In your thirties, life can be a mix of happiness and stress. You likely have more responsibilities, such as paying rent/mortgage, car payment(s), student loans, credit card bills, utilities, and other expenses. On top of that, you may still feel the pressure to go out with friends for dinner or drinks after work on the weekends. However, a little planning and creativity can go a long way, and you can still enjoy yourself while saving money at the same time. Here are some money-saving tips for singles in their 30's.
MANAGING YOUR PERSONAL FINANCE
A personal financial plan can help you map out your financial future, which will minimize overspending and overdraft fees. With just minutes of planning each month, you'll have an actionable plan that leads to progress toward your goals. Ensure that the plans are realistic so that saving money is not done at the expense of not meeting your financial obligations.
HAVE A BUDGET IN PLACE
Make sure to make a budget for yourself and stick to it. You must include all your incomes (from jobs, side hustles, etc.) as well as spending. Review the budget every quarter to determine any changes in your income/expenses due to seasonality or other factors. Keep track of all your expenses, even the small ones like snacks and coffee. You must understand where your money is going so that you can make adjustments if needed.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND
It's never too early to start thinking about emergencies or unexpected events. Even if you're not saving for a specific goal (like buying a new car), it's still important that you have an emergency savings account. This can be as easy as having a jar in your room to throw loose change/cash into every time you get home. Saving small amounts will slowly build up and ensure you have money for any unexpected expenses.
ENSURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE INSURANCE COVERAGE
You should ensure that you have life insurance, medical insurance, and home insurance. Home insurance can protect your belongings in case of theft or other disasters. A life insurance policy could help your dependents financially if something were to happen to you. Medical insurance can cover some (or all) medical costs depending on the plan, so make sure to look into it.
Rent/mortgage payments are probably one of your most significant monthly bills. This can be especially difficult for singles in their 30's who have not had a serious relationship or marriage yet. So, if you're renting an apartment alone, it may feel like all of your money is going towards housing costs while some of it is left over for food and other bills. However, if you have a roommate, this can help spread out the housing costs so that your rent/mortgage payments aren't as expensive.
SAVE FOR LONG-TERM GOALS
While it's important to budget, you should also save for long-term goals. These can include wanting to go on a vacation, buy a new car, or save up for a house's down payment. If your income is small and you're living month-to-month with nothing saved up, this may seem impossible. However, you can start saving up little by little. First, start small, even if it's just $25 a month. Then, save that money in an account that doesn't have any fees associated with it (e.g., savings account), so you can grow your money without anything being taken out of it.
HAVE A RETIREMENT PLAN
Retirement can seem so far away; it's hard to think about saving up for the future. However, when you're in your 30's, that is the perfect time to start thinking about retirement. When you're young, you always hear people say that time is on your side, which means contributions into retirement plans will have plenty of time to grow. Saving for retirement now will ensure that you're ready financially when you want to retire in 10-15 years.
CLEAR OUT YOUR DEBT
If you have debt, you should pay it off as soon as possible. Your biggest priority should be your debts with the highest interest rates (this is usually credit card debt). Even if it feels like the minimum payments aren't doing anything to reduce your balance, keep paying them because nothing will happen unless you make a payment over the minimum amount. Once your high-interest debt has been paid off, you should move on to the next one. However, don't try to accumulate more debt because that can become a complex cycle to get out of.
SOCIALIZE AND ENTERTAIN YOURSELF WITHIN YOUR MEANS
For most single people in their 30's, weekends are usually spent socializing with friends and family. It may seem like a harmless way to spend your free time, but this can be very expensive and prevent you from saving money. If you're not paying attention, you could easily go out to eat several times a week, adding up to hundreds of dollars. Instead, find other ways to socialize with friends and family, such as meeting up for coffee or inviting them over instead of going out. You can also try hosting parties at your place to control the spending, and you don't have to go over budget.
MAKE YOUR MEALS
Eating out is an expensive habit that can drain your wallet. If you're single and on a budget, try making more of your own meals at home. That way, you're not paying for food whenever you go out with friends or family members. It's also healthier to eat at home because you'll have more control over what goes into your meals. For instance, if you're making pasta for dinner, buy the noodles on sale and make a sauce with whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator.
PLACE EMPHASIS ON YOUR CAREER GROWTH
Your career can be one of the most significant sources of happiness in your life. However, if you're not satisfied with how much money you're making, this could cause problems. Sometimes, people make career decisions based on what they think is expected of them (e.g., studying for something difficult to get into). But you'll be happier and content if you do what you enjoy and look for jobs that fit your interests. That way, when you get paid, it'll feel like more of an accomplishment.
INCORPORATE A SIDE HUSTLE
A side hustle can be something you do during your free time to bring in some extra income. Some people might have a talent or hobby that they could monetize, while others may have skills or experiences that are valuable enough to sell. You can also look into easy ways to make money online.
GO ON AFFORDABLE DATES
Going out on dates can be one of the most enjoyable things to do as a single person. But, they can also be costly. Depending on your interests, it's not impossible to have fun without spending too much money. For example, you could have a picnic in the park or swim at an affordable pool instead of going to a movie.
You don't have to spend every last penny of your paycheck to feel like you've experienced a fulfilled life. If you live frugally and save money, you'll be able to afford whatever it is that you want or need without feeling any sense of disappointment or regret about not being able to do something. Save up for those long-term goals, and you can look forward to spending time with your family, travelling the world, and buying the home that you've always dreamed of owning. By incorporating these money-saving tips into your life, you'll have the financial freedom that allows you to live your best life.