• Wellness
  • Career & Money

Welcome to 30: The Financial Habits You Should Be Cultivating This Decade

4 min

Ah, your thirties. Let us guess, in the last decade; you’ve come to prefer nights in over nights out, have switched out fruity drinks for fruit-forward wines, and are much more concerned with your gut health and wellbeing than ever before. Don’t worry; we’re not reading your mail, it’s a fact of life: we all have to grow up at some point, and as we mature, our goals evolve with us.

From the qualities we look for in a romantic partner to the relationship we want to have with work, it’s important to check in with ourselves, our goals, and our trajectory toward success. Especially when it comes to money. After all, a lot’s changed in ten years.

At 20, just the idea of having a savings account felt like a win in the game of “adulting.” But at 30, we’re tackling financial independence, retirement planning, and coming to terms that we’re not, in fact, invincible. And if you just got a ringing headache thinking about it all, don’t fret. We have the answers to your burning questions about what to save, how much to be saving, and what it is all going towards.

Welcome to Club 30!

How Your 30s Will Look Different From Your 20s

Financial planning in early adulthood likely felt reminiscent of learning to ride a bike. You wobbled, tried to catch your balance, and earned a few cuts along the way. But eventually, you found your stride by learning the basics. It was an important time to discover your individual relationship to money, test out different budgeting systems to find what worked best for your lifestyle, and figure out “what you wanted to do with your life.”

If your 20s were about finding yourself, your 30s will be about securing yourself. When you’ve reached the big 3-0, you’ve likely found yourself in a well-adjusted career and have a steady daily routine. Maybe you spend your days as a small business owner and your nights enjoying wine by the water. You know who you are and what you want from life. So it’s time to plan for the lifestyle you want to keep.

By the time you enter your 30s, you should have mastered the following financial fundamentals:

  • Living comfortably on a budget that allows you to enjoy the present and save for the future.

  • Having a set percentage of your paycheck or income go toward a long-term savings account.

  • Having built your emergency fund or saving 3-6 months' worth of living expenses.

By the time you exit your 30s, you should have completed the following:

  • Growing your income by 50%

  • Having a credit score of 760 or higher

  • Establishing a retirement plan and saving 2x your income

  • Protecting your wealth with disability insurance

If you already feel defeated before starting, it’s important to know it’s never too late to start saving. Most of our ‘starting lines’ will look different due to things like privilege, personal circumstances, and financial literacy. But as your spin instructor would tell you, it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.

Once you’ve established a healthy budget, savings account, and built an emergency fund — it’s time to turn your focus toward more future planning goals.

The Financial GoalsTo Target In Your 30s

Something as arbitrary as “be better with money” isn’t helpful. As our parents would tell us, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Consider the following mile markers when developing a plan for financial wellness in your 30s.

Goal #1: Grow your income by 5% each year

If you’re hoping to make way on your goals, there’s nothing better than making more money. But hey, easier said than done. Feasible ways to bring in more money include:

  • Picking up a side hustle or part-time gig work

  • Negotiating a raise during your next annual review

  • Finding work with a new employer and negotiating higher pay during the interview process

Goal #2: Have a credit score of 760 or higher

Having a credit score of 760 or higher will put you in the best spot when purchasing a home, saving a significant amount with interest rates, and scoring insurance discounts. Increasing your credit score is something that can be done overnight, making it a more realistic goal for the next decade. Here are steps you can take in your 30s to ensure you hit the 760 mark:

  • Only use 30% or less of your line of credit.

  • Keep old accounts open — even if you’re not using them. This will help with credit history.

  • Consider consolidating your debts in one lump sum.

  • Always pay your bills on time, and when you can, always pay the full bank statement.

Goal #3: Set and achieve a retirement planning goal

It may be another 20 years before you retire, but have you considered when you want to retire and the lifestyle you wish to have? Most of us have plans to enjoy a slower pace of life, travel the world, and visit family for longer periods of time. And some of us hope to launch a business in our golden years. No matter our motivation, we should have a plan in place.

As a rule of thumb, expectant retirees should save 10x their income by the time they are 67. For easy math, that is $1,000,000 if you’re accustomed to making $100,000 per year. It may feel like you have all the time in the world to save a seven-figure number, but getting started early is key. According to Fidelity, you should be entering your 30s with 1x of your income saved; and you should be entering your 40s with 2x your income saved. Or you should have $100,000 saved by 30 and $200,000 saved by the time you hit 40.

Playing a game of catch-up? Here are the first few steps to conquer:

  • Speak with a financial advisor. Typically, your preferred bank will have staffed advisors who can help explain the fundamentals of financial planning and guide you when making paramount decisions related to savings and investments.

  • Open a retirement savings account. The type of retirement savings account you open will be based on your individual goals. The common accounts you’ll find are a 401K account and IRA.

  • Set up recurring payments toward your retirement savings account. We recommend having a set percentage go toward your account each pay period and having it set on auto payment so it’s one less thing to think about.

Goal #4: Protect your health and wealth

As we recently shared, more than 2 million US employees have jumped ship from corporate life to explore gig work and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur or not, we all know that life doesn’t always go according to plan, (hello, 2020!). And the most empowering thing we can do for ourselves is prepare the best we can.

Enter, disability income insurance (as we like to call it) also referred to as just disability insurance. We like to think of it as an income safety net, giving you a guaranteed earnings replacement if you’re not able to work due to an unexpected illness or injury. It covers the basics — bills, groceries, rent — until you’re able to return to work. Claims often result in a recipient receiving 60-80% of their typical after-tax income. Because when life throws you a curveball, the last thing you should be worried about is keeping a roof over your head. Peace of mind, especially as a business owner, is priceless.


Of everything on our 30s checklist, disability income insurance is by far the most foreign concept. And that’s why we’re here. We want to make life’s “scary moments” a lot less terrifying. Safeguard your future finances and apply now for a “no exam” personal disability insurance policy with Asteya.


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