30 Something’s Prioritise Spending on life goals

With an estimated 800,000 people turning 30 during 2017*, new research from American Express reveals that Brits in their 30s are putting down financial roots and prioritising their budgets to achieve life ambitions such as renovating a home, having children and tying the knot.

According to the study, over a quarter (28%) of 30 somethings choose to spruce up their property during this decade, spending an average of £33,359 hitting this milestone. A third (33%) choose to get married and spend on average £18,356 in the process.

In comparison, those in their 20s spend on average £15,744 renovating their home and £11,780 tying the knot, indicating a major financial leap between the decades.

The other most costly pursuits for 30 somethings include starting a family (£17,198), buying a car (£13,556) and starting a business (£12,778).

Cost of 30s’ life milestones

Life milestone % of Brits that achieve the milestone in their 30s Total average spend on this milestone
Renovating a home 28% £33,359
Getting married 33% £18,356
Starting a family 41% £17,198
Buying a car 20% £13,556
Starting a business 17% £12,778
Starting/completing further education 14% £12,034
Furnishing a house 32% £10,049
Going travelling for an extended period 13% £8,595

Despite being coined the ‘Peter Pan Generation’, the research found the majority of 30 something Brits (75%) do not intend to delay significant spending moments to their 40s and will make financial sacrifices to ensure they achieve them.

This sentiment is also echoed in how Brits feel about their spending behaviour in their 30s, compared to their 20s. More than half (61%) admitted they take their money more seriously once they hit the big 3-0 and 50% said that is was a priority to put their hard-earned money toward key life milestones.

Jenny Cheung, Director at American Express, said: “30 year olds may have many major purchases to consider in this decade, so taking a shrewd approach to your finances can allow you to make the most of these peak spending moments. By using a credit card that earns cashback or rewards, you can earn something back on purchases such as new furniture for a home or paying for elements of your wedding.”

American Express has provided the following tips for Brits planning major purchases in their 30s:

  1. Time to set out your financial goals: if you’re intending on making major purchases in your 30s, having a financial plan in place is essential. As a starting point, develop a timeline which outlines the goals you’re working towards, such as buying a house or renovating your home, and all the steps that need to take place in order for that to happen. By breaking down a goal step by step, the path is far more tangible.
  2. Spread out your spending: Consider spreading out major purchases throughout the decade so you don’t overload yourself – a worthwhile exercise is to distinguish the ‘nice to have’ items from the ‘essentials’ and prioritise accordingly.
  3. Call in support from loved ones: If you are starting to consider restoring a home, or furnishing a house, look around your circle of family and friends to tap into skills or contacts to get the best deal for you.
  4. Get something back for your spending: By taking out a credit card that offers rewards or cashback for your spending, you can earn points or rewards when making significant purchases, such as new furnishings for your home or accessoriesfor your new car.
  5. Think long-term: There are lots of milestones that 30 somethings want to achieve, but remember with over half of your life still ahead, you need to consider how you will pay for future endeavours including into your retirement.