How to Manage Money in your 30s and Get Ahead

 The Ultimate Money Guide

How to Manage Money in Your 30s

When you are in your 30s life changes dramatically compared to your 20s.  So it's more important than ever to know how to mange money in your 30s.

In your 30’s your priorities begin to shift, especially if children are now part of the picture. Your focus could also be on climbing that career ladder or looking to up-size your home or just purchase your first home. All these milestones play an important part in securing what your 40’s  and early 50’s look like.

With the correct strategies in place, and now that you have the mindset of looking forward to an even brighter, more prosperous future, you most certainly need to prioritise! 

A turning point for many is education for the kids and living in the right area to secure the education they desire for their kids. It is also a time for careers to go the next level. All of which takes careful planning, research and yes, budgeting. Regardless of which age bracket you are in currently, a strong, well thought out and managed budget will stand you in good stead for this part of your life’s journey and when executed with the correct mindset, more than achievable.

How to manage money in your 30s as well as investing for your retirement in your 30s is pivotal to establishing your financial foundation for you and or your family.

​In your 20s read about how much money you should be saving

In your 40s read how to become rich

In your 50+ years learn how to own your own assets and plan towards your retirement

How to Make Money in Your 30s With Kids

Let's not beat around the bush, kids are expensive.  There are plenty of tips on the internet about how you can save money on holidays, kids toys, food etc.  So we are not discussing that here because it's not about how much you spend or don't spend on your kids but where you spend it.

Education for the kids is important, and not just which school/college they attend. Begin to educate them on their own financial literacy. Most high school students begin their own part time employment working around their school commitments. So, educate your child on how to start a savings plan of their own.

As much as the new shiny thing in electronics and technology may be on their wish list, so too, their focus can be directed towards saving for larger items. So instead of the latest smart phone, get them thinking about their financial future. Their first big goal could well be their first car, for example. Or back-packing in their gap year. By teaching them to be money conscious, you are also reminding yourself of this important life skill. They will thank you in the future!

Your legacy to them is their financial literacy and developing the same mindset that you have. The sooner you can understand how to manage money in your 30s the better off your family will be in the future.

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How to Make Money in Your 30s

There are many ways you can make money in your 30s.  Start a business, purchase shares, purchase and or trade property.

But one of the main ways is through your job.  

Now that you are in your 30s your wage would have increased significantly since your 20s. If you haven't already asked for a pay rise make sure you do it now.  Whether the company has a yearly review or not you should be asking for one.

If you don't know how to ask for a pay rise this article will help. As the saying goes if you don't ask you don't get, but you have to ask the right way not just because you need or want the extra money.  

Now that you received a pay rise, don't go spending it all, you still should be able to live off the same amount you did before and put the new pay rise into your savings account to purchase your first or second property. 

Just because you earn more doesn't mean you should and can spend more, this is where bad debt is created by spending money on wants rather than needs.  By climbing the career ladder, then put that promotion and higher income to good use will put you in a great position on how to manage money in your 30s.

Without an income you can not borrow to buy an investment property in your 30s. If you start a business, banks generally want to see from 2-4 years of business accounts for you to be eligible to borrow.

How Should I Invest my Money in My 30s...

Purchase an Investment Property #1

Use your equity or save a deposit to purchase a rental property, pay down the debt and or purchase another investment property. Make sure you do your research before buying.

Purchase Stocks/Shares #2

Buying shares can be exciting but if you are a beginner get educated and don't risk money you don't have. Stick to blue chip shares in Australia or America.

Increase Your Super Payments #3

You may have setup your super in your 20's and still only contributing the minimum amount. Look at increasing your contribution, even if its only 1%, it will make a big difference.

Investing in Your 30s

This time in your financial journey on how to manage money in your 30s you need to look at investing it in property.

If you don't own a property yet, you can either continue to rent and purchase a rental property or purchase your first home.  

You must do one or the other as this is one of the best ways to invest money in your 30s.

If you already own a home you need to be focusing on how to grow the equity in your own home. How to pay off more than the minimum monthly amount your lender wants. With the right strategies, and the experience of industry professionals, you are well on your way to doing just that.

All home loans are basically the same, it’s the way we use them that makes the biggest difference. Mortgage brokers (not banks) will happily claim that there is always a better, smarter way to owning more of your home than most banks will tell you. It is vital that you get to know these strategies and gain traction now, so that by the time you’re in your 40s you have built up sufficient equity to begin or build on your investment portfolio. It takes equity (or cash) in your own home first to start climbing the property investment ladder. Read here about what equity is.

Reason for investing in your 30s and wanting to climb the property investment ladder, is so that by the time you reach your 60’s you are enjoying passive income and a financially secure retirement.

Whats Important to You in Your 30s

Figure out what is important to you, what you value in life, and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. What do you want to achieve with your money? Align your spending habits with your values. Your 30’s are the beginning of your future retirement self, and as such an important milestone.

Always a good starting point is to evaluate where you are now in your life, and give credit where credit is due. At the same time, pause for reflection on how you can improve your situation. Learn and grow from the less than sound financial decisions you may have made in the past. Don't be to hard on yourself because there is nothing you can do about it now, just don't do the same mistake again.  Learn from it and grow and improve on your investing and money making skills. 

Remember there is no "The Book of Life" (well there is) on how to win the game of life, we all have to figure it out.  But you want to learn how to manage money in your 30s so you can have the life you and your family deserve.

How to Manage Money in Your 30s

You must gain control over your money or 

the lack of it will forever control you

"There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you."

"As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live."

Tony Robbins


“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”

“Your income right now is a result of your standards, it is not the industry, it is not the economy.”

​“It’s more important to grow your income than cut your expenses. It is more important to grow you spirit than cut your dreams.”

​“The philosophy of the rich and poor is this: The rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”

Top Money Tips on How to Manage Money in Your 30s

Money Traps to Avoid in Your 30s


  • Focus on creating a larger buffer for those unexpected emergencies. With the right home loan, this buffer also reduces the interest you pay, so it really is a win-win.
  • If you’re part of the 47% of Australians with non-mortgage debt, then consider how debt consolidation can help get you back on track. If that’s not possible, then by all means, pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first – usually your credit cards.
  • On the subject of credit cards, make sure you have the right one. There are cards with interest free periods of up to 55 days. With these cards, provided you pay the entire balance each month, you never pay interest.


  • When making purchases, always consider the true cost. Do you really, really need the items? Will your kids be better off with a brighter, newer, shinier version of their current laptop or smart phone or would that money be better spent securing yours and ultimately their future? And if the purchase is on your credit card, then make sure it’s the one with the longest interest free period, then pay it off before interest is added to the purchase price.
  • Insurance is vital for all aspects of your life, and potentially can be the difference between getting ahead, and not so much. We’re not just talking about standard home and car insurance here. Consider the cost to your family if the main income earner couldn’t earn that income, for an extended period of time, or worse – ever. Invest in the Insurance policies that will ensure that your assets and your future are fully covered.
  • On the subject of insurance, don’t forget to look in Health Insurance options as well. Although our public health system is amongst the best world-wide, thanks in part to Medicare, there is a vast array of other health needs, think Dental, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to name a few of the more common areas., and you get the picture.
  • This one might sound a bit pre-emptive, especially given you’re in your mid 30’s but having a Will is something a lot of folk in this age bracket have already arranged. A good idea, especially if you have children.


  • We’ve mentioned the larger buffer for emergencies already, now it’s time to think about secondary school expenses and beyond, if you have children. So, again make sure your home loan is structured in such a way that this extra educational buffer also benefits you right now through saving interest on your home loan.
  • Your 30’s is also a great time to start diversifying your income streams. Think of ways to create income not reliant upon your main job. This could take many and varied forms. It’s also a great way to keep your mind active, by building your own mini income streams, you begin to power ahead in how soon the equity in your home can become one of those mini income streams. We’re talking rental income here, from your first investment property. But first, you need sufficient equity in your own home to start that income stream.

Help is Here

If you would like help with your home loan, borrowing to purchase a home or investment property consider speaking to us, so at the very least your home loan is the correct facility to power ahead! At best, you could be well on your way to your first investment property. As we have been known to say (more than once) your first property is the hardest to get into, then the others are a walk in the park. If you can see yourself buying one investment property, then we will show you how to buy more!  We are here to help you on how to manage your money in your 30s.

Free Property Investing Planning Consultation

We are surprised when businesses try to put you in the same box as everyone else.  You are not the same as everyone else and that's why we make sure we listen to you and your circumstances.  Grab your free property investing consultation today here. 

Check Your Super

Now is a good time if you haven't already to check how your super is performing and whether it needs a check-up.  You may have started your super many years ago and things may have changed with or without you knowing.  

If you have had many part time jobs in your 20s and over the years you may have defaulted to your employers super fund resulting in two or more separate accounts rather than maximising the one super fund.

There are many options now to decide on how your super is invested and allocated, check to ensure you have the right investment mix for your situation, what was once good in your 20's may not be so good in your 30's.

Also check your admin fees.  There have been a lot of media and Government out cry over administration fees being charged. You could save yourself thousands just by reducing your admin fees and moving to a different super provider. Remember every little bit counts. 

Choose a Wealthy Mindset & Disregard Any Limiting Beliefs in Your 30s

How to manage money in your 30s not only begins with what you do with your money but your mindset towards rich people and poor people.

One of the main differences between retiring poor and retiring wealthy is the mindset and limiting beliefs you may or may not have.  We all would of had some of the beliefs at some stage in our life, but now that you are in your 30s you need to focus you mind as well as your wallet. 

  • The wealthy believe that they create their lives. Poor people constantly think that life happens to them.
  • The wealthy play the long money game to win. Poor people hope they don’t lose too much.
  • The wealthy are committed to being just that – wealthy. Poor people want to be wealthy.
  • The wealthy focus on opportunities. Poor people only see the obstacles.
  • The wealthy support and admire other successful wealthy people. Poor people often resent the wealthy
  • The wealthy surround themselves with positive successful people. Poor people associate with other poor people.
  • The wealthy are always bigger than their problems and see the solutions. Poor people focus on their problems, often creating more problems.
  • The wealthy focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
  • The wealthy manage their money well. Poor people often don’t.
  • The wealthy have their money work for them. Poor people work hard for their money.

How to Pay off Credit Card Debt Fast in Your 30s

There are a few steps you must take before you start to pay off your credit card debt fast in your 30s.  

Firstly check how many cards you have 1, 2, 3...and cut them all up.  If you can't cut them all up keep one but no more. Then call each bank and tell them you are wanting to pay off your credit card debt asap as its getting you down.  They will offer a cheaper interest rate, if not let them know that the competitor bank has a 0% interest rate for 12 months that you are thinking of going to, this will kick them into gear, (you could also transfer some of the card balances to a 0% interest rate especially the big debt cards or you can't actually pay them off fast).

Now that you have just reduced the interest rate on all of your cards time to pay them off one by one.   I like the Snow Ball effect by Dave Ramsey. But if you are really struggling go to our Financial Mentoring Programme. 

This is where you will pay off your debts in order from the smallest balance to the largest.

STEP 1: Make the minimum payment on all of your credit cards (now its a lot less since you called the banks)

STEP 2: Put as much extra money as possible toward the credit card with the smallest balance.  Sell items on Gumtree, Trademe or Ebay that you no-longer use or need. The idea is to get rid of that debt as fast as possible. Bonuses, extra income etc.

STEP 3: Once the smallest debt is paid off, take the same approach for the next credit card.  Continue this until all credit card debt is paid off.

This snowball affect will take the money you are paying off on one card then snowball into the next card plus the minimum amount you are paying. Along the way it will give you small rewards quickly for paying off the smallest debt first, snowballing you into the bigger debt to pay off. 

Good luck and remember, banks like to give out credit cards and increase your limit.  Not because they like you or think you are a wonderful client, no, because they know you won't pay of the debt each month.  Time to prove them wrong!  If you want to know how to manage your money in your 30s then it starts with the debt on your credit cards.

How to Pay off Credit Card Debt Fast in Your 30s

The Snowball Affect

Your current credit card debt

  • Westpac Bank - $3,000 - 17%
  • Commonwealth Bank - $6000 - 22%
  • Suncorp Bank - $1,000 - 19%
  • ANZ Bank - $10,000 - 18%

Order to pay credit card debt down

  • Suncorp Bank - $1,000 - 9%*
  • Westpac Bank - $3,000 - 7%*
  • Commonwealth Bank - $6000 - 10%*
  • ANZ Bank - $10,000 - 8%*

Debt free in your 30s:

When you have a number of credit cards with debt, this method lets you see progress as quickly as possible.  It will give you the courage and positive energy you need to get rid of all credit card debt in your 30s. *This is the new interest rate you negotiated with the bank, but you can also do 0% balance transfer.  This will help reduce the amount of interest you are charged each month and in-turn help you pay off the debt faster, got to be happy with that.

Best Ways to Invest in Your 30s

So there you have it, the best ways on how to manage your money in your 30s.  It does require you to make a few lifestyle changes, but it doesn’t have to be depressing. If you have a difficult time adjusting to new circumstances, implement gradual changes so the process won’t become too overwhelming.

Seek professional help or just make small changes in your life and you will slowly see the rewards.

Paying off debt and being in your 30s is a busy time, kids, relationships, marriage, debt, mortgage, career, it can get pretty crazy especially on the bank balance.

Prioritise what you spend your money on and how it will help you into the future, if the item is not going to add value to your life then maybe it's not worth buying.  You wouldn't date someone you didn't like would you.  

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