If you’ve just graduated college, you already know the weight of student loans and just how much of your paycheck will go toward paying it off each month or will soon find out. If you are learning to balance the demands of life while paying off student loan debt, the idea of saving $100,000 by age 30 might seem impossible, if not laughable.
Or maybe you’ve just graduated from high school, found your first steady job, and are smart enough to already be planning for your future and thinking about retirement. If it was possible, would you like to save $100,000 by your 30th birthday? As the old saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”, so here are six smart and easy strategies that can help you put a whopping $100,000 in the bank by your 30th birthday.
Choose an Affordable College: Choosing a less expensive school to earn your degree is a great way to not only reduce your stress levels, it can save you tens of thousands of dollars over your four years in college. Not only will your loans cost far less, but you can also walk away with a great education. Being smart doesn’t come with a price tag, and like many things in life, the harder you work in college, the greater your success will be.
Get a Side Job: If you’re in high school, getting a part-time job can be beneficial in a variety of ways. For one thing, it can help you become more aware of what you want in a future career. It can also help you save up for college or put money towards that $100,000 goal. If you start saving $130 a week starting at age 15, you could have $101,400 in the bank by the time you hit 30.
Network Regularly: College can be a really fun time in your life, but it’s important to strike the balance between an active social life and making wise choices for your future and career, which means hitting the books. Network whenever you can, and not just at parties. Joining a study group is an ideal opportunity to meet other motivated individuals who care about their education. You’ll meet a wide variety of people throughout the course of your education, all of whom could be of great benefit to you in one way or another once you join the workforce.
Volunteer: When you’re in college, volunteering is an excellent way to learn more about an organization you admire or want to work for in the future. Because you’re in college, it might be a lot easier to find time to volunteer than it is when you’re out of college working full-time with a family. Take advantage of it – it could even lead to an internship or a great job opportunity after college.
Use That Retirement Match: If you work for a company that offers an employer retirement contribution match, be sure to take full advantage of it. Many employers match up to 6% of your salary, so it would be foolish to not maximize your 401(k) contribution to avoid leaving free money for your retirement on the table.
Live Within Your Means: With few exceptions, the rich become rich because they live a lifestyle well below their means. That means not overextending yourself with credit cards, driving sensibly used cars, adhering to a strict budget, and saving wherever you can. All of the money you save by living simply is money you can invest and mature with compound interest over time.
Following these simple tips could help you save $100,000 by the time you reach age 30, but what if you’re struggling to even pay your current bills, rent, or other debts? The journey to financial stability begins with a single step in the right direction. Sometimes that means seeking out the advice of a financial counselor, while for others it may mean exploring their options with car title loans.
When you are finally able to leave your past mistakes behind you, it becomes possible to look to the future with confidence and hope without focusing on everything that yesterday has taken from you. Remember, no matter how much you revisit the past, there is never anything new or exciting to see. Regardless of how you get your financial house in order, the important part is starting with a clean slate moving forward.