One thing I couldn’t stop thinking about when writing this post was how much my spending habits have changed over the last year. I’ve always believed in “less is more” as I found myself living across different countries and cities in my 20s–but the thing to note is how much I am focusing on building assets for the future. Not just thinking about myself, but my family and future offspring. It wasn’t until I started following Tori of Her First 100K and started banking with Ellevest that I felt prepared to set some massive financial goals for my 30s. After sharing the 6 financial mistakes I made in my 20s and offering insight into how I split my paycheck as a freelancer, I had a few requests to share my financial goals for my 30s that I set recently.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial professional and am only sharing my experience from what I have learned. All information is derived from my experiences, opinions, and the opinions of contributors.
1. Plan for Retirement
This is something you can start as early as you want and probably something I should have started in my 20s. I couldn’t be aggressive with my retirement planning because I lived in a foreign country and wasn’t sure of the longevity of that stay. The last thing I wanted to do was grow assets that I might not have in the future. Luckily, I’m in the position that I can do more retirement planning like investing in an IRA and low-cost ETFs and/or mutual funds that include stocks, bonds, and alternatives. I’ve been able to make a big dent in this goal since I had cut down on spending and increased my income during the pandemic. The difference between planning for retirement in my 30s versus my 20s was that I spent last month figuring out an approximate date I was going to retire and with how much in my account.
2. Supplement my Emergency Fund
As I moved towards a freelance career, I decided it was time to supplement my emergency fund–money set aside for unexpected financial issues. I had about 3 months saved up in my fund and now wanted to build out the fund a bit more in a high-yield saving account for 12 months. One of my financial goals for my 30s is not only to build a better future for myself, but I wanted to build savings that allow me to take time off without worrying. Being your boss means you can set your own rules, right?
3. Become a Homeowner
One thing I struggled with when moving back to America was seeing so many of my friends “move on” in their lives. They had something to show for the years that had passed and that was mostly in the form of property. It inspired me to align my financial goals for my 30s with becoming a homeowner too! Simply put, I was too nomadic to own property under my name. Settling down is going to be a huge personal theme for this decade and as much as it’s scary, I know it will be exciting at the same time!
4. Have Better Insurance
Nothing says adulting like creating spreadsheets of insurance offerings and getting excited to determine the best health plan for you, eh? Honestly, this was one of those financial goals for my 30s that I didn’t anticipate creeping up so soon. Probably because I spent most of my 20s enjoying free healthcare in another country, but coming back was a bit of a reality check. I’ve been picking insurance plans that allow me to take better care of myself and better plan for the future.
5. Treat Myself to Nice Things
Most of my nice things came from blogging, I’ll admit it. London life was so expensive that I barely bought anything nice and usually found joy in some of the nice things that brands sent me. One thing my mom taught me was to invest in quality, and I’ve decided that I would do just that. I started focusing more on sustainable brands that are doing good for their community and the wider world. It makes me excited to start supporting them!
6. Monetize My Side Hustle
This is something I’ve done in my 20s already, but since being in my 30s, I’ve been more strategic with how I use my time. My side hustle (my blog) is more than a passion project and has always allowed me to make a decent side income without having to try too much. Over the last year and a half, I focused a lot more on monetizing my blog in ways that should not only triple my earnings but also require minimal maintenance. It has indeed required a lot of upfront work, but it was worth it. I ended up focusing more on affiliate marketing and optimizing my website for search engines to bring a steady income.
7. Establish an Excellent Credit Score
My credit score wasn’t non-existent when living abroad–being American meant I was working double hard to retain a good credit score abroad too. When I moved back, I needed to take my sub-par credit score to the next level, and I’m so proud to say that I’ve achieved this with ease! Here are a few things I did to establish great credit: Opened up two credit cards that offer me cashback incentives. Paid off my card the very same day a charge was processed. Ask to extend my credit limit on both cards, which they granted!
Other Financial Goals for My 30s
The two that I know are popular among my friends right now are paying off the last bit of student loans (or making a major dent in it) and getting rid of credit card debt. One goal my dad told me he had in his 30s was feeling comfortable with making amendments to his budget to make big decisions. What are some of your current financial goals? Anything you’re saving up for?