By the time we turn thirty, we’ve already lived nearly a third of our lives and have the rest of our life cut out for us. Usually, at this stage, there is an increase in the number of responsibilities, as most individuals prefer becoming a parent around this age. However, if one isn’t careful, the threat of hitting this critical milestone without adequate preparation is very real.

To ensure that life doesn’t catch you off guard, it is important that you start early and slowly work towards achieving financial independence. Following a predefined plan is a great way to ensure that increased responsibilities do not increase the pressure, and you continue to live a comfortable life. 

While there is a plethora of information and financial advice available, it’s essential that you focus on laying a solid foundation for your finances before you reach thirty.

Financial Milestones to Aim for By Age 30

  1. A stable source of income
  2. Manage your own expenses
  3. Have a good credit score
  4. Have an emergency fund
  5. Start building a nest egg
  6. Create a monthly budget plan
  7. Put a dent in your debt
  8. Build your own house
  9. Have a side income
  10. Use credit card sparingly
  11. Invest smartly
  12. Get insurance
  13. Understand how taxes work
  14. Know your net worth
  15. Set goals for the next 30 years

Here are a few financial stepping stones that you should have covered, in order to be financially prudent before the age of thirty years.

  • A stable source of income

By the time you are thirty, it is indispensable to have a stable income source to provide for your basic necessities and also contribute to your savings. This income could be from a professional job, a business of your own, rental income or even from the stock market – but it should be regular and stable. Additionally, this should utilize some of your existing skills and should have scope for future growth as well. 

  • Manage your own expenses

The second most important thing is to be able to manage your own expenses. If you are turning to your parents for big-ticket purchases or even smaller ones, clearly things aren’t the way they should be. By the time you hit thirty, you must have the knowledge to work around a cash crunch, investing surplus money and finding the best deals on your purchases. Not only does this give you greater autonomy over your finances, but it also boosts your confidence and prepares you for the future. 

  • Have a good credit score

Many of us do not even have adequate knowledge of what credit scores are, but it is important to have a healthy credit score. A credit score is the measure of your financial stability and helps lenders (like banks and other financial institutions) to assess your creditworthiness. This is an extremely critical aspect of your finances, which needs to be taken care of, right from the start. Thus, you should pay off all credit card dues and loans on time, without defaulting on the EMIs

  • Have an emergency fund

It would be best if you were prepared for all kinds of emergencies, or at least be in the process of the same. Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund to help you tide through a job loss, medical emergency or unforeseen expense is necessary. Make it a habit to save a small part of your monthly salary or earnings, and over time, they would have accumulated to a sizeable amount. You can also consider investing this amount in low-risk financial instruments to ensure returns. 

  • Start building a nest egg

Turning thirty means that you are halfway to your retirement already and if you haven’t been able to save anything for your old age, this is the right time to begin to start setting aside small amounts of money to build your nest. Consult a financial expert to determine what amount you should be saving each month to live a comfortable life post your retirement after factoring in inflation. There are several attractive retirement and pension plans offered by government and private players that you can consider 

  1. Create a monthly budget plan

Achieving a financially stable life requires covering all your bases, which in turn would require a disciplined financial routine. At this stage in your life, you must have an upper limit for your monthly expenses, in order to allow room for saving and setting aside money for other future possibilities. You need to leave behind the days of reckless spending and futile purchases to focus on creating practical assets. If you strictly follow a budget, it would bring stability to your finances and help you keep track of your income and expenses much more prudently.

  1. Put a dent in your debt

If you have any pending personal loan, credit card loan, student loan, auto loan or home loan – try to pay them off as soon as possible, or at least have sufficient funds to let them close naturally. Debt shaves off a chunk of your income and savings in the form of interest and EMIs; therefore, it is advisable that you clear off all your loans to prevent them from eating into your savings.

If you have a big amount of auto or home loan pending, have a fool-proof plan to pay it on time. This step is critical to get control over your finances before you turn thirty. 

  1. Build your own house 

At this point, you should be having your own accommodation and be on track to purchase a place of your own. If you are living on rented accommodation, consider saving that money for a down payment. With an expanding family, you will require more space to ensure a comfortable living standard for all your family members. What’s more, even if you don’t move into the house, you can rent it out in the future to increase your monthly income. 

  1. Have a side income 

In addition to your main source of income, you must setup up a small income to help you live a more comfortable life. You could have a part-time job, teach something, maintain a blog or even help someone in your family set up a small business of their own. This side income would contribute to your saving plans and other long term goals and also contribute to unforeseen financial emergencies.

  1. Use credit card sparingly 

Upon hitting thirty, you must have enough disposable income to make small and big purchases without borrowing. Reducing the dependency on your credit card will not only ease your finances but also help you save the exorbitant fees and charges that come along with them. Have enough money in your account to help you make purchases without using the credit card and make it a habit to leave them at home when you go out for shopping.

  1. Invest smartly

The only way to ensure that your money multiplies without much effort is to invest it in the right place. Investing your money gives you an edge over saving it by letting your money work for you. In today’s day and age, there really is no excuse good enough to not invest in public and private schemes as one can start policies from as low as 500 bucks.

  1. Get insurance

Getting health, life and house insurance is an important step in being prepared for any unforeseen and unpleasant situations. A sound and comprehensive insurance policy supports you in troubled times and gives you the comfort of knowing that you won’t have to be worried about the finances.

So, select a policy that works the best for you and pay the premiums on time to ensure that you and your family are covered at all times. 

  1. Understand how taxes work

Even if you have a trusted CA doing your taxes every year, by the time you turn thirty, you must know how your income is taxed. It might seem intimidating and complex at first, but your wallet will be thanking you for it later because this will not only helps you understand your finances better but also helps you make financially wise decisions that help you save taxes.

  1. Know your net worth 

Sit down with your accountant or CA and tell them everything you own and everything you owe to reach a number. Once you know your net worth, identify your biggest assets and debt to plan your future and finances accordingly. Set a goal in mind and work towards achieving it. 

  1. Set goals for the next 30 years 

Once you have reached thirty, you should know how the rest of your working life will be. This means knowing how much money you will make by what age, by what age you can retire and how much you will be able to save for your retirement, when will you buy your first/second house and how can you multiply your savings. Simply put, you must have a fair idea as to how the next three decades of your life should be.

Setting these goals for yourself and leading a financially disciplined life is necessary to live a comfortable and relaxed life. The objective of these milestones is to help you to start early, save consistently and be ready to deal with adverse situations without hurting your finances. Earning a stable amount, managing your monthly budget, clearing debts and investing in the right opportunities would allow you to move ahead at a steady pace without any worries.