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Three important money habits to start in your 20s

Twenty-somethings who immerse themselves in financial education and budgeting strategies are on the right path towards building wealth and a comfortable retirement, says financial planner Zuraida Ariffin of Zuraida Ariffin Wealth Creation.

According to 2017 research by CommBank, 53 per cent of Australian households are expected to have enough for a comfortable retirement from their combined superannuation savings, personal assets and the age pension.

When the age pension is removed, the number of households that can afford a comfortable retirement reduces to 17 per cent, and to just 6 per cent when the calculations are based on superannuation only, the research showed.

Speaking to Nest Egg, Ms Ariffin said there are three important money habits that 20-year-olds can start right away and will help set them up for financial wellness in the future.


Start reading

According to Ms Ariffin, 20-year-olds can start their journey by filling their minds with positive money-saving ideas.

“Learn the art of making your income spread to your budgetary needs. Dedicate 15 minutes daily to put yourself ahead of finances and to gain financial literacy,” she said.

“Invest in books on budgeting and how to save money. Each author has a different approach, so choose one that fits you. Armed with the knowledge, create a budgeting system that suits you.”

Ms Ariffin added that immersing yourself in financial education will also help drown out the negative money habits that are promoted elsewhere.

“Minimise the impact of negative influences from your environment relating to money, such as advertising and people. Be aware of messages that entice you to spend, spend, spend. These can derail your aims,” she said.

Start tracking

Once you understand the concepts of saving money, Ms Ariffin urged 20-year-olds to begin tracking their income, expenses and savings.

“Accumulate your money in a separate bank account marked ‘Do not touch’. Set your saving goals small and work your way up. Save a specific amount of money regularly. All you need is a simple spreadsheet or find an easy to use app, of which there are many,” she said.

“Tracking your savings is where the ‘rubber meets the road’. This is proof of what you are able to save in a week, month or year. It’s not what you earn, but what you save that will determine the level of wealth you will have in the future.”

Make a plan

Finally, twenty-somethings can start accumulating wealth right away by having a financial plan. Ms Ariffin recommends investing some of the money you saved into a diversified investment portfolio.

“You may wish to engage a financial planner to create a strategic financial plan and work with you on an on-going basis,” she said. “The financial plan is important for you to be able to evaluate what your portfolio could potentially be worth in five or more years. Your financial adviser would be able to model your potential portfolio value at various times in the future.”

Three important money habits to start in your 20s
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