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Basically being in your 30's means that you need to start acting like an adult (as much as we Generation Y like to defer this).

Alright alright, I’m not 30-something  yet.  Technically I am thirty now though and have bid *gasp* adieu to the decade of 20’s.

So when you are in your dirty thirties you are full of promise, full of excitement, and full of confidence.  It’s a great feeling.

Your 30’s is also a time when you should be getting your act together because there are a ton of life milestones that you have either just completed or that you should be completing soon.

Basically being in your 30’s means that you need to start acting like an adult (as much as we Generation Y like to defer this).

Sometimes I can’t believe I am thirty because I feel like I should be acting a little bit less immature, and at the same time, I realize that I am very mature.

Here are some milestones when you are 30-something that you need to contend with (yeah, I know… as if you didn’t have enough existential crisis bull crap on your plate).

30-Something Money Milestones

  • First comes marriage- If you haven’t found someone to partner up with, when you are 30-something your ovaries start ticking and telling you to hurry up.  There are a lot of costs associated with this, including dating, online dating, spending money being disappointed, and when you finally find your dream partner, a $25,000 and up average cost of a Canadian wedding.  Oh it doesn’t stop there.

Related: Is Paying for Online Dating Worth It?

  • Then comes the baby carriage-  If you’re lucky enough to conceive with no difficulty, there’s the cost of raising a child or raising children.  They don’t come cheap.  Say goodbye to spending money on yourself and say hello to forever responsibility (though I hear that it’s definitely worth it- I look forward to experiencing this some day).  If conception doesn’t come naturally after a year of trying, the baby carriage can be very costly with up to $15,000 per shot of invitro fertilization costs that don’t have a guarantee of working.
  • But before the baby carriage comes the first home- Many people have delayed their first home purchase until they are well into their 30’s for good reason, since the real estate bubble is going to burst.  Many people also delay their first home purchase until they are partnered up simply because most people cannot afford to buy a home on their own.

Related: How Much Home Can I Afford?

  • Then comes the RESP- With the TFSA and RRSP to already worry about, you have to start worrying about your children’s education.  The RESP is a great way to get some money back from the government because they reward you for saving up for your child’s education.

Related: TFSA vs RESP Contributions

The Great Thing about Being Thirty

This post isn’t all doom and gloom, I promise.  There are some amazing things about being in your 30’s (mind you, I only have limited experience so far of being in my 30’s but still, I speak from experience 😉 ).  For example, I absolutely know what I want in life, I know where I am headed, I know what makes me happy.  I am also very happy with my career right now and also happy with my pay cheque.  It feels great to be someone experienced in your field and to feel comfortable and happy with what you do at work.

Related: How to Get a Decent Net Worth By Age 30

Having the little extra money doesn’t hurt too.  Instead of scrimping and saving I know when it’s okay to splurge a little and enjoy myself.  I know that it’s not the end of the world if I spend a little too much on dinner because I have savings built up and am meeting my saving and investing goals.

Start Investing Now

One important money milestone when you hit your 30’s is to start developing good financial habits now if you haven’t already.  Before you know it, you will be 40 and not know where the decade went.  Save money for a rainy day, save money for early retirement because who knows if the government will be there for us in a few decades when we need them.  Save at least 10% of your gross income and increase it as you are able to.  This will allow you to develop good financial habits and be able to navigate the financial issues that will inevitably come your way (e.g. like a new roof that needs to be repaired).

Wise mid-to-late 30-somethings and older, do you have any other financial tips you want to impart to your friends?

Article comments

KT says:

I enjoyed this post! I see a lot of Gen Y’s (and Gen Xs) not ready to settle down…or they do it very slowly. Like dating the same person or many people throughout their 20’s, getting married in their 30’s, then maybe buying a condo (or continuing to rent if they can’t afford), and thinking about having kids but not sure where that all fits in between all the traveling and weekend social life.

As someone in her 30s who has a 2 year old and another on the way, I believe humans were likely meant to have babies in their 20’s. The amount of energy it takes to keep up with a non-stop mini person can be overwhelming at times and not all of us have family that can or want to help out. Earlier on, sleep deprivation is a real thing and you and your partner will have manage. The hard work will pay off though as you watch your kids grow and develop!

I say if you have found the right person, you’re in your late 20’s or 30’s and you know you want a family stop dilly-dallying and get going! Also a women’s fertility starts to decline in their 30’s and dramatically so after 35 so being caught up in the financial and emotional roller coaster of IVF is another reason not to hang onto a few extra years of traveling and weekend patio drinks with friends. You can always do that when the kids are grown up and out of your hair. 🙂

BeachBoy says:

I’m 33, my RRSP has only what was put in with employers.. BUT, my kid’s RESP is filled with $2500 every year. You can’t say no to a free 20% (30% in Quebec) gain the first year.. RESP is a no brainer, everyone with a baby should fill it every year.. We’re talking about $210 per month for a couple, not a lot of money… and will be of great help in the long run.
In Quebec wedding is not really a milestone or important step in a relationship, so we’re not looking at spending on that. In fact, my gf and I can’t understand people spending $15k after tax for a one-day wedding. It’s really a useless expense in our minds. I respect people doing it but we’ll stick to the diamond and let go the wedding itself.

Dayle says:

Hi there,

Great post… I particularly enjoyed it because I am looking 30 in the face… I’m 29 until January 3rd!

In a way it still feels like 30 is “old” … but on the other hand, I am mostly looking forward to it. Like you, I feel like I’ve got it (all) figured out now. I know what I want and don’t want, I know what makes me happy, I have a house and a career that I love, and I’m just ready to rock my 30’s. I spent my 20’s screwing things up and then fixing them (stuff like debt, divorce, quitting school, etc) … I feel like I’m so much smarter now because I’ve what I’ve learned in the last 10 years.

That being said, I’m single, so my hope is to meet my guy sometime in my 30’s, and be able to maybe have a family. I’m not dead set on it, as I do feel happy and fulfilled, but it would be nice 🙂

Cheers to being 30!

Phil says:

One main point missing – You talk about saving, but really it is almost more important to talk about you spending. The direct line to success is to make sure you spend less than you have coming in. No magic. If you can mould this to be an intuitive instinct, you will always manage. The problem with most is they get ahead of themselves. Better to teach yourself, do I really need it? Do I really need it now? can I get it some other way, for cheaper? see where I’m getting at – Part 2 is to learn how to grow the capital, and it is best to do that before you actual have the capital 🙂 – Cheers.

Eduardo says:

Great post there. By the time one gets to thirty you have to get serious about life if you want to live happily ever after. Despite all the responsibilities that come at that particular age its also time to think about your future and that of your family. Thirty is time to act smart