Every milestone birthday comes with its fair share of existential questions, but few are as long-anticipated as the big 3-0. For 90s babies, turning 30 is the official, no turning back age of adulthood. Now, we’re at the age where all the things kids these days like, just make us feel nostalgic for our high school years. While life certainly doesn’t end at 30, it is a good time to step back and look at where you’re headed.
If the 10-year plan your 20-year-old self had in mind hasn’t exactly worked out as planned, don’t sweat it. Chances are you’ve grown a lot since then, and it makes sense that your goals and priorities have shifted. You might be worried most of all that your financial situation and professional success hasn’t culminated the way it should have by now. First things first, get rid of that word from your vocabulary.
Should is a word that leaves us feeling pressured, burdened and never enough. Whether you are just starting your career or thinking about college, being a member of the 30s club doesn’t stop you from doing what you want in life. Financially speaking, however, it is a good time to start setting long-term goals and addressing any unhealthy money habits you’ve developed.
Here is the the must-do list to improve your finances at 30:
Seriously Addressing Student Debt
Millions of people in their 30s are wrestling with crippling student debt. You might feel that after 10 years, you’ve barely even made a dent in your payments. Think about refinancing or consolidation. These are two options that can make your monthly payments more manageable. The reality is that many of us will have debt well into our 40s or 50s. This doesn’t mean you can’t make the payments manageable and even build some credit in the process. If you have a card, charge your monthly loan repayment and pay it back. This improves your credit utilization score while shaving some more off your debt.
Planning Your Retirement Investments
If applicable, look into employer sponsored retirement accounts. You can also set up your own individual retirement account (IRA) and start making contributions. There are additional ways to put money away for your senior years, too. One option is investing in the stock market, and no, it isn’t just for rich people. You can learn all about different tactics, including short squeezes that brings a lot of new buyers. Check out this guide to learn how short squeeze investments are and how they work.
Thinking About Your Housing Goals
If you rent and are happy with it, carry on. But if you dream of owning your own home or want to build equity on a mortgage, it’s time to get serious about budgeting. For some 30-somethings, getting their own place, even if it’s a lease, requires moving. But the double-edged sword is that relocating to a more affordable neighborhood means a longer commute to work. In some cases, you might decide that exploring other job opportunities in a different area is more beneficial for you in the long-run. While you don’t have to settle down completely, you should think about putting down some roots. For parents, this means considering where they’d like to raise their children and what neighborhoods are best for their family’s future.