I could talk about financial goals and aims, but I personally find that a bucket list of things you can actually just cross off is a little more rewarding for somebody in their 30s who has burnt through all their patience supplies in their 20s. Without further ado, here are the top 10 financial bucket list items you should achieve when your age is in two digits and the first one is a 3.
Start a stock market portfolio
You can do this with £100 and without any market knowledge. If you haven’t done this yet and you are in your 30s, today is the day. No, you don’t want to wait for the market to be more stable. No, you don’t need to wait for the pandemic to end, economy to stabilise and people to start freaking out. By the time this happens, we will all have made a bunch of money while you’re still sitting there with a £100 in your hand.
Try an alternative investment mechanism
Investing in the stock market and property is great, but these traditional forms of investment are not the only ways of making your money work. Research peer to peer lending, angel investing or even, if reselling is your thing, storage units. My personal favourite is peer to peer lending as it comes with a fairly low entry cost.
Discuss your finances with a professional
You’re making money. You’re investing money. You’re surrounded by money in one form or another. But unless you are a financial professional yourself, it’s worth finding one and discussing your money, your plans and options available to you with them. Look for an accredited independent financial advisor.
Acquire an asset (or assets) which generate income
You might love working, but it’s always nice to have something working for you. So acquire an asset which generates money. This can be a property investment like a garage, a flat or a whole building, or shares offering decent dividend return, or a computer which mines bitcoin while you’re off doing something else. Whatever you chose, ensure it offers a return on investment you are happy with
Get into a positive net worth
30s might not be the time when you get rid of all of your debt. But it should be the decade in which you’re no longer in red in terms of net worth. If you are leveraging debt heavily to invest, or up to your ears in medical school student loans or up to your eyeballs in legal costs over some or other life misfortune, make it your priority to have your assets at least balance out your liabilities.
Make your emergency fund match your age
While £1000 in your 20s was great, I find that 30s call for something radically different. Most of us, alongside walking into our 30s also walk into increased financial liability for the wellbeing of our families, including children and aging parents, pets, mortgages, and whatever else comes with the traditional idea of being an adult. If your emergency fund is £1k, have £39k before you’re nearing the big four-o.
Pay off your most annoying debt
For some of us this is a small credit card that’s always the last thing we look at, a student loan or a car payment. You know the one – you look at it and your mouth suddenly tastes bitter.
For me, it was a mortgage on my family home in Poland. The bank that officially issued the loan no longer exists and when it fell, the new debt owners didn’t make themselves known to borrowers. And despite the mortgage actually being paid off, a balance of 6PLN (£1.22!) sat on the land registry details. So one day I called up my family solicitor, asked her what to do and found out where I have to make a payment to have the note removed. The whole thing took 15 minutes to sort out, made my mother furious at the messiness of the post-communist filing systems, and cost me whole additional 20PLN (£4.07) in fees charged to notify the land registry. But at least now I don’t have to worry that some dodgy bailiff will start calling my parents out of the blue.
Kiss your student loan goodbye
It has got to go. If it’s still hanging around, you have a weird taste in pets. Get rid of it.
Kill your worst financial habit
Letting your money up in a smoke? Drinking it away? Spending it on cars and h*es? Or heck, hair extensions? Well…stop. We can be impulsive and high maintenance in our 20s, but inability to control yourself in your 30s is downright inadequate. So do what you need to do – go to therapy, cut up your credit cards or drop a couple of toxic friends – but that thing which has been getting in the way of you controlling your money needs to go.
Decide your retirement age
Working is great, but it’s even better when you don’t HAVE to do it and you’re just doing it because you can and want to. So by when do you want to be in a position where you no longer must make money? Pick a time, make a plan and be on your way!