Your 30s are a critical time for a number of reasons.

One of these is that your 30s will set the tone for the rest of your financial life. By the time you hit 30, you should have an established career in place. You then want to build on it to ensure you sustain an increasing salary as time goes on. All the while, you should be setting money aside for retirement and savings.

This isn’t always the case, though.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to build wealth in your 30s no matter where you’re starting from.

You Need a 401(k)

We’re going to begin with the most basic piece of advice: you need a 401(k). More importantly, you need to be maximizing your 401(k).

Whatever kind of matching options your employer provides, contribute the maximum amount. You’ll get free money from your employer, a fantastic vehicle for supporting your retirement, and a plan if you need immediate funds.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k), consider getting a Roth IRA.

“I’m 30 and Broke”

Sadly, many people are in their 30s with no savings whatsoever. They’re broke.

Where do you go from here?

First, you need to break any bad spending habits.

This could mean things like:

  • Downsizing to a smaller place and cheaper rent
  • Getting rid of cable
  • Going out less
  • Working out at home instead of the gym
  • Preparing meals at home instead of ordering in

There are plenty of apps that track your spending for free. Pick one and start following up on your spending habits to find where you can reduce your spending.

Secondly, find a greater source of income.

This might mean getting a new job, or it could mean adding one. Whatever the case, cutting your unnecessary spending probably won’t be enough if you’re 30 and broke. You need to bring in more money, too.

Third, begin paying down any debt you have. This often means student loans, but for many people, it’s credit card debt, too. While there are definitely healthy amounts of debt you don’t need to run from, right now, these ongoing payments are getting in the way of building your savings.

With better spending habits, you’ll be able to make larger payments and zero out that debt.

I’m 30 Years Old with No Savings

Many of you may not be broke, but your savings are nothing to boast about, either.

While this is definitely a better scenario, you need to treat your savings with just as much urgency.

If something were to happen to you and you couldn’t work, if you were laid off, or if one of your children needed a costly surgery, you’d be in serious trouble without adequate savings.

All of the above advice still applies here. You must immediately cut down on unnecessary spending, pay down your debt, and consider how you could make more money.

Furthermore, learn to pay yourself first.

This means that saving now needs to become a priority right up there with paying your rent/mortgage, setting aside money for groceries and gas, etc.

One of the reasons so many people continue without sufficient savings, year after year, is because they treat it as a luxury.

That means it sits right there next to going on vacation, buying a nice pair of shoes, upgrading your car, and other luxury items.

This mindset must change.

Going forward, when you get your paycheck, set aside a certain amount for your savings right away. This is nonnegotiable.

As time goes on, see if you can increase the amount. Even though it might sound like a chore right now, as you see your savings grow, don’t be surprised if hitting new heights becomes the type of goal you anxiously work toward.

Increasing Your Wealth in Your 30s

Once you’ve moved from one of the above categories to stable savings (generally, this is having enough money to live off of for three to six months), you can really begin ramping up your wealth.

Become Financially Literate

It’s never a bad time to increase your financial knowledge. However, if you’re going to start growing your wealth, it’s mandatory. The government will help you through free sites like:

You can also take free financial literacy classes online or buy any number of books on the topic.

The point is, just like with paying yourself first, this needs to become a top priority. Fortunately, you only need a certain baseline of knowledge to become competent enough to really build wealth.

Hire a Financial Advisor

Hire a financial advisor and you’ll have a much easier time pursuing your financial goals. Education is still important – even if you have the funds to hire someone right now – but having professional help will take a lot of the uncertainty out of the road ahead.

You’ll enjoy real financial confidence when you know that someone who is trained in financial matters is monitoring your nest egg. They’ll also have ideas for specific goals you have and can help you transition when it comes to major milestones like buying a house, having children, and saving for retirement.

If you feel stuck because you’re 30 and broke, have no savings, or simply don’t have a lot of money in your bank account, you’re far from alone. At Mooney Lyons, we’ve helped clients in the exact same position.

No matter where you’re at in your journey, if you’re looking to build wealth in your 30s, contact us today.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.