I turned 30 last week.

(I’ll give you all a minute to wish me a belated happy birthday… ok, minute’s up. You can keep reading.)

As with any birthday, it’s a chance to examine the last year, to see the successes, the failures, and the coulda-woulda-shouldas that happened along the way. But a big milestone birthday – a birthday that puts me squarely into the realm of adulthood – gave me even greater pause.

My 20s were an amazing decade. Over the last ten years, I:

  • Graduated from my dream college (Go Duke!)
  • Married my dream guy (Go husband!)
  • Earned my master’s degree in a field in which I no longer work (yeah, nobody’s cheering that one…)
  • Got my first job, then my second – both in different states
  • Bought our first house
  • Had a baby
  • Quit my chosen career path to embark on freelancing
  • Had another baby
  • Put that first house on the market (where it lingers…)

With the arrival of my 30s, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the next ten years of my life – in particular, my financial goals for the next decade. I consider this a kind of mid-life bucket list. Although it’s definitely a work in progress, I wanted to share it with you:

  • Sell our “starter” home and move up to a larger house (one with a home office, please!) without increasing our monthly mortgage payments by more than five percent
  • Drive our current vehicles for the next decade. I ultimately decided to pay off our car loan, so I hope to take advantage of no monthly car payments throughout my 30s
  • Pay off our only remaining non-mortgage loan – the roughly $14,000 I still have on my student loans from graduate school
  • Max out my Roth IRA contributions for at least eight out of the next ten years (bonus points if my husband can max out his Roth, too)
  • Learn to enjoy our financial freedom; my husband and I have taken a long road to get to where we are financially, and while we’re by no means loaded, we’ve made some smart decisions with our money and deserve to indulge ourselves occasionally (emphasis on occasionally)

Reader, what are your financial goals for the next ten years? How have your financial goals changed as you’ve aged?

Libby Balke

Libby Balke