It’s amazing how our perspective changes over the years.
I finally turned 30 in March. For years, I’ve been anxiously waiting to turn 30! I’m not exactly sure what I expected, maybe that I’d suddenly become more successful 😉
But to be completely honest, it really doesn’t feel any different at all. Except that I have been thinking about money a lot more since turning 30. So, here’s what turning 30 taught me about money.
RETIREMENT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN ONE DAY!
When I was in college, I didn’t really think about retirement. I mean, as a business major, I took lots of finance, accounting, and statistics courses and retirement almost always came up in some way.
But, usually it was an older professor saying, “Save your money now because you’ll make more in interest over the course of your career.” And yes, I paid attention to compounding interest (and luckily I did start saving money while I was young). I saved the standard 15% of my income in a 401K or Thrift Savings Plan (military equivalent of a 401k). And I saved $5,000 a year in my Roth IRA.
But I never really felt like I was saving for retirement because retirement always seemed so far away.
Well, now that I’m 30, retirement seemed much more real. Like it will actually happen one day!
Which is making me much more focused on retirement and making me realize that I may need much more than 15% of my income saved. At least until I pay off my mortgage in 4 years.
Then I’ll be able to live and retire on MUCH less money. My monthly expenses will go down from $2,650 to $700! Can’t wait!
I DONT NEED A NEW CAR
Another think that’s been on my mind since turning 30 is that I’ll have to buy another car soon. I’ve had my current car, a new PT Cruiser when I got it, for over 10 years now! It’s doing fine so far and mostly I just have to spend money on the standard maintenance like new tires, an oil change, an alignment. But I’m worried that one day soon, my car will just stop working. Or that something will break that will cost more than my cost is worth now, which is only about $6,000 or so according to Kelly Blue Book.
When I was in my twenties and spending money like it was cool, I REALLY wanted a brand new BMW or Mercedes-Benz. But now, after years of working hard to pay off my debt, I’m no longer interested in spending the money on a new car.
Now, it’s much more cool in my mind to pay$3,150 a month towards my mortgage and pay it off in 4 years.
What have you learned as you got older?