My Top 5 Ways to Save Money in Your 30s

10 November 2017
If you’re like me, your 20s were all about living the motto “carpe diem”. This generally meant you weren’t actively planning for your future and by the time payday rolled around, you had about $2.60 in your transaction account.

Working casually and following the strict regime of student social life including student nights across all the city bars meant NO SAVINGS and next to no plan for the future!

Now fast forward to your early 30s – you’ve probably finished your university degree or tertiary qualification, travelled or even lived in London on the youth mobility visa, built up your career and may have found your significant other.

You’ve swapped the Smirnoff Blacks for smashed avo at your fave brunch spot, opted for Netflix binge sessions instead of after-work drinks and your weekends are spent hiking in the Glasshouse Mountains rather than going to music festivals. You’re adulting – go you!

But with this shift into the next decade of your life, the reality of your 30s can become all too real. All of a sudden you can find yourself forking out for expensive skincare products to stall the ageing process, making reservations for a 10-course degustation and upgrading your weekends away from camping at Stradbroke Island to Instagram-worthy Airbnb studios at Byron Bay.

But even with this increase in spending – don’t fear! You can still eat that fancy triple cream brie and save for a home deposit. Here are my top five tips for saving money in your 30s.

1. Buy from private sellers

If you want to buy some key pieces for your home but don’t want to blow the budget, have a look on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for some unique items. Local markets or garage sales are also great for picking up one-of-a-kind vintage or antique pieces.

Indoor plants are trending right now, with fiddle-leaf figs and cacti likely setting you back a pretty penny. If you have a car and are willing to travel around town on a Saturday morning, you can often get some great plants from someone’s personal sale or even a farmer’s market at a quarter of the price.

2. Be smart with your groceries

Start paying attention to price tags when purchasing your groceries, especially when it comes to the fresh produce section. In most cases, the convenient pre-packaged items are more expensive, but sometimes they can actually be more cost-effective. Read the fine print and take note of the ‘per kg’ price to compare apples with apples.

For goods that won’t expire quickly, think about buying in bulk where possible. Check out what is on special or which items are offered in larger quantities where you can spend a bit more in the short term to save more in the long term.

Source: HouseholdHacker

   3. Do it yourself

What beauty habits can you manage on your own? Can you pluck your own eyebrows or shave your own head, or at least DIY every second time to save money on those grooming appointments?

Why not cook your favourite breakfast at home instead of going out for weekend brunches? A basic avocado on toast will set you back about $3.50 from Woolies compared to an average of $13.80 in a Brisbane café.

Tag an avocado lover ???Try this breakfast tomorrow. My Low carb high fat baked eggs in avocado with Serrano ham ??? #Leanin15

A post shared by Joe Wicks #Leanin15 (@thebodycoach) on

4. Research and plan your own holidays

When heading abroad, do your own research rather than leaving it all to a travel agent. There are so many great alternatives to a generic hotel room or stock standard tour. If you have the time to research and are confident to create your own travel path, you can be more creative with your itinerary and save on the accommodation and tour costs.

If you see an accommodation option on one website (e.g. Airbnb), do a quick Google search and see if it pops up on any other platform. Hotel rooms and apartments are often advertised on different websites, so you can compare rates and service fees to find the most cost-effective option. Some booking websites offer free cancellations and a ‘pay later’ scheme, allowing you to plan early and budget in the lead up to your holiday.

Find accommodation that has a kitchen to create a few meals in. One of my favourite tips is to buy a few groceries at the start of a holiday to keep in the hotel room. You can save a few dollars by eating breakfast before you spend the day sightseeing.

Source: Mark Wiens

5. Get creative with gifts

Each year we wonder what to get the person we love for their birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s day, etc. Everyone says it’s the thought that counts, but you can often feel the pressure to get something bigger and better the next time. Instead of spending money, think about what really matters to the person and make an effort to create a personalised gift. In the past, I’ve created a lip-sync music video featuring all my partner’s friends from all over the world. There are great websites and apps for creating cost-effective photo books and art. There’s always the option of creating personalised vouchers offering favours like a picnic, back massage or a day off from doing household chores.

Subscribe to our new guide 15 Savvy Things to do With Your Money in Your 30s, where we provide must-read tips on how to stay on track with your finances during this pivotal decade. To receive your copy, fill out the form below.

About Bianca


Bianca Berry is a HR specialist and future bridezilla. She is currently saving for her destination wedding in Byron Bay next March. Bianca joined Canstar after working for luxury retail company Selfridges Group in London, where part of her role was writing a fashion and retail industry newsletter. Her broader content experience covers anything from dissertations to recipe books.

For more handy tips and tricks on saving money like this, keep up with our budgeting & savings hub here:

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