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10 Big Money Steps You Should Be Taking Before 30

One of the most difficult parts of getting better with money is knowing where to start. There is this overwhelming feeling that there is some kind of end point, where you are finally “good,” and the vague beginning you currently stand at, where you are generally “bad.” You know that there are a lot of things you could be doing better, a lot of things you could be starting with, but everything feels overwhelming and impossible to tackle at once. That’s certainly the way I felt about money for a long time, which led me to avoid it and keep my head in the sand for as long as I did.

But in the over-two years since I have been working on TFD, I have realized one thing: most of the ways in which you will advance in your money life are very manageable, particularly when taken one by one. It’s not becoming a totally different person, or radically changing your interests, or suddenly becoming a master at the stock market (or, frankly, ever becoming a master at the stock market). Most of what we’ll do to live better with money just means living more intentionally and thoughtfully, gaining control over our choices and shaping an idea of what we want our lives to look like.

To give us all some concrete places to start, Lauren and I spent this week’s video breaking down 10 of the biggest, most fundamental money steps we should all be taking by age 30. They are not comprehensive — and they will look a little different for everyone — but they are a great litmus test for how close you are to getting some serious control over your money life.

Enjoy, and good money-ing!

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  • Mia

    What about saving for your future family, let’s say for your wedding, or a new apartment for you and your spouse( and possibly kids)? Many people marry or have children in their 20s, I personally have friends who started to save for their wedding during high school, and financed the majority of the wedding themselves.

    • Cindy Simba

      Uuhhmmm weddings are a big scam for those who can’t really afford it. They were traditionally a way of showing off wealth anyways. Besides, research has shown that people who spend more money actually have lower marriage success rates. Saving for a future home or maybe a child is reasonable. An overpriced one day affair to drain your savings is not. If you can naturally afford an expensive wedding great. If not I don’t think its worth the struggle.

    • Kathryn Neuhardt

      Not everyone wants to get married or have kids. The things in this video apply no matter what lifestyle choices you make or what your personal life looks like. If those things really are important to you then you should consider saving for them, but ultimately they’re choices like going on vacation or buying a nice car. They seemed to be addressing more general things everyone should be doing.