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How you can take control of your finances in your 30s

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If you’re like most people, you probably messed around in your 20s. You may not have much saved away for a rainy day. You could be dealing with student loans, and/or credit card debt, and you may have some money habits that are hurting your chances of financial security.

If this sounds like you, don’t panic. Your 30s are the time to turn it all around. Here are some ways you can take control of your finances in your 30s:

Set some goals

There’s no point saving for no reason- and it’s difficult to convince yourself to put that extra $100 in a bank account instead of towards a night out if you don’t have a goal in mind. Think about what you’d like to achieve in your 30s. Perhaps you’d like to buy a house. Maybe you’d like to have some financial wiggle room so you can have kids. Or maybe the beach in Thailand has been calling your name and you’re ready to answer.

Whatever it is, write down your goals and set yourself a smart strategy to help you get there.

Learn about finances

Unfortunately, we don’t learn much about how to be financially responsible while we’re in school. Instead, we have to learn this ourselves as adults. If you’ve got no idea where to start, look for some books like I will teach you to be rich. Now’s the time to learn about your credit rating, investing, CFD trading, mortgages, interest rates, and more.

Make small changes

Financial responsibility doesn’t necessarily mean your social life is over. Instead, you simply need to look at where you’re spending your money, and the types of changes you can make. Start small- cut that daily latte down to four times a week and put the extra money in your savings. Switch your takeout and dinner delivery to only on a Friday or Saturday, and do some meal prep on a Sunday for the week ahead. If you’re not using your gym membership, go ahead and cancel it and get back into running or take a brisk walk in your lunch break.

Think about your ‘why’

The average American lives payday to payday. That means that a sudden expense like a car breakdown or hospital bill can wreak havoc on their finances. If you don’t want this to be you, it’s crucial to have some savings in the bank. Think about how you’d like to retire- would you like to be traveling around the world? Or living on social security? When you’re ready to splurge on something you don’t need, thinking about these types of ‘whys’ can help keep you focused.