Financial Checklist: Smart Money Moves in your 30s

Ideally, in your 30s, you have figured out your life’s calling. You already have a career, not just a job, and you ought to know the difference between the two. The latter is something you do for today, and the former is a crucial part of your future.

Furthermore, at this age, you need to have your finances in order. Or, at the very least, you need to start considering your financial future with the seriousness it deserves.

Your 30s is the decade where you start making big and life-changing plans. For example, you’re probably ready to settle down and, thus, will soon require a wedding fund. Plus, you have to prepare to start a family financially. Your retirement is another major concern that must be considered in earnest. All these must compel you to make smart money moves. That is if you want your future to go as planned.

Establish credit

If you plan to buy a car or home soon, your credit history matters. By now, you should have built a credit history that establishes you as a good payer. Should that not be the case, it’s time to start establishing credit. One way to do that is by maintaining a credit card that you pay on schedule. That will be excellent for your credit score.

Other statements of account you could use to get a good credit score include utility bills, phone subscription bills, and rent payments.

Pay off non-mortgage debts

You probably borrowed money from friends or relatives from that time you had to spend for an emergency expense. Maybe you have existing student loans. Pay off these debts as soon as you can. Planning for your financial future is best approached with a clean slate.

Spend according to budget

One financial mistake many people commit is failing to come up with a budget for expenses. That is why most earners go down the rabbit hole of spending more than what they earn. Do not compromise your financial security and do thorough budgeting. Stick to it without excuses.

Get serious with your career

Maybe you spent most of your 20s having fun, with little to no care about your career. But in your 30s, you must start getting serious about it. Consult with your managers about growth opportunities available to you. Heed their advice on how you could progress. 

In addition, try to attend relevant training and seminars. If possible, squeeze in advanced studies into your schedule to make your resume more appealing to those in charge. Mind your professional reputation, too; you can’t rely on competence alone. You need to be regarded well by your colleagues and superiors.

Secure life and health insurance

No matter how regularly you exercise or how healthily you eat, the fact is your body has accumulated its fair share of wear and tear. So, you must be ready for when your body raises the white flag for a much-needed trip to the hospital. 

Without life or health insurance, that could easily sabotage your financial health. It’s better to have health coverage you pay in relatively small amounts now. Should you get sick in the future, you won’t have to borrow money left and right just so you could fund your medical payments.

House loan

The earlier you start paying the mortgage for a house, the better. Your goal is by the time you retire, you have full equity in your home—that’s a tangible asset. Once you reach your 60s, you could do whatever you please with it. You can either keep it or sell it to fund a non-traditional retirement where you gallivant with your significant other across the globe. 


Buying a house is an investment. While that’s enough for most people, you can further buff up your financial health by diversifying your investment portfolio. You can put money in a business that’s close to your heart or buy stocks and bonds. The important thing is you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Build an emergency fund

This is your nest egg. You don’t spend it unless you’re doing so for something that falls within the terms you set for this fund. At all times, you need to have a year’s worth of expenses saved. That means you have available money to fund your lifestyle for an entire year, even without a job. 

If we learned something from the past year, it’s difficult to predict what happens in the future. One day you might just wake up, and the world has turned topsy turvy. You’re suddenly deprived of any earning opportunities. It’s best to be ready for that unwished-for but possible reality.

Plan for retirement

Save at least 15% of your monthly income for retirement. You may consider that a conservative estimate and aim bigger. For example, aside from your career, you may pursue side hustles. If you do, you’ll have other sources of income from which you can derive your retirement fund. Learn ways to make extra cash at home. You could work as a virtual assistant or an encoder, among other work-from-home jobs. 

Doing #Adulting Right

The best time to seriously think about your financial security is not tomorrow but today. If you made that decision early in your 20s, good for you. You must be well on your way to whatever financial goals you have set for yourself.

Now, if you’re already in your 30s and you’re just starting to feel the pressure to aspire for financial security, do not fret—it’s not too late. There are strategies at your disposal to help you steer money matters in the right direction. Consider the tips included in this list and commit to the ones that are practical to you.

At this juncture, the biggest mistake you could make money-wise is to postpone preparing for your financial future. Keep in mind that you’re not getting any younger. From here on out, you need your finances to be in order to live a comfortable life. So, make smart money decisions and take it one step at a time. Soon you’ll reap the rewards for your patience and discipline.

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