14 Women On The Money Goals They Want To Reach Before 30
I’m smack in the middle of my late-20s, and I find myself surrounded by the already-30 crowd more often than the not-yet-30 crowd these days. As I approach that big milestone myself, I wonder how I will react. I know some people who have embraced 30 with open arms, while it was a source of anxiety for others. Most of my birthdays pass without much fanfare, other than a lovely dinner and a drink or two. Will 30 feel different? Will I feel older, or more accomplished?
It’s yet to be seen, but I do know that I’ll be setting some goals for myself in the next 18 months, financial and otherwise. I asked a variety of 20-somethings what money goal they wanted to reach before turning 30 themselves, and here’s what they said:
1. “My goal is to have my student loans completely paid off. If I continue at the pace I have been paying them off so far, it should definitely happen. Then, I will use the money I once put toward student loans to start saving for my children’s future college education.” — Kaitlyn, 28
2. “A financial goal I have for before age 30 is to save enough to take a two-week trip to an entirely new place abroad that I haven’t been. I want my savings to already be in a very comfortable place, so that when I’m saving up for this trip, it’s totally separate from my emergency fund, or savings I might have for a down payment on a house at that point. I’m still not close to my 30th birthday, so it’s conceivable that I will have other goals a few years from now, but when I started my career, I stopped prioritizing travel, and it’s definitely something I want to start planning for.” — Margaret, 24
3. “My husband and I just bought a house, so my next goal is to pay off the $24,000 I have left in student loans.” — Serena, 28
4. “By the time I’m 30, I’d ideally love to have built a house, or have it be in the works and be managing that comfortably.” — Janet, 19
5. “My goal is to buy a house in the next two years before I’m 30, and to have a savings of at least $10,000.” — Kristie, 28
6. “I want to be able to pay my rent and credit card bill at the same time, rather than at different times of the month after receiving my paycheck.” — Erica, 28
7. “My husband and I don’t have specific money goals in terms of an amount, but we know where we want to be financially secure by the time we are 30. Our main goal is zero debt. We currently have both cars paid off and my student loan, so the only debt remaining now is my husband’s student loans. We want to buy a house in a year or two and are working hard to put down at least 50% on our ‘dream home.’ We are also both in love with traveling, so we make that a priority by putting money away each month so that we can go on trips a few times every year. It’s very important for us to be in a good spot financially to be able to continue doing this. By the time I am 30, we hope to have everything paid off, including our house and his remaining student loans, so that I can be a stay-at-home mom.” — Kaitlyn, 23
8. “I turn 30 in 11 months and my financial goals are as follows: 1. Earn at least $85k; 2. Pay off my credit card debt ($2,800); 3. Save $6k toward a house; 4. Have my 401k/IRA hit at least $15k (dependent on the markets). I’m currently watching Mad Money!” — Julie, 29
9. “It’s no surprise, or a sympathy story, that at my age I still carry a lot of student loan debt. While I wish I could say I will be debt-free from those loans in nine months, I have a more realistic goal. That debt has made it hard to adjust to post-college life, and my dad has picked up a few bills till I ‘get on my feet.’ I’m nearly there, but my goal by 30 is to no longer have that help. In a nutshell, I hope to no longer be financially dependent on anyone.” — Matt, 29
10. “Start contributing more to my 401k. In the most adult sentence I’ve ever typed out, I would love to be able to start contributing more than the bare minimum to my 401k. When your financial analyst of a boyfriend reminds you on a daily basis how much money he already has in his 401k, it makes you think and worry about your own future. Currently, I contribute just 4% to my 401k, but I’d love to get that up to 7%-8% before the dirty 30 hits.” — Kailee, 27
11. “When I think of my financial goals for when I turn 30, I mostly think about swapping my debt to savings ratio. I have met a lot of my financial goals: I max out my monthly contribution to my 401k, I’m earning the max amount for my current dream job, and I bought a house in 2014. I have a small amount of saving, about $30,00, and some credit card debt, about $10,000. I plan to work to pay off that debt and increase my savings. I think that is a doable plan for the next year thanks to my planned budget.” — Nora, 29
12. “My goal is to have $50,000 in my 401k by the time I’m 30. I’m a lawyer, so I didn’t even start working until 25 at a ‘real job.’ I started out contributing 10% of my pay my first year, from the first check, so I never missed it. Each year, with raises, I’ve increased that by 1%. So first year of employment, 10% of pay, second year, 11% of more pay, etc. I always throw in 10% of my bonus too, since that gets taxed all to hell. So, in two and a half years, I’m at $17,660, and I know my contribution will continue to increase for the next two and a half years before I turn 30.
“It was tough the first year, since my student loan payments are so big. It’s definitely a different outlook when I have significant student debt to still pay down, but when my employer offers a good match (25% of what I contribute up until the 401k limit), I still come out ahead even with interest costs, I think. You can’t buy back time to save for retirement.” — Morgan, 27
13. “I turn 30 in 18 months, and I’ve just started paying attention to my net worth. It’s one measurement that incorporates all my accounts — retirement accounts, brokerage, checking savings, even credit card debt. It’s not the end all, be all of numbers, but it gives me a good sense of progress I’m making. Right now, between all my accounts, my net worth sits at about $78,000. I would really like to hit $100,000 before I turn 30. Hopefully, between my continued savings, contributing 10% to my 401k with an employer match, and the stock market, I’ll be able to celebrate hitting that goal and hitting the next decade around the same time.” — Ali, 28
14. “My husband and I have been trying to pay off as much as we can on his student loans before we hit 30. Ideally, we’d like to wipe those out ($62k) and have a comfortable nest egg ($20k) to fall back on when we decide to start a family in the next few years. This means that we don’t have a lot of extra money right now for traveling or date nights, but we know that this will benefit us in just a few short years down the road when we won’t have an absurdly high monthly payment to make.” — Jane, 27
Jenn is a marketing professional living with her boyfriend and cat in Portland, Oregon. You can find her gallery of excessive cat photos on Instagram and Twitter.
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