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How to Build Wealth in Your 30s

  • Aditya 
  • 21 min read
How to build wealth in your 30s

Stepping across the so-called wrong side of 30 marks a crucial phase for building wealth and adopting a more focused approach towards managing your finances. To know how to build wealth in your 30s, follow the invaluable tips listed in this article that will set you on the right path. Whether you’re just starting or looking to enhance your existing financial situation, we’ve got you covered. Start empowering yourself to take necessary decisions and achieve your financial goals.

How to Build Wealth in Your 30s

Your 30s offer an excellent opportunity to begin investments and grow your wealth. With career advancement and higher income, this decade allows you to consider significant life milestones such as purchasing a house, getting married, and starting a family. To secure a prosperous future, it’s crucial to take the right steps to pave the way for long-term financial freedom.

1. Evaluate Your Financial Goals

Taking the time to sit down and carefully consider your financial aspirations is crucial. By envisioning specific goals and setting a timeline for achieving them, you enhance the likelihood of turning them into reality. Putting pen to paper and crafting a concrete plan can greatly boost your chances of success.

The same principle applies to ambitious financial objectives like eliminating debts or pursuing long-term investments like buying a home. Real estate is a substantial commitment with numerous financial implications, making it imperative to approach it seriously and with a well-thought-out strategy. Essential considerations include the down payment, mortgage financing, affordability assessment, interest payments, and other associated expenses.

Remember, writing down your financial goals and devising a comprehensive plan will bring clarity and purpose to your financial journey, increasing your odds of attaining the life you envision. This is one of the best ways to build long term wealth.

2. Realize Your Net Worth

Understanding and tracking your net worth are essential tools for financial planning. Net worth is calculated by subtracting your liabilities from your assets, representing your overall financial standing. Keeping a record of your net worth growth over time allows you to set and achieve financial goals and benchmarks for a secure future. Assets encompass various elements like your home, cash reserves, investments, and tangible possessions like real estate. On the other hand, liabilities consist of debts like car loans, personal loans, and mortgage balances.

You can easily calculate your net worth using online calculators that consider different categories of assets and liabilities. This knowledge enables you to make informed decisions about when to invest more, reduce spending, and attain your financial objectives at different stages of life. By regularly evaluating your net worth, you gain valuable insights to manage and grow your wealth wisely.

3. Update Your Budget

If you’re still using the same budget, you made when you were in your twenties, living in a small apartment, and surviving on a tight budget with inexpensive meals, it’s time to reevaluate your financial plan. As you’ve likely progressed in your career and your income has increased, your expenses have probably risen as well. It’s essential to take these changes into account and get more serious about saving money.

If you’ve upgraded to a nicer apartment with a full kitchen and have developed cooking skills, it’s natural that your housing and food-related expenses have increased. This means you may need to make adjustments to other areas of your budget to accommodate these higher costs.

However, the good news is that with increased income, you won’t necessarily have to drastically cut costs across the board. Instead, it’s essential to create a responsible and realistic budget that aligns with your current financial situation. Identify areas where you can save and make the most of your extra disposable income.

4. Plan Your Expenses Carefully

Bills and credit cards

As people age, it is often expected that their income will increase. However, a common phenomenon called lifestyle creep or lifestyle inflation can occur. This means that as individuals earn more, they tend to increase their spending on non-essential items. While treating oneself is fine, the issue arises when this behaviour jeopardizes their overall financial well-being. Even with a higher income, some individuals find it challenging to save money due to excessive spending. To make wise financial decisions, it’s crucial to reward oneself thoughtfully.

Instead of splurging on extravagant items like luxury cars or expensive vacations, consider smaller treats like a nice dinner out or a special bottle of wine. Another pitfall to avoid is the tendency to compare spending habits with peers, which can lead to unnecessary pressure to keep up with others. Rather than being influenced by how others spend their money, focus on your financial goals and priorities. If you do decide to increase your spending on non-essential items, do it gradually and responsibly. As long as you’re still meeting your savings targets, consider making incremental changes, like upgrading one room or buying one necessary piece of furniture instead of renovating the entire house to grow your wealth.

5. Prioritize to Save

Make it a monthly priority to save money before allocating funds to other expenses like groceries, mortgage, or student loan payments. Rather than relying on what’s left at the end of the month, adopt the habit of “paying yourself first” by setting aside a portion of your income for savings right from the start.

There are a couple of ways to implement this:

  • Opt for direct deposit for your paycheck, making it easier to allocate a portion to savings and the rest to your checking account.
  • Set up an automatic transfer that moves money from your checking to your savings as soon as your paycheck is deposited.

This practice is valuable because it emphasizes the importance of securing your financial future. By prioritizing saving, you can know how to build wealth in your 30s and be better prepared for emergencies, save for retirement, and work towards achieving your long-term financial goals and grow your wealth.

6. Prioritize Retirement Savings

Let’s face the reality that age catches up with all of us, and it’s essential to start considering retirement planning seriously, especially if you haven’t already done so. Take a moment to estimate the amount of money you’ll need to live comfortably each year during retirement and calculate the savings required to reach that goal. Utilizing a retirement calculator can simplify this process and provide valuable insights.

One immediate step you can take is to increase your retirement savings to at least 15% of your income. While not everyone in their 30s may have the financial means to achieve this, if possible, consider boosting your 401(k) contributions. Whenever you receive a raise, think about adjusting your contribution amount. Since these contributions are pre-tax, they will have a smaller impact on your take-home pay than you might expect.

Remember that your 401(k) isn’t the sole option for tax-advantaged retirement savings. Consider opening an IRA or increasing your contributions to an existing one to bolster your retirement savings. A traditional IRA offers a tax deduction, but if you are forward-thinking, a Roth IRA provides tax-free growth. Just keep in mind the yearly contribution limits for both IRAs and 401(k)s.

7. Strengthen Your Emergency Fund

In addition to planning for retirement, it’s crucial to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. One way to do this is by setting up an emergency fund if you haven’t already. This fund acts as a safety net, ensuring that you won’t be financially stranded in case of an accident or job loss. It’s recommended to keep enough money in this account to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses. As your income increases, you may want to consider contributing more to this fund.

You have the flexibility to choose the type of account for your emergency savings. However, it’s generally advisable to opt for a liquid account such as a savings account or money market account. Although these accounts may not offer high growth rates like investments or CDs, they provide easy access to your funds without market risks or penalties for early withdrawals. This is one of the best ways to build long term wealth.

8. Invest Primarily in Stocks

Stock market trading

In your 30s, having time on your side allows you to recover from any market losses you might encounter. While stocks historically offer an average annual return of about 9-10 percent for investors, it’s essential to remember that this growth isn’t linear, and there will be periods of volatility. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess your risk tolerance before investing in stocks.

One significant advantage of investing and knowing how to build wealth in your 30s is the ample time available for your money to compound and let you grow your wealth before you reach retirement age. Leveraging this long-term perspective, you might want to consider investing in stocks through ETFs and mutual funds.

If you feel comfortable with it, adopting an aggressive investment approach could be beneficial because your investment horizon spans 30-40 years, providing an opportunity for substantial growth.

9. Make Smart Choices for Investment

Making intelligent investment decisions is crucial, especially if you haven’t started investing yet and are in your 30s. At this age, you still have time on your side, allowing you to take on some level of risk in your investment portfolio. A well-balanced approach might involve significant investments in stocks, while also considering diversification through mutual funds and ETFs managed by professionals.

For a more hands-off approach, you can opt for a robo-advisor that selects investments and funds on your behalf. Additionally, index funds can be a cost-effective option that tends to outperform actively managed funds over the long term. As you progress through your 30s, it’s essential to adjust your investment strategy to reflect your changing life circumstances. As retirement draws nearer, consider gradually incorporating safer investments like bonds into your portfolio. If you’re invested in a target-date fund, the rebalancing process will automatically adjust your asset allocation as you age.

10. Broaden Investment Portfolio Diversification

Investing is a gradual and long-term process that demands a strategic approach, and diversification lies at its core. By beginning with investments in your own skills and interests, you lay a solid foundation for future financial growth.

Diversification is a fundamental principle to mitigate risk and enhance the potential for reasonable returns within any investment portfolio. It entails spreading investments across various assets and not concentrating all funds into just a few. This prudence shields you from potential losses caused by market downturns.

To achieve diversification, consider allocating your funds to different asset classes like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and even other investment options such as real estate or commodities. This way, you are not overly reliant on a single market’s performance, protecting your investments from being entirely affected by one market’s fluctuations.

11. Abstain from Risky Investments

It’s essential to be cautious with your investments, especially in your 30s. While taking calculated risks can be reasonable, avoid going all-in on speculative investments that promise significant returns but often fail to deliver. Instead, focus on basic investment strategies that are less risky.

Dollar-cost averaging is a smart way to reduce investment risk. By investing at regular intervals regardless of market direction, you avoid the temptation to time the market, which can be unpredictable and volatile.

Consider diversifying your investments by putting some money into real estate. You can achieve this by investing in publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), participating in crowdfunding opportunities, or directly owning a single-family residence through relevant marketplaces.

12. Reduce Your Debt

Reduce Your Debt

Eliminating existing debt should be a top financial priority. Clearing debts, such as student loans and credit card balances, will free up more funds to save for your future. Stick to any debt-repayment plans you’ve established and consider increasing your repayments whenever possible. Applying extra funds, such as year-end bonuses, towards your debts can significantly reduce interest payments and speed up the repayment process.

For credit card debts, focus on paying off those with the highest interest rates first. Utilizing a balance transfer card with an introductory zero-interest offer can provide temporary relief from accruing interest. However, it’s essential to monitor your spending habits and avoid accumulating new credit card debt. Maintaining a good credit utilization ratio (using less than 30% of your available credit limit) will positively impact your credit score and make you more appealing to potential lenders.

13. Maintain Good Credit Score

Your credit score serves as an essential indicator of your financial well-being, influencing lenders’ perception of your creditworthiness and the risk associated with lending money to you. A higher credit score implies lower risk, making borrowing money more affordable, while a lower score can lead to higher borrowing costs. In your 30s, maintaining a respectable credit score becomes increasingly crucial, especially if you plan to buy a new home, refinance your mortgage or student loans, or take out any significant loans. Your credit score directly impacts the interest rate and terms offered by lenders.

Though it’s advisable to avoid excessive debt, it’s often impractical to make major purchases, such as a house, with cash for most people. Thus, having a decent credit score becomes essential to save money when borrowing and grow your wealth. The most effective way to improve your credit score is consistently making timely payments and keeping a close eye on your credit utilization rate. This is one of the best ways to build long term wealth.

14. Set Up Automatic Savings

A common experience shared by many individuals who tell how to build wealth in your 30s is the burden of managing multiple monthly payments, bills, and debt obligations. To simplify this process, one effective approach is to automate financial tasks.

By arranging direct deposit with your employer, you can have a portion of your paycheck sent directly to your savings account without the need for manual transfers each month. This eliminates the hassle of calculating the appropriate amount to save and ensures a consistent savings plan. Should you need to adjust the savings amount, you can communicate the changes to your employer.

Alternatively, you may opt to set up an automatic transfer system through your bank, enabling seamless transfers from your checking to savings account. Embracing automation not only promotes one of the systematic and best ways to build long term wealth, but also facilitates the growth of your savings effortlessly.

15. Perform a Side Hustle

The popularity of side hustles continues to rise each year, particularly among young people. A recent Bankrate survey of 2,505 U.S. adults revealed that half of millennials in their 30s have embraced the trend by taking up a gig outside of their primary job. If you find yourself in your 30s and are looking to earn extra income, there are numerous options available to leverage the expertise you have gained over a decade or more in the workforce, possibly in multiple fields.

However, before pursuing a part-time gig, ensure that your full-time employer allows it. Take the initiative to reach out to your manager or human resources department to familiarize yourself with their policy on side hustles.

16. Plan for Your Estate

real estate agent

Having young children or family members who depend on you makes estate planning crucial, as it allows you to name guardians and ensure their well-being. However, even if you have a spouse or other family members who could benefit from your assets, estate planning remains essential.

Creating an estate plan involves working with a qualified attorney, who can guide you through the process. Additionally, consulting with a financial advisor can be beneficial for addressing the investment aspects of your estate planning. While the need for these plans may not arise for many years, being prepared brings peace of mind and allows you to grow your wealth.

Now, while you are in good physical and mental health, it is an opportune time to embark on the estate planning process. Doing so allows you to shape the legacy you wish to leave behind for your loved ones.

17. Use Your Employer’s Benefit Offerings

Take full advantage of the various benefits and programs offered by your employer. This can help you save money on everyday expenses and contribute to your long-term financial well-being. Some key offerings to look out for include:

  • Company 401(k) Matching Contributions: Ensure you participate in your employer’s 401(k) plan, especially if they offer a matching contribution. This is essentially free money that boosts your retirement savings.
  • Commuter Benefits: Inquire about any commuter-related perks, such as stipends or reimbursements for commuting expenses.
  • Discounts at Stores: Take advantage of employee discounts that your employer may have negotiated with vendors or networks.
  • Flexible Savings or Health Savings Account: If available, use these pre-tax accounts to save money on medical expenses and reduce your taxable income.
  • Legal Insurance: Explore the option of free legal insurance coverage provided by some employers to safeguard against unforeseen legal expenses.

Being proactive about leveraging your employer’s benefits can significantly enhance your financial security and overall well-being.

18. Buy a Life Insurance

Life insurance plays a crucial role in your financial planning, and it’s advisable to consider it from a young age due to the lower average premiums and higher benefits it offers. Essentially, life insurance provides a lump sum or periodic payments to the beneficiaries in the event of the insured person’s death. It serves as a financial safeguard for dependents in case of the policyholder’s untimely demise.

Having life insurance proves highly advantageous for individuals with dependents who wish to secure their loved ones’ financial future if they are no longer there to support them. Nevertheless, it is essential to determine the most suitable type of life insurance for your specific needs and assess the appropriate coverage amount.

For those who want to know how to build wealth in your 30s, obtaining life insurance becomes particularly pertinent as the cost tends to rise with age. Starting early can not only offer more affordable premiums but also provide peace of mind for the long term.

Also Read: Selling Medicare Insurance: A Complete Guide

19. Review and Update Your Existing Insurance

Life insurance is not a one-time purchase but a financial tool that requires regular evaluation and adjustments to meet future needs. It is essential to review your policy periodically to ensure it keeps pace with inflation and provides adequate benefits over time. By incorporating inflation protection into your plan, you can enhance its value and safeguard against rising costs.

Purchasing life insurance early offers numerous advantages, but it is equally crucial to revisit the policy regularly to adapt to changing risks and evolving life circumstances. If the need arises, you can make necessary changes to your life insurance policy to align it better with your current requirements to grow your wealth. This is one of the best ways to build long term wealth.

20. Take Help from a Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

As you step into your 30s, it becomes crucial to consider your financial future. This pivotal period calls for the establishment of sound financial habits and making wise choices that will pave the way for long-term success. Seeking assistance from a professional financial advisor is a valuable approach in this journey.

A financial advisor is a knowledgeable expert who offers specialized guidance on managing your money. Their expertise can help you chart a path towards your financial aspirations, whether it’s saving for retirement or purchasing a home. Additionally, they can assist you in making well-informed decisions concerning investments, insurance, and other financial products.

By thoroughly analysing your current financial standing and understanding your future objectives, a financial advisor will design a robust plan to effectively utilize your resources and reach your goals. Furthermore, they will regularly review and adjust the plan as needed, ensuring it stays aligned with your evolving circumstances.

21. Discuss Money with Your Partner

In your 30s, it’s essential to establish open communication about finances with your partner, whether you’re married or in a long-term relationship. One effective approach, as shared by a couple, is to have regular money dates each month. These dates involve sitting down together with a relaxed atmosphere, like having a bottle of wine, and discussing all financial matters, including personal, brokerage, and business accounts.

During these money dates, the couple focuses on their financial goals, makes necessary adjustments to their spending habits, and plans for their shared financial future. This practice has been immensely beneficial for their marriage, with one memorable instance when the husband revealed his desire to quit his teaching job to pursue full-time blogging. The wife responded calmly, and they worked together to create a plan for this transition.

If you haven’t started having money dates with your partner, it’s highly recommended to incorporate them into your routine. Choose a time that suits both of you, approach the conversation with an open mind, and speak honestly about your financial concerns and aspirations. This regular practice can significantly strengthen your relationship and financial well-being.

22. Improve Mindset to Pursue Financial Freedom

Many people have been conditioned to believe that becoming wealthy is unattainable, and financial security is only for a select few fortunate individuals. However, it is crucial to recognize the privilege of having a full-time job, earning an income, and having the ability to invest in financial markets. Moreover, it is never too late to start investing and growing one’s wealth, though it requires time, dedication, and patience to achieve significant results.

One of the most powerful secrets to grow your wealth lies in the compounding effect that arises from reinvesting money over time. By reinvesting returns, one can witness a snowball effect that leads to stable and long-term opportunities for financial growth. Even if you can only invest a small amount initially or don’t become an overnight millionaire, it is essential not to be disheartened. The key lies in making intelligent financial decisions that lay the groundwork for long-term prosperity and success. By challenging conventional beliefs about money, exciting new opportunities to know how to build wealth in your 30s and attain financial freedom can emerge.

23. Develop Your Personality, Knowledge and Skills

One of the most effective and best ways to build long term wealth in your 30s involves making continuous investments in yourself. This entails enhancing your skills and knowledge, broadening your network and relationships, pursuing your passions and hobbies, prioritizing your health and well-being, and engaging in various self-improvement activities. By doing so, you not only increase your potential for higher income but also open up new career opportunities, experience greater personal fulfilment, and improve your overall quality of life.

Consider enrolling in courses to acquire new skills, attending conferences to expand your horizons, reading books to gain valuable insights, joining professional organizations to connect with like-minded individuals, volunteering to give back to the community, traveling to broaden your perspectives, and practicing self-care to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It’s essential to tailor your investments to align with your unique interests and aspirations and consistently allocate time and resources to nurture your personal growth and development.

24. Create a Group of Individuals with Similar Goals

Group of people laughing

Create or join a mastermind group composed of like-minded individuals who share your goals to grow your wealth. These groups offer mutual support, motivation, and valuable advice. Whether meeting in person or online, mastermind groups allow members to collaborate, solve challenges together, share financial insights, and leverage personal and business connections.

Additionally, consider seeking a mentor who has achieved the level of financial success you aspire to reach. Learning from someone who has walked the same path can provide valuable guidance and wisdom. This is one of the best ways to build long term wealth.

Also Read: How to Build Wealth in Your 20s

In the 30s, our list of responsibilities continues to grow, and future plans such as retirement are steadily approaching. By adopting the money habits mentioned here, you can establish a strong foundation for your financial well-being both in the present and the years to come.

Aditya Farrad

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a seasoned business expert and the founder of Moneymint. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his various online businesses. With years of experience running his own successful businesses, Aditya understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship.

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