What You Should Know About Money Before Turning 30

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30th birthday

30th birthdayAlmost five years ago, I reached a new life milestone: I turned 30. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get an early start making good financial choices. Unfortunately, I was a little behind in this area. I certainly didn’t have everything together during my early 20s, although by the time I turned 30, and had turned some things around.

Daily Finance offers a list of financial things you should understand before you turn 30:

Compound interest: Know how it works, and how your money can earn money on your behalf. The earlier you start taking advantage of compound interest, the more wealth you will build.

Start contributing to a retirement fund: This goes hand-in-hand with compound interest. As soon as you can, open a retirement fund and contribute, even if you think that what you contribute is too small.

Check your credit report: Daily Finance suggests that you get an idea of how others view you. It’s also a great time to look for errors and get them fixed.

Start an emergency fund: If you want to shore your finances up against the unexpected, you need an emergency fund. Contribute a small amount regularly, adding it up so you don’t have to rely as heavily on credit in a pinch.

Tackle your student loans: Start paying off all that student debt. Run the numbers and consider paying these off. However, because of the low interest and tax-deductible nature, you might not always be better off paying them down early.

Life insurance: If you have people counting on you, it’s time to get life insurance — before you turn 30 and rates go higher.

Contribute to a college plan: If you have kids, make sure you are contributing to a 529 or other college plan. The earlier you start, the more time the money will have to work on your child’s behalf.

How many of these are you on track to complete by the time you are 30?