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We explain how to get a decent net worth and give you different landmarks that you should reach on your way.

Let’s face it… members of Generation Y are pretty competitive. Maybe it’s our generation, maybe it’s because we were told that we could achieve whatever we wanted when we were younger. Maybe it’s because we never want to settle.  Or maybe it’s the mentality of instant gratification, we want it, we got it.

Whether it be who gets married first, who achieves life’s milestones first (yes, all those baby pictures you keep posting on Facebook are kinda annoying), or who owns a home first, we want it all.

Well, as I approach the big 3-0 (I still feel 24 except that I have all this pressure to hit all these life milestones, which kinda sucks- is this what being “mature” is- feeling pressure? lol), the only thing I am proud of is that I have a decent net worth.  Haha, that’s probably because I am childless and boyfriendless so I need to gloat about something lol.

According to Investopedia, has a good post on the average net worth you should have according to your age and the income that you make.

Anyways for all you  young’uns reading this blog, here is how you can get a decent net worth by age 30.

Start Working in High School

The benefits of starting work in high school are boundless.  Sure you might get a few crappy jobs, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?  Getting a job in high school teachers you the responsibility of earning money, you won’t look at purchases the same way again because you’ll realize that you needed to work 100 hours to buy that iPad that you really don’t need.  Also, because you’re busy working, you’re going to keep out of trouble (well, for the most part, anyways).  Finally, starting work in high school teachers you how to work with others, to learn that you can’t defy authority all the time (your parents do not equal your bosses), and also gives you work experience for something to add to your resume.

Related: Generation Y in the Workplace

Choose a Program that Can Lead you to a Satisfying Career

I know I know, not everyone knows what they want to do when they are 18 and graduating out of high school.  Most people want to become doctors or lawyers (okay maybe not).  If you really know what you want to do, there are some great programs in college and university that are in high demand and pay decent as a new graduate.  The last thing you want to do (if you are worried about this) is to be over-educated and underemployed.  However, if you start working in high school and have work experience, this might mitigate the problem of not being able to find a decent job despite having an MBA or a bachelor’s degree.

Some examples that pay well when you are fresh out of school are engineering, information technology, healthcare, and teaching.  Talent egg has a list of entry level salaries for a plethora of jobs once you graduate.

Start Paying Yourself First

Okay, it’s obvious that you can’t start to have a high net worth when you don’t save any of the money that you are making.  Track your expenses, know where your money is going.  Get motivated to start investing your money when you are young.  The power of compounding and dedication to investing will pay off big time later on.

Start by paying yourself 10% every month and set this aside.  Once you have a sizeable amount, you’ll be motivated to invest this in something other than a high interest savings account.  When you salary increases on an annual basis, continue to keep your expenses down and increase the rate that you pay yourself.

Make sure that your expenses are low enough that you are not living pay cheque to pay cheque.

Start Investing

Do your research, invest when you are young.  I started with the TD e-series account and have been very pleased with it (okay I started with money hungry high MER mutual funds from Investors Group but you have to start somewhere right).  Watch your money grow.  Continue to pay yourself first on a monthly basis and contribute on a monthly basis.

Get motivated about passive income investing.

Realize that it’s not truly about how much money you make in your day job, but it’s how you use the money that you are given through your day job.  This is true.  If you make $100,000 and you end up blowing the money on eating out all the time, partying, and drinking… you are not going to have a high net worth, even if you are in one of the top tax brackets.

Readers, any other tips on how to have a decent net worth by 30?

Article comments

Alexis Marlons says:

Learning the importance of money at an early age is a very big factor to be more responsible when getting out of college. I started working after high school and from that time on, I realized how every penny is important unlike when I was just simply asking from my parents.

These are great tips and good references. We had our own share of struggles because of debt but today, I can say that we’re doing pretty well, especially now that we have a good grasp about how to manage our finances.

Young says:

@KC- awesomesauce!

Steve says:

Student loan debt puts a lot of people in a hole to start. I have about $22k in assets but also about $43k in debt (down from $65k) so my net worth will still be negative at 30. I just keep telling myself that if I were to fast-forward 10 years I should be ahead of the curve by 40.

Young says:

@Steve- Hey you’re at a good start becuase you already calculated your net worth! Most young people don’t even know how or why they need to do that.

Koala says:

Don’t stay in school for too long. Most doctors do not have a high net worth at age 30. They may when they are 50 though 🙂

Young says:

@Koala- Yes that’s true. I think its a myth that doctors have a lot of assets- they have serious debt and have lifestyle inflation when they graduate because they need to look the part.

Getting a well paying job was the biggest factor for me. A good job will leave you with extra money to save and invest. Assuming you don’t spend too much.

Young says:

@RB40- That’s true. I think with 50-75,000 people can be comfortable and save decently.

I would add listen to advice from people who are where you hope to be. One problem I had when I was younger was thinking I knew everything and not taking the useful and informative advice I needed. Other then that I think you hit the nail on the head with these tips.

Young says:

@YDF- Yes awesome! As young people we often fail to listen to people who are older and wiser, but when we get older we think “why didn’t I listen?!”

Robb says:

Another tip (that I think you certainly practice) is to not sink a ton of money into a vehicle. Don’t saddle yourself with a 5-year loan (or longer) for a brand new car that will set you back $400+ a month (or much more!).

That’s money you could be saving and building wealth instead of sinking into a depreciating asset.

Young says:

@Robb- Ohhh yes for sure awesome tip. Totally agree. I am still driving my 13 year old clunker.

krantcents says:

The solution is simple, but still many people ignore it. Saving and investing are they keys to success! Young people focus on things that wil lnot improve their lives although they think it will. When they mature and realize they wasted precious time, they make changes although they wasted time.

These are all great tips. I’m happy to say that I’m doing all of them except the last one. I plan on starting that when I pay my car off later this year. I’ll only be 24 so I don’t think I’m behind on the investing game yet. Plus I have all this time to research how to do it properly, so hopefully I won’t lose ground to bad decisions either!