How I Should be Saving Money as a 30-Year-Old

November 28, 2019

I’m 29 years old, and in a few months, I’ll be hitting that big 30, but what does that actually mean for me? “Life isn’t a straight line” and “everything happens for a reason” are two mottos I seriously take to heart because, as a millennial, my life’s journey is not the same as and […]

I’m 29 years old, and in a few months, I’ll be hitting that big 30, but what does that actually mean for me? “Life isn’t a straight line” and “everything happens for a reason” are two mottos I seriously take to heart because, as a millennial, my life’s journey is not the same as and doesn’t even slightly reflect my parent’s generation. So, with my lifestyle, dreams, ideologies, and values – here’s my plan that works for my world today.

My YOLO Choices Weren’t Smart,
But I Don’t Regret It

I’ve made really good money in my advertising career, and I had quite a bit of savings that I built up while living in Australia. It was helpful that as a resident in Australia, medicare was a thing, and I never had to pay anything when I needed to visit the hospital or had to pay only a small amount for a doctor’s fee and medicine. I had about $40-60,000 saved up by the time I was 26 years old, after a shit ton of money paid off my student loans. During that time of my life, I needed a break from advertising because I was at the point of my career where I accomplished success a bit too quickly, and I needed to start investing myself to cure my curiosity and boredom – taking all the skill sets I have learned, and applying it to starting up a dream business. I might talk about this at another time more in-depth, but for now, I can say that the start-up business failed, and I chose to walk away from it all due to personal reasons.

Self-Love Gives You Courage and Permission To Live For Yourself

After my start-up business failed and many personal reasons have led me to return home to the USA from Australia, this is when my own development journey truly started to kick-in. I was back in the advertising game as a Senior Digital Producer and was making a fair compensation to my work efforts. This has allowed me to rebuild my life as I had to build from nothing – none of my furniture or belongings were shipped from Australia, and I had to start anew. That meant finding the right city that wasn’t shitty and expensive, where there was some longevity.

I realized a bit later than most after my previous relationship that if I make money, it is my decision on how to use it. This was so important for me because, previously, I was micromanaged entirely and judged upon how I used my money on a personal and business level. Now, I feel freer than ever, and I know how to buy things for me, not anyone else. So, now I am here in the USA with zero of my belongings, and what did I do? I used my new earned money to settle down (with myself), knowing I won’t be living abroad anymore. I knew that over time, cheap furniture would soon need to be replaced, and that’s double the time and money. Instead, I took the time to really map out what I wanted for my dream single-home and went window shopping online as to what that meant.

I put aside money to buy all my essentials, but at the quality and design I what I wanted for me to feel good in my “new independent home”. I’ve become the type of person where I want to invest in quality, rather than doing the whole Ikea-like quality where I throw it out later and have to repurchase again.

Ultra Luxe Bed & Bedding Set
Chesterfield Tufted Headboard
Townsend Square Arm Upholstered Sofa with Reversible Storage Chaise Sectional
Jensen Dining Table
Classic Café Upholstered Dining Chair

Those are my big purchases to get “over with,” and so I don’t need to “think” about replacing or have the desire to repurchase it with another version because the design and functions of it will last a good decade or so.

Any other purchases are “extra” in my mind that is smaller in cost and are mundane items that can easily be upgraded on an annual basis i.e., cutting boards, computers, console games, cat trees, vacuum cleaners.

Self-Care Is A Necessity

Different folks in different generations and upbringings may have a different perspective in this, but as a millennial, we live in a world that is “online” 24/7. And we need dedicated time to chill the f*ck out. Mental health is a serious thing to take into consideration. It’s okay to spend time for yourself without feeling guilty about it. This is money spent on self-care, not for indulgence.

Daily Planner by Lavendaire
The Lavendaire Shop
2020 Artist of Life Workbook
The Lavendaire Shop
Natural Himalayan Salt Lamps
  • Zen room: diffuser with oils, Himalayan salt lamps
  • Personal beauty: nails, hair, eyelashes, spa, baths
  • Resting hobbies: books, games, movies, tv shows, baking/cooking
  • Fitness: gym membership, CorePower Yoga, Soul Cycle, F24, Classpass

Savings Restart Plan for a 30 Year Old Millenial

The formula that is most socialized online and in books is the 50/30/20 plan.

50: Rent, utilities & daily expenses
30: Live
20: Savings

However, now that I have to catch up in my savings, I have created my formula for savings to help me achieve my two significant buckets of savings: 1) Future (emergency fund, housing fund, marriage fund), and 2) Self-Care (f*ck off fund).

30: Rent, utilities & daily expenses
30: Live (food, shopping, entertainment)
40: Savings (1/2 for future, and 1/2 for self-care)

Saving Account with High-Yield Interest Options

There are some pretty clever high-yield saving account options out there, rather than your traditional savings account from a big bank that you all should look into. If you are starting to save or have been saving and your interest rate is at a typical 0.4%, switch off ASAP! Let your money grow and take action for yourself and your future. The extra money helps when times get rough.

  • Betterment – variable rate that’s currently APY 1.85%
  • Robinhood – variable rate that’s currently APY 1.80%
  • Marcus – variable rate that’s currently APY 1.70%
  • Ally – variable rate that’s currently APY 1.70%

After reading this blog article, the #1 question to ask yourself is – are you ready to have that conversation with yourself and reflecting on how you manage your money? If you are, start mapping out how you’d separate your savings funds for different uses and get your sh*t together. If you aren’t, that’s okay, but I hope you learned something to take away with for when you are ready.

Fortune Cookie Money Tips

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I'm Cee, your new get-a-grip friend.

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