You're not going to want to hear this this but being smart with your finances when you're young (even though you don't want to act responsibly), really will mean that you don't have to panic when you're older (and have to act responsibly)!
When you're young, the pinnacle of financial ambition is probably 'make enough money to travel' or 'get that drip'. But as you get older, you might find that those financial goals morph into things like, 'I can't possibly work beyond retirement age' and 'wow, university is much more expensive than I remember'.
So how do you bridge the gap between the two? Planning your finances throughout every stage of your life. That means getting that drip occasionally, but also not having to worry about how you're going to pay the bills when you're coming to the end of your career. Sounds like a pretty sweet spot to be in, doesn't it?
Learn more: Are You Over- or Under-Insured?
You know how money-savvy people are always going on about 'the magic of compound interest'? Turns out they're on to something: the magic of compound interest gets even more magical the earlier you start to apply it. Putting away a small amount of money every month and crucially, leaving it there, is a great way to grow a huge amount of money in the long run.
At this age and stage, you're just starting out in your financial life, so insurers and lenders might be a little wary of you if you don't have an established credit history. That means the interest rates you get on a car purchase might not be the best because you haven't proven that you can manage the money other companies have lent you. What can you do about it? Build up a good credit record by getting a cellphone or fibre contract and paying every instalment on time. This will demonstrate that you're a grown-up and will help lenders see that you're a 'good risk'.
Here's a smart tip that will have a big impact at every stage of your financial journey (and the sooner you start doing this, the bigger the ultimate savings!): don't pay more than you have to, especially when it comes to recurring costs like monthly debit orders. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But so many people don't regularly compare prices for things like Vehicle Finance or when they're looking for a Cellphone Deal that meets their needs and budget. Don't be that guy.
By this stage you probably have a decent foothold in the professional world and you're likely more responsible with your money (yup, those wild nights of partying have probably become a lot less frequent). Maybe you've even met your person and are starting to think of producing smaller copies of yourselves (fair warning: kids are expensive!). Welcome to being a sort-of-adult.
Something that might work in your favour now? Your (probably) improved risk profile. It plays a major role in calculating the cost of your Car Insurance and takes into account the make and model of your vehicle, your age (yes, being a bit older is usually seen as a good thing by your insurer), how long you've had your licence, how often you've made insurance claims in the past, as well as where and how far you drive.
Read more: The Cost of Staying Loyal to Your Insurer
Now that you're a bit more established, you may be able to afford to live in a safer area or your commute to work isn't quite as far as it used to be, so it's time to compare to check that you're still getting a deal that works for you.
Did you know that eight out of 10 people made positive savings using Hippo last year, with an average of R478.50* per month (that works out to an impressive R5,742 a year!) going back into their pockets. So the odds are in your favour...
And if you're tired of renting and want to make a home your own instead, then put that nest egg to good use as a decent deposit on a property and, of course, you'll want the best deal on your Home Loan, so naturally... you should compare offers first (remember what we said earlier about not paying more than you have to?)!
Congratulations – you're a quadragenarian! Maybe you have offspring; maybe you've decided you don't want kids and what makes you happy is spending time on the slopes in Europe or finally catching the Masai Mara migration. Either way, you have more freedom to make choices like these because you've been smart with your money over the past 20+ years – you deserve a high five!
Although you've already ticked some of the most important money boxes with the financial planning you did in your 20s and 30s, there's one important thing you really should have sorted out by now: getting Life Cover.
Having a Life Insurance policy will help ensure that your kids and loved ones — it applies even if you're living that DINK (double income, no kids) life — have a helping hand if something happens to you. It's the most important insurance policy you'll ever take out, so make sure you land the best deal you can get!
*Based on independent research by Kaufman Levin & Associates, 2022. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.