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Rich by 30

Rich by 30

Turning 30 means different things to different people. By 30, most of us feel like real life has pretty much settled in and is here to stay. Others feel like they've still got a few good party years left. Whatever your attitude towards turning 30, it's still a good time to reassess your goals and situation—especially when it comes to your money!

Here are some financial milestones to help you get your bearings:

1.Cut back on the credit cards

You know it already, but too many cards can lead to a lot of debt. Even one credit card can do lasting damage! Stop overspending, assess realistically where you are with your debt, and make a plan to get out of it as soon as possible. You don't want to carry it into your 40s—trust us.

2. Own a home-or have a plan

Right now may not be the best time to buy a house, particularly since you need a down payment. Make a plan and start saving. Having a home can be a valuable asset in the right market at the right time. If you're renting, get the best you can for the money you're spending—be open to different neighborhoods and options, especially if you need to free up cash for savings or paying off that debt!

3. Have skill sets

By the time you've reached your 30s, you should have a few years of job experience under your belt. Because today's market requires such diversity and adaptability, it's not a bad idea to take on extra skills and learn what you can when you can. It sets you apart from the rest. At this time, you might be considering grad school or courses to enhance your options. Weigh out the cost vs. benefits to your career, and then give it a go.

4. Give away money

Yes, you read that correctly. Here's the thing. We're a society that spends money to feel good. When something bad happens, most of us head to our favorite stores and slap down the credit card. Instead of wasting money on something you'll enjoy for a day or two or three, try donating to a good cause. Giving back to the community or to those in need can really put your financial picture and life in perspective.

5. To thine own self be true

Shakespeare really had it figured out. The truth is, most of us don't even know what's important to us because we haven't taken the time to figure it out. We go with the flow or with what's convenient and easy and that's where we get into trouble. Take the time to figure out your goals and parameters. Is it important to impress friends and strangers? Then why does everything need to be name brand? This is the time to use your money on the things that really matter to you.

6. Get to know smart people

You won't have all of the answers, and that's OK. It's a good idea to surround yourself with the right people, those who can really help you save money. For example, get yourself a good tax preparer, financial advisor, attorney, and insurance agent. You may not need them often, but when you do, get the best that you can afford.

If you're in your 30s, how do you feel about where you are financially? If you're a bit older, chime in with your own financial wisdom!

Posted: 10/8/08

I'm 27 so the 30-year mark is fast approaching for me.I've got a good job, a nice apartment and I'm usually able to buy all of the things I need. However, lately I've been getting this nagging feeling that I need to start saving. Just this year I went to see an accountant for the first time and it wasn't as scary as I had imagined. It's going to take some discipline, but I think I'm on the right track.


Yes, I think having a financial adviser that you trust is key. The one thing I would add though, is that getting a house doesn't make sense for everyone. Don't feel pressured to run into one of (if not the) biggest purchases of your life. Check out the MSNBC article, "The 3 Worst Reasons to Buy a House." Link It kind of goes back to not needing to impress friends or strangers. Do what's financial right for you!


I think the last one is perhaps the best. Having a savvy financial advisor can make a world of difference.


I'm in my 30s and most of this holds true. I've begun to think more about the future and budgeting is top priority, followed by giving away more of what I earn. I also have become much less concerned with "status" and having the right jeans or an it bag.

  • By kristen
  • on 10/8/08 11:53 AM EST