Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 30’s

Planning for your financial future

Financial indiscipline knows no age—even people in their thirties still make financial mistakes and pay for it later in life. If you’re in this age bracket, here’s what you should do about the financial pitfalls you’d want to avoid.

A good financial plan is key to achieving both short and long-term goals. It also helps you set your priorities and compare apples to apples.

Some things you can do to attain financial success in the future include:

  • Budgeting: Without a budget, money management will be futile. A budget helps you spend money on essential needs, which helps you to avoid derailing your financial plan.
  • Eliminate debt: Cut your spending and increase your income, then start paying off debts. Start with the smallest balances and highest interest rates until you are out of debt. 
  • Set an emergency fund: Ensure that your savings are not depleted during emergencies, keeping your financial plan on track.
  • Invest: Maximize your future investment during your prime earning years to cover expenses after retirement.
  • Diversify your portfolio: Invest in a range of assets to spread the risk and cushion yourself against potential losses.
  • Set up a sinking fund: It will take care of expenses without touching savings, such as a planned vacation.




Avoid these common money mistakes 

In your thirties, you may be more focused on a saving plan than when you were younger. You will only succeed if you can avoid these simple but costly mistakes:

Running up credit cards

Although credit cards are convenient, it can keep you in debt until retirement. It is better to break credit card borrowing now.

Buying a house that you can’t afford 

Buy a home that you can pay for comfortably, even if you lose your source of income. It’s far wiser than purchasing a property that will leave you in perpetual debt. 

Buy a car that you can’t afford 

It’s foolish to buy a new car that costs thousands of dollars when you can have a decent car for a fraction of the price. Cars lose as much as 50% of their value within the first three years. A used car allows you to drive around and make much cheaper monthly payments.

Keeping up with extravagant friends

Don’t go out of your financial comfort zone to keep up with your expensive friends—it is a setup for financial failure. When you go into retirement, you will regret it.

Not investing or not investing enough 

You need to start investing now. If you have already started, then invest more.

Investing too cautiously 

Some people are afraid of losing money in volatile markets. Risks are part of investments, so be bold and take risks.

Not leveraging your retirement plan

A retirement plan is one of the biggest wealth creation vehicles, so why not use it to your advantage?

Not setting a college fund for kids 

Kids grow up fast, and soon they are high school and ready for college. The cost of higher education is exorbitant. Without a college funding plan, they will be forced to take expensive student loans.

Not involving your spouse in your financial future 

Be on the same page as your spouse to double your efforts and achieve your goal effectively. Not relying on each other is courting financial trouble.

Easily save money with these tips 

Saving is easier said than done, and you can only save when you develop healthy money habits and value your future needs more than your current wants. 

Here are simple money saving tips for life:

Get rid of debts

Pay off debt as soon as you can, and then channel the free income into a savings account.

Save money automatically

Set up your bank account to automatically transfer funds from your checking account into a savings account every month so that you won’t have money for impulse buying.

Take advantage of your retirement savings plan 

It’s a good idea if your employer offers a retirement plan—you might as well take advantage of it.

Reduce energy costs

Buy energy-efficient appliances, repair leaky pipes, and buy dimmer LED light bulbs to help you reduce your energy bills.

Eat at home 

Whatever you can eat out, you can prepare and eat within the comfort of your home at a fraction of the cost.

Spend extra income wisely 

Use whatever income you get moonlighting to pay off debts or save for rainy days.

Cut down on groceries 

Avoid buying groceries that you don’t need. Your monthly spending on groceries could add up to a sizable amount over a year.

Cancel automatic memberships

Cancel your recurring and non-essential monthly plans. Consider sharing it with family if you can do without a single subscription.

Use Generics 

Generic drugs or medication are not ineffective. It uses the same chemical or molecular formula and works like brand-name drugs (for less).

Final Tips

Sell anything that you no longer use, and don’t pay someone to do what you can do yourself—financial freedom is a few good decisions away.


Helen is a multi-published, award-winning author of over 30 books, including the delightful Ivy & Bean series. She has written novels for young adults, including YA romantic comedies, and has written BBC drama.

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