How to Manage Your Money Better in Your 30s

Turning 30 is big thing for most people. Not only is it a major milestone in your life, but it’s also a point when you may start to think more carefully about how you’re spending your money too. After all, maybe you’d like to have a new house of your own or start a family with your significant other.

Whatever the future has in store for you, it’s a good idea to start working on your money management skills as soon as possible. To ensure you get the most out of the transformative era of your 30s, we’ve put together some top tips to get you started.

1. Be Patient with Yourself

As you approach your 30s, there’s a good chance that you’ll have some goals in mind for what you’d like to achieve in the years to come. Perhaps you’re looking at your friends and seeing them accomplish great goals like moving into their own house or having children. However, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to accomplish everything at once.

Your impulse might be to move as quickly as possible because you’re “in your 30s now”, but don’t put yourself under unreasonable amounts of pressure. Instead, figure out one goal that you desperately want to achieve, and focus on that first.

2. Cut Back on Vices Regularly

With your wild 20s and your college years behind you, there may be a few vices that you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. A lot of people have problems with things like fast food, cigarettes, and alcohol. However, there are other vices too that are less obvious – like the craving to buy a new outfit whenever you’re going to an event or say “yes” to every night out with your friends.

When you hit your 30s, it’s time to think about the behaviors that are costing you the most money and consider how you can cut back on those habits a little bit at a time. Remember, you don’t have to give up everything at once. Start slow and keep an eye on your progress.

3. Have a Career

If you really want to make sure that you have as few money worries as possible going forward, then it’s a good idea to focus on being more than just an “employee” in your workplace. Think about what you want to do in life – what can you be passionate about, and how you can make a living from it? Is there a way that you can build in your income by taking on new challenges and responsibilities?

Don’t just work to live – have a career by dedicating yourself to getting more out of every moment you spend at work. If you don’t love what you do, maybe it’s time to look into other opportunities.

4. Go through Your Card Statements Regularly

It’s tempting to ignore your statements from the bank – particularly if you’ve opted into getting them sent to you online, rather than having them posted through your letterbox. However, the best thing you can do for your financial future is keep track of your money management efforts. Go through your statements one by one and make sure that you pay attention to any signs that you’re not sticking to your budget.

If you’re constantly going into your overdraft each month, it might be a good idea to dive into your spending habits and figure out where you can begin cutting back.

5. Think Carefully About Having Kids

Though many people in the UK have kids before they hit their 30s, if you haven’t started a family yet, this might be the era when you begin thinking more carefully about it. While having a child is a joyous occasion, you’ll need to consider the cost that having a baby adds to your finances.

Caring for another person isn’t just a huge responsibility in terms of the work you’ll need to do. It’s also a major change to your financial experiences too. If you decide you want to go ahead with having kids, you may even need to take out a personal loan to pay for all the initial costs. If you do, remember to shop around for the best interest rates.

6. Focus on Active Money Management

Finally, remember that you need to be active with your money management efforts if you want to make the most of your cash. Don’t just tell yourself that you can tap into your credit card or overdraft if something goes wrong. Focus on building an emergency savings account so that you have cash in case of disasters.

When you’re concerned that you don’t have enough money in your bank, look into strategies that will help you to do something about it – even if that means working harder, or taking on an additional job.

Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to Happy Penguin is a broker, not a lender, and does not make credit decisions.