Last weekend I turned the big 30! I told myself last year that I wasn’t going to get upset about turning 30, and I didn’t. There is power in positive thinking! Plus as everyone knows, 30 is the new 20. So I really feel great about being 30.
But financially speaking, turning 30 has given me pause. We accomplished a lot in our 20’s, but since we were in school, our 20’s were mostly about building up student loan debt. We want to make our 30’s really count, which is why we came up with 20 financial goals we want to accomplish in our 30’s:
1. Pay off student loans.
We are saving thousands of dollars (literally) on our student loans by refinancing them with a private lender. Some of our interest rates are about half with a private lender than they would be if we kept them federally. You can check and see whether refinancing is a better option for you HERE.
2. Pay off other debt.
In addition to paying off our student loan debt, we want to pay off any other debt we have as well. Right now, that includes our mortgage and a small car loan.
3.Start college funds for our kid(s).
We actually have not come to an agreement yet on what we are going to do about college. I didn’t have help paying for college and I felt like it helped teach me life skills—side hustling, scholarship hunting, etc. But on the other hand, if I’d had help with college, I’m sure I would be singing another tune. So I go back and forth. We don’t want to create little entitled monster children, but we do want to help our kiddos in any way that we can. So we’re still on the fence with this one but we want to have the option in a few years, so we need to start saving now.
4.Start saving for retirement.
We have a teeny tiny amount of money saved, so our 30’s are going to be all about catching up on savings that we missed in our 20’s. Hey by the way, if you are still in your 20’s, it is not too early to be thinking about retirement!
5.Double our combined income.
As we increase in our careers and create multiple streams of income, we want to see our income double this decade.
6.Have a positive net worth 🙂
Right now, we are DEAD LAST on a list of personal finance bloggers. We would like to not be last on that list. Our 30’s are an important time to not only pay off debt, but start making positive money.
7.Create steady multiple streams of income.
If we are going to achieve many of our financial goals (such as having a positive net worth) we are likely going to need a boost that we simply can’t earn at our day jobs. That’s why we’ll continue to create other sources of passive income—things that don’t require a ton of attention from us but that earn money. If I could choose only one goal of this list of 20, this would probably be it because it leads to all good things.
8.Continue to live on less than we earn.
Even after we pay off our fat stack of student loan debt, we plan to live on far less than we earn. I am confident that it will be tempting to spend more once our debt is repaid, which is why we are committing now to continue to live on less than we earn. This is critical to all of our other financial goals we hope to accomplish in our 30’s.
9.Live on a budget.
I truly believe that no matter how wealthy you are, living on a budget is good for the soul. It teaches self-control and self-mastery – some of life’s greatest lessons. Obviously your budget can increase with increased wealth, but I believe in this principle so much that its one I want to commit to for life.
P.S. one of the easiest things we do to stick to our budget, is to use income earning websites and apps when we do all of our regular shopping. Read our short post on how to do it here—its fast and easy.
10.Create a will.
(More accurately, set up proper legal strategies for your property upon your death)
Isn’t it awful that I am a lawyer and don’t currently have a proper will?? To be fair, I also don’t really have assets (see goal #11), but there are a few things we own that we want to make sure end up in the right hands. The odds are that you are going to live a long healthy life, but now is a good time to start setting up the proper channels to take care of your family and dispose of your property at your death. And please don’t create a will on your own off of the internet. Taking care of your property and loved ones deserves the attention of a trained professional, and will likely involve more than just creating a will.
11.Have some assets to put in said will.
We want to be our 30’s to be all about asset building. Not only do we want to get out of debt, but we’d sure like to have some assets by the end of this decade.
12.Advance our careers.
We plan to continue working hard and excelling in our day jobs.
13.Figure out disability and life insurance.
Figuring out disability and life insurance has been something that we keep putting on the back burner. Since we’ve never purchased either before, it is a bit overwhelming and it feels like there are a lot of opportunities to get taken advantage of. We’ve also rationalized that if one of us dies or otherwise becomes disabled, we can rely on the other to work since we both have good earning potential. It has only recently occurred to us that if we BOTH die, or BOTH become disabled, we need to be able to take care of our kid(s). Insurance is important even if it does feel scammy 99% of the time.
We still have time on our side which makes 30’s a good time to start investing. We wish we’d been able to start while we were younger but we’ll start now!
I think a lot of people in their 30’s get sucked into “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality. And I’ll admit that it is tough seeing people around you getting or doing more and more things. But as they say, comparison is the thief of joy. I am committing to being content with what I have. Not that I do not wish to grow and progress and make serious financial strides—but that I will not base those off of what my neighbors are doing. I will choose to be happy and count my blessings.
16.Employ tax saving strategies (or people).
In years past, our taxes have been very simple. As we’ve taken on more business among other things, our taxes have gotten more complex, so it is time for us to employ some of that good book—the tax code—and work some strategy. I fully believe that there are some things in life that are DIY and some things that are not. Our taxes are starting to lean into the “not DIY” category, so when that time comes, we will happily employ the help we need for that.
17.Fund emergency savings.
Right now, we budget a little bit of money each month for emergencies. It is such a small amount, and/or we have so many emergencies, that we constantly use it up. Financial goal for our 30s–have a legit emergency fund, that is not constantly depleted.
18.Use time more wisely.
Money is important. You can do a lot of things with money. You need money to pay bills and take care of the people in your life. But time is infinitely more important to me. Time is something you can never get back once its gone. I have been more keenly aware of time as I have watched M grow and learn so quickly. I know that before I even realize it, he’s going to be off on his own. So as much as we love our careers, I want to be more aware of time in my 30’s—recognizing that this is a phase of life that we will never get back. I want to savor it. That means, I want to spend less time on menial tasks or other tasks that can be delegated out. We might not be able to drastically increase the amount of time we have together, but we can surely increase the quality of time.
Right now we pay a 10% tithing to our church. And if I’m being honest, that is about all we give. One of our greatest financial goals for our 30s is that we would really like to give much more—not just to our church but community, people in need, etc. As we break free from our student loan debt, we will give more money away. It just feels good.
20. LIVE more.
We also have some seemingly petty financial goals for our 30’s. There are a few things that we have always dreamed of. So, in addition to working harder and smarter and earning more money and paying off debt and all of that good stuff, we have goals to:
- Buy a beach house. We actually set this goal when M was born that we wanted a beach house by the time he was 10 J
- Buy a boat. There is no greater family bonding than family boating.
- Travel to 5 new places (one new place every other year). We want to instill our family with a love of travel and experiencing different ways of life.
What are some of your financial goals? To you wise folks already in your 30’s and beyond, what have we missed? What should we want to accomplish in our 30’s??