How Spending Habits Change In Your Thirties

April 15, 2019  |  
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spending habits by generation

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When I turned 30, I suddenly became acutely aware of my spending habits, and my overall treatment and view of money. Some say my biological clock should have been the most active thing when I turned 30—my mom especially said that, since she was hoping my stance on not having kids would change—but, for me, it was my thoughts around money that began to activate. Maybe I just began to calculate things and realized that I really only had thirty more years—about three decades—to make enough money to retire comfortably by my mid sixties. And, at age 30, I realized how quickly the previous three decades had gone by and realized the next three may go by just as fast. Whatever the reasons, the way I spent and viewed money changed when I turned 30—in a good way. Here are just some of the ways.


You consider rent-to-income ratio more

While landlords and property owners will often strongly urge you not to rent from them unless you make at least three times what the rent costs each month, I altered that idea. I decided that my rent should be a quarter or less of what I make a month. Rent is one of the biggest expenses in a person’s life so if I could go for a lower one, I’d instantly save a lot more money each month, without working extra.


You ask if the event is really worth it

When invited to an event that I know will easily cost me $75 to $100—like a friend’s birthday brunch, complete with mimosas—I’ve started to ask myself how much that friend means to me. In my twenties, I attended each and every one of these, even for vague acquaintances. It cost me easily $500 a month.


You don’t let money sit in your checking account

I’ve realized that having a lot of money just sitting in my checking account is useless. I’ve started to look for safe investments, while still leaving three months worth of rent in my checking account, should anything go wrong.


You consider taxes when asking for a salary

I started doing a very smart thing when negotiating salaries or raises: considering how much I’ll pay in taxes. In my twenties, I was dazzled by certain figures, forgetting I would lose a lot of it to taxes. Now, I account for that when asking for a salary.


You assess credit cards critically

I’ve generally started to learn more about credit cards and take an interest in the different offers out there. I’ve started to think more critically about which credit cards are best for me and how to make the best use of them.


You cook at home more

I’ve started cooking at home more for many reasons, but a big one is financial. I can easily save an extra $300 a month or so by making at least all my weekday meals at home. I also began to realize that spending a lot on takeout or delivery was silly, since I was spending the restaurant prices, while not even enjoying the restaurant.


You buy fewer but better quality clothes

I’m not as much into thrift shopping and stocking up on a dozen new items a week that each cost about $4 but won’t last me long. Now, I buy fewer pieces, but high-quality ones that will last me decades.


You avoid stores after drinking

I have learned the hard way not to walk into cute boutiques or even look at online stores after having a few cocktails. That’s how impulse buys happen.


You start donating

I’ve actually started accounting for donations in my budget. I’ve chosen a charity that is important to me, and make automatic donations to them each month.


You track your spending habits

One big change I’ve made in my spending habits is tracking my spending habits. I use apps to see how much I dedicate to each category each month and I try to set limits for each one.


You don’t give into peer spending pressure

I no longer give into peer pressure to go on this trip or go to that concert. If it’s not in the budget, it’s not in the budget, and that’s that. I cannot be persuaded the way I could be in my twenties.


You live even further below your means

I’ve started to generally live further below my means. I’ve learned by now how many surprise expenses come up each year, and begun putting aside extra money to prepare for those. That means spending less in other areas.


You check your statements more regularly

I look over my bank and credit card statements at least once a week, to check for suspicious activity, or to make sure I didn’t automatically start paying for some paid subscription on accident.


You invest in more maintenance

I invest in upkeep more. I get more car washes. I get more teeth cleanings. I pay for better cleaning products to maintain my furniture.


You ask for money and gift cards

I no longer ask for silly things like clothes or jewelry for my birthday. I ask for gift cards to places I need to go regularly, like grocery stores and gas stations.

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