In my 30’s I was a newly wed with a new job. It was an exciting time. It didn’t last though. My husband became ill and I had to take time off work to look after him. We were financially unprepared for the change, to the life we had planned and without the support of friends and family, things would have been extremely difficult. When he passed on 18 month later, I had to start from scratch. I don’t mean to be dramatic but the 30’s are all about adulting and while you may not face the challenges I did, you will be faced with many big decisions and changes. Marriage? Starting a family? Building or buying a home? Career? Taking care of your parents? School fees? Saving for retirement?
Yes, take a long look at that list. You are responsible for all of that or at least most of it. In your 30’s you are hopefully making more money than you did in 20’s. You know the saying “more money, more problems” ? Well it’s true. It’s not all bad news though. It just means that you have to be more disciplined about budgeting, saving money for a rainy day, ruthlessly prioritizing and living within your means. I read this great quote that explains it best (I am paraphrasing) If you earn $1000 per month and you only spend $950 a month, you are living within your means but you are certainly not going to become financially secure.
The biggest mistake we can make is to try and live fabulously just because our friends or colleagues seem to be doing so. I said “seem to” because we don’t know what’s going on in their homes but we certainly know what we can afford and what we can’t. Trying to keep up with the Boatengs or the Okafors will distract you and drain your bank account. So what should you do in your 30’s? Here is a really good article that gives some advice on what do to.