When you get older, your money concerns will change according to how you develop in life. In most cases, it gets more complicated as we get older. In a previous post, we have discussed the financial issues that people in their 20s have to go through. Now, let us focus on the next decade – your 30s.
An article published on Forbes.com revealed how most of your decisions during this decade will have serious implications in your 50s. The latter is the time when retirement is a little more than a decade away. We all know that money concerns in retirement is vital. If you want to keep yourself from feeling too stressed during the years leading to your retirement, you may want to consider the decisions that you will make in your 30s.
As you enter your 30s, you will realize that planning for major financial decisions will be quite prominent in this decade. They are not similar to what you encountered in your 20s. In most cases, your decisions will not only affect yourself, but also the family that you have started or will soon be starting with your significant other.
What financial changes happen in your 30s?
The money concerns that you will have in your 30s are closely linked to the changes that will happen in your life. To better discuss them, let us define the 3 financial changes that typically happen when you reach this decade.
Getting married and having kids. While these are primarily emotional decisions, these are also life milestones that should consider your personal finances. You need to make sure that you are compatible financially with the person you are marrying. If one of you is secretly bringing debt into the marriage, that can cause problems. Having kids is also a huge financial decisions. Childbirth and childcare cost a lot of money and you need to be financially prepared for it to be a responsible parent. These are the life changes that will affect the money concerns in your 30s.
Establishing a stable career. Another area in your life that can affect your finances is your career. When you are in your 30s, the chances of you having a stable career is quite high. This is also the time when you can go through a tough job mishap and still bounce back. You are relatively young so building a stable career for yourself is very important in your 30s. The time of testing the waters should be left in your 20s. Make a choice and stick to it so you can start working on your future more consistently.
Making big investments. Lastly, reaching your 30s mean you are starting to make big investments. If you are about to get married or you are just married, you will be thinking about a permanent home. That is a big purchase that you need to be prepared for. If you have a stable career, these investments can happen in your 30s.
Do not think that decisions about your money should be done lightly. Approach these changes with care because there are seemingly simple financial decisions that can change your life significantly.
The financial plight of the Gen Xers and Millennials
At present, Americans in their 30s are shared by two generations: the youngest of Generation X and the eldest of the Millennials.
In some way, society and the current economical conditions will define how you will deal with the money concerns that you will encounter in your life. It can also shape how you will make financial decisions. Given that, let us take a look at the money habits that these two generations have and how it can affect their respective financial situations.
Gen Xers who are still in their thirties are the youngest of this generation. They are the ones born between the early 1960’s and early 1980’s. This is the Post World War 2 generation so you can expect that they grew up in better conditions than their parents. According to the data found on Wikipedia.org this generation are financial risk takers. They have the entrepreneurial spirit that gave rise to a lot of small and medium businesses in the United States. Although this generation made less than what their parents did when they were the same age (especially the men), they have the confidence that their parents did not have. The decline in earning for men is also attributed to the fact that women have strongly entered the workforce to become second (or even primary) earners for the family.
On the other hand, the oldest of the Millennials who just entered the workforce had to deal with an economic collapse. This made them a bit more timid compared to their predecessors. The page on Millennials from Wikipedia.org mentioned that this generation is also called the Peter Pan or boomerang generation. Their lack of confidence in their financial situation results in the delay in a lot of life events. This includes moving out of their parents, getting married, etc. What they experienced during the 2007-2008 economic collapse contributed to this drastic change. This is beginning to be a concern because the financial decisions of Millennials can set a trend for the younger members of their generation. It has to be dealt with so it will not stunt the growth of t recovering economy.
Regardless of the generation that you belong to, it can be expected that your 30s play an important role in the kind of life that you will live in the future. The difference in approach of the two generations paint extremes when it comes to dealing with money concerns. The Gen X are risk takers and that can make them more confident about taking on too much debt. Millennials perch on the other side of the scale for their timid nature when it comes to investing. Both have to ease up on the overconfidence and the lack of it. That is how they can maximize the opportunities that will come their way in their 30s.
Tips to make wise decisions regarding your financial issues
Making wise decisions when it comes to your money concerns is easier said than done. That is true. However, you should not be afraid to make them at all. You can make mistakes but why dwell on that possibility. While they can be great learning experiences, you should try to avoid them. Here are some of our suggestions when you are trying to make financial decisions.
Remove your fear of debt. According to a recent study by PewSocialTrends.org, Millennials are the first generation to really have high levels of debt. A lot of them had to deal with poverty and unemployment. This makes them timid when it comes to debt. While there are debts that can destroy you, there are those that can help. You need to educate yourself about the debts that has the potential to do you good. Once you do, it should be easy for you to remove your doubts and fears about debt.
Monitor your financial situation. You will feel more at ease with your money concerns if you can stay on top of it. That is why monitoring your personal finances through a budget is the best way to avoid mistakes. When you know what goes on with your money, any new concern can be dealt with accordingly.
Know what you want for the future. Your 30s may seem like a long time before you retire. But do not be fooled by the 30 year gap. A lot can happen in between and if you haven’t started yet, you need to seriously consider your retirement plans. You can contribute a small amount to your retirement fund and still have enough to live a comfortable life. Although it will not be as low as when you started in your 20s, it is definitely smaller than when you decide to start in our 40s or 50s.
Set up goals. Having financial goals is a great way for you to give your financial decisions some direction. As soon as you have identified what you want for your future, try to build your financial goals around that.
Do not delay your savings. If you reached your 30s without an emergency fund and you are not in a financial crisis, you have been very lucky. Do not test your luck any further by building up your emergency fund right now. You should also start saving for investments like the down payment of your home. Saving can literally save your life so make sure you have this financial safety net in place.
Protect yourself and your family. Insurances have their uses and for someone who has a family relying on them, this is a necessity. You want to make sure that any incident will not leave you or your family crippled.
All of these money concerns in your 30s can be a way for you to secure your future. If you deal with them correctly, you should be able to manage your goals and investments well. That should paint a bright financial future for yourself.
Diana hates debt just as much as you do. She is a finance writer for National Debt Relief. She aims to provide the best information to win the battle against debt.