Sat, 20 Aug 2022

Top Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 30s

30 Jun 2022, 02:24 GMT+10

"Welcome to 30, when you're old enough to know better but still young enough not to care."

Your 30s are the most critical time of your life finance-wise. While it is the decade you make many critical decisions: marriage, career, etc., your financial progress will also take shape at this point.

Yet, with all this, many still make terrible yet avoidable mistakes at this age. But not you reading this! Here are the top money mistakes to avoid in your thirties.

1. Delaying Retirement Savings

Retirement might seem like ages away when you're in your 30s. So you might be tempted to defer retirement plans till later. Big mistake! The journey to enjoying life in your 60s and beyond starts in your 30s.

Planning for retirement should be a crucial part of your financial decisions in your 30s and should not be reduced to an afterthought. You don't have to do anything too drastic; instead, focus more on consistency with your savings and spending habits.

Don't be ashamed of starting small, however trivial it may seem. Before long, you will have developed a healthy habit of saving for retirement.

2. Investing Too Conservatively

Jessica Wright from Dream Team Fundraising, explains that many people like to play it safe when it comes to money, always choosing the option with the lowest risk. However, such options often bring the lowest gains. This strategy may be helpful in your 50s or 60s, but not so much in your 30s as you can afford to take more risk.

She added, 'Instead of the safe investment options of bonds and certificates of deposit, try stocks, equities, and similarly volatile investments. The former will give an average of 2% interest annually, while the riskier options have a 10% profit average. The gap may not seem significant but will add up to a lot in 30 years'.

3. No Financial Discussion With Your Partner

According to Jonathan Merry from BanklessTimes, Money-related issues are one of the biggest causes of divorce in society today. So before you finalize weddings, ensure you and your partner are on the same page about financial plans and ideologies.

Actually, the best time for discussions about money is while you are still dating. It is common for people to get married and discover their partner has different financial priorities. At this point, it is often too late to make financial compromises.

What are your partner's financial priorities and goals? How will you take care of household expenses? What kind of account will you have? Questions like this give you a clear idea of where your partner stands financially.

4. Living Beyond Your Means

One of the common causes of financial issues in people's 40s and beyond is leading a lifestyle they cannot afford in their 30s. Living beyond your means is never advisable, but even more so in your 30s, when you should focus on accumulating wealth, not debts.

This mistake is more prevalent nowadays. It may be because of technology and the rise of social media, where people are quick to compare themselves with others. Also, many tend to associate with people who spend indiscriminately.

In your 30s, be prudent with your money and don't spend it if you can't afford it. Many experts advise you to pay your bills and save before spending on other things.

5. Lack of an Emergency Fund

Emergency Fund expert Mitch Harad from Overdraft Apps advises that an emergency fund should allow you to take care of any hiccups without affecting your savings or your day-to-day financial responsibilities. No one likes emergencies, but denying the possibility of them happening is a mistake. Additionally, do not mistake your investments for emergency funds, as they are not readily accessible.'

He added, 'Your emergency fund should ideally be able to support your basic living expenses for six months. That means tailoring your savings pattern according to how you live. For example, your savings as a single person would probably be different from someone living with a family of four.'

As with your retirement savings, be consistent with saving for your emergency fund. Also, be disciplined enough to resist temptations to dip into the funds for non-emergency situations.

6. Paying Excessively for a House

Purchasing a house is often high on the list of many in their 30s, typically meeting their relationship and family demands. However, many make the mistake of overspending on the house.

Firstly, when buying a house, remember that its finances supersede just the cost of the house and agent fees. You have to factor in repairs and maintenance too. Generally, the more luxurious the house, the more you have to pay for repairs and similar expenses.

After factoring in all costs for the foreseeable future, ask yourself if you can afford the house. If you want to go the mortgage route, ensure you are not paying more than 20% of your monthly income for the home.

7. Ignoring Proper Insurance

Like emergency funds, insurance is another topic many don't like discussing. Notwithstanding, you have to consider it in your 30s. Admittedly, there is no guarantee you will eventually need the insurance, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Insurance is a way to save lots of money if the unexpected happens, says Brian Greenberg from Insurist.

There are multiple insurance options today, and the industry is very diverse. While you don't have to jump at all insurance opportunities, ensure that your car, house, and health are covered. Also, consider getting health and disability insurance if your company doesn't provide one.

8. Assuming Your Income Will Always Increase

Perhaps the biggest financial goal is making more money. While many desire significant progressions in income as they age, it is not always the case. Don't spend recklessly in your 30s, assuming you will make more in the future. At all times, spend what you can afford to pay.

When your income increases, you can kick your spending up a notch. But always live in the present, not the future, regardless of what trends and charts say.

9. Placing Your Child's Education Over Your Retirement

As strange as it may seem, your child's education in your 30s should not precede your retirement savings and plan.

The problem with prioritizing your children's education is they may not be financially buoyant enough to support you when you eventually retire. And even if they are, the financial implications still outweigh the proper retirement savings strategy. That's a gamble you cannot afford to take.

After saving for retirement, you can structure the rest of your finances to give the best affordable education for your children.

10. Overspending on Vehicles

Vehicles depreciate. So, there's no sense in overspending for one in your 30s when you should be as frugal as possible with spending. Of course, you should get one if you need it, but only one you can afford suggested Susannah Harmon from Car Title Loans123.

Similar to houses, vehicles incur more than just their purchase price. The more expensive the car, the more you should expect to pay for its maintenance.

A practical car buying timetable is every ten years, ensuring you pay the loan in five years. You can then save up for your next car for the following five years.


Your retirement should be the time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. But you risk working till you die if you don't manage your finances in your 30s. So put these tips to work and avoid these common mistakes. That way, you are set for the future.

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