Welcome to Your Thirties
Hangovers, classy engagements, enormous amounts of bills, couches, and did I forget to mention…hangovers? These are just some of the delights that will welcome you to your thirties – each in their very own unique way. As you confront these different issues, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about how invincible you were during your twenties.
Ah yes, your twenties, those glorious years when you could work all day and party all night on just two hours of sleep. Well…hate to break it to you, that’s all over from here on out. Try working an eight-hour day and partying all night in your thirties and the only thing you’ll be able to do the day after is use a sick day. If you’re under thirty while reading this, you probably scoffed at that line. But if you’re over thirty, a silent “preach” just left your mouth. It’s time to start preparing yourself for the inevitable. Here are some goals to tackle once you hit thirty.
Fix Those Finances
Say hello to what’s left of your student loans, that summer backpacking trip through Europe, that time in Vegas, and kid from the commercials who you send ten cents to every day. Unless you’re living the new American Dream and have everything blissfully set on autopay, you might have realized that the lifestyle you want to live and your checking account aren’t exactly on speaking terms.
Start by finding out what your credit score is, and work on paying off your debts. This means learning how to lower both your bills and cost of living while still gaining the most out of life (easier said than done!). Every penny truly counts now as you start to settle down and prepare yourself for the next stage of life—real adulthood. Because let’s face it: when you’re between eighteen and twenty-nine years of age, you may be an adult by law, but according to everyone over the age of thirty-five, you are still “wet behind the ears.”
Also, don’t be scared to look into retirement plans and life insurance. These things are there to help you and your loved ones in the not-so-far-away future. And the sooner you start saving for retirement, the faster you will reach your goals.
Monitor Your Health
Say goodbye to those late-night nuggets and 99-cent pizzas that sobered you up or served as your most important meal of the day before work. Listen to your body, especially at this point of your life. Do research and learn what vitamins you should take and what exercise plans will work best for you on a daily basis. Take advantage of that little thing that continuously draws money out of your check each month—health insurance. Ingratiate yourself with both a primary doctor and therapist (Yes, you have to take care of your mental health too!) in order to stay on top what’s going on with you. If not for that, then at least for the possibility of having someone who can give you doctor notes for those sick days at work. (Totally kidding).
Focus On Family
For this new chapter in your life, you’re going to need a little support and guidance. Who better than your very own family to provide you with both of those things. Family can mean blood relatives or your chosen family: they’re the people who care about you most and have your best interests at heart.
As young adults, we like to believe that we know everything and don’t want anyone telling us what to do unless they’re paying us—and even then, not so much. Leave that attitude in your twenties, because as you continue to grow you will learn that you really didn’t and still don’t know anything about life at all. The older generation of your family can teach you and help guide you through this stage in ways you can’t imagine. Keep your mouth shut and listen to the wisdom and knowledge that they bestow upon you, as you too will have to relay these same teachings to the future generations of your family one day. Make more surprise visits, go to those pesky little family events, and soak up all of Nana’s good sherry – and stories.
Now, I know you’ve probably had the opportunity to travel a few places during your twenties and college years but trust me when I tell you, it’s not the same. When I say to travel, I don’t mean to Señor Frogs in Cancun, Wet Republic in Vegas, or Pacha in Ibiza. I’m talking about going to see the pyramids of Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome, or the Great Wall of China. Go out into the world and see some of the things that you didn’t have an appreciation for when you were younger. Take yourself out of your normal bubble and shake things up a bit – even if that means just taking a two-hour drive to a town you’ve never been to before. If your finances allow you to, try to plan a trip to see something new and fascinating each year. Go with a spouse, a family member, a friend, or even alone. Okay, maybe not alone, because you seen Hostel quite a few times.