When you enter your 30s, ideally, your life is starting to get more settled than it was in the previous decade. You might have stumbled around a little before finding the right career track, but by now, you are probably moving along in your chosen line of work. Over the course of your 30s, you may marry, buy a home and start a family. This is a decade of great change, in which you may find yourself in a very different place at the end of it than you did at the beginning. The financial decisions you make at this time will have repercussions in the decades that follow.
Not Saving for Retirement
At 30, retirement can seem an impossibly long time away. At 39, it might seem a little closer, but at that point you've lost more than a decade of potential investments. Even if you plan to work into your 70s, you should start maxing out your retirement account. It's even better if your employer matches your contributions, but even if that isn't the case, the contributions you make now have many years to compound in value and will be worth a great deal in the years ahead.
Missing Out on Refinancing Student Loans
You can save on your monthly expenses if you refinance student loans. Even better, you may be able to pay off those loans entirely by the end of the decade. With just a few minutes of research, you can find out whether you are eligible for a lower rate. This can cut years off of the payments you make, and you'll be well ahead of your peers, some of whom will still be making loan payments into their 40s, 50s and beyond.
Running Up Credit Card Debt
In your 30s, you can really start to feel the crunch of your financial responsibilities, especially if you become a homeowner and start a family. Unfortunately, alongside that, you may also wish that you had more money for both the necessities and little luxuries of life, and it can be tough to watch your peers spending without being able to do the same. However, you should really resist the temptation to put changes on your credit card. Interest rates with credit card companies are very high, and you will be surprised at how quickly the balance grows even if you just use it a few times per month. It can be easy to suddenly find yourself struggling to keep up with minimum payments and watching a ballooning balance. It's better to keep credit cards for emergencies or have a plan to pay them off monthly.
Being Financially Disorganized
At this point in your life, you should know how to make a budget and stick to it. You should be filing your taxes on time and have an emergency fund that you keep replenished when you have to dip into it. You should also be paying down debt instead of accumulating it. The exception to this is a home mortgage. This is also a good time to start a relationship with a financial professional who can help you with creating an investment strategy based on your long-term goals.