this important but uncomfortable task early on.

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