When you get into your thirties you at least hope the financial mistakes of your twenties are well behind you, but sometimes we make simple mistakes in our thirties that can have profound effects on our finances.
As part of our series of financial mistakes to avoid, this time we look at some of the financial potholes in the road that you're best dodging in your thirties. From spoiling your first born to overdoing it on your wedding, the number of things you can do wrong in your fourth decade is manifold.
So if you are between 30 and 39 and want to stay young at heart, but on top of your bills, be sure to follow these steps to make sure you don’t drop the ball in your prime decade.
1) No emergency nest egg
While your twenties are often a time of partying, travelling, being young and generally foolish, this is leaking more into our thirties as we become more infantile and drag our adolescence kicking and screaming behind us.
However, this is the time for you to start making some responsible decisions.
Now we don’t want to sound like a nagging parent, and we're not asking you to finally 'settle down' or anything, but one of the key mistakes people can make in their 30's is not having a nest egg put aside in case something goes wrong.
No one wants to think about all the things that can possibly go wrong in life, or having to foot the financial cost of planning for the unforeseen, but when you have some money put aside and something does go wrong, you'll be grateful.
Financial experts say that you should have between three and six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.
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2) Carrying too much credit card debt
When you wake up on the morning of your 30th birthday you'll probably have a hangover, but many of you will be dragging a financial hangover into your thirties also. A financial hangover brought on by too much credit card debt.
Whether you went on too many shopping sprees, booked flights to Thailand, or just had your arm twisted to go to the pub a few too many times, this is the decade to dramatically reduce the amount of unnecessary debt you carry around, especially if are thinking of getting a mortgage soon.
3) Not diversifying your income
There have been countless ebooks and articles written about making a passive income, but now is time to start looking into other revenue streams. Whether it’s through investments, passive income or small nixers, your thirties is the time to start getting serious about diversifying your income.
Any extra income may take a lot of time to build up, however the less you have to rely on salaries the more financial freedom you'll have.
This opens up the possibility of working less, or if let’s say you start a small side business that starts making you a bit of money, you can then scale the business and eventually could be your own boss.
Whatever it is, you’re thirties is the time to heat the iron and get ready to strike.
4) Spoiling your first born
Look, we’re not saying that the first child that you're so super excited about isn’t awesome, but as any parent of two kids will tell you, you can go overboard with the first one. You want to get them their first football jersey, or get them a pair of those expensive little Nike runners because they look so cute. And let's not get started about the pram!
Then along comes number two and all they're left with are hand-me-downs, with barely a snapchat to speak or a picture to their name.
So when it comes to having your first child it's important to remain frugal and sensible as your spending can spiral wildly out of control. Plus your money will be better spent on far more important things down the line when they're older such as their education, extra-curricular activities in school, and maybe braces so they can have perfect teeth and that Hollywood smile for all the selfies they'll be taking.
5) Overspending on your wedding
This one may be a little contentious but blowing your life savings on a massive wedding, from a financial standpoint, may not be the best investment.
While this may be something you have thought about since childhood, and which you will (hopefully) remember fondly for the rest of your life; maybe, just maybe, it might be worth rethinking the approach.
If we are being perfectly candid, weddings are all fairly similar these days and can end up costing a hell of a lot of money, so why follow the crowd?
It might be worth looking at what else you could do other than the traditional option. This could be getting married in a simple, private ceremony then throwing a small party for your friends and family after; eloping; or just postponing it for another few years.
Or you could switch the budgets for your wedding and honeymoon, spending the larger amount on a stellar honeymoon, while having a more modest wedding. This might not save you much but, at least you're more likely to start off your marriage on a less stressful note.
6) Not getting insurance
When you get into your thirties you want to still have fun but you are getting to a point where you want to reduce the amount of risk you are taking at any one time. The most overlooked tool to reduce risk is insurance.
Whether it’s life insurance, serious illness cover or private health insurance, it may be worth thinking about covering yourself in case the worst does happen. Granted no one should plan to get sick, but if an unforeseen medical setback leaves you sidelined from work or faced with big medical bills, you should have a contingency plan to fall back on.
7) Letting your career stagnate
The most rapid growth in your income comes in your twenties. Statistically speaking, many of us will double our income in this period, but most only increase their income by 20% in their thirties.
While this may be down to specialising in fields or various social factors, most people don’t make enough of their financial opportunities in their thirties and many can even become complacent in their work.
We recommend you keep abreast of changes in your industry, while keeping your ear to the ground on what other job opportunities are out there too.
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Are you in your thirties and struggling to get by? Have you any other tips for managing your money?
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