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The days of groveling for internships and decoding the dating scene are over. Thank goodness!
Now that you’re 30-something, life is normalizing. And it’s time to enjoy a career you’ve worked hard for and a family you adore. But it’s also time to step it up financially.
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Here are 30 common expenses to plan for in your 30s.
- Debt Repayment—Don’t let debt follow you into your 40s. Get rid of it now.
- Mortgage—Before buying a house, get out of debt and save up a decent down payment (we recommend at least 10%, but preferably 20%). Oh, and beef up that emergency fund or else Murphy will move in!
- Property Taxes—Now that you’re a homeowner, you get to pay for a little piece of the earth. Fun.
- Children—If you’re having babies in your 30s, you’ll be shelling out for car seats, diapers, onesies and doctor visits. Get tips for financially preparing for a baby.
- Medical Insurance—Adding to your household translates into higher insurance premiums. Don’t let this one slide. Keep your family covered at all times.
- Term Life Insurance—Now that you have a family to support, you need term life insurance. End of story.
- Gym Memberships—Your body isn’t what it once was. Unless you plan on pounding the pavement, budget for a health club.
- Retirement Savings—Capitalize on compound interest! Invest now so you won’t be living off Social Insecurity later.
- College Funds—Save for your little ones’ college educations after you’re out of debt and dropping 15% of your household income into a retirement fund.
Related: Retirement or College Funding: Which Comes First?
- Glasses/Contacts—It’ll be nice to read a book again without squinting.
- Furniture—Good-bye mismatched hand-me-downs. Hello classy bedroom suite.
- Car Replacement—Your college car running on fumes? Make sure your new-to-you replacement is well within your means.
- Moving Expenses—If you relocate for a job, buy that first house, or move to be near family, expect to part with a nice chunk of change.
Related: Save Your Sanity With These Moving Day Tips
- More Food—You’ve got more mouths to feed. Budget more money to feed them.
- Kids’ Commissions—As your kids start doing chores for money, remember: That money comes from you. Learn how to get kids to experience the value of hard work.
- Better Clothes—Ready to get rid of those cheap, fall-apart pieces? Prepare yourself. Nicer clothes cost more cash.
- Family Portraits—Kodak moments may be free, but professional photo sessions are not.
- Side Business—Always wanted to turn your hobby into a business? Save up and start small. Never go into debt for a startup.
- Kids’ Extracurriculars—Ballet. Soccer. Music lessons. All that talent costs money. And time.
- Annual Vacations—From additional plane tickets to extra hotel rooms, a week at Disney ain’t cheap.
Related: 5 Steps to Planning a Memorable Vacation
- Lawn Care/Housekeeper—You can finally afford to pay someone else to do some of those dreaded household tasks. Yippee!
- Professional Organizations—Pay your dues. That’s all.
- Date Nights—While delivery pizza will always have a place in your heart, your palette’s probably a little more adventurous by now. Budget accordingly.
- Babysitters—Don’t forget the hidden cost of date night: paying someone to watch your little ones sleep. Ah, the price of freedom.
- Continuing Education—If you’re ready to advance or change your career, college may be calling. Cash-flow it or don’t go. Ask yourself these six questions before going back to college.
- Electronics Upgrades—New computers, tablets, TVs and cell phones are probably in your future.
- Celebrations—As your friends and family members expand their broods, you can count on a lot more wedding showers, baby showers and birthday parties. Gifts are appreciated.
- Pet Care—Save for routine pet care and surgeries as your pup ages. Get our ideas for practical ways to save on pet care.
- Memberships—Don’t forget about your annual memberships to Costco, Sam’s Club or AAA.
- Extra Giving—If you have some extra cash to give away, think about donating to foreign missionaries or to a local outreach (along with your regular tithe).
Related: 8 Types of Insurance You Can't Go Without
Your 30s are a prime time to get your money in working order. Having a good emergency fund is key. Don’t miss out by living in the past or waiting for the future. We’re here to help you no matter where you’re coming from, where you are, or where you’re going. Take the first step today!