Financial goals to have kicked by 30

After your 21st, the next real birthday milestone isn't until the big dirty-thirty, and a lot can happen in between the two. Aside from a few physical changes, like your first grey hairs and being struck by the dreaded 2-day hangover curse (enjoy it while it last kids!), the most significant difference you'll face when turning 30 is a switch in your priorities, particularly when it comes to your finances.

By the time you’re 30, you’ll probably be thinking less about the next night out and more about the next 30 years. So, to help you prepare for the next chapter of your life, here are a few financial goals you'll want to cross off your list before you turn 30.

Start the next decade debt-free

Those nights out and designer threads were nice at the time, but when you hit the big 3-0, the last thing you want is to be haunted by the debt of your 20's. Wouldn't you much rather put your pennies towards your dream house or fairytale wedding than towards paying off a couple of lingering credit card balances? Make it a priority to erase any debt as quickly as possible.

Need a hand in the debt-clearing department? Combining all your debts into a debt consolidation loan means you’ll have just one interest rate and monthly repayment to worry about for the lot, instead of one for each debt. Rates on these loans are often much lower than your average credit card, so the interest you'd save can be put towards chipping away at your debt, meaning you'll reach your goal of enjoying your 30's debt-free in no time!

Start a ‘just in case’ fund

Old habits die hard, so by 30, you should've well and truly ditched your impulsive 20-year-old ways of blowing your entire paycheck in one go. At 30, you shouldn’t be calling your parents to come and save the day in a financial crisis. By now you really should be prepared to handle these situations on your own. So you'll want to have a “just in case” fund ready for any unexpected or emergency costs that could pop up, like medical bills or car repair costs.

The rule of thumb is to set aside enough to cover at least 3 months of bills and living expenses, just in case you run into any financial trouble. It's also wise to set up a regular deposit to your “just in case” fund, so you know there'll always be money there if you need it.

Save up to settle down

You know you’re in your 30's when your Facebook feed suddenly goes from cringe-worthy nightclub pics to infinite wedding and baby pics. And if that hasn’t got you thinking about settling down and having kids of your own, then trust no-filter Aunty Nora or your nagging nana (who's extremely vocal about wanting great-grandkids) to bring it up!

By the time you reach 30, all the big milestones like kids and weddings start to roll around and they can be expensive, so you’ll probably want to start saving up to settle down. Then again, you might prefer to fund your big day with a wedding loan which you can pay off over time. Just make sure you start to seriously think about these different milestones and how you plan to pay for them.

Get that credit score up

If your credit score isn't exactly where it should be, then make a pact with yourself to whip it into shape before you reach your 30's. Really commit to staying on top of bills and loan repayments, and do whatever else you can to improve your credit score so you can be in a position where you won't have to worry about being rejected for a loan application because of a poor credit score.

Since comprehensive credit reporting was introduced, lenders now have a full picture of your entire credit report, which is great if you’re the kind of person to keep on top of repayments, but not so great if you’re falling behind. It’s more important now than ever before to manage your money properly to maintain a good credit score.

Book a solo travel trip

Despite the need to start buckling down on your finances, turning 30 is an exciting time in your life which should be celebrated! Why not commemorate the start of this wonderful new chapter in your life with a few last hurrahs, like a solo travel trip? Kick off the next decade with some self-discovery by backpacking around Europe or perhaps a yoga retreat in Bali.

We get that most people don’t have enough spare cash lying around to spontaneously pack up and head off on a month-long Mediterranean escape, so if you're taking out a personal loan to fund your adventure, make sure you score a low rate to keep costs down. Oh, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance while you’re at it!

Set yourself up for a cushy retirement

Yes, we know. You're turning 30, not 80. But it's never too soon to start planning for someday! If you start preparing for your future now, then you can set yourself up for a pleasant retirement free of money worries. Start by organising your superannuation fund and pulling together any old super funds you might have into the one account.

While you’re at it, you should try to really plump up your super by making contributions whenever you can. Why not consider depositing your next bonus into your super fund as a gift to your future self? Just remember, the more money you save now, the less you'll have to worry about in retirement.

Whether your financial goals are to clear away lingering debt or to finance a round-the-world trip, make sure you’ve got the tools for the job and check out our low-rate personal loan comparison table.