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How I Prepared Financially For Turning 30

You may never be fully prepared for turning 30, but there are some things you can do that’ll help you. You can prep mentally. You can prep emotionally. You can prep physically. But you can also prep financially. I opted to do just that. I knew I didn’t want to be broke in my 30s.

So, how did I do it?

By taking some small, and some larger, steps to help me achieve my money goals and put me on a solid financial path. I knew I was going to get married in my early 30s and I knew that would be a big expense for me, on top of everything that tends to follow that – a honeymoon, a house, children, and so on.

I knew that my use and view of money had to change from what it was in my 20s. So I made sure to do just that. How’d I go about that? Here are some of the things I personally did to help me prepare financially for turning 30.

How I Prepared Financially For Turning 30

How I Prepared Financially For Turning 30

I invested in a financial advisor.

This may be a hot take, I know, but hear me out. There are so many great financial experts you can find online now, including on TikTok. But, for every great financial expert, there are others who are just not so great.

I wanted a financial advisor that would give me a super personalized experience. I wanted one whose work I had seen in some of my older family members’ – as an extra guarantee that they knew what they were talking about. I wanted someone who could help me invest, rather than me doing it on my own and not knowing what to put where.

I’ve had my financial advisor now for three years, and I’ve already seen my money grow more than if I had tried to do it on my own.

I took advantage of work benefits.

I switched jobs right before turning 30, going from working at a nonprofit to entering the world of Corproate America. Not only did this come with a nice pay bump, but it also came with a lot of new benefits I didn’t originally have.

Sure, I had my 401K with a match that I was already investing in. But with my new job, my 401K employer match was higher. I made sure that I was contributing at least the minimum to receive this full match.

Additionally, my new company offered me a Health Savings Account (HSA) and contributed to it as long as I took part in wellbeing initiatives. I made sure I was maxing out my HSA and also took part in the max amount of allowed wellbeing initiatives to get that “free” money, too.

How I Prepared Financially For Turning 30

I re-prioritized my spending.

I went out a lot in my 20s. Whether it was happy hour, catching a last minute game or show, going to dinner, or heading to brunch on the weekend, I always had plans. I was barely home! All of this is fun, but it all comes with a price tag, too, especially living in NYC.

As I entered my 30s, I stopped going out as much. Instead of spending my money on drinks at my local bar, I invested it in myself – whether it be in my savings account, my wardrobe, or my self-care.

Basically, I re-directed my spending and stopped prioritizing some things that were a priority in my 20s.

I made sure I had an emergency fund.

I always knew I should have an emergency fund, but I didn’t take it that seriously in my 20s. What emergency would I have? I was young and invincible!

Well, I realized how silly that was as I entered my 30s, and especially as I saw mass layoffs happening all around me.

I thankfully was not affected, but it really opened my eyes to how easily you could be without a job and a steady income. All of this fueled me to make sure I had 3-6 months worth of expenses easily accessible.

I stayed as debt free as I could.

I’ll confess it – I am very fortunate that I graduated school without any student loans. I am so beyond grateful for that, and made a vow to myself to never have any debts – or to just have minimal debts.

I took this even more seriously as I entered my 30s and my credit became even more important. I made sure that all of my credit card statements were paid off each month. I made sure I paid my mortgage and my car lease on time. Even if I owed a friend money, I made sure I paid them right away.

I started looking for any deals that I could.

I am all for a good bargain or a deal. That became even more prevalent in my 30s. I started price comparing on different stores before making a purchase, and using apps like Honey to help me do that.

I started shopping at more thrift stores and second-hand stores (thanks for making that cool again, Gen Z!). I took advantage of money saving apps like Rakuten and Fetch.

I joined store loyalty rewards and used their apps to cut digital coupons. I followed re-sellers on Instagram and started buying from them, luxury items included. Basically, I tried my hardest not to pay full price for anything, unless I absolutely had to. Every little bit does add up!

I switched to high-yield savings accounts.

I had my college checking and savings account for most of my 20s, and never even thought to switch it! Thanks to working with my financial adviser, I realized how much “free” money I was missing out on.

That college savings account I was using had a super low interest rate. Once I switched to a high-yield savings account, I was making more than 5x as much in interest each month, just for my money sitting there! If I had opened it in my 20s, I would’ve been able to accrue this interest much faster, and had a little bit more money to my name.

How I Prepared Financially For Turning 30

Final Thoughts On Preparing Financially For Your 30s

My 30s always felt so far away but in reality, they came up sooner than I realized. I have always been a fairly financially-savvy person, and by taking these steps, I really prepared myself for my next part of my life.

About the Author

I had tons of fun in my 20s, but my 30s have been my favorite decade so far! From getting married and now getting to explore life with my best friend, I want to share my experiences and learnings with you. I've worked in both the nonprofit and corporate worlds and have freelanced all the way through. When I'm not working, you'll probably find me booking my next trip.