12 Money Habits for Building Wealth in Your 30s
July 29, 2022
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Building wealth in your 30s is the best time to make your money work for you. Whether you have goals for your financial future or haven't thought about it, your 30s are the perfect time to start building wealth.
You don't have to be rich, but having enough money to feel comfortable about your financial life is important. Then, you'll enjoy life more and feel positive about your future rather than worried about where life will take you.
What Is Wealth?
Wealth is the total of all your assets minus any liabilities. It includes all tangible and intangible assets. Some people consider their net worth their wealth, aka the sum of what they own minus what they owe.
There isn't a certain amount of wealth you should have in your 30s, and if you haven't built any wealth in your 30s yet, it's not too late to start.
12 Money Habits for Building Wealth in Your 30s
Building wealth in your 30s isn't as hard as you might think. Although you might be set in your ways and have to make some changes, it's not too late to learn how to make money work for you so you, too, can build wealth.
- Identify Your Goals
Identifying your goals is the easiest way to get yourself on the path to building wealth. So write them down and prioritize them.
It's best if you make your goals SMART too. When your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, it's easier to stay on track. Set short and long-term goals. For example, you might have a short-term goal of eliminating student loan debt and a long-term goal of increasing your retirement savings.
Make sure your goals aren't lofty because you won't achieve them, and you'll feel worse about yourself. Instead, set financial goals you can achieve, motivating you to do even more.
- Adjust Budget
One of the best ways to build wealth is to budget. If you're in your 30s, you may already be set in your ways regarding spending and saving money. But now it's time to adjust.
Look at your budget and see where you overspend. Pulling your bank statements from the last six to twelve months is best to know where you stand. You might spend more money than you realize.
When you create your budget, ensure there's enough room to save, invest, and have an emergency fund to help in a crisis.
- Spend Intentionally
When you spend money, do you think about what you're spending, or do you spend it? When you spend intentionally, you don't make impulse buys. Instead, you make preplanned purchases you've budgeted and know you can afford.
This helps you stay out of high-interest debt. Credit card debt is one of the worst types of debt to have, and it's an opportunity cost to any opportunities to invest and make your money work for you so you can build wealth.
- Maximize Your Income
It's important to diversify your income as much as possible. While you might not be able to control how much you make at your full-time job, you can always start multiple income streams.
There are both passive and active income streams. Passive income is the best way to build wealth because it requires little work. However, it's one of the most crucial income streams, so make sure you learn how to make your money work for you.
With passive income, you do your part initially, and then your money works for you. For example, if you buy an investment home, you do the work getting the house, finding the tenants, and renting it out, but then you continue earning money on the home monthly from rent and capital appreciation.
Active income streams are income streams you work for, like a part-time job or side gig. There's no limit to the number of income streams you have because the more your income increases, the easier it is to achieve your wealth goals.
- Avoid Lifestyle Creep
When you make more money, it's easy to increase your lifestyle quietly without realizing it. You buy a new car, a bigger house, or spend more money than you have on your spending plan. Instead of letting lifestyle inflation occur, invest the extra money.
For example, if you get a windfall, don't blow it on a large purchase you'd never be able to afford without it. Instead, use some money to reward yourself, but invest the rest. When you invest money, it will grow, giving you even more money than an impulse buy that might please you for a few months and then be worth nothing.
- Reduce Debt
Debt is one of the easiest ways to negate your wealth. Unfortunately, with interest rates constantly increasing today, credit card debt is one of the worst, as is any debt with a variable interest rate.
As you learn how to accumulate wealth, make debt payoff your priority. No investments today will pay you more than the interest you'll pay on credit card debt. So focus on paying off your debts first to start creating wealth sooner rather than later.
- Establish an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund helps you in a crisis. For example, say your house flooded, and you needed thousands of dollars for the damage. Without an emergency savings account, you would have to dig into your regular budget or savings you had set aside for future financial goals.
Start with an emergency fund with at least $1,000, but work your way up to saving three to six months of expenses. This ensures you can get through most emergencies, such as job loss, illness, injury, or any other crisis that makes it hard to work and earn income.
- Plan for Retirement
Retirement may seem far off when you're in your 30s, but the earlier you plan, the better. You might wonder how much should be in my 401k at 30?
While there's no right or wrong answer, the average consensus is that your retirement account should have funds equal to your annual salary. So, for example, if you make $75,000 a year, you should have $75,000 saved.
If you don't have nearly that in your retirement savings, don't worry. Start saving now. Save at least as much as your employer will match, but if you can max out your contributions for the year, do it.
The earlier you save money in your retirement account, the more time the money has to grow, helping you achieve financial security in retirement.
- Make Smart Investments
Just because you invest doesn't mean you'll grow wealth. Investments lose money all the time. The key is to diversify your investments. Invest your money in stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and other investments that interest you.
The key is not to put everything in one type of investment. For example, if you put everything in the stock market and it crashes, you lose everything. But, if you diversified and invested money in other places too, you'll have less of a risk of a total loss.
- Invest in Yourself
There's nothing better to invest in than yourself. When you invest in yourself, you improve your skills and what you can achieve. This can help you increase your income, make smarter investment decisions, and do more with your life.
Whether you go back to school, learn more about personal finance topics, or work with a financial advisor on an investment strategy, you're investing in yourself and your future. There's no better way to increase wealth than to start with yourself.
- Collaborate With Like-Minded Peers
You are who you surround yourself with, so spend your time with people who like to talk about financial planning, want to save money, care about their financial health, and like talking about their investment portfolio.
When you're with like-minded people, you can brainstorm more strategies and ideas to continue building wealth in your 30s.
- Take Calculated Risks
To build wealth, you have to take risks, but that doesn't mean being reckless. Instead, take risks you know you can handle should things go wrong. While in your 30s, your risk tolerance is higher than when you get closer to retirement age. So take advantage of the ability to take risks and let your money grow.
Grow Wealth Safely
Don't get desperate enough to fall for scams, get rich quick, or pyramid schemes. Instead, be smart about your money habits and decisions. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so don't do it.
Do your research and talk to a financial advisor before making big decisions. Self-made millionaires didn't get that way by taking crazy risks. Instead, they knew what they stood to lose and took their chance, building wealth along the way.
How to Build Wealth Tips
Finding ways to get rich can feel a lot like hit or miss. Here are some important dos and don'ts when it comes to building wealth.
- Set goals and priorities
- Invest as early as possible
- Diversify your investments
- Save as much as possible
- Take calculated risks
- Do what everyone else is doing
- Fall for scams or get rich quick schemes
- Make the minimum payment on your credit cards
- Take risks you can't handle
How to Build Wealth in Your 30s FAQ
What Are the Keys to Building Wealth Through Investments?
The best way to build wealth through investments is to diversify your investments. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, focus on various ways to invest your money and continually reallocate your funds as your portfolio changes.
Money vs Wealth: What's the Difference?
Money is a resource or a means to pay for goods and services. On the other hand, wealth is the accumulation of money you've accrued through good financial planning and habits.
How Much Should I Have Saved for Retirement at 30?
Your retirement savings account should have at least one year of income. This is just a benchmark, though. Think about what you want to achieve in retirement and how much you will need. You might find that you need to have more or less than one year's salary in your retirement accounts in your 30s.
How Is Building Wealth in Your 30’s Different Than at Other Ages?
In your 30s, you have more time to deal with a loss. You have plenty of time for compound interest to take effect and help your money grow. When you get closer to retirement, you don't have time on your side. You have to be more conservative with your investments, which means taking less risk and earning fewer rewards.
Is It Too Late to Start Investing in Your 30s?
It's never too late to invest. If you haven't invested in your 30s yet, get with a certified financial planner to get you started. You'll play a little catch-up since you lost your entire 20s and the earnings you could have made in that time, but it's never too late to invest.
Ways to Build Wealth in Your 30s: The Bottom Line
Now is a perfect time if you haven't started building wealth yet. Building wealth in your 30s means taking risks and reaping the rewards. Revisit your budget, make room for retirement account savings, and create financial goals so you can create the wealth you desire. Learn more by signing up and visiting our blog.
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