Do you have a bucket list? I know I do, or at least I did. I’m happy to say that over the last few years I’ve accomplished several things on my list of things to do. Very often we read lists about all the things 20-somethings should do before they turn 30 – well not me.
I didn’t have money in my 20s, actually I was totally broke. I really didn’t start living my life until after I turned 30. Now five years later I’m happy to say that I spend money wisely and it makes me happy. Of course I wish I experienced a lot of these things earlier on in life, but you know what? I don’t think I would have appreciated them as much.
Doing grown up things at a young age usually means you need to do it on a budget. In my 30s I am student loan free and with the help of income from my several jobs I have the financial freedom to do whatever I want. That’s the beauty of spending money in your 30s!
Here are six ways smart women spend their money in their 30s:
Buy a home
If you’re a lifelong renter like I am now may be the perfect time to start thinking about buying your first home. As we get older our lifestyle needs change and now in my mid 30s I am honestly considering buying a home. I can afford it, I may be ready for the responsibility and I really LOVE the idea of having my own space with no neighbors. Now I just have to gain the courage to do so.
Pay off debt
According to a survey in the April issue of Marie Claire magazine 70% of women said they would pay off debts if they won the lottery. Seven years ago, I would have said the exact same thing. However now after many years of multiple jobs, sleepless nights and an almost ruined long term relationship I live debt free. My advice is debt sucks; do whatever you need to to pay off your debts.
Take a once in a lifetime vacation
Travelling is fun. Seeing the world is a wonderful thing because you get to have experiences that you normally wouldn’t have, visit places you’ve only read about in books and learn about new cultures first hand. I’ve been to several U.S. cities such as New Orleans and Las Vegas as well as European countries like France and Spain. On my list of places to go before I turn 40 are Portugal and Italy.
Save for retirement
If you haven’t had the room in your budget to do so as of yet, now is the time to start thinking and planning your future. This includes retirement. Open a retirement savings account, check with your employer and talk to a personal banker for ways on how to start saving for retirement.
Emergency savings fund
Marie Claire says that 46% of women surveyed said their biggest financial accomplishment was building an emergency fund. As someone who didn’t have money in her bank account until I was 33 I can tell you that this was (and still is) a major accomplishment in my life – it comes up on the list right behind becoming a Certified Financial Planner. It takes discipline to stop spending and start saving, so hats off to you if you can do it too.
Pay off your student loans
Student loans suck. It’s like a dark looming stress that won’t go away – until you pay it off. So sacrifice your spending for a few months and make those final student loan payments.
What do you want to accomplish in your 30s?