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Top 5 money mistakes to avoid in your 30s and 40s

As you approach your 30s and 40s, life is good, your career is blossoming and the pay cheques are coming thick and fast. You might be thinking this is the time to enjoy your new found status and wealth, but your financial concerns won’t end with a better income. While your student loans might be paid off, you have new mouths to feed and it’s time to plan ahead. Here are the top five money mistakes to avoid making in your 30s and 40s.

1. Lack of a financial planShopping addict? Get your finaces on track

Before you know it, you have a new house, children, cars, loan payments and other unexpected costs, many of which can take you by surprise. Without realising it, you might be delving into savings, borrowing more and exposing your family to greater financial risk. Now is the time to get on top of your finances and change your spending habits for the better. A financial plan for the future can help you consider what’s important to you and yours, what lies ahead and how to prepare for the costs of these things, while putting aside money for savings, investments and to generate extra income.

2. Spending beyond your means

When your career starts to skyrocket and the money flows in, it can be tempting to enjoy the moment and spend big. Maybe you always wanted that shiny new car? Or that much needed holiday to a luxurious eco-retreat? Instead of letting loose, now is the time to consolidate and pay off any outstanding debt from your younger years, especially on those high interest credit cards and loans. It’s time to balance your priorities – try to save for the future (retirement and holidays) while enjoying your life (without trying to keep up with the Joneses).

3. Ignoring your insurance

No one wants to think sickness and death, house fires or life threatening floods, but you need to protect your assets and those around you, including yourself. If you have a family and dependents, you need to think beyond your savings and get life and disability insurance to give protection if something happens to you. When it comes to your home, you’ll need to keep increasing the amount insured, as you start to accumulate more items around the house. Too many of us keep our policy, for all insurances, at the same level as when we first took it out and fail to realise how much our lives have since moved on.

4. Dipping in and out of your mortgage

It’s a classic rookie error. Get a mortgage from the bank and use it as you would an ATM. You redraw too often or you end up getting a loan against any increasing equity growing in the property. Whether you plan to refinance a higher interest debt or use the extra cash for a new car or investment, tread carefully, as you’ll be eating into your long term security by spending the hard earned equity in your home.

5. Failing to put away extra money for emergencies

As your family and commitments grow, so does your need to plan for unexpected emergencies. While we don’t want you to panic, a couple of hundred bucks in your high interest savings account won’t cut it anymore. You have increased responsibilities and your emergency fund should reflect that. Adjust the size of the pot and plan to have about six month’s worth of living expenses, including mortgage payments, put away in a safe place that you won’t be tempted to take back from.

Your 30s and 40s can be a wonderful time of life when your family grows, alongside your income, travel, household items and future possibilities. By making sure you avoid these common money mistakes, you’ll quickly take charge of your finances and still have plenty of time to achieve your financial goals.

If you’d like to talk to one of our financial planners or need advice on insurance or our products and services, please call us on 1300 747 747 or visit our website qudosbank.com.au

Qudos Bank

The information in this article is of a general nature and does not constitute as advice in relation to any investment or purchase. It has been produced without taking into consideration your personal financial circumstances, objectives or needs. Prior to making any decisions you should conduct your own investigation and analysis of any benefits or costs associated with such. You should seek your own independent legal and financial advice. You should also read the relevant Terms and Conditions, Product Disclosure Statement and our Financial Services Guide available on our website before obtaining any or our financial products and services.. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request. Qudos Mutual Ltd Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557, AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238305.