The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

3 Tips For Getting Ahead Financially In Your 20’s & 30’s

Travel or tinned beans?

The choice is yours. And believe it or not, with time on your side, getting ahead financially is easier than you think.

If you choose travel over tinned beans, here’s three simple financial steps you can take now to set yourself up with financial choices in the future – and skip the beans.

TIP 1: Set Financial Goals

Start with a bucket list, what are all the things you’d like to do throughout your life? Now sort them into timeframes. Pick one core goal per timeframe and each pay cheque you receive, allocate money toward that goal. For example:

SHORT TERM (1-3 YEAR) GOAL: Go to New York for two weeks. Set up high interest saving account, contribute every pay cheque.

MID TERM (7-15 YEAR) GOAL: Educate kids. Consider an investment property, managed fund or share portfolio, contribute even a small amount every pay cheque.

LONG TERM (20+ YEAR) GOAL: Have the choice to retire at 60. Choose your investment choice within your super fund, ensure you or your employer contributes every pay cheque.

TIP 2: Pay Off Personal Debt

Did you know… If you have $3,500 owing on your credit card paying 21.5% interest and you are paying off minimum payments of $70 a month – it will take you 90 years and 1 month to pay off and you’ll pay a total of $27,050 interest! Even if you just pay a little extra each month, say $150. You’ll pay it off in two years 8 months and pay $1,074 interest. Earn more, spend less or use savings to get rid of credit card debt ASAP so you can start focusing on your exciting goals ahead.

TIP 3: Choose Super Investing Options Wisely

Did you know… You can choose how you invest your super? Compound interest 101: Say you’re 25 years old and you can access your super when you’re 65 years of age. You have $1,000 in your super fund currently and are earning $65,000 a year contributing 9.5% of your annual salary, being $6,175. If you receive 5% returns, you’ll retire on $752, 979. If you receive 6% returns you’ll retire on $965, 941. If you receive 7% returns you’ll retire on $1,247,721. We can’t change the timeframe with super but we can influence our rate of return. Login to your super fund and check if you’re in a conservative (more cash, less shares, property) or high growth (less cash, more shares, property) investing option. When you have time on your side to reduce risk by riding the highs and lows, you could make yourself a cheeky extra half mill – just from logging in and choosing the right investment mix option.


Zoe Lamont is the founder of 10thousandgirl, a financial literacy program for women across Australia and Future Map, a financial wellbeing program for the workplace. Zoe is a Fellow of the Australian School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and an Ambassador of MoneySmart Week, an Australian Government initiative to improve the financial wellbeing of all Australians.

This is not financial advice. Participants should consider obtaining independent advice before making any major financial decisions.