As you enter your 30s, you may experience an increased feeling of financial independence. You’ve established your career, may have started a family, and could be shopping for your first home. With young children or a demanding job, you may feel the need to get your finances under control or rein in the spending you indulged in during your 20s.
The best financial advice for 30-year-olds is to balance awareness of your day-to-day habits with the foresight to plan for the future. Start thinking about your kids and what type of financial support you want to offer them. Come up with a plan to save for a big trip you’ve been looking forward to. And watch out for spending potholes that can throw off your short- and long-term plans.
We’ve compiled financial tips for people in their 30s to help you reach your goals. Take these into consideration as you make bigger purchases and pay more attention to savings. Check out our full infographic on financial tips by age here.
Plan for Future College Expenses Now
As you look at your adorable newborn, his or her future education may not cross your mind. But 18 years fly by fast, and you don’t want to be left scrambling when your “baby” is applying for college. Consider flexible options for savings in case your child chooses not to attend college. A Coverdell Education Savings Account, for instance, allows you to spend saved money on a variety of educational expenses.
Learn More About Coverdell ESA
Be Wary of High-Interest Store Credit Cards
Did you purchase a furniture set under a limited-time, zero percent financing option, only to find those financing charges blew up at the end of the term? Stores count on this behavior to make money. Monitor your bills and pay off the ones with exorbitant interest rates first to avoid future problems.
Start Considering Your Future Financial Needs and Goals
You should reconsider your financial goals every few years because they change with your circumstances:
- Perhaps you had triplets and suddenly have three kids to put through college instead of the one you expected when you first decided to start a family.
- An aging parent could need in-home care.
- Maybe your spouse went back to school, and your family now has a single income.
Whatever happens, ensure your financial planning matches today’s reality rather than yesterday’s. Enlisting a qualified financial planner can help keep you on the right path.
Don’t Get Sucked into a Purchase Every Time You Enter a Store
Exercise caution when you visit stores with your kids. You’re likely making more money than you did in your 20s, and you may get a thrill from the ability to buy your children whatever they want — but even $5 and $10 toys and treats can add up fast.
Don’t Become House Poor
“House poor” refers to pouring too big of a percentage of your financial resources into your home — and that extends well beyond the mortgage. For instance, if you buy a home with a pool, you have to pay for the pool cleaner, the water, and the insurance. Lots of unanticipated costs can turn your dream home into a nightmare, fiscally speaking. When choosing a home, make sure that you can handle all of the costs that will come with it so that you’re able to enjoy life inside and outside your home.
Following these tips for money management at 30 can help you get ready for the future. For more money management tips, visit our WalletWorks page.