What To Save For In Our Thirties

In our early twenties it’s about figuring out our path—which I would argue is always something we’re figuring out, it doesn’t end when you hit a certain age—but usually at the beginning of our twenties we’re testing the waters job-wise, paying off student loans, etc, and not concerning ourselves as much with future spending, especially when it’s way off in the future.

But the future is always coming, steadily plodding closer one day at a time, and we really do need to think of it if we want to set ourselves up for financial stability and success. So now what? Now that I’m nearing my late twenties. Well, actually I’m IN my late twenties… I’ve begun to think about the next decade. What should I be focusing on?

Here are five things I believe we should save for in our thirties (if you haven’t started to already):

1. Retirement

If you aren’t already, you should be saving for retirement. Seriously! Some sources say that you’ll need about $1 million to $1.6 million saved if you’d like to retire by age 67. That number is overwhelming, and terrifying…for me at least! But don’t panic yet— AARP shared an article about how to figure out how much you’d really need for retirement and Nerd Wallet has a handy calculator to help you parse out how much you should be saving monthly to get there.

You should be set up with a 401K, IRA or Roth IRA account to get your savings going…if your company has a 401K match program, sign up for it! If not, there are other options for retirement accounts, and we talk about them here.

2. Children

If children are something you or you and your partner would like to have, start saving up now. The expense of having children is one thing, but raising children is another!

According to smartasset.com, the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 17 is nearly $280,000. That doesn’t include expenses if your child has severe health issues, or if you’d like to have a fund for your child’s college or future.

3. A House

Owning property is a big expense, and most of us want to have some at some point, whether it’s an apartment, a condo, a two-story house, or something in between.

We’ve written about what to do before buying a house, but the biggest thing, bigger than setting up your Pinterest dream boards, is to start saving for one.

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4. Travel

Or any other important “hobbies”. For me, traveling is something I want to do until I die, but travel can be so utterly expensive. I set goals for myself and I want to be able to travel to a new country every year or every other year, so I’ve started a separate savings account that I try to contribute at least something to every month.

If travel isn’t your thing, maybe it’s dining at Michelin star restaurants, or owing jet skis, or a beach house. No matter what your “what” is, you should save up to #treatyoself in the future.

5. Emergency Fund

I also call this a “rainy day fund” because sometimes when it rains it really pours. You don’t want to be stuck if your refrigerator and your car break down in the same month, because if I’m given the option of food or transport, I likely will choose food and then lose my job because I can’t drive to work. No need for that!

There are many ways to build up your emergency fund, and you’ll breathe easier and sleep better at night if you aren’t worrying about the future “what ifs.”

Considering what to save for your thirties can feel overwhelming. But we want you to know it’s never too late. Start saving right now, even if you haven’t saved a penny before. Your future self will thank you.

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