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The older I become, the faster time passes by and the more I understand how much more I still have to learn. As I reflect on the last year and look forward to turning 31, I would like to share 30 life lessons I learned as a 30-year-old.
While many of the life lessons below are money-related, several of them extend beyond the reach of the almighty dollar. I have learned that money has a big impact upon my life – for reasons both obvious and subtle – yet my learning and growth in the past year has also encompassed relationships, business, and overall life satisfaction.
The 30 Biggest Life Lessons I Learned at Age 30
I sincerely hope the life lessons below resonate with you and provide as much as insight as I have gained from learning them.
It is best to give without any expectation of receiving in return
Even though I’ve always been a natural giver, I have to be honest and admit that my generosity has its limits, especially when it comes to my time.
This year, I have learned to value opportunities to help others more than I value my time. The truth, for most of us, is that we waste countless hours each week that could be put to better use to make an impact, even if we won’t receive any benefits in return.
Financial emergencies will happen
After a steady streak of relative financial peace, my wife and I tapped into our emergency fund multiple times this year. I had an emergency root canal (money well-spent, as I told the dentist who put me out of my misery) and our water heater sprung a leak and required replacing.
These problems were stressful and irritating, but they would have been far worse if we had to scramble to pay for them.
Good family and friends are a blessing
2017 has been a rough year, as both my wife and I lost our grandmas. Though death and loss are never easy, we both felt fortunate to receive so much support from our family and friends.
A life of excess isn’t pleasing
We live in a culture that preaches the virtue of striving for more, but ironically, it is simply too easy to move that imaginary line. Over the past several years, I’ve caught myself – multiple times – saying “I’ll be fully content when . . .”
Last fall, our trip to Las Vegas helped me realize that this is a battle that can’t be won.
A life of purpose IS pleasing!
Finding your passion and purpose and spending my time and resources accordingly may be the best accomplishment of the past year.
Side hustles can be a fun way to reach financial goals faster
This year I started part-time work as a realtor and began monetizing this website. Both side hustles have helped us reach our financial goals.
Money management isn’t only about money
This past year confirmed what I have always known – personal finance is about much more than money!
Haters will hate – count on it!
I have long believed that comparison is the thief of joy, but that doesn’t stop the haters from rearing their ugly, jealous heads from time to time.
This used to bother me and cause me to become defensive, but I am finally learning to take it in stride – and sometimes even laugh!
Setting detailed goals is critical to success
As the old adage says, goals without an action plan remain dreams.
If your spouse pushes you to do something that stretches you, do it!
Every day when I work on my blog I am reminded that I never would have started it if I hadn’t finally given in and listened to my wife’s advice to start this site.
Time is and always will be the most valuable commodity
I constantly ask myself, “What is it time for now?” to make the most of my time.
Blogging is a rewarding business
I started blogging as a way to have a fun hobby and help people. I never expected to earn income as a blogger, but it has been a joy to build a business which is solely focused on helping others.
Your 20s are a great time to reach for your dreams, but it’s not too late in your 30s
Dreams change, and they don’t have deadlines.
You become whatever and whomever you surround yourself with
So choose your friends carefully.
Self-pity is self-defeating
It is far more productive to channel emotion into positive action.
Home renovations are a lot of work
From start to finish, planning and overseeing our basement renovation project was a great experience and one of the toughest life lessons of the past year.
It’s important to plan for the future but live in the present
Balance is key.
Exercise and mental health are intertwined
The direct correlation between my stress levels and activity becomes more noticeable as I grow older. Running and playing basketball are still the best therapies for me.
People, myself included, are wasteful
I have to fight my natural inclinations in this area.
Life’s greatest rewards aren’t found on the sidelines
It is worth taking calculated risks from time to time.
A good estate plan is important
When my Grandma passed away, I watched my parents and uncle go through a lot of stress executing her estate plan. She even had all of her ducks in a row and made the process as easy as she could; I can’t imagine how hard the process would have been for them if she hadn’t been well-prepared.
“No” is a powerful word
It is critical to keeping appropriate boundaries.
There is tremendous joy to be found in experiences
Like most millennials, I have grown to value experiences – vacations, days out with friends, time spent with my family – over everything else.
Comparison is the the thief of joy
And the truth is that the grass usually isn’t greener, it just appears that way.
You can always learn something new and important from others
Sometimes you have to invest in yourself to grow
Learning is and always will be a complicated process, but learning from others and choosing to pursue growth make it easier.
Keep a notepad and pen on your night stand
After waking up with ideas in the middle of the night only to forget them, I finally learned my lesson and started writing them down – immediately!
Opportunities are not always obvious
Always keep an eye out!
Knowing your values and following them is the ticket to happiness
As the old adage goes, be true to yourself.
I still have lots to learn, and that is exciting!
I’m looking forward to the life lessons that the next year holds.