30 Things to Do Before You Hit 30

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Turning 30 soon? Here are 30 things to do before you hit 30, from managing your money to going on that trip you've always dreamed of taking.

In two months, I’ll turn 29 years old, which has me creeping closer and closer to that 30 mark! With a little over a year left until I enter a new decade of my life, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do in this last year of my twenties to make it worthwhile, fun, and dare I say it, life changing.

This post would be boring if it was just about me though, so below is a list of 30 things anyone can do before they hit 30 that will make their lives – both financial and personal – just a little bit better.

  1. Finally Learn How to Stop Hitting Snooze. This is a superpower I’m convinced only my husband has.
  2. Learn how to create a budget and actually stick to it. I love budgeting and have tried every type and app under the sun. Still, some months I go over. If you need help starting a budget, check out Simple. A free banking app, Simple helps you start a simple budget by helping you save for goals and tell you how much you can afford to spend before your next paycheck.
  3. Take a class in something just for fun. I’ve always wanted to take an art class just because.
  4. Sell all of your crap from high school. Seriously, why do I still have clothes I wore when I was 16?
  5. Reach out to an old friend. Sometimes old friends are the best friends.
  6. Make your LinkedIn profile look professional. Yep, time to pretend like we’re adults full of language like “diverse array of skill sets” and “targeted marketing.”
  7. Start a side hustleBecause you know you have student loans to pay off.
  8. Speaking of side hustles, destroy your student loan debt (or at least a big chunk of it.) I know I don’t want my $30,000 of student loan debt hanging around into my thirties any longer than it has to. Even staring down the big 3-0 I believe we can be ambitious about killing our student loan debt (or any other debt for that matter). If you are looking for help getting started on this worthy effort and don’t know where to begin, refinancing to a lower interest rate through someone reputable, like Credible, might help you make progress faster.
  9. Take the first step towards getting your dream job. It’s now or never baby.
  10. Perform a random act of kindness for someone. Even the smallest act can make a huge impact on someone else’s day.
  11. See a movie you wouldn’t normally watch. I hate violence so I tend to stick to romantic comedies. However, I might try to watch a documentary or something out of the box for my viewing habits.
  12. Give money to someone in need. There’s always someone who isn’t as fortunate as you.
  13. Calculate how much money you need to save each month to retire early. I know my number. Do you know yours?
  14. Then, actually take the steps to set up your retirement accounts and make those automatic deposits. Sometimes, taking the time to sit down and figure out how to set up your retirement accounts is the hardest part. If you don’t know where to start, check out our list of the best online brokerage accounts.
  15. Get off your parents’ family cell phone plan and find a cheap one for yourself. I love my $40/month Go Phone but Republic Wireless has sweet plans as low as $15/month and Straight Talk starts at $35/month.
  16. Learn how to invest and buy your first stock or mutual fund. If money is a concern or you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, consider opening an account with Betterment as no minimum balance is required. Once you get started, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
  17. Read a book for pleasure. This is a rare luxury these days. I love to read but I just don’t do it enough.
  18. Go an entire day without using a screen. I can’t even imagine a day like this, but I sure can try.
  19. Give up your TV. You watch Netflix all the time anyway. Many of you know I’ve gone many years without a TV and I hardly notice the difference due to my Netflix subscription.
  20. Mail someone a hand written note. I love sending them as much as I love getting them.
  21. Give your dog some one on one time. Dog park and doggie bakery anyone?
  22. Go on a trip and pay for everything in cash. Because pina coladas just taste better when you have the money to pay for them.
  23. Start a YouTube channel. I did.
  24. Take up yoga or rock climbing (whichever one floats your boat.)
  25. Marry the love of your life. Because life is just more fun with someone else by your side.
  26. Learn how to keep a plant alive for more than one week. I refuse to talk to my plants, and I think that’s my problem.
  27. Start a blog about your life. You’ll meet the best friends of your life.
  28. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Random acts of kindness makes you feel awesome. Science says so.
  29. Visit a museum in the town nearest you. Because learning is for adults too.
  30. Vow to do something each day just for you. After all, you want the next 30 years to be great too.

Turning 30 soon? Here are 30 things to do before you hit 30, from managing your money to going on that trip you've always dreamed of taking.



What else should people do before they’re 30? Buy a house? Have kids? What do you have to do before you turn 30? What do you wish you would have done in your twenties, if you could go back in time? Feel free to weigh in.

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • Jordan says:

    These are some good ones. I love the thought of going for a dream job. Why wait? Take some risks! These don’t have to be life or death risks. My wife was in Morocco a few days ago and ran into man in his 50’s. They were talking and agreed that being there in Morocco was kind of schetchy. He said I wish I would have don’t this when I was younger. I would have enjoyed it much more. Put yourself out there! Give yourself a chance to experience great things!

  • Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog says:

    This is a good list. I am 22 and still trying to figure out what I want out of this life. Right now, I’m trying to take my goals a year at a time so that I don’t overwhelm myself.

    I can’t imagine what my life will be like when I turn 30. This post is a good reminder for me to start thinking further ahead.

    • Cat says:

      One year at a time is good. When I was 22, I had absolutely no idea I’d be doing what I’m doing now! Life is unpredictable.

  • Robin says:

    Cat, #4 made me laugh because I had the same problem until about a year ago, and I’m 31! I decided it was time to finally chuck the few things I had when I was in high school, even the yearbooks. I didn’t regret it and I have no idea why I held onto that stuff for so long!

  • jim says:

    I think this is your best blog ever. Nicely done!!!!!

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