Get Financially Fit

Financing your 30s

Jun 2, 2023

Your 30s are an exciting and pivotal time in your life. With new responsibilities and milestones on the horizon, it's important to make good money decisions, whether you're starting with strong finances or find yourself with no money at 30. From savings targets to income goals and retirement plans, Loqbox dives into financing your 30s.

Turning 30 can feel like life is changing in a big way. You might still be living like you did in your 20s, or maybe you’re more settled. Either way, you might still feel the pressure to make big life decisions. So it’s a good time to set some finance goals for your 30s to help you build towards your 40s (OK, you might not want to think about 40 yet, but your future self will thank you!).

How much money should I have saved at 30?

Knowing how much money you should have at 30 is a common worry, but the answer really depends on your individual circumstances. Generally, it is suggested that having savings equivalent to your annual salary by the age of 30 is a good target to hit. But don't panic if you're not quite there, because it’s never too late to start.

Start saving consistently, set realistic goals, focus on paying off debts first, and build an emergency fund. Even putting a little aside, if you stick with it, can have great results. Using budgets can help you to work out how much and how often you should be saving. You can find out about budgeting rules here (we’d recommend the 50-20-30 rule).

This rule separates your income into percentages:

  • 50% is reserved for what you need (mortgage and bills).

  • 20% is a good amount to put into paying off your debts or adding to your savings every month.

  • That leaves 30%  just for you and what you want (entertainment and luxury).

And because these are percentages, they can grow with your income. 

You should also make sure to pay off high interest debts before you build your savings. The interest that you pay on debts will normally be much higher than the interest that is paid to you on your savings. So, by clearing your debts, you can boost your saving power. Obviously, some debts are unavoidable, and even beneficial, but prioritise clearing any that are a burden.

How much money should I be making at 30?

While there is no fixed rule for how much money you should be making at 30, it's important to aim for steady career growth if you want to hit your goals. Explore opportunities to grow your income, and consider upskilling or pursuing higher education if necessary. Developing a strong earning potential in your 30s can significantly impact your long-term financial wellbeing (and remember, the skills you learned in your 20s will need to give you the best opportunities for growth).

The bigger your income, the greater your saving power. If you have the available time and energy,  you could think about a second job, but even if you don’t, it’s possible to build a passive income by monetising your skills or hobbies. If you’re already in a position to save money, consider making that money work for you by exploring investing.

How much retirement money should I have at 30?

It is often recommended that by 30 you should have saved one year’s worth of your salary for retirement. (Yikes, we’ve only just started talking about your 30s and suddenly we’ve jumped to your pension!) But the truth is, it’s never too early to start planning for retirement. By the end of your 30s, you could be 25 years (or more)  from the end of your career.

To help you grow your retirement savings, maximise your contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plans and consider starting (and/or diversifying) investments. This should help for long-term growth. You might also want to get professional advice to create a retirement strategy that aligns with your goals.

Another way to build your savings is to not grow your spending in line with your income. That means when your income increases, you use the extra money to feed your savings and investments, rather than grow your spending habits. It’s easy to get used to a new income level, but try to fuel long-term goals rather than spend on short-term ones. 

Finance goals for your 30s

Your 30s are an ideal time to set ambitious yet attainable financial goals. Whether it's buying a home, starting a family, or saving for further education, prioritise your goals and create a realistic timeline. Balance your short-term desires with your long-term financial security to keep a healthy financial lifestyle.

Another good finance goal for your 30s should be making sure you have a great credit score. Your credit score is a number that lets you know how creditworthy you appear to lenders and it’s based on your credit report. Your credit scores and reports are generated by the top three credit reference agencies (CRAs) in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

The better (higher) your credit scores, the more likely you are to be offered credit, and at better interest rates. So whether you’re trying to get a mortgage, take out a large loan, or setting up a credit card — a strong credit report could save you £1,000s in the long run on interest rates.

Loqbox works with all three of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to help our members get the best scores possible. You could boost your score by up to 300 points in the first three months of using our core tools in combination: Loqbox Grow, Loqbox Save and Loqbox Rent

Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. 

As with anything related to credit and financial products, many factors can impact the scoring system — follow this guide to know more about what can affect your credit scores and how to improve them.

Learn from personal finance patterns in your 20s, and your 30s will thank you!

Reflecting on your financial choices from your 20s can provide valuable lessons for your 30s. Did you make mistakes like getting into too much debt, or pick up poor spending habits? Don’t beat yourself up about them, but instead, use them as stepping stones to improve. 

Build on your financial literacy, practice responsible credit management, and consider seeking professional guidance to make informed decisions. 

Keep an eye on your finances, set realistic goals, stick to your guns when it comes to building yourself a better future. And remember, try to have fun, you’re still young! 

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