Whether you’ve just turned 30 (happy birthday) or you’re planning for the future, there are a few fundamental money habits that every 30-something should have.
By your 30s, you’ve ideally spent some time exploring the kind of career you’d like. Or at the very least, you’ve tried a few things and have (hopefully) landed somewhere stable. If your 20s were for experimenting with your career or spending your entire paycheck every month, your 30s are for stabilising your finances and starting to grow wealth.
Between growing a generous nest egg and setting yourself up for retirement, let’s explore some key habits you could consider taking up for your financial health.
Money habits for your 30s
Spend less than you make
While this can be easier said than done in a time of rising inflation and mortgage rates, you may want to look at your 30s as a time to spend less of your income than you make. This means it’s time to muster the self-control to live below your means.
If your goal for your 30s is to grow wealth, now is the time to get your spending habits under control. Are you addicted to online shopping? Try and set yourself a challenge of buying only one new item a month or quarter. In fact, some people recommend going to the extreme of challenging yourself to not buy anything new for a year.
You also do not have to say yes to every single event that comes your way, as endless dinner and drinks out will easily start to eat at your savings. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still socialise, but instead consider more cost-effective options for seeing friends, such as organising a pot-luck dinner at home. It’s still important to splurge and have fun, but unlike in your 20s, that doesn’t need to be a multi-week scenario when you’re trying to spend less than you make.
Make a budget, and stick to it
If you’re one of those people who cringes at the thought of looking at your bank account, your 30s are the time to bite the bullet and create a budget that works for you.
Keep in mind that this really does need to be a budget that works for you and not someone else. You’ll find endless budgeting tips online, and it’s worthwhile trying a few different ones out to see what suits your spending patterns and the frequency in which you are paid.
For example, some recommend the 50/30/20 rule, in which 50% of your income goes towards needs (rent, bills, groceries), 30% goes to your wants (activities and dinners out), and 20% goes towards savings and debt repayment.
However, you may find this too constricting in months where you have, say, an unexpected expense or higher-than-average energy bill. Instead, you may prefer to have a revolving monthly budget, where you adjust where your money will go based on the immediate expenses, savings goals, and any events or splurge purchases you want to make.