They say being in your 30s is the new 20s, but what does that mean? A woman in her 30s has more experiences today than in previous years, is on the incline in her professional or personal career and is determined to live her best life. Basically, being in your 30s means your twenty-year-old self just got a boss upgrade.
We want to help you or someone you may know by sharing a few money lessons that can be used to live your best life by making smarter decisions with your money.
How to Get Started
The first step to getting on track to your boss upgrade is determining exactly how much money you make each month. This is important not only to understand your worth but to be sure that your spending doesn’t exceed your income.
By now, you should have a good idea of what you value in life, what your worth is and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. Create a list of what you spend your money on and prioritize the items by “needs” (such as food, housing, student or car loans) versus “wants” (travel, entertainment, endless trips to Starbucks). Building and sticking to a budget means that it’s time to buckle down and stop spending on stuff that isn’t a necessity.
The point of budgeting is knowing what money you have coming in and where your money is going in order to make sound financial decisions.
Discard Your Debt
The truth is you don't have to live your entire life paying off debt and expediting stress induced grey hairs. If you’re feeling weighed down by debt, consider some cost saving and debt reducing options like transferring balances from your high-interest rate credit cards to a lower rate credit card that offers 0% annual percentage rate, or APR, on balance transfers. A balance transfer can save you money on interest and free up some extra cash to put towards other bills. Or, you may want to consider consolidating debts into a Personal Loan or a Home Equity Loan (if you’re already a homeowner).
Do you have ambitions for a future lifestyle different from what you have today? Chances are you said yes, and it’s likely that you have more expenses and obligations now than you did in your twenties. If you already have a young family or house or are planning for any of these milestones in your future, here’s how you can bring your ambitions to life.
A home is the biggest purchase (and investment) most people will ever make, so it’s good to start planning early. Monitor your credit score, then set a savings goal for your down payment. It’s recommended that you aim for 20%, although you may qualify for a mortgage that offers a low or no down payment. Also, if you’re a veteran of the Armed Forces or National Guard, or are the spouse of a veteran, you may qualify for a VA Loan. There are several home loan options available for whatever stage of life you’re in.
It's also wise to keep an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Such savings can help in sudden times of job loss, or a medical or family emergency. If your budget doesn’t allow for saving large sums of money each month, consider starting small. Peach State’s Debit Card Round Up Program1 is a great way to start because every purchase you make with your debit card will be rounded to the nearest dollar and the difference is put into a savings account.1 You can even take this a step further by setting up an automatic transfer from your Checking Account to your savings each month. They say “out of sight, out of mind, but the savings add up!
Boost Your Income
In your 20s, you developed some valuable skills that today can (and should be) used to increase your earnings. To help you reach any goals throughout your 30s and beyond, it’s important to consider ways to continue to boost your income.
You’re likely already working your way up the career ladder (or making big moves to advance your career), and your income has increased to reflect that. If you’re already maxing out your 401(k) savings, you go girl! If you’re not, you may want to consider increasing your retirement contributions. Don’t stress about making any abrupt change right now, you can increase the contributions to your retirement with every pay raise.
Another way to boost your income is to find a side hustle alongside your normal 9 to 5 job. Consider becoming a delivery driver with DoorDash or Instacart, or even pick up a few hours at your favorite retailer (hello employee discount perks!). No matter what you choose, any side hustle will help you boost your income and reach those goals you’ve been aiming for.
Set Financial Goals
We understand you’ve got big goals and plans for your life, and you’re determined to live them out. Being in your 30s just means your twenty-year-old self just got a boss upgrade.
At Peach State, we’ve partnered with BALANCE to provide bosses like you with education and resources to guide you towards financial success – FREE for Peach State members. Get going today by gaining more knowledge on topics such as managing debt, budgeting, credit reports, homeownership and more at peachstatefcu.balancepro.org/programs.
Set Financial Goals
In keeping with our theme, why not grill dessert? Not all kabobs and skewers require meat and vegetables! Have you ever tried grilled fruit skewers? Checkout this Grilled Fruit Skewers recipe by ‘Delish’ where hungry bellies are required, but the utensils are optional.
1 A separate club account will automatically be opened when signing up for and using the Visa Debit Card Round Up program.