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The Biggest Investing and Saving Mistakes 30-somethings Make

While there are many things you can do with your money, the right choice at the wrong time is still the wrong choice. In this article, I unpack the key things you should focus on in your 30s to be smart with your money.

Build your savings muscle

Your thirties are a decade where becoming good at saving is more than half the battle. If you’re like most people in your twenties, you probably weren’t earning enough or weren’t focused enough to save a lot of money.

In your thirties, that must change.

You should reach a point in your career where you’re earning a solid income, but it’s so easy to end up earning more without having a lot of extra savings to show for it. Don’t let this happen to you.

Take the time to allocate money in and money out, and make sure you’re happy with what you have left. This will force you to think critically about which expenses have the highest priority and which ones can be deprioritized so that you can save more.

Once you have a savings plan that works for you, you need to build your savings system. I’m a big fan of having multiple bank accounts for your different buckets of money, where you can automate your savings success and get away with it.

A savings plan will allow you to best build up your savings as you wish.
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Being good at saving in your 30s has two other great benefits.

First, you’ll know exactly how much money you can invest, which goes a long way toward making good investment choices. And two, successfully saving in your 30s is a habit that will benefit you in your 40s and beyond.

Build your investment foundation

The biggest benefit you get from any investment is the last year you own it, which means the earlier you start, the more you will have at the end.

But for most people, the fear of making a mistake leads them to delay the start of their investments.

If you take the opportunity you have to build a solid foundation of investments in your thirties, you will create the platform for serious success in the years to come.

To overcome the fear of making a mistake, learn about the risks associated with investing. Some risks will not be for you and that is completely normal. But for others, once you understand how to manage and reduce risk, you’ll feel good about cracking.


I have spoken to many people about their money, ranging from very good to not so good. You might be surprised to learn that the factor that makes the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who don’t isn’t their income.

The most successful people with their money are those who put themselves in a position to act sooner.

And with real estate being one of the biggest drivers of wealth, I’ll go further and say that the most successful people are the ones who enter the real estate market the earliest – with a caveat that I’ll disclose. here.

I totally understand that over the last two decades real estate has gone ballistic in Australia, and many young people feel they are overpriced in the property market. And that’s true for some areas, but buying property is totally doable for most people in their 30s, it’s often just a matter of the levers we pull to get there.

Buying your dream home is hugely appealing, but for most 30-somethings, it’s pretty unrealistic. When you’re spending a lot on your own home, large mortgage payments can cripple your cash flow and you may find yourself without a lot of money to direct to your real building of wealth outside of your home.

Buying an investment property costs a fraction of the price of buying a property like your own home. It also gives you the option of buying property in a place you don’t want to live, so you can buy at a price that suits your financial situation.

When buying a property, especially your first property, it is essential that you choose the right one.

There are many ways to be right when it comes to property, but my take is to buy property where there is high demand and limited supply. Avoid large high-rise apartment buildings and choose an area with low rental vacancies to reduce cash flow risk.

Take the lead with a property in your thirties and the decades to come will be much easier.


Your retirement savings shouldn’t require much work or attention in your 30s, but a little effort and focus will do. At this point, you should have your retirement consolidated and most of your super money in good quality investments.

You’ll want to make sure your retirement fund offers good value for money. The lowest fee option isn’t necessarily the best, but you don’t want to pay more than necessary.

Your 30s are a good time to start making small extra contributions to your retirement through salary sacrifices, which can seriously accelerate your super growth.

The money will come from your pre-tax income, which means you’ll feel less of those contributions, and if you increase your contributions when you get a raise, you can do so in a way that your take-home pay never falls.

In conclusion

What you do with your money in your 30s will dictate the possibilities for you in the years to come, so making a few smart moves here will go a long way. To avoid having to catch up later, set aside time to focus on your money and take action.

As you progress, note your successes and celebrate them – too often we only focus on what we haven’t done or what lies ahead. Measuring back will highlight your victories and keep you motivated to work.

Also take the time to learn from any missteps – mistakes are natural (and inevitable). The important thing is that you learn and know what to avoid next time.

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