The Quick Report

15 Tips for Financial Planning in Your 30s

Your 30s are supposed to be the time in your life when your adulthood finally coalesces with your earnings, and you manage to “get it together.” But here’s a secret: no one ever really gets it together. We’re all just winging it. Here are some financial tips to get you moving in that direction.

Understanding Your Finances

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You can’t make any long-term plans for your money without understanding where you’re at right now. Check out your finances and weigh them against your financial goals. Are you close to buying a house? Or do you only have enough money to cover this month’s bills?

Crafting a Budget

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Get a budget together and give each dollar a job before it ever lands in your account. This will empower you to hit your savings goals without the temptation to spend your “extra” money on discretionary expenses. What are discretionary expenses, you ask?

Discretionary Spending

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Discretionary spending, or expenses, is the money you spend on things you don’t necessarily need. That means things like going to the movies, buying expensive dinners, and the like. You should do these things occasionally so you feel like you’re actually enjoying your paycheck, but make sure it’s a rare treat, not the norm.

Fixed Spending

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On the other hand, fixed spending is the stuff you can’t get away with skipping. You have to pay for your rent or mortgage, your car payment, and your car insurance. This also applies in a looser sense to things like groceries and utility bills: you’re always going to buy them but the cost is variable, not fixed.

Contributing to Goals

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Once you’ve handled your bills, make the next priority your paycheck contributions toward your financial goals. We’ll get more into investing later, but for now it’s important to set aside a consistent amount of money to sink into your retirement account, savings account, or other investments.

Net Worth

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Your net worth will give you a good sense of how you’re doing with regards to your financial goals. To calculate your net worth, add up the value of your assets (like your car and house) as well as the total of all your bank accounts. Then, subtract any debt you owe. That’s your net worth!

Getting Married

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Do you plan to get married? If so, do you want to have a huge, extravagant wedding ceremony? If so, you need to start saving well before the planned event. People who want outlandish weddings and honeymoons can often take out large loans to cover these expenses, which can bury them in debt for years.

Having Kids

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Do you want to have kids? That’s also going to cost you. Make sure you’ve got finances already set aside to pay for everything from the cost of the hospital visits (or adoption fees!) to the extremely high cost of childcare.

Buying Property

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If you currently rent, you might be looking into buying a home. Home prices have exploded in the market following 2020, so this can seem unachievable for many people in their 30s. However, with the right savings strategy you can own your own home—you just need a good down payment and flexible expectations.


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When do you plan to retire? If you want to hang it up at 65, you need to start saving as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less time your money will spend earning interest and the longer it will take you to save up enough to comfortably retire.


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How much do you want to travel? Some people never get to leave the state they were born in, while others make it a point to save up enough to visit foreign countries. If you want to travel often, you’re going to need to start saving for that today.

Emergency Fund

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Make sure you’ve got an emergency fund stored up and ready to go in case of a car accident, medical emergency, or anything else you can’t foresee. It’s never a bad idea to have a few thousand dollars tucked away for a rainy day.

Life Insurance

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Speaking of predicting the unpredictable, by the time you’re in your 30s you probably have people who rely on your income for their quality of life. Consider getting life insurance if you don’t already have it. Without life insurance, your loved ones will be in dire financial straits in the event of your untimely passing.

Read More: You Are Wasting Too Much Time Being Frugal

Paying Off Debt

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Do you have big piles of debt you accumulated in your 20s? If so, it’s time to pay that down. Debt consolidation loans can help eliminate those high interest rates, and debt consolidation plans through nonprofit organizations can help you get moving in the right direction.

Read More: 20 Tips for a Happy Retirement


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Finally, once you know your goals and have paid back your debts, you can start investing. There are lots of investments, from stocks and bonds to retirement accounts. Whatever you choose, just be consistent. Make sure you fund your investments with a steady amount of capital each month and stick to your plan for reliable results.

Read More: 20 Tips for Early Retirement