The best 5 countries to live in if you’re a freelancer

Singapore at night.
Singapore ranked as the best place to freelance in 2021, with a score of 7.35/10.

  • Tide carried out a survey of 30 countries to find the best country to be a freelancer.
  • Singapore ranked first, with the report noting the strong and fairly inexpensive internet there.
  • The US ranked outside the top 10.

Becoming a freelancer gives you the freedom to choose when and where you work. However, you might not always be able to find steady work. 

Depending on what you do and what country you’re in, this can feel like an extended vacation or it can be a time filled with anxiety and uncertainty.

Financial solutions company, Tide, carried out a survey of 30 countries to find the best place to be a freelancer. 

The survey used eight measurements to analyze how well-suited a country is to the needs of a freelancer.

Speed and cost of internet, number of coworking spaces, legal rights, gender equality, cost of living, number of searches for freelance work, and happiness were the measurements used.

The World Bank provided them information on legal rights, and they used the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 to assess gender equality. 

They used Numbeo for data on the cost of living and to assess happiness.

They used the Speedtest Global Index to find internet speed and data from to find internet costs. 

Coworker was their source for the number of coworking spaces available and they used Google Keyword Planner to find searches for freelance work.

They then used this and data from the World Population Review to work out the number of searches for freelance work and the number of coworking spaces per 100,000 people in each country.

They gave the data collected from each measurement an equal weighting and then combined them into a single score out of 10.

The US ranked 12th out of the 30 countries with a score of 6.12.

It seems that one of the main problems in the US is lack of demand for freelance work. The survey showed there were only 365 Google searches for freelancer work per 100,000 people.

These are the top five countries to freelance in, according to Tide.

1. Singapore

Singapore ranked as the best place to freelance in 2021, with a score of 7.35. 

This was largely due to quick, affordable internet and a large number of available coworking spaces.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand came second, scoring 7.20.

Internet costs are high in the country but strong ratings in legal rights, happiness, and gender equality saw it rank highly.

3. Spain

Spain was in third place with a score of 6.53.

Its main strengths were cost of living and gender equality.

4. Australia

Although Australia has the slowest broadband of the top 10 countries, it makes up for it in the Gender Gap Index and Happiness Index.

This ensured it placed fourth with a score of 6.49.

5. Denmark

Denmark has the second-highest cost of living of the top 10 but its happiness rating was top of all the countries in the survey at 7.65.

It also scored well in broadband speed and gender equality.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to turn the 2 fears that most often lead to failure into strengths, according to a successful entrepreneur

Man holding a mug and looking fed up.
There are ways to turn your fears into motivation.

  • Fear is natural. It often just means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • If you let it to get the better of you, though, it can stop you getting ahead — in and out of work.
  • The founder of a professional development program, Raul Villacis, gave his tips to beat two fears.

Fear is a natural way of telling you that you’re leaving your comfort zone and you should pay more attention to what you’re doing.

It can become a major problem, however, if it starts to dominate your mind — it can lead you to make bad decisions, both in daily life and at work.

You may find that you’re too afraid to ask for a raise or that you’re too scared to start the business you’ve always dreamed of starting.

In situations like this, fear causes you to fail. Fortunately, there are ways to turn your fears into motivation.

Raul Villacis, entrepreneur, investor, and motivational speaker, explained in a video for Entrepreneur the two most dangerous types of fear in the workplace and how to use them as motivation.

Fear of not being good enough

The first fear is the fear of not being good enough. Villacis explained that this fear stems from our ancestors, who had to hunt for their survival.

“The fear that if they were not good hunters, they would die,” he said.

That same fear still exists today, even though we no longer have to go out and hunt for our food. 

Overcoming this fear is all about understanding that you’re working towards a better future.

“Yes you’re going to mess up, yes you’re not going to be perfect, but at the same time find the edge, meaning can you create progress every day?” Villacis said.

“Your job is not to be the best today. Your job is to create progress,” he added.

Fear of not being liked

The second fear that can harm your career is the fear of not being liked. 

The good news is that this fear can motivate you to be a good person or a good worker. 

However, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of constantly seeking appreciation, and this will always leave you feeling that you’re not good enough.

According to Villacis, the trick here is to understand that the most important thing is that you like yourself.

“The most important person that you have to be one with, that you have to love, is yourself,” he said.

The key is to truly realize and accept one thing.

“I am not perfect. But I am a work in progress,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 golden rules to get rich no matter your salary, according to a millionaire

Man standing on a boat with his arms outstretched.
In his book, Geldrichtig, Müller explains that anyone can be a millionaire if they learn to think like a rich person.

  • Part of becoming a millionaire and achieving financial freedom involves having the right mentality.
  • Millionaire and best-selling author Phillip J. Müller said the key is conscious consumption.
  • You have to stop thinking that rich people are like the ones on TV and to start saving.

The only thing holding you back from being a millionaire is your own idea of what it means to be one, according to millionaire and best-selling author Phillip J. Müller.

In his book, Geldrichtig, Müller explains that anyone can be a millionaire if they learn to think like a rich person.

Movies and “get rich quick” stories have led people to believe that the rich do nothing but spend money and that all of their success is due to luck or fame.

The reality, according to Müller, is different.

Becoming a real millionaire means adopting a conscious consumer mentality: thinking about whether you really want what you’re going to buy and, if you need it, whether there’s a cheaper alternative.

Saving, avoiding debt, controlling impulses — these are just some of the steps you need to take to acquire this mindset.

Müller gave GQ Germany his tips to become rich.

1. Saving is essential 

Müller recommended getting into the habit of saving right away and applying it at all times. 

“It’s about thinking about whether you want to spend that money today on your fifth pair of sneakers because you suddenly feel like you really need them, when in reality you’ll only use them once,” he said.

It’s a toss-up between short-term gratification and long-term contentment.

At first, you’ll probably have trouble understanding that you can save at all times. For example, Müller is against eating out entirely. 

“Many people don’t realize how much money they can save if they choose to bring food and drinks from home to the office,” he said.

Müller explained that a coffee in a bar can cost you a few dollars while making your own at home will only cost you a few cents. 

This is the kind of mentality that you need to gradually adopt.

There are many more tricks that you can use to save money in your day-to-day life. For example, it may be a good idea to review things like your Spotify or Netflix subscriptions.

2. Avoid any kind of debt

Take everything you’ve been told about saving and apply absolutely the opposite to debt. Don’t buy anything you can’t afford. It’s a simple rule that will also help you avoid whims.

“You want a smartphone, but you don’t have the money to buy it? Then don’t buy it,” explained Müller.

A lot of debt occurs when people become addicted to the fleeting pleasure that you get from making a purchase.

 “Leave a note in your wallet that says — do I really need that? With time, you’ll start asking yourself that question, and then you won’t need the note anymore,” Müller said.

3. If you do have debt, don’t bury your head in the sand

Before looking for a quick fix to pay off debt, it’s important to take stock of the situation. 

Otherwise, you may make the mistake of creating new debts to pay off old ones.

Müller said that you should write down all the debts that you have. Then think of an amount that you would be able to pay each month and calculate, based on this figure, how many months it would take you to pay the debt off.

Müller recommended using half of your money to pay debts and saving the other half. 

Many would advise paying debt off before starting to save, but Müller disagrees.

“It’s about thinking like a wealthy person,” he said.

“Your wealth, however much it is, grows through saving,” he added.

4. Actively contact creditors

Müller advised being proactive and contacting your creditors before they contact you.

“This will set you apart from most debtors,” explains Müller.

If you can’t pay, it’s better to communicate this openly rather than waiting for them to call you to ask for explanations for non-payments. 

He explained that if you disclose your financial situation honestly, the other party will usually make you a counteroffer, such as extending the payment period or waiving your interest.

This advice is even more important if the debt you owe is to someone you know. 

“If you owe someone something, that will have negative effects in your life. Money isn’t just a medium of exchange; it’s an energy that flows.”

5. Avoid fake status symbols

When you think of a millionaire, you’re sure to picture them driving an expensive car and flaunting a watch that looks more valuable than your house. 

These status symbols have nothing to do with the millionaire mentality.

The path to financial freedom is about consciously consuming, not spending big.

“Do you really need to spend two or three months’ salary to go on vacation somewhere far away, when you could rest so much better somewhere close to home?” Müller said.

6. Exercise self-control and be aware of temptation

Temptation looks different to each individual.

If you can’t control yourself during the sales, just don’t stroll past all the shops!

If online shopping is your vice, you could use apps to temporarily block your access to online stores.

Look for alternatives to the impulsive solutions that temptation offers you. If your cell phone isn’t working, see if you can have it repaired before buying a new one. Or maybe see if someone you know can let you buy or borrow an old one.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Why nailing your cover letter’s opening is essential and how to do it, according to a career advice site CEO

Woman standing in the kitchen holding a cup of coffee and texting on her cell phone. Woman using a mobile phone at home.
First impressions count.

  • Your cover letter can determine whether you’re offered an interview or not.
  • Many, however, find it difficult to write a compelling one.
  • Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter, told CNBC how to stand out in the first line of your cover letter.

Cover letters can be time-consuming and, often, are one of the more frustrating steps in a job application.

That said, writing a good one can be the difference between being offered an interview or missing out.

In a survey of 200 recruiters by ResumeLab, 83% said that a good cover letter could land a candidate an interview even if their resume wasn’t strong enough on its own.

Ian Siegel, head of the US careers site ZipRecruiter, explained to CNBC what it’s important to include in a cover letter and how you can get recruiters excited about you. 

First impressions count

A well-written cover letter should express your enthusiasm for the job and help the company get a better idea of your character. This is what many applicants find difficult.

According to Siegel, there is lots of bad advice out there on cover letters.

“It’s more of a demonstration of communication competency and [an] attempt to provide a short summary of your skills and experience,” he said.

Siegel also explained that a frequent mistake is using the cover letter to list your qualifications. This information is already on your resume.

It makes a better impression to first show interest in the other person, rather than talking about yourself. Talk about the company and why you would love to work there.

Convince them with your enthusiasm

The skill is to infect the recruiters with your enthusiasm in a short period of time. Ask yourself why you want to apply to this company. Perhaps they have a product or an idea that particularly excites you.

“Show enthusiasm, show you’ve done research, and show you want to come in there and make a contribution,” Siegel said.

He said you should start your cover letter with the following line: “I’m so excited to apply to this job because …”

This approach not only gives the company a chance to get to know you better, but it also helps you become clearer about which job particularly excites you and in which application you should therefore invest the most time.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A team 3D printed a clawed ‘bird’ robot, and it could help prevent wildfires

peregrine falcon
The claws allow the robot to land and perch on a wide range of surfaces.

  • Scientists developed a robot that mimics the way a bird perches.
  • It can be built with a single 3D printer.
  • It could be used for further research into nature or even to prevent fires.

After years of studying how to build robots that mimic animal-like abilities like flight, a team of Stanford University engineers has successfully built a robot with small artificial claws, according to Science Robotics.

Birds are capable of perching on almost any branch, regardless of size or weather conditions. They’re able to easily adjust their flight and no landing spot seems too difficult for them.

Stanford University engineers, Mark Cutkosky and David Lentink, were responsible for creating the robot. William Roderick, who also worked with them, said the project wasn’t all smooth sailing, however.

“It’s not easy to mimic how birds fly and perch,” Roderick told Stanford news.

“After millions of years of evolution, they make takeoff and landing look so easy, even among all of the complexity and variability of the tree branches you would find in a forest,” he added.

The claws allow the robot to carry objects and also to land and perch on a wide range of surfaces.

It took over 20 attempts to finalize the design

It’s a four-legged drone that, for now, is called the Stereotypical Nature-Inspired Aerial Grabber (SNAG).

The researchers studied the landing behavior of a particularly small species of parrot. This took place in a controlled environment where the parrots would fly between different perches of all different shapes, sizes, and materials.

Five cameras captured their movement in slow motion. The scientists also fitted the perches with sensors that captured the force associated with each takeoff and landing.

The legs of the robot were based on peregrine falcon legs, and instead of bones, it has a 3D-printed structure that took them around 20 attempts to get right.

During the pandemic, Roderick moved all the equipment, including the 3D printer, from Lentink’s lab at Stanford to rural Oregon in the northwestern United States.

The robot could help researchers study the environment

In doing so, he was able to establish that their robot isn’t only able to pick up and carry objects; in a real forest, it was able to land on all types of branches.

The potential applications of this robot are numerous. Roderick, whose parents are both biologists, is most interested in how it can be used to further research nature. 

With a heat sensor, for example, the robot was able to provide valuable data for studying the weather in Oregon. It could therefore be used to monitor fires and potentially help to carry out search and rescue missions.

“Part of the underlying motivation of this work was to create tools that we can use to study the natural world,” said Roderick. 

“If we could have a robot that could act like a bird, that could unlock completely new ways of studying the environment,” he went on.

The research has been funded in part by the US Air Force so only time will tell what plans lie in store for the robot. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A microscope slide that ‘lights up’ cancer cells in vivid colors may help with earlier diagnoses

A Scientist looks at cells through a fluorescent microscope at the laboratories at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute on December 9, 2014 in Cambridge, England
The slide uses an imaging technique known as histoplasmonics.

  • Researchers created a microscope slide that can detect cancer by simply “viewing” cells.
  • The NanoMslide can manipulate light on a nanoscale, “lighting up” cells in vivid colors.
  • It’s not limited to cancer cells, so could also be used to detect other diseases.

Australian researchers have developed a microscope slide, NanoMslide, that can detect cancer cells just by “looking” at them and identifying them in different colors. 

The slide does this using an imaging technique known as histoplasmonics.

This technique can be used as an alternative or complement to current staining techniques; to work towards earlier and more accurate diagnoses of diseases like cancer, according to research published in Nature.

When analyzing biological cells under a microscope, artificial color is often added by staining. 

These images aren’t usually very colorful. Color helps the human eye to distinguish the shape and arrangement of the tissue, determining whether it’s healthy or not.

Researcher conducts a breast cancer vaccine related experiment in a lab at Cleveland Clinic.
Cancer cells tend to interact with light in a different way from healthy cells.

Sometimes, however, cell structure alone can’t accurately identify a disease. This can result in misdiagnosis and potentially fatal consequences for a patient.

The team of scientists adopted a revolutionary approach to develop a diagnostic tool that could solve the problem.

Rather than focusing on developing a more powerful microscope, they modified the slide into a powerful sensor for breast cancer detection.

The slide was tested by pathologists specializing in this type of cancer using human tissue. 

“We eventually reached the point where we could be confident some of the specific colors visible were indicative of cancerous cells,” two of the study’s authors told The Conversation.

The slide could pave the way for earlier cancer detection tools

Recovery from breast cancer depends largely on the progress of the disease when it’s diagnosed hence the importance of early diagnosis.

However, an accurate diagnosis of the early stages requires identifying a small number of diseased cells throughout the tissue, which can be complex. Advances in nanotechnology have made this less and less of a challenge.

Cancer cells tend to interact with light in a different way from healthy cells.

With this in mind, the scientists coated the surface of an ordinary microscope slide with a special nanofabrication, in order to transform it into a sensor capable of showing colors. This made a big difference.

Dyes currently used to display the shape of cells typically show one or two colors. In contrast, the NanoMslide can manipulate light at the nanoscale, causing cells to “light up” with vivid and contrasting colors. This makes it easier to recognize potentially cancerous cells within tissue on just a single slide. 

Light micrograph of metastases in breast tissue
Dyes currently used to display the shape of cells typically show one or two colors.

By providing a way to instantly distinguish which cells could be cancerous, the tool offers the possibility of great improvement for detecting breast cancer at an early stage. 

That’s not the only potential it has. 

As the technology doesn’t have a specific function, it could potentially be applied to other types of cancer or possibly even other diseases, the researchers said.

Another potential application the researchers are working on is looking at how the results of liquid biopsies like cheek swabs can be immediately analyzed at the point of care.

The technology could also be hugely beneficial for the growing digital pathology space, “where the vivid colors generated by NanoMslide could help develop next-generation artificial intelligence algorithms to identify signs of disease.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

A $92,000 flying car can reach speeds of 63mph and can stay airborne for 20 minutes

Jetson One aerial vehicle flying.
The company’s first flying car, Jetson One, is already on sale.

  • Jetson One is a $92,000 flying car.
  • It can reach a top speed of 63mph and can run for 20 minutes.
  • You can purchase the car anywhere in the world.

If you’ve always dreamed of flying to work, that dream may very soon be a reality. 

If you have $92,000, that is.

Companies are always looking for new market niches, and flying cars are quickly becoming the next big thing

There are plans for cars that both fly and work on the road and for flying taxis that will aim to form the basis of future travel.

Jetson is one of these companies.

The company aims “to make the skies available for everyone with our safe personal electric aerial vehicle,” according to its website

The company’s first flying car, Jetson One, is already on sale.

Jetson One has a maximum speed of 63mph thanks to its eight electric motors which generate 102 horsepower. The car can run continually for 20 minutes.

The car can take off vertically and remain airborne, although the company doesn’t specify the maximum altitude that the vehicle can reach.

The car can be controlled with a three-axis joystick, and there’s a throttle lever to adjust power.

No expense has been spared when it comes to safety. The chassis of the vehicle was inspired by the same technology used in race cars. The company also said that it will be able to fly even if it loses an engine. There is an emergency function that takes control of the aircraft, a LiDAR sensor capable of tracking the terrain to avoid obstacles, and a parachute with a rapid deployment system.

It’s already sold out for 2022 but Jetson has more deliveries scheduled for 2023. If you’re interested, you can reserve one online with a deposit of $22,000.

That isn’t all. It’s shipped as a partially assembled kit and so requires you to complete it at home.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates says avoiding routine is the key to preventing burnout at work

Bill Gates smiling.
Setting yourself challenges can work wonders when trying to avoid burnout at work.

  • Burnout syndrome is recognized by the WHO. It describes symptoms caused by workplace stress.
  • Bill Gates was confident from a young age that he wouldn’t suffer from it.
  • Here are the warning signs of burnout and tips to avoid it from happening.

Staff in any profession are at risk of suffering from problems like fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety.

Symptoms like these can be caused by burnout syndrome, a condition recognized by the WHO.

Burnout is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” according to the WHO.

As well as leading to low productivity, it can also perpetuate feelings of stress or anxiety. Some, however, seem more able than others to cope with the demands of the workplace. 

Despite the nature of his fast-paced career, Bill Gates was convinced he wouldn’t ever burn out at Microsoft.

Gates had founded Microsoft by the time he was 20.

In 1984, at the age of 28, he told NBC that Microsoft would reach more than $100 million in revenue that year.

He remained confident it wouldn’t be too much for him.

When asked how he knew he wouldn’t get burnt out in a few years, his response was that every day was different at Microsoft.

“The work we’re doing is … it’s not like we’re doing the same thing all day long. We go into our offices and think about new programs, we get together in meetings, we go out to see end users, we talk to customers. There’s so much variety and there’s always new things going on. And I don’t think there’ll ever come a time when that would be boring,” he said.

Looking at his subsequent achievements, the years that followed only seemed to prove him right.

As the fallout from fall burnout hits office spaces, employers need to prepare to address their employees demands.
There are certain warning signs that can help you identify burnout.

Microsoft went public in 1986, and he would go on to be the richest man in the world.

How you can avoid burnout at work

Even if Gates’ case is quite an extraordinary one, it appears that avoiding routine, finding new projects, and setting yourself challenges can work wonders when trying to avoid burnout at work. 

There are also certain warning signs that can help you identify signs of burnout.

Christina Maslach is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

She’s a leading expert on burnout syndrome and created the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which is the most widely used tool for measuring burnout.

This measurement looks at three main signs of burnout — exhaustion, lack of motivation, and poor work performance.

If Gates’ approach doesn’t work for you, not all is lost.

There are many other methods you can try to get past it.

Finding time to exercise can help to improve sleep, which will be good for both your mental and physical well-being. 

It’s also a good idea to speak to people at work, whether it be friends or a manager, and share how you’re feeling. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

There are 11 common behaviors that may be holding you back from your next promotion or raise

Man sitting at his computer stressed
Learn to see failure as a step in the right direction.

  • Some end up in endless ruts at work trying to get ahead.
  • They miss out on promotions or raises, and projects never seem very fruitful.
  • You may be sabotaging your own success with one of these 11 common behaviors.

Often, people don’t realize that there may be certain traits holding them back from success in the workplace, whether in career progression or work projects. If you find yourself being knocked back for promotions, raises, or you’re simply struggling with day-to-day tasks in the workplace, it may be that certain aspects of your behavior are holding you back.  

That said, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re not unwittingly sabotaging yourself.

Below is a list of 11 behaviors that may be hindering your success — the behaviors listed are drawn from advice for Inc from entrepreneur and investor John Rampton and from Anomodu Peter, a motivational speaker and YouTuber who wrote on the subject from an answer written on Quora.

1. Being unrealistic

It’s great to have dreams. They help you achieve your goals. The problem is some people get stuck in their dreams and forget to live in the real world.

2. Staying in your comfort zone

If you don’t get out of your comfort zone every so often, you’ll train yourself to be scared of new and challenging situations.

All successful people have had to go out and take risks to achieve their goals. Success doesn’t knock on your door, you have to get out there and find it for yourself.

3. Fearing failure

Fear of failure can have two consequences: you may be too scared to start a project — often leading to procrastination — or you may start them but never finish them because they don’t reach the ideal you had in your mind, which leads to perfectionism.

Failure is a crucial part of success. In order to succeed in life, you must fail over and over to learn from your mistakes. Learn to see failure as a step in the right direction. It may be a fairly painful step, but it’s a step nonetheless.

4. Holding onto the past

Success sometimes comes from letting go of the past.

For example, maybe you tried absolutely everything to make a project work and convinced yourself you’ve spent too much time and energy on it to give up now. This is when you need to learn to let it go.

This doesn’t mean it was a complete waste of time. It means you’ve learned a lesson and have accepted the current challenges you’re facing.

5. Complaining

Complaining about why others are successful and you aren’t isn’t a great use of time and you’re essentially just absolving yourself of responsibility. 

You also trick yourself into believing others are successful due exclusively to luck, opportunity, and privilege rather than these things coupled with their attitude and perseverance. 

If you want to be successful, you need to use that time you spend complaining to work harder and learn.

6. Lack of self-faith 

Maybe you’ve already had opportunities to succeed but told yourself you’re not ready yet or you don’t think you’re up to the job. This shows a lack of belief in yourself.

The best way to regain self-confidence is to look for small victories — no matter how small — and celebrate them internally. 

7. Never finishing what you start

If you rarely finish what you start, don’t be afraid to get your first attempts wrong. You’re learning which system works best for you.

You can even make it your goal to fail — sooner or later you will feel capable of doing better and you’ll have developed an understanding of how you work best.

8. Believing you’re entitled to being the best

People who think they deserve to be the best don’t tend to get anywhere either. They spend more time waiting for success to come to them than they do trying to achieve it themselves.

If this is you, then you need to learn to turn this false belief into motivation. If you want to be the best, then it means you have the ability to put that belief into action and take charge of your life.

9. Being a pessimist

If you’re pessimistic and perhaps a bit of a defeatist, then you not only have life’s obstacles to overcome but those you place in front of yourself, too. These can be particularly difficult.

You’ll have to work hard to force yourself to think positively. 

A good start is to pay attention to what you say to yourself internally. If you notice thoughts that hurt you, write them down. Rephrase them until they become motivational and realistic thoughts.

10. Being dispassionate

Success is born out of passion. 

Without passion, there’s no inspiration, motivation, or perseverance when things go wrong. So if you have a goal that doesn’t truly make you excited, and you can’t rethink why you want it, then it may be time to find something else.

11. Not being productive

If you find you’re not being productive enough, try recording exactly what you do on a day that you consider to be productive. Note your breaks, distractions, gossip, and any gaps where you don’t do anything.

You’ll discover that though you supposedly spent eight hours working, you’ve really only been productive for two or three hours.

Find out when you work best, whether it’s the morning, afternoon, or even late at night.

Learning to manage your time is an underrated skill that can greatly improve your chances of success.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 key financial rules you should be following by your 30s to avoid financial problems

Woman paying bills.
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

  • It’s never too early to start improving your personal finances.
  • There are some financial lessons you should definitely learn in your 30s.
  • Budgeting, having realistic goals, and tracking debt are key to securing your finances.

It takes a lot of time and discipline to understand how to manage money wisely. It’s not something that happens overnight — some go their whole lives without learning to manage their money. 

While you may still feel young and invincible when you hit 30, the truth is that you’re roughly halfway to retirement. The sooner you learn how to budget, the better off your finances will be in the long run.

Below are the most important financial lessons you’ll need in your 30s. 

1. Stick to a budget 

Most 20-year-olds toy with the idea of budgeting or have used an app to keep track of their finances. 

However, very few are able to stick to a budget. Once you turn 30, it’s time to start allocating where every dollar you earn goes. 

The overall goal of budgeting is to know where your money’s going so you can make the right decisions.

Keep in mind that dollars spent add up over time. It’s okay to spend money on fun purchases or trips, as long as they’re in line with what you have budgeted and your savings goals. 

2. Leave 10%-20% of what you earn free for savings.

This is another piece of advice you need to keep in mind when you’re in your 30s, and it’s recommended by the vast majority of financial planners. 

When your pay comes in each month, you should know what needs to be spent on fixed expenses, variable expenses, and, finally, savings. 

It is always advisable to set aside 20% of the money that enters your current account each month. If your income is low, then set aside 10% instead.

3. Be realistic about your financial goals

Sit down and really think about your financial goals. Visualize the age at which you’d like to achieve them. Write them down and figure out how to make them a reality.

You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and create a plan.

For example, if you want to go on vacation to Italy, stop daydreaming and make a game plan. Do some research to find out how much the vacation will cost you and then work out how much money you’ll have to save each month. 

Your dream vacation can be a reality in a year or two if you take the right planning and saving steps.

4. Work out your debt situation

Many people become complacent about their debt once they reach their 30s. For those with personal loans, mortgages, or credit card debt, paying it off just becomes another way of life. You may even consider debt to be normal. 

The truth is, you don’t need to live your whole life paying off debt. Evaluate how much leverage you have beyond your mortgage and create a budget to help you avoid going further into debt.

There are many methods to eliminate debt, but the snowball effect is popular for keeping people motivated. List all your debts from smallest to largest, regardless of interest rate. Pay the minimum payment on all but the smallest of your debts. 

Paying off your debts will have a significant impact on your personal finances. It’ll allow your budget to stretch further and for you to add to your savings.

5. Start an emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, you’re more likely to use your savings or rely on credit cards to pay for unplanned expenses.

Make a plan to have a sufficient amount of capital to meet any contingency.

Read the original article on Business Insider