5 Life Mistakes You Need to Stop Making by 30


Thinking about the big 30th birthday benchmark? I certainly am! Some habits we get away with in our 20s are not so flattering later in life. Here are the five things you need to stop doing by age 30.

1. Maxing Out Credit Cards

When you got that first credit card fresh out of high school, you thought, whoa, $500 is so much money! A few weeks later, you learned how few dollars that really was, and by then you were maxed out. It's a lesson that we would ideally learn once, pay it down, and move on, but many of us don't. Start learning how to manage your debt and resolve to keep a balance of no more than 20%–30% of your credit limit.

2. Avoiding Doctors

When you're 23, you still boast a high metabolism and strong immune system, so you can't possibly get sick, right? This is a lie every young person believes throughout their 20s to get out of paying for health care. Whether you get into a car accident or you need to treat certain communicable diseases, you need a doctor. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the limited benefits some employers offer, it's easier than ever to find a low-cost plan that will cover you in case of an emergency. If you're a lucky person who's still under his/her parents' plan, use it before you lose it! Here's how to get the care you need without spending too much.

3. Keeping All Funds in One Account

When you first start out as an adult, banking is something you do when you absolutely need to: paying bills, making transfers, informing the bank you lost your debit card at a bar again. Direct deposit dumps your check into the checking account, and so it stays there — until you drain it dry three days before payday. Start thinking about your other banking options. Tweak that direct deposit to send 10% of your checks to you savings account, and don't touch it. Afraid you will touch it anyway? Look into CDs (certificates of deposit) and mutual funds as a way to make a fraction of your earned income grow over time. This can work as your emergency fund or a nest egg for later.

4. Getting Sucked Into Your Phone

This is hard for Millennials. On one hand, we want to use our phones a lot because all our stuff is there! On the other hand, it causes a big social rift between us and elder generations — including the Gen Xers and Boomers, who are still mostly in charge of hiring us for jobs. This means you must have an "offline mode" switch: Know when you're in the clear to play Neko Atsume on your iPhone, and know when it's time to silence the phone and keep it stowed away (not on the table face-up). It's not only to appease our parents; it's also to help us be more human by staying present to others in real time and charming to be around.

5. Putting Off Your Education

Around 40% of college enrollees (both community and university) end up dropping out before earning a degree, and that's only of those who actually apply and enroll to a college — most people in the U.S. do not have a college degree. Think about that if you are struggling to scrape together enough to live on your own comfortably — the bottom rung is too crowded. College is still indisputably the key to success, especially for these majors. If you're still putting off that degree to jumpstart your career, now is the time. Make your 30s an age of well-earned prosperity.

What habits will you finally break when you turn 30?

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Guest's picture

When you say keep a balance of no more than 20%-30%, do you mean keeping that amount past due? I've never understood what this meant, but I've always paid off my credit cards in full each month.