5 expenses to ditch after 30
Still using a high-interest credit card or paying for a cool ringtone? Act your age.
Climb out from beneath the covers and face the harsh light of day: You're 30.
Surprisingly, it isn't the end of the world. In fact, consider it an opportunity to shed some of the bad habits and poor financial decisions of the past. That's not to say you should run from the previous decade of your life.
Embrace the all-nighters, corporate climbing, and occasional beer-fueled mayhem that led you to this point. But recognize that while age is just a number, the Big 3-0 can signal a turning point regarding some of the fiscal baggage that may be weighing you down. If you spent the last decade averse to living by a budget, perhaps it's time to take a crack at, you know, actually tracking your income and debts.
The reality is, there's often a host of new expenses that either emerge or are already in full swing by age 30, from mortgages and wedding rings to child care and retirement planning. Consider it the consumption-based circle of life.
That means some expenses should be headed toward extinction as our 20s hit the rear view. Here's a look at five types of expenses to ditch after age 30:
High-interest credit cards. If you're still holding on to the first card you ever received, you're probably paying way too much in interest charges. Now that you've had a chance to develop a credit history -- and if you've been responsible about your payments and charges -- you'll likely qualify for a lower rate. Making purchases on a card with a 29% APR is not a path to financial independence. It's a recipe for disaster.
Late fees. We've all paid them. The first of the month comes around … and then it's gone. But with Internet banking and online payment systems, there are no excuses anymore. Make this the decade of paying your bills on time, every time. This is especially true with credit cards. Depending on your FICO score, a 30-day late payment can cut your score by as many as 110 points.
Partying. As you get older, your wallet isn't the only thing paying for that great night the following morning. Going out with friends is great every once in a while, but if you cut out the weekly (or twice weekly -- you know who you are) partying, you could save a considerable sum of money over the course of the year. Especially because you're probably splurging for something a bit pricier than Stag these days. You could even use a portion of your savings to take one larger vacation (sobriety optional).
Rent. It's an increasingly controversial topic given the economic upheaval of recent years. Homeownership probably shouldn't be viewed as a no-brainer path to wealth creation -- just ask the millions of Americans now underwater in their homes. At the same time, purchasing that dream home can pay off in the long run, especially if you're planning to stay in the property for the long haul. Given current home values and record-low interest rates, now is certainly a great time to buy a home.
Cell phone ringtone and wallpaper downloads. Yes, they're fun. We understand. And everybody around you really enjoys your Eminem ringtone. But all those little charges add up -- and, really, your phone will still function perfectly without that Beyonce wallpaper. Trust us. Besides, c'mon, you're 30 years old. Act your age.
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