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5 Common Money Mistakes In your 30s

A few things tend to happen when you reach your 30s. This is the decade where your job tends to be better paying than in your 20s and is often more reliable. Yet it’s also the decade where the average person gets married, has kids, and makes more expensive purchases such as buying a house.

Basically, your 30s can be a financial seesaw. You typically make and spend more money. There are actions you can take to help create financial balance – and there are mistakes you can make that bring about even more instability. Let’s take a look at the common money mistakes people make in their 30s and how to avoid them. 

1. Your Budget isn’t Updated

If you are carrying over your budget plan from your 20s, it’s time to rethink it. Income has changed, expenses have changed, now your spending and saving need to change too.

Because your financial situation is more complex in your 30s – potentially combining incomes, paying for additional mouths, upgrading to more square footage – your budget is going to get a little trickier. That’s where a more enhanced budgeting system comes into play. Not only do you need something that will tell you what you’re spending, but you might want to utilize a tool that can tell you what you should be spending.

My Money Coach offers a free interactive budget calculator spreadsheet that takes the guesswork out of managing your finances. Based on thousands of credit counselling appointments, My Money Coach has created a budgeting system that offers guidelines for spending categories, such as how much food or home goods the average Canadian buys depending on their household financial situation.

2. You and Your Partner Don’t Discuss Finances

There may not be a single couple on this planet that hasn’t at some point fought about money. Inevitably, it’s going to happen. But avoiding the money talk will ensure it’s a messy blowup. In fact, according to a poll by Bank of Montreal, a whopping 68% of people surveyed said money fights would be a top reason for divorce. This mistake applies to both before you get married and as your financial situation changes throughout your marriage.

The fact is, both you and your partner’s financial decisions impact each other, so it’s important to be open and honest about your struggles, successes, hopes and goals. Not knowing what you or your partner want out of the next 10, 15 or even 20 years will do nothing to prepare you. Plan some time to sit down together and discuss the following:

  • Expenses and budgeting
  • Individual financial weaknesses and strengths
  • Savings goals
  • Growth plans
  • Retirement

3. Saving is Not a Priority

Trying to save a single penny in your 20s may feel like a far-off goal. And it isn’t the end of the world if you haven’t started saving by 30. With typical Canadian lifespans lasting to over 80 years old, you have more time than your grandparents did to work towards retirement.

Here’s where the “but” comes in: But, if you don’t start saving while in your 30s, you could find yourself in a real financial situation. It’s not just about saving for retirement. It’s about saving for a financial emergency. Sure, there are helpful resources to get small sums of quick cash from reputable lenders like 310-LOAN, such as a payday loan. However, for the big financial crisis, such as a health problem that prevents you from working, you need reserves in the bank. This is especially true when you have a mortgage to pay and mouths to feed. The old adage goes, “pay yourself first.” We’ll add, “you’ll pay for a more secure and happy future."

4. You Haven’t Diversified Your Income Options

Despite your ever-growing list of to-dos’, your 30s are a great time to start building your skill sets to include other opportunities for income. Take up a trade or pick up a side hobby that can help improve your self-growth and financial independence. There are all sorts of temporary, flexible jobs in today’s gig economy. You can drive people around town or freelance the skills you already have to other companies. Picking up a gig could even act as a safety net should the worst happen and you lose your major source of income.

5. You Haven’t Made a Will

Maybe you’ve recently married. Maybe you’re about to have your first child. Whatever the major changes in your life, you aren’t in it alone. That means if something were to happen to you, it will have more than just an emotional impact on those closest to you; it will have a big financial impact.

If you think your 30s is too young to have a will or you don’t believe you have enough assets to make it worth it, you are in line with around a quarter of the population, according to the Angus Reid Institute. But the truth is, if you don’t have a will outlining who gets even the small stuff, your family could be left dealing with the aftermath for years. While it may not be cheap to formalize this type of legal document, it’s much less costly than ignoring it and leaving your loved ones to pay.

Avoiding these common money mistakes in your 30s can go a long way to improving your financial health for the decades to come. Yet no matter how much you plan, sometimes cash emergencies still happen. For those times you need to come up with quick cash – whether you need $50 or up to $1,500 for returning customers, 310-LOAN can help you make it through. With a quick online application and a direct deposit into your account in as little as 30 minutes upon approval, we can get you back on your feet and on the road to financial recovery in no time! 

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