Another personal finance blogger recently asked me to contribute to a post he was writing about money mistakes people in their 30s make and how to avoid them. I was happy to help with my best financial lesson.
As with most finance questions I come across, this one got me thinking about my own money mistakes and the financial lessons I wish I had taken full advantage of in my 30s. Here are six financial lessons, most of which I followed:
Buy real estate ASAP
Owning a home isn’t for everyone. Renting makes more sense if your job is mobile and you’re not sure where you’ll be living in a few years. Renting also makes sense if it’s a lot cheaper than owning a home.
My answer to the curious blogger about financial lessons was to buy real estate when you get the chance to. I don’t mean just when it fits into your finances and lifestyle — such as having a steady job and being married. My point, which I didn’t elaborate on in my quick response to him, was that buying real estate as an investment when you’re young can be a smart move many years later if you bought at a time when the real estate market was down.
You don’t necessarily have to live in the house you’re buying, though that does have good tax benefits.
For example: About 15 years ago a relative bought a townhouse in a nearby city. The townhouse was next to a major shopping center that would only get bigger in the coming years as more people moved to the area. Even back then, it was obvious to me that it was a growing area and that home prices would only go up. They did, and are now worth 10 times what they were 15 years ago. Continue reading