15 Financial Goals for Your 30s: More Money Now

Work On Completing These Financial Goals By 40

Today’s topic is setting financial goals for your 30s.

Because once your 20s are in the history books. And you have your financial foundation in place.

Your 30s are the best time to take your financial plans to the next level.  And achieve some important financial goals by 40 years old.

We are all getting a little older every day.  So, no delays. Let’s get on with our topic…

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Financial Goals For Your 30s

Here’s a list of financial goals in your 30s. Representing sound financial advice for 30 somethings serve as an outline for the rest of the article.

  • Advance your career
  • Evaluate your side hustle if you have one
  • Increase your emergency fund
  • Adjust your insurance coverage
  • Rethink your budget
  • Avoid lifestyle inflation
  • Reduce, eliminate, or refinance debt
  • Boost your retirement savings
  • Buy a home
  • Plan for the cost of children
  • Diversify and rebalance your investments
  • Prepare estate planning & end of life documents
  • Hire financial help if you need it
  • Read another personal finance book
  • Budget for some fun

We will go through each of these financial goals for a 30-year-old in a moment. But first, I want to make sure we are clear on today’s topic.

Financial Advice For Your 30s: Not A Beginners Guide

Thinking about your finances for the first time? If yes, I want to suggest a better article for you.

Because today’s article assumes you know the basics of financial planning in place. Also, you have set and achieved some financial goals earlier in your life.

For example, you

  • Have assessed your current money state
  • Established an emergency fund
  • Follow a monthly budget
  • Monitor your credit score
  • Check in on your finances periodically

If this is not the case? Then I suggest you read this article first: Best Financial Goals for your 20s.

That article will help you get started on your financial planning. No matter your age.

Whether you are in your 20s, or not. It will serve the needs of anyone thinking about their finances for the first time.

For everyone else. Let’s review 15 examples of goals for finance in your 30s.

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After you tackle this list of goals. Move on to financial goals for your 40s. But as promised, today’s goal list is for the “30-somethings” in the audience.

1. Advance Your Career

Figure out what you are good at.  Then, put in the time and effort to be great at whatever “it” is.

Over your short and medium-term financial planning horizon. Take advantage of every training opportunity.  Either on-the-job training or more formal continuing education. Both are beneficial.

Financial Goals For Your 30s: Ask For A Raise

Then make sure you are getting paid market value for your skills.  If not, ask your employer for a raise.

When the answer is no. Ask what you need to do to get one.

For example, how does your performance have to improve?  What additional responsibilities do you need to take on? What new skills must you master?

Use this feedback from your employer wisely. So you can set a course for advancing your career.

Finance Goals In Your 30s: Find A New Job

But you say your current employer won’t pay market value?  Then look for a new employer that will.

Sometimes changing employers is the quickest way to advance your career. And make more money.

Resource: Create the perfect resume to land that new job

2. Evaluate Your Side Hustle – If You Have One

Did you start a side hustle in your 20s? Then think about where it stands today?

Maybe it’s turning into a business opportunity you can’t ignore. On the other hand, it might be a costly time suck.

So, it’s time to make some important decisions…

Finances In Your 30s: 3 Options For Your Side Hustle

With a side hustle, you have 3 choices:

  1. Maximize it
  2. Maintain it
  3. Eliminate it

Maximize your side hustle when it has shown good profit potential. Keep investing your time and resources to build it.

Perhaps your goal is to turn your side hustle into a business. Then set a financial goal to make it happen. And here are some key business financial goals to consider.

Maintain your side hustle when it brings value to your life.

Either it provides a side income. Or, makes for enjoyable leisure time. In other words, a hobby that makes a little cash.

Eliminate your side hustle when it sucks time and money from your life. You are better off working on financial goal #1: advancing your career.

Do you want to make a little money on the side? Then take consumer surveys for cash.

A little extra money never hurts. Plus, surveys are fun. And they won’t distract. From achieving important financial goals in your 30s.

Let’s move on to #3 in our list of financial goals to accomplish by the time you are 40 years old.

3. Increase Your Emergency Fund

I bet you successfully established your emergency cash fund in your 20s. Congratulations!

Then you also know the rule of thumb. It is to save 3-6 months of living expenses.  And set it aside in a risk-free high-interest savings account.

But, you are 30 now. Times have changed. And here’s a financial goal for your short-term planning.

And your essential living expenses are probably higher. Versus what they were 5-10 years ago.

So, check your emergency fund balance. Verify that it has the level of savings necessary. To support your current spending level for 3-6 months.

If not. Make it a financial goal to increase your emergency fund balance.

4. Adjust Your Insurance Coverage

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Make sure your insurance coverage is up to date.  This means it is appropriate for your current life status.

Here’s a checklist of the most important insurance coverages you should have in mind:

  • Health & Dental: For unforeseen health and medical expenses
  • Disability: In case an accident leaves you unable to work
  • Life: When someone is dependent on your income
  • Auto: If you own or lease a car
  • Homeowners or renters: Depending on your living situation

As you progress into the decade of your 30s. Life brings some changes that impact your insurance needs.

Here are some insurance aspects to think about now.  That you may have been able to ignore in the past.

Financial Goals For Your 30s: Health Insurance

Maybe you could get by with no health insurance. Or very limited health insurance in your 20s.

On the other hand, aging brings more health issues. Making health insurance more important.

Financial Planning In Your 30s: Disability Insurance

Next, if you are 30 something. And reading this article. You are probably making a decent living. And have plenty of expenses too.

What happens if you get injured and can’t work? You still need income to pay your bills.

Even if you have an emergency fund. That’s where disability insurance comes into play.

Financial Advice For Your 30s: Life Insurance

Finally, finding affordable life insurance becomes more important. When you are providing financial support to those you love.

It’s much more likely you have a family now. Or will in the very near term.

So, life insurance needs to increase in importance. When doing financial planning in your 30s.

5. Rethink Your Budget

By the time your 30s roll around, you start to understand exactly who you are. And, what’s important to you.

So, determine what you value in life. And spend money on that. Then reduce or eliminate the rest.

Most importantly, be conscious and intentional about what, how, and where you spend your money.

Finally, we handle all of our budgeting, expense management, and investments in one place online. Doing so saves a lot of time and money.

Specifically, we like Personal Capital. Best of all Personal Capital is free to sign up and use. You can learn more about Personal Capital here.

This leads me to the next finance goal for your 30s…

6. Avoid Lifestyle Inflation

As you advance in your chosen field. And as a result, make more money. It’s easy to spend more.

Possessions and experiences you desired in your 20s, but couldn’t afford. Become a possibility.

I urge you to be careful. Continue to live within your means. Save the additional money you make from your higher income. Or, an annual bonus.

Also, get cashback on all of your online purchases. We use Rakuten to save money in this way.

Rakuten is easy to use. And they offer a $10 cash bonus when you make your first purchase.

Then save on everything you buy going forward. With cashback rebates. You can learn more about Rakuten here.

7. Reduce, Eliminate, Or Refinance Debt

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Debt management is an important financial goal at any age. So, make an accounting of all your debt. And a plan for managing it wisely.

Do you still have credit card debt? Then one of your top financial goals by 40 is to eliminate it.

Same for student loan debt. Make a plan to eliminate it in your 30s.

For any remaining debt, like mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Consider consolidating. And refinancing to get the lowest interest rate.

When interest rates are historically low. It’s a great time to do so.

Everyone’s debt situation is different.  But the rule of thumb is easy to remember…

Pay off the highest interest debt first.  Then move on to the next highest.

By doing so you will keep your credit score high. Which is another important financial goal no matter your age.

You can monitor your credit score for free. I like and use Credit Karma for this routine task. It’s free!

It’s time for #8 in our list of financial goals for your 30s…

8. Boost Your Retirement Savings

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I hope you started participating in your employer’s qualified retirement plan in your 20s.  These programs are also known as 401(k) or 403(b) plans.

But now, get real serious about your retirement savings goals. Because in your 30s, the benefit of time is still on your side.

A secure retirement is long-term financial planning. But the earlier you start. The better.

Retirement Savings Goals In Your 30s

Most financial planning experts suggest saving 10-15% of income for retirement. So, look at your contribution rate. And set a financial goal for your 30s to achieve that retirement savings range.

On the other hand, maybe your employer does not offer a retirement plan. Or, in the best case, you are already maximizing your contributions to it.

Then opening and funding an IRA is an excellent financial goal for your 30s.  But you need to know, that there are two types of IRAs.

There is a tax-deductible IRA.  This type of IRA works similarly to your company’s retirement plan.  Specifically, contributions are made pre-tax.

Then there is a Roth IRA.  In the case of a Roth, your contributions are made after-tax.

But with a Roth, you never have to pay another penny of tax after that. Even when you take withdrawals in retirement.

In the case of both IRA accounts, your money grows without being taxed.  Throughout your pre-retirement years.

9. Buy A Home

Renting is a good option in your 20s. But in your 30s, you may have the itch to own a place of your own.

As long as you do not buy more home than you need. In the most expensive part of town. Then homeownership is a great way to maximize your finances in your 30s.

So, I would encourage you to find an affordable place to live. In the location of your choosing.

My wife and I lived in a very modest home. In a nice, but humble neighborhood for our first 20 years together.

We didn’t make a killing when we sold the house and moved. But I think owning, not renting played a big part in our financial success.  As the years passed by.

If you are going to buy a home. I’d suggest this is one of the financial goals by 35 you want to accomplish. Right in the midpoint of your 30s.

Why 35? Because you are old enough to know the location for and type of home you want. And young enough to build equity in your home over the long term.

For example, get a 30-year mortgage at the age of 35. And have it paid off by the traditional retirement age of 65.

It’s time for a big one in our financial goals for life. #10 in our list of financial goals for your 30s, kids!

10. Plan For The Cost Of Children

If you have a young family. Or, are planning to start one. Be sure to set financial goals in your 30s to account for the cost of kids.

The process should be part of financial goal #5. Rethinking your budget.

Financial Goals For Your 30s: Budgeting For A Family

If having kids and starting a family is important to you. Then by all means work that into your budget.

Like I said earlier. You are in your 30s now. And you should have a pretty good idea of what is important in life.

And perhaps. Starting a family is important to you.

Financial Goals For Your 30s: The Cost Of College

Furthermore, when you have kids. The increasing expenses for tuition and housing, to achieve a student’s goals are challenging to handle. And what is the only way to ensure your child gets the education he or she deserves?

By making a financial goal in your 30s. To start your child’s college fund.

When you are ready to get started, make sure that you take a look at 529 plans. Investing in a 529 plan is one of the most efficient ways to save for your kids’ college costs.

Okay. We are rolling. Let’s continue with this article about the best financial advice for 30 somethings…

11. Diversify And Rebalance Your Investments

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Perhaps you were proactive and started investing in your 20s. That is terrific!

But, if you are like me in my 20s. I chased some hot investments back in those days.

And sometimes learned about investing the hard way. By choosing the wrong investments.

So, review all of your investments. And ask yourself these questions.

Financial Goals In Your 30s: Sell Investments That Do Not Fit

Do I own any investments that are no longer suitable for my risk tolerance and investment objectives?

If the answer is yes. Identify them. And sell those investments.

Financial Advice For Your 30s: Diversify Your Investments

Do my investments provide for adequate diversification?

If the answer is no. Then rebalance your investment portfolio.

Rebalancing is the act of selling investments that have grown too large. Then investing the proceeds in assets that have not performed as well.

Rebalancing forces you to sell at higher prices. And buy at lower prices. In other words, buy low and sell high.

Furthermore, smart investment diversification reduces risk. Without hurting your investment returns.

Finally, when buying and selling your investments. Make sure you keep your transaction costs low.

There is no longer a need to pay commissions when buying and selling stock. I trade stocks for free on my Webull app.

Webull is fast, powerful, and free to use. You can learn more about Webull here.

And now, #12 in our list of financial goals for millennials…

12. Prepare Estate Planning & End Of Life Documents

Now that you are in your 30s, it’s time to start thinking about planning for the inevitable. As they say, there are only 2 guarantees in life: death and taxes.

Most legal experts suggest getting these documents in place.

  • Will
  • Power of attorney for financial matters
  • Power of attorney for health care

There are more advanced methods of estate planning too. They may be more appropriate as part of your financial goals by 40 planning. In other words, start thinking about more advanced estate planning in your late 30s.

But the 3 documents listed above are the basics everyone should have in place. So get them done. I’d suggest you use an estate planning lawyer to do them right.

And speaking of professional help. That’s our next point in today’s list of financial goals.

13. Hire Financial Help If You Need It

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As we get older, life gets more complex. And finances in your 30s are no different.

I’m a former corporate finance professional. And have my CPA. So, I handle all of our family finances. And I’m pretty comfortable doing so.

But, most people are not like me. Thank goodness!

Finances In Your 30s: Hire A Tax Accountant

If you can do taxes yourself. That’s great. I use tax software. Since doing taxes myself saves a lot of money.

Resource: H&R Block tax preparation software

But if you are not comfortable with tax work. Then hire a tax accountant.

They will probably save you money in the long run. A good tax accountant is a valuable resource.

They can advise you on how to reduce your tax liability. To the lowest amount allowed by law.

And if you are relocating. A state with no income taxes. Plus a strong economy is a great way to go. For making money and saving money on taxes.

Financial Goals In your 30s: Hire A Financial Planner

Furthermore, by successfully achieving financial goals in your 30s. Your investment accounts will grow.

As they do. The stakes get higher.

And if you are not comfortable making investment decisions. A fee-based financial planner may be another good advisor to bring on board.

But once again, do it yourself. And save a lot of money. That’s what I do.

Using a variety of tools. And one I like is Motley Fool’s stock advisor.

Resource: Motley Fool stock advisor

On the other hand, having professionals working for you. Doesn’t eliminate the need for this next financial goal in your 30s…

14. Read A Personal Finance Book

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By 30, I hope you have read at least 1 book about finances. And I’m going to urge you to continue educating yourself. And pick up another.

Books on finance in your 30s tend to fall into 1 of 3 categories.

Books On Wealth-Building In Your 30s

First of all, books about becoming a millionaire. Or, more generally, building wealth. These books tend to be light motivational reads.

Books On Personal Finance

Furthermore, books on personal finance can be a good resource. Typically personal finance books are like today’s article about personal financial goals.

They provide general guidance. Across a variety of finance topics.

Books On Investing

Finally, there are books on investing. Whatever your investment strategy of choice.

Be it dividend investing, growth investing, alternative investing, etc. There is a book written about it.

Most importantly, pick a topic. And keep learning throughout your life.

Even if you hire financial professionals to do the heavy lifting. You will be more educated to ensure they are acting in your best interests.

Next, it’s time for our last piece of financial advice for your 30s.  Then we will wrap it up.

15. Budget For Some Fun

If you have made it this far into the article. You got started working on your financial goals in your 20s. And are ready to level up your money game in your 30s.

You are to be commended!

So, be sure to reward yourself. And plan some fun. When rethinking your budget in your 30s.

What’s fun is different for everyone. So, I will let you figure that out for yourself.

Because it’s time to bring this article about financial goals for your 30s to a close. It’s some of the best financial advice for 30-somethings I can come up with.

Smart Financial Goals For Your 30s

Here’s the list of financial goals for your 30s that we covered today.

  • Advance your career
  • Evaluate your side hustle if you have one
  • Increase your emergency fund
  • Adjust your insurance coverage
  • Rethink your budget
  • Avoid lifestyle inflation
  • Reduce, eliminate, or refinance debt
  • Boost your retirement savings
  • Buy a home
  • Plan for the cost of children
  • Diversify and rebalance your investments
  • Prepare estate planning & end of life documents
  • Hire financial help if you need it
  • Read another personal finance book
  • Budget for some fun

These are the essential elements of financial goals for your 30s.

More Reading About Financial Planning In Your 30s

And here are some additional articles to help you dig deeper into your finances.

Best Financial Resources In Your 30s

Finally, throughout this article, I mentioned several of my favorite financial resources. I have summarized them here for your convenience.

Most are free to sign up and use. A few are offered at a super low cost. Regardless, they help me make the most of my money. And maybe they can help you too!


Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Best Financial Goals For Your 30s!