Congratulations, 30-somethings! You’ve finally gotten your sea legs after spending your 20s adjusting to adulthood.
Maybe you’re a married couple with children.You may own a home.With any luck, you’ll make more money than you’ve ever made before.
Regardless of your current circumstances, here are some financial moves that everyone in their 30s should make during this decade.
Examine your retirement funds.
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You should have a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, by this time.Getting one set up if you don’t already have one should be a top priority.
Look at where your money is invested if you already have such an account.A retirement account can become unbalanced over time.Perhaps you’re taking on too much or too little risk.
Check out our article on 7 Tips for Stress-Free 401(k) Investing for more information.If you’ve ever changed jobs, you should consider doing something with your orphaned 401(k).
Make a larger emergency fund.
In theory, setting up an emergency fund is another financial decision you should have made sooner.If you don’t have one, saving money for a rainy day should be a top priority.
If you already have one, now is a good time to add to it.You should have enough money in your emergency fund to last three to six months.Add up all of your current monthly expenses to see if your savings account isn’t enough to cover them.
At least once a year, or whenever you experience a major life change, review your budget.If you haven’t crunched the numbers in a while, sit down and do a thorough review.
Is your budget supporting your current life goals? If not, it needs to be revised.
For a month, keep track of your spending.
Keep track of your spending for a month.Keep track of every dollar.That may appear to be a lot of work, but if you use your debit or credit card for almost everything, it isn’t so bad.
We have a tendency to romanticize where our money goes.(Oh, I never eat out.) But once you start tracking, you can’t deny that you hit the drive-thru once a week or go on a monthly shopping spree at the mall.
Compare your actual spending to the amounts you set aside in your budget.Depending on the results, you’ll either need to rework your budget or reconsider your spending.
Get rid of your debt.
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Of course, we all wish we hadn’t gotten into debt to begin with.But there’s no point in rehashing past errors when now is the time to act and fix them.
Cut up your credit cards and read up on how to get out of debt quickly.
Master the art of bartering.
You’ll probably make some significant purchases in your 30s.You may also have more money to spend on the things you want.
Learn to bargain like a pro to get the most out of your money.There’s no reason to pay full price when a little haggling can save you money on big and small purchases.
Consider starting a college savings account.
If you’ve recently become a parent, your 30s are an excellent time to start a college fund for your children.Don’t wait until they’re in high school to start thinking about their future education.
529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, and prepaid tuition plans are all available.
Reconsider your professional path.
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How is your job going? Is it everything you hoped it would be?
It’s a good idea to re-evaluate your career path in your 30s.If you despise your job, now could be the best time to change careers.You’re still young enough to return to school and make a profit.You may not even require additional education to change careers.
Enhance your insurance protection.
If you have a family, you’ll need enough life insurance to replace your income if you pass away.If you’re the family breadwinner, you’ll also want to have disability insurance.
Check the coverage limits on your home and auto insurance.You may want to have comprehensive coverage once you’ve traded in that beater for a nicer vehicle.Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to see if valuable items are covered by your policy or if you’ll need to purchase a separate rider.
What has been your experience as a 30-something, and what advice would you give to others in their 30s? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page.
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