It is easy to neglect your finances in your twenties but there are a few fantastic money-related opportunities that you could be missing.  Paying a little attention to your financial situation now can give you a serious head start on retirement and achieving a debt free life.  Here are 5 money moves everyone should make before they turn 30:

  1. Start an Emergency Fund


Setting money aside in case of an emergency is the foundation of a good financial plan. You never know when you may lose your job, have to take time off of work, or face a big expense that you weren’t prepared for.  It is generally agreed upon that an ideal emergency fund would be worth 6 months salary. Saving 6 months of salary may seem unattainable at first but every dollar you put aside will get you closer to your goal and you will be happy you did it if you ever find yourself in need of funds on short notice.


  1. Meet with a Financial Advisor


Money is complicated and most people can benefit from professional guidance. There is a common misconception that meeting with a financial advisor is only for the wealthy… this couldn’t be farther from the truth!  A good financial planner will assess your current financial situation, good or bad, and can assist you in setting realistic goals for yourself.


  1. Buy Insurance


Getting Life, Critical Illness, and Disability insurance young is one of the smartest moves you could make for your financial plan. The younger and healthier you are, the more cost-efficient insurance is. Most of us will need insurance at some point in our lives and you never know when your health could change.  Delaying could only end up costing you and your family in the future.


  1. Pay off Your Debt


Canadians are in more debt than ever. Paying it off seems daunting but the only way to get rid of debt is to tackle it head on.   Start by making a budget and see what money can be redirected to your debt payments. If the cash just isn’t there consider picking up a part time job and committing the income to your debt payments. Do whatever you can do to eliminate your debt as quickly as possible.


  1. Start Saving for Retirement


Lastly, start putting as much money away for retirement as soon as you can.  Retirement may seem far off but the sooner you start investing the sooner you will start reaping the benefits of compound interest. You would be amazed the difference that a few extra years of saving can make in the long run. Talk to your advisor about opening up a TFSA or RRSP, both of which offer tax advantages to Canadians trying to save for their retirement.