By the time you’re in your 30s, you have more than a decade of experience at being an adult.
Despite that experience, a lot of us make the same financial mistakes.
Whether it’s getting married before discussing finances or buying a bigger home than you can afford, many people in their 30s let emotions rule their spending decisions, setting themselves up for financial problems in the future.
British Columbia newspaper The Province recently ran an advice column listing five money mistakes people often make in their 30s. If you’re thinking about marriage, buying a house or retirement, here are the mistakes to avoid.
5 Money Mistakes People Make in Their 30s
The Province identified five common money errors:
1. Getting Married Without Discussing Finances
It’s hard to imagine getting married without talking about shared finances, but as we reported earlier, four out of 10 couples don’t even know how much money their spouse earns.
So if you’re planning on tying the knot, make sure you have the money talk first. If you need help, we’ve got a guide.
2. Racking Up Debt
Don’t spend your 30s spending more than you earn. Learn how to live within your means and get out of debt.
3. Buying Too Much House
You might have your eye on that dream house, but make sure you can afford it.
Many young people don’t realize the true cost of homeownership and find themselves in financial trouble after they’ve crossed that threshold.
4. Not Saving Enough
If you’re in your 30s, retirement is roughly 30 years away. Use a retirement calculator to figure out how much you need to be saving, and start putting that money into a retirement account.
You should also set up an emergency fund, because emergencies will happen!
5. Counting on an Inheritance
Don’t expect a family inheritance to solve your financial problems. People are living longer, which means more money spent on retirement and healthcare and less left over to pass down to future generations.
How to Avoid These Mistakes
When it’s time to buy a home, make sure your mortgage and homeowner costs fit within your budget. If you already made the mistake of overbuying, you can save a lot of money by downsizing your home.
Lastly, start communicating about financial needs and goals: with your spouse, with your parents and with anyone else who might be involved in your financial life.
Want to know more? Read the full story at The Province.
Your Turn: What was the biggest money mistake you made in your 30s?
Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer focusing on personal finance and personal stories. Her work has appeared in The Billfold, The Toast, Yearbook Office, The Write Life and Boing Boing.