Your 30s are typically a time of increasing responsibility. Many 30-somethings are busy settling down, raising a family, and building their careers.
Working to pay a slew of new bills can take over your life and make it harder to be spontaneous. But those who’ve been there before say that focusing too much on work and money means you’ll miss important moments, which you can never get back.
Quora users in their 40s and 50s discussed what they wished they had focused on in their 30s in the thread: “What do you regret not doing in your 30s?“
We’ve summarized some of the best responses:
1. Prioritise work-life balance.
Is a better job title worth it if you’re not actually enjoying your life? Many Quora users write that they felt like they didn’t spend enough time with their children in their developmental years, or that they neglected their relationship with their spouse. As Graham Jeffrey writes, “There’s no point being driven to the point of being demented if you don’t make time to share with others.”
2. Maintain strong personal friendships.
As you get older, you may find that your time is increasingly spent at home or growing your professional network and less and less with your friends. But you shouldn’t let those friendships die. “I would gladly give up a big chunk of my net worth to regain a couple of close friends,” one anonymous poster says of those he drifted from in his 30s.
3. If you want to start a business, now’s the time.
Your 30s are a great time to use your professional experience to pursue an enriching side job, the anonymous poster writes. And when it comes to starting your own business, the earlier you get moving, the better. Maybe that means creating an online business, becoming a landlord, or joining with your spouse or friends to pursue a shared passion.
4. If you want kids, don’t wait.
Do not make the mistake of putting off having children because of money, says Barbara Gotsopoulos. No one is ever adequately prepared for the challenge of raising children, and waiting won’t help. And if you do wait too long, you may lose the ability to have them.
5. Focus on your health.
You’re not in your 20s anymore, but you’re still young! Don’t give up working out or yoga just because you have more to do each day than you used to, writes Adam Dehner. The habits you maintain now will pay off in the future. “[A]t 41, I’ve got a list of physical complaints that might not have come about had I been healthier.”
6. Adjust your budget.
Hopefully you used your 20s to develop a debt-repayment plan for loans and you started saving. It may feel like the money you set aside for retirement won’t amount to much as your financial obligations keep increasing, but it will only become harder to save in your 40s, says Brad Porteus, in a related thread on Quora.
7. Have fun.
Too many people think maturing means giving up on having a good time. You’re not too old to pick up your guitar hobby again or start going to more concerts, says Jeff Miller. Go on dates with your spouse, and play with your kids. Those are the things that matter most of all.
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