As far as general societal expectations go, your 30s are supposed to be the decade when things really start happening — or, at least, it’s when you get better at figuring out who you are and what you want out of life.
And let me just say that, as an anxious and slightly confused 26 year old, I cannot wait.
There’s a lot of pressure to be at the top of your game — not only in your career, but also in terms of relationships, family, money management, and generally being able to take care of yourself.
And the scary thing? That’s only the beginning!
1.So, when Reddit user Xravi put out the question “What do you wish you would’ve done in your 30s to create a better life for yourself in your 40s and beyond?” earlier this week, the internet delivered with a lot of great advice…
^^There’s your tl;dr, basically.
And honestly, it all turned out to be super relevant for just about anyone trying to set themselves up for success in life.
You don’t have to wait until your 30s (or feel like you missed out on them) to start taking some of this hard-won advice. Here are the best and most universal tips that came up:
2.First of all, invest in your future self, whether it’s through a retirement fund, low-index funds, or a high-yield savings account…
“Pay yourself first. Lock away a good percentage of your salary from yourself for yourself.”
3.But really: start seriously stashing that money!
“Save, save, save, save.”
4.Stop putting off your dreams…
“Do the things you want to do. Stop waiting for the right time, just go.”
5.And don’t be afraid to try something totally different with your career.
“Take more risks, especially with your career. Mistakes as a young professional are less damaging than mistakes as an older professional.”
6.Get serious about taking good care of your body…
“I wish I’d learned more about food, nutrition, and exercise. The 30s are where you learn that the effortless momentum of your 20s is not forever, and maintaining that momentum is actually (in your 30s) all about being smart with food and exercise.”
7.…as well as your mental and emotional health!
“Start seeing a therapist. IMO better ROI than actual investing, which you should also be doing.
Remember it might take a few tries to find the right one, and things don’t have to be bad to improve them.”
8.And remember to enjoy yourself and try to not take anything for granted.
“I’ve also had to say goodbye to more people than I thought I would. Not just older family members like you’d expect, but for example, I recently lost a friend my age to cancer. For me, this also serves as a serious reminder of the importance to continue to enjoy your life and don’t end up not going out, buying that impulse thing, or taking that trip because you are too focused on your future to enjoy your present.”
9.Know that there’s never going to be a “perfect” time for those really big decisions…
“Don’t wait until you can ‘afford’ to have children. Like buying a house, there is never going to be a perfect time. Have them while you are still strong enough to keep up with them.”
10.…and that pretty much no one feels like they’ve got it all figured out.
“I can almost guarantee that even if you did most of the ‘right’ things, you’d probably still feel like you messed up, even if it’s only a little bit.”
11.Get into meal prep for your lunches, if you haven’t already.
“This is key. 20-something-year old co-workers spend about $10/day going out for lunch. You can literally save $150+/month preparing you own lunches.”
12.And let go of any relationships that aren’t serving you.
“I would’ve let go of bad relationships sooner than I actually did. ‘Cut the fat,’ as they say.”
13.If you’re thinking about buying a place of your own, make sure it’s within your means.
“Just because you’re approved for a 250K loan, doesn’t mean you should shop at 225-250K. I bought a place that’s two bed, two baths: everything I need, nothing I don’t. I don’t want kids, so I don’t need a 4-bedroom house. Stay under your budget.”
14.See as much of the world as you can.
“Travel more. Traveling is more about logistics than freedom after you have kids.”
15.Consider starting your own business.
“I started a business when I was 34, and it was the best decision I ever made. I had the drive to get it off the ground in my 30s, and now I think I have the experience to take it to the next level in my 40s.”
16.And finally, wear sunscreen, people!
“I’ve lived on/near the beach my whole life and didn’t start wearing sunscreen until I was about 31. When I had my son. I always made sure he was protected and finally realized that I needed it, too. I’m paying dearly for those decades of not protecting my skin.”
Got some advice of your own for how to make the most of your 30s/life in general? Tell us in the comments below!
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