By: Kara Angelli Flores
Because it’s time to take your budgeting more seriously.

Waking up to the morning you turn 30 will do a lot of things to you. First, you will realize that the carefree, can-be-non-committal and impulsive decision-making years are behind you, and you are now faced with the exciting world of even more solid adulting — if such a possibility even exists. This is quickly followed by a succession of bulleted goal items you are currently debating where to place: is it a priority? Is this workable? Does this contribute joy into my life? And then perhaps the most present and pressing of all — is this within the budget?

Welcome to the 30s: where every move costs you time, energy and resources. If that made you want to act on ways to stay on top of your finances — then congratulations, you are well on your way to being financially aware.

Here are 5 tips on how you can achieve financial stability. Let’s begin!

1. Understand the root cause of your financial situation

Turning 30 is one of the most transformative years of your life. It is when you are set to build on long-term goals and turn it into realities that often involve huge funding. It can get a little overwhelming, and when this happens it is always a good idea to take a step back and assess the current situation — starting on your relationship with money. How do you view money? What is your most joyful memory around money? How about the most painful one? These questions will lead you to a better understanding of how you perceive the role of money in your life and how you can better maximize it. Like in any relationship, it’s a process. It needs constant working on, so make time for your finances, take care of it, give it the attention it needs and trust that it is moving forward.

2. Give every peso a job

Practice the mindset of a zero-based budget where your main responsibility is to make sure every peso you earn is working for you. Allot every peso into a category: grocery, bills, travel funds, food, entertainment and most importantly, savings. When you think you have excess money, you have the tendency to spend it mindlessly on things that add no value to your life. Tracking your spending using a budget app can also boost your awareness and self-accountability in managing your finances. Hold yourself accountable to eliminate money anxiety that often comes from not having goals and a plan to achieve them.

3. Track your spending religiously

It seems simple, but believe us when we say it’s a hard habit to keep. However, as difficult as it may be to write down every financial transaction from that small convenience store purchase to every drink at the bar, it is incredibly crucial information in the long run. When you know where all your money goes, not only will it help you keep track of your spending, but it will also help you gain a better understanding of exactly what your money habits are.

That is exactly why this is one of the first things you should master when trying to be better with money. After all, you cannot manage what you don’t understand.

4. Stay in more to stay out of the budget-trap

Do you know what’s the best thing in life when you are in your 30s? Staying in — especially when it is made intentional to relax and host a simple, fun get-together with your constants without calculating how much you will pay for the service charge. Start the party at the grocery aisles where the wine and steak are cheaper than at any restaurant and then have a grand — yet practical — time cooking it at home. You can even take turns or do a potluck next time.

5. Invest in growth and progress

Learning knows no age and your 30s are most definitely when you should continuously strive for progress. The opportunity for you to earn, save, and grow financially, increases as you acquire education in handling liquid investment, such as stocks or real estate. Investing in a condo can also benefit you long-term, as you can turn it into an Airbnb or rentable space. So, sign up for that workshop, enroll in that masterclass, enter stocks — anything that will add to your growth. Remember, these skills have potential high return-of-investment when applied, personally and monetarily.

6. Know your worth

Managing your finances also equates to managing the expectations of people you work with and for. Always acknowledge the hard work and passion you put in every job you do that helps you financially, whether you are a Digital Advertising professional, a freelancer, a local handmade crafter, an entrepreneur — ask for that promotion, be firm with your rates, and commit to quality service. Recognize the worth of your combined energy, time and compromises.

7. Put away savings as soon as you get income

One of the simplest but most effective money habits to build is simply have a percentage of your income put away the moment any money comes in. We suggest putting it into a different account from your day-to-day account, preferably one that’s not so easy to access.

This way, you won’t be tempted to spend the money intended for savings. The best part is that after you get used to automatically putting aside a certain amount for savings, you won’t notice or miss the money saved anymore. If you keep this up for long enough, you’ll be surprised by how much you can truly save.

8. Try to pay with cash as much as possible

The tricky thing about buy-now, pay-later schemes is that it’s so easy for the consumer to spend the money that they don’t have. This can easily result in overspending or even debt.

Our suggestion? Use cash whenever possible. It has been proven that people spend less when they see how much physical money they’re burning as opposed to a swipe here or there when you’re having dinner or shopping at the mall. Of course you can still use your credit card for the bigger purchases, and for the rewards and mileage, but the general rule of thumb is: Don’t spend on credit what you can’t afford to pay in cash right now.

And there you have it! We wish you a beautiful transition to your 30s, because this is when the life you’ve imagined for yourself can truly begin to come together. When you embrace the wisdom, experience, and growth that comes with this new chapter, you can create the beautiful life you deserve.


The COHO Living Team.