20 financial milestones for your 20s – how I stack up

# 1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash
Working towards it, as you all know!

# 2 – Pay off your student loans
N/A

# 3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full
I’m a big believer in automation, but my version of automation involves a lot of manual transactions. What can I say? I’m a control freak, and I like flexibility. I pay mine every week, by the by, except expenses incurred by mystery shopping, and extra large purchases (usually wait til the end of the month and keep the money in savings)

# 4 – Get rid of all bad debt
I’m debt free. BF has some debt but it’s non-interest accruing (some of it’s to me!).

# 5 – Build an adequate emergency fund
Done, although I wonder if $10k is enough sometimes. To some it may seem excessive, to others, puny. /shrug

# 6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake
I’ve joined Kiwisaver, and have a couple grand in term deposits, but that’s the extent of my investing so far.

# 7 – Develop a statement of cash flows
Y’all have probably seen my monthly spending posts, yeah?

# 8 & 9 Max out a Roth & Contribute to your 401(k)
Bloody Americans. I contribute 4% to Kiwisaver, with a 2% match.

# 10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power
Just graduated. More training is not out of the question later on, although it would probably be pretty practical, say, learning more about the Adobe, SodaPDF suite.

# 11 – Take a career risk
Hmm. I don’t really think I’ve done that. But plenty of time still!

# 12 – Negotiate something
Oh god. Haggling is up there with public speaking for me. Even when JB Hi-fi had a sign saying “Ask for a deal!” I made T talk to the salesman. One day…

# 13 – Earn your first side grand
Done!

# 14 – Start a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal
Also done! Travel fund now over a grand.

# 15 – Set a target retirement date
Meh. I’m not really too fussed. I’ll just go with the default, 65, shall I?

# 16 – Monitor your credit
NZ only introduced proper credit scoring this year. But yes, I have looked at both of our reports. They’re okay. Time and longevity are the only way to improve them.

# 17 – Say no to a financial salesman
Aside from fundraisers? Oh, what about pushy bank staff trying to sell additional products?? Hellz yeah.

# 18 – Give just enough to make it hurt
I give, but not enough to make it hurt. Unless you count presents I’ve given T, which sometimes do hurt a little (the girl who never got presents growing up is apparently willing to spend a couple hundred on her SO’s birthday)

2 Milestones for the Over Achiever

# 19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend
Wow. We’re sometimes able to save nearly half of what we make, but that’s not the norm. Yeowch.

# 20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan
Again, these damn Americanisms. Nope. Have no equivalent and no reason to (tuition here is not as astronomically expensive and loans are all given by the government to absolutely anyone).

* And thanks to Mighty Bargain Hunter for hosting this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance! Apparently I’m in there talking about lifestyle creep. *

13 thoughts on “20 financial milestones for your 20s – how I stack up

  • Reply First Gen American December 18, 2010 at 00:09

    You’re doing awesome. I do like this list. I’m surprised “move out of your hometown” isn’t one of the rights of passage, but I guess this is a financial list.

    I don’t know anyone who could save 50% of their salary unless they had no student loan debt and lived with their parents.

    I don’t like the one about saving for you’re kids education before you even have any. What if you never find mr. right? What if you do and have fertility issues. It could be heartbreaking having all that money there saved for junior if it’s not in the cards.

  • Reply Carlee Mallard December 18, 2010 at 08:05

    What’s a kiwisaver account? Yea, we Americans have all these weird savings accounts, haha.

    • Reply eemusings December 18, 2010 at 13:09

      Yall have Roths and 401ks, we have Kiwisaver.

  • Reply Kara December 18, 2010 at 08:16

    I think the biggest thing I did this year was #11 – Career Risk! I quit a full(ish)-time job for a part time job with a better chance of growth. It was SO stressful making that decision, but it looks like it may pay off soon enough!

    You did an awesome job on all these milestones! I’m so not the financial caretaker in the relationship, lol

  • Reply Tweets that mention 20 financial milestones for your 20s – how I stack up « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander -- Topsy.com December 18, 2010 at 10:49

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eemusings, eemusings. eemusings said: 20 financial milestones for your 20s – how I stack up: # 1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash Working towards it… http://bit.ly/gwTxNK […]

  • Reply Financial Samurai December 18, 2010 at 17:01

    Ohhhh, tell me where you want to go on your dream vacation!! Going up to Tahoe this Sunday for the 5 foot powder dump!

  • Reply 20 financial milestones for your 20s: how I stack up December 19, 2010 at 22:38

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  • Reply Jay March 4, 2011 at 23:51

    You probably want to look at other ways of investment e.g. bonds (if you’re more risk averse), shares (if you’re risk taking). Kiwisaver is actually a very small proportion of your income (8% max).

  • Reply Big pond or small pond? | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander July 4, 2011 at 21:54

    […] suppose I can now, professionally speaking, tick off “taking a career risk” on this list. I took a few risks on this. Trading a degree of job stability, betting that I would […]

  • Reply Chris July 12, 2013 at 19:37

    I love #12. When I am making a fairly large purchase I always haggle even if they don’t have a price match its always worth trying. I got an excellent deal on my new mobile at JB Hi-Fi but I still asked if they could throw in accessories. Got a screen protector pack worth $17 for free. Small wins!! Back home I got £20 off an HDMI cable when I bought a HDTV.

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