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Will You Hit These Money Milestones by the Time You're 30?

Will You Hit These Money Milestones by the Time You're 30?

Turning 30 can be a dreadful birthday for some reluctant 20-somethings, but no matter how full of dread you may be there's a way to gracefully enter the next decade in regard to money management. In order to set you up for smooth sailing, MSN Money created a list of six money milestones to reach by the time you're 30. Do you think these milestones are appropriate for most people in their twenties? Is there anything you'd add or remove?

  1. Scale back the credit cards. If you aren't able to live on your earnings and are still taking on credit card debt when you're 30, it's going to be difficult for you to save enough for retirement.
  2. Own a home, or have a plan. One expert says that homeownership should be a priority, and to start saving for a down payment.
  3. Have skills. Develop a set of marketable skills by the time you are 30 and try to bring something new to the table.
  4. Give money away. Financial advisor Scott Hanson says, "I think it's financially healthy to give."
  5. Know thyself. Decide what's important to you. Hanson explains, "Start to know yourself and build parameters so your life and money line up with those parameters."
  6. Know smart people. When you need advice, turning someone who's good at their job can save you money in the long run, whether it's a tax preparer, financial adviser, attorney, or insurance agent.


Join The Conversation
Marseeah Marseeah 8 years
I am 27 and I'm well on track - no credit card debt, I just bought a house, I excel at my job, I give money to charity, and I have good people in my life. And I think I'm working well on 5 - but that is a harder and less tangible goal that I think you should always strive towards and almost never fully reach.
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
I can do a couple of those my I'm running out of time -- I'm 30 next year :shocked:
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
I agree with #2. How would paying rent be smarter then putting that money towards a mortgage?!?! I am still in college, so I don't own a house yet, but I plan on getting one once I feel stable in my job and have enough money for a down payment. Maybe it is different in different areas, but i feel like rent is just wasting money away.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I guess I should be spending the next 3 years working on some of these. What a great list!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think it's completely irresponsible to tell people that they "should" be owning a home by the time they are 30. That's part of what contributed to the whole mortgage crisis in the first place. Not every single American can afford to have a house, yet they feel that they're entitled to live the "American dream" of having a house with a picket fence and all that crap. How many people in this country have gotten into trouble by buying the home of their dreams on an ARM and are now getting foreclosed on? You should only buy a house if you: A) Have a decent down payment first (at least 10%, if not 20%) and B) Have a fixed rate mortgage. And don't forget the other costs of homeownership, like property taxes, utilities, and homeowners' insurance. And BTW...I've got all those milestones met and I'm still a few years away from 30. The only debt I have is a 15 year mortgage and a student loan (which has a ridiculously low interest rate). No credit card debt, no car loans, no home equity loans.
lelab lelab 8 years
I don't agree with homeownership. I live in high-cost of living city and the idea of spending $350K on 750 feet does not make any money sense. In addition, commuting an hour and half to and from work just to say I own a home doesn't make money sense. My city hasn't been affected by the housing bubble burst, so I expect that price to stay the same or get higher. My husband and I may never buy and that is fine. And we aren't throwing our money away--I believe shelter is an important expense. Forbes did a comparison for high-cost of living towns and concluded that it makes more sense to rent in many of these areas. Don't just follow so-called "expert" opinions without doing your own research!
acf222 acf222 8 years
I am 26 and will definitely have all these down before I turn 30. I completely agree with giving money away and being charitable. Another poster above commented on this as being "the stupidest thing" they've ever heard, but believe me, when you have to file your tax returns, charitable donations can really help you out. Not to mention that they are for good causes!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Well I'm not Gen Y, I guess I'm Gen X. But owning home has never been a desire or goal of mine. I would consider it a burden more than a benefit. My goal is to get as far off the "grid" as possible. No more junk mail, no records of me, no nothing just me not destroying anything or hurting as few people as possible. Let's see by 25 I learned completely and fully that credit cards are wrong and promote bad spending habits and consumerism for the sake of consumerism. I owned a home by 16, sold my sake in it to my dad at 21 cause I wanted nothing to do with the liability, homeowner's insurance and taxes etc. Give money away - been doing that since I was a kid. I think I grew up in the generation where our elementary schools had canned food drives for the homeless or needy families, we donation our time to help Senior Citizen and by high school were raising money for causes. Because my family has been directly and negatively impacted by Brain Tumors, Parkinson's and MS as soon as I started getting a paycheck I started donating regularly to those foundations that would work to cure those ailments. Know thyself - check until I change and grow or shrink again (that's emotionally). As my nephews tattoo says "Temet nosce". Know smart people - hmm...I don't gauge my friends on whether they are PhD, MBA etc. It's more like do you have a good sense of humor? Can you laugh at yourself in a positive way? Can you laugh at me but still respect me? Can you tolerate me being annoying? Yeah we're friends.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
we are on track to be out of debt by the end of the year, when we will start to save for our down payment on a house. So yeah we are all well and good over here! (24, and 25)...
Meike Meike 8 years
1. Check. I only use one and the balance is always zero because I pay it off in full every month. 2. No plans to do so. Nope. Nada. Not in America. Instead, I will live with my husband in a town near Frankfurt, Germany where real estate organizations are non-profit and everything earned goes to building and making the community a better place. By building investment into the community with our rent money, we are able live inexpensively with a high standard of living. I wish real estate would be the same here in the U.S. 3. Have them but there is always room for improvement no matter what skill level or age you are. Plus, continual learning that challenges the mind helps with delaying age-related illnesses like Alzheimer's. 4. I definitely want to do more of this when I have more disposable income. I also want to volunteer more of my time towards good causes. 5. Check. Done. That isn't to say that more life experiences in the future might deeply affect me. I just have more rationality to not change from it. I guess I'm a stubborn Taureen. 6. Check. It more or less has to do with the big 'H' and that one crazy technical institute less than 5 minutes away. Lol. Good times.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that i'll either hit all or most of them. i've already bought a house and i'm renting it out so it's technically my investment property. i think that i've also made a huge step in the whole credit card thing since i don't use any and i have been paying all the ones that i had when i was younger. there are soo many things that we want to achieve by the time that we're 30 that i'm afraid to make a list cause then i'll get let down if i don't. at least i know that i'm on the way to really making a difference in my life
emo_stacer emo_stacer 8 years
i have # 2, 4, and 5 down...and have awhile until 30.
jessie jessie 8 years
1,2,5,and 6 are done for me and i'm 31...we've owned and sold 2 houses already.....we were scaling back on credit cards until boeing went on strike...:oy:...once he goes back...we will start that again...i think we are doing pretty damn good for our age.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
hithats -- I think it is absolutely deplorable that you think donating money is the "stupidest thing you've ever heard." I think donating money to causes you believe in is important. My husband and I don't have a lot of extra money, but we do donate some money to our local animal shelter.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I am proud to say I have accomplished all of these, and I'm 32. I still have student loans (thanks, medical school), but I have a good payment plan for those and they will eventually go away. I will admit that I never would have felt comfortable buying a home if my fiance hadn't been a little more financially established than I am (he is a few years older than me). I could have made it work, but I didn't want to.
thelorax thelorax 8 years
At 23 I've hit them all! Yay! Of course, I wouldn't be able to do several of these without help from my husband, but I've worked really hard & learned to make a lot of sacrifices to meet those goals. Now someone slap me before I head over to FabSugar to drool over suede boots...
emsmiley emsmiley 8 years
I am definitely on the past 2 years my credit score has doubled (imagine how low it was!), I've reduced my consumer credit debt by 75% and am on track to hit 85% by February '09. I am on time with my student loans. i have made several key connections in just this last week to help me with my career plan...3 more years and i am excited!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I totally do not agree that you shouldn't buy a home unless you can afford a 10 year mortgage. There are PLENTY of responsible people who have bought and owned homes and did just fine on regular 30 yr loans. With home prices in CA I would have to put down at least 50% (probably a more, so like over $100K)to be able to afford a 10 yr mortgage. that's just not feasible. AND giving away money isn't just giving to a bum on the street. It's giving to organizations that need it for research, for help. I cannot see how how helping when you can is morally flawed or unhealthy in the slightest. Helping when you can is a wonderful gift you can give.
geebers geebers 8 years
hitthat - I think he means giving in the sense of charity- which is really important. he writes "No, not to the credit card companies, in the form of 24.99% interest-rate payments. Instead, establish a regular charitable giving plan.." We all can afford to give something- not saying that people should give away their savings account. I turn 30 in 2 years - and I pretty much have all the other things down. Buying a home is not on my list and probably won't be for another few years.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Giving money away is financially healthy? wtf? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. When you give money away you have LESS. And someone that hasn't earned it gets MORE. It's morally flawed and grossly UNHEALTHY, both for your sense of self-worth and your bank account. I also agree with the other posters that home ownership is an iffy one. America has always pushed that and look what good it did. Don't buy a home unless you can afford a short mortgage (10 or so years) and can pay a healthy down-payment on it (15%+).
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I'm working on 1 and 2 the most right now. We're in the process of buying a house and while it's scary it's also SUPER exciting. I was like WHOA I'm not a kid anymore! I'm only 25, but I feel like I'm on the right track
syako syako 8 years
I've got five years to 30 and I'd say I've probably got about 3-4 of these squared away. Home ownership seems to be a little risky if you're not in the right situation - i.e. in a place you want to stay for a long period of time and in a job that's stable and you like enough to stay for a long period of time. So I don't know if I'd include that one in "my list" just because of all the mess that's going on these days and the fact that my generation seems to be one that can't make a 12 month commitment let alone 10-15 years. :shrug:
javsmav javsmav 8 years
well, except for the home ownership, I'm good. I have no desire to own a condo though--too much commitment!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I'm not but I'm only 21 so hopefully I'll get my act together. :)
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
Im def on the right track!
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