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30 Life Changes You Should Make After 30

You're too old to skip those doctors visits.

In your twenties, you're trying to figure things out. You probably graduated college, scored a great job, and are figuring out how to be an actual adult. Then when you reach 30, it's time to step it up and be the adult you were trying to be. Whether it's finally creating a budget, investing in quality kitchen essentials, or meeting with financial planners, here are 30 life changes you should make after hitting the big 3-0. While you're at it, consider changing these 30 Worst Habits for People Over 30.

Create a Budget

Calculating Budget Life Changes

If you don't have a solid budget in place for yourself after 30, you're not alone. Making enough money to live comfortably month-to-month usually results in not seeing a real need to set limits for yourself in certain categories, whether that's rent and groceries or personal spending. By taking the time to plan your finances, you'll be amazed at just how much money you save — and might be surprised how much money you've been wasting over the years. If you're looking for a little extra help, download The 10 Best Budgeting App to Boost Your Savings.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise Regularly Life Changes

When you turn 30, exercise is no longer just important for building your self-esteem; it's crucial to your well-being. Not only does physical activity keep your weight in check as your metabolism starts to slow down (no more scarfing those fries without consequences!), but it can also keep you healthy as you age, reducing your risk of everything from heart disease and diabetes to cancer and strokes, says the Mayo Clinic. And set yourself on the path to longer goals with the 40 Ways to Develop New Habits After 40. 

Get Serious About Paying Off Debt

Paying Off Debt Life Changes

It's easy to blow off your debt when you're in your 20s, but by the time you reach your 30s, it's super important to start taking it extra seriously. Work with an expert to come up with a plan on how to go about paying off your debt — be it credit cards or student loans — in the timeliest manner possible. That way you'll have more freedom down the road. And for more great tips, check out the 25 Daily Habits Rich People Swear By. 

Consider Buying Instead of Renting

Couple Buying Home Life Changes

As nice as it is to rent and have everything taken care of for you, all that money you spend month-to-month isn't doing anything to help your future. Buying, on the other hand, gives you something that will become yours after paying everything off — and whether you decide to keep it or resell it someday, you'll get much more out of your money. If your Plan B is to move to another country, pack your bags and find out how This Gorgeous Town In Italy Will Sell You a Home For Just One Dollar.

Do More Cooking at Home

Couple Cooking at Home Life Changes

Ordering take-out is much easier than making food at home. The only issue? Even some of the healthier dishes are full of excess sodium, oil, and empty calories. Instead, make it your mission to cook more at home. You'll feel healthier, save a ton of money, and will know exactly what's going into your food. To get a head-start on some essential recipes you should know, check out the 40 Dishes Everyone Over 40 Should Master.

Stop Your Bad Habits

Drunk Man Life Changes

If you're still drinking and smoking like a college kid in your adult years, it's time to put an end to that destructive behavior. You can only get away with bad habits for so long before they catch up with you and start causing some serious problems. Ditch them while you're young so they don't come back to bite you later.

Invest in Quality Kitchen Essentials

Quality Knife Life Changes

You can't properly cook at home on the regular without the proper tools, right? Figure out what you need for your level of expertise in the kitchen and buy quality pots, pans, and other essentials that won't let you down.

"Not only will you have more durability and pieces you'll be able to hand down to the next generation, but you'll also have the actual material effect that good cookware has on making food," says Jake Kalick, co-founder of Made In. "People spend a lot of money on grocery bills only to ruin a great recipe on a junky pan. Good pans hold heat better, letting you get the most out of your food." Just avoid the 30 Most Useless Home Appliances Ever Created. 

Get to Know Yourself Again

Woman Traveling Alone Life Changes

How much time have you devoted to your hobbies and things you love outside of your career? Probably not a whole lot. In your 30s, take some time to get to know yourself again. That means finding out what you like, what you really want in life, and what lights you up. Then, you can move forward with a totally different outlook. Finding yourself before embarking on a new relationship can be even more beneficial. Here are  the 30 Reasons Why Being Single In Your 30s Is The Best Thing Ever.

Reevaluate Your Career Path

Man at Work Life Changes

Ever since you graduated from college, you've probably been moving up the same corporate ladder — but are you happy and truly doing what you want to do? Make sure you're satisfied with where your career is going — and with how it makes you feel. If you're not, find something you'll really enjoy doing until retiring. And if you are, come up with a plan to continue working toward the top. For more advice on getting ahead, see the 40 Best Ways to Jumpstart Your Career. 

Quit Comparing Yourself to Others

Woman on Phone Life Changes

You spend your entire life comparing yourself to others. In high school, it's by the clothes you're wearing and your athletic abilities, in college it's your GPA, then after college it's your career. But when does it stop? Basically, only when you decide you want it to. And once you hit your 30s, there's no better time to live your own life and do what makes you happy without pitting yourself up to those around you.

Take Your Vitamins

Take Your Vitamins Life Changes

When you were younger, your parents might have forced you to take vitamins every day — and then you probably abruptly stopped as soon as you were old enough to make your own decisions. But they had a good thing going there: Grab a multivitamin to ensure you're getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients to keep you strong as you get older because it can be tricky getting everything you need from what you eat.

Forgive Yourself for Your Past Mistakes

Forgive Yourself Life Changes

Everyone does things in the past they might not be proud of, but why should you hold those things against yourself your entire life? Forgive yourself for what you've done wrong over the years and know you've learned valuable lessons along the way. Once you set yourself free from that pent-up stress and anxiety from something you can't take back or control, you'll be able to move forward without the weight of it always on your shoulders. And for more great life advice, check out the 20 Home Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know.

Get Serious About Your Relationships

Get Serious About Relationships Life Changes

There's nothing wrong with being a bachelor or bachelorette in your thirties — and it's probably a lot of fun. As the years go by, though, it's so special to have someone by your side to share all those big (and small!) moments that come up. You can swipe through Tinder for booty calls all you want, but you won't feel nearly as fulfilled as you would developing a connection with someone special. And if you're not feeling relationships at all—or need a deep emotional connection to feel anything—here are the 15 Signs You Should Identify As Demisexual. 

Schedule Regular Doctor Visits

Regular Doctors Visits Life Changes

No one likes going to the doctor, whether that's your yearly physical or a trip to the dentist. As you get older, it becomes even more important to schedule those appointments and stick with them. So important that a 2007 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health found individuals who go to the doc on the regular have a better chance at preventing life-threatening health issues from popping up, like heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure. And for more on visiting your GP, check out the 20 Things Your Doctor Is Likely to Get Wrong. 

Call Your Parents More Often

Call Parents More Often Life Changes

It doesn't have to be every day, but it definitely shouldn't be one every couple weeks. As you get older, your parents are getting older too and you don't know how much time you have left with them. Give them a ring and let them know what's going on in your life and that you miss them, because one thing's for sure — they definitely miss you, too.

Stop Spending So Much Time on Social Media

Man on Social Media Life Changes

Even though it might not seem like you're wasting too much time on social media, it's a whole lot more than you think. Those minutes you spend scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, and watching YouTube videos during the day really adds up and one study found the average person will spend more than five years of their lives on the networks. That's time you'll never be able to get back, so post your pictures and updates then go do something that will make you feel much more fulfilled down the line.

Hang Out with Your In-Laws

Hanging Out with Your In-Laws Life Changes

Contrary to popular belief, your in-laws don't bite — promise. It's easy to avoid them throughout the years and only show up to family gatherings when you want to, but make an effort to become close with them. There's nothing that would make them happier than being close to the person their son or daughter chose to spend their life with. Plus, they might actually be cooler than you think.

Eat More Vegetables

Eat More Vegetables Life Changes

You knew this day would come. Unfortunately, there's a point in your life when you realize you can't survive solely on ramen noodles and TV dinners — you actually need to eat full plates of veggies to keep your body in tip-top shape as you age. Find ways to make your vegetables more appealing and load up as often as you can so you stick around as long as possible.

Start Thinking About Retirement

Start Saving For Retirement Life Changes

It's never too early to start taking your retirement seriously, and by the time you reach your thirties, it's a good idea to have a solid plan in place. Get your 401k in check, meet with a financial advisor, and do everything you can to set yourself up for success so you won't be left working until you're 90.

Start Flossing

Man Flossing Life Changes

No, seriously. If you've avoided flossing this long, it's time to start taking your teeth extra seriously — especially because your oral health has so much to do with your general well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Periodontology 2000, losing teeth due to not taking care of them as well as you should is a predictor of a shorter lifespan. So brush, floss, and use mouthwash on the regular.

Read Nutrition Labels

Man Reading Nutrition Label

If your grocery store shopping routine generally involves just tossing stuff into your cart without looking at what's actually in it, that's about to change. As you get older, it becomes increasingly more important to check nutrition labels and know exactly what you're putting in your body. You'll be surprised on what seemingly healthy items are actually horrible for your health and ridding them from your diet will make you feel much better as you hit your 40s, 50s, and beyond.

Start Planning Your Family

Start Planning Your Family Life Changes

You might feel ready to start a family, but are you really ready? There are plenty of things to consider when kids are in your future, whether it's how to properly get off birth control or if you should upgrade your one-bedroom apartment to something a little more family-friendly. Talk to someone about your pre-baby to-do list to make sure you're ready to take that big step, both emotionally and financially. And if your friends aren't married, remember the 50 Things Single People Wish You'd Stop Saying. 

Make Your Bed Every Single Day

Make Bed Every Day Life Changes

Even though making your bed is one of the easiest things you can possibly do during the day, it's something so many people tend to skip. But can you be a true adult without keeping your bedroom in check? Make sure to take the minute it takes to get your sleeping area in order before you head out the door every morning. It makes you feel better and it's so much cozier to jump into at the end of a long day.

Buy Nice Clothes

Clothes Shopping Life Changes

Be honest: How many of the clothes in your closet are from years ago? Now that you're in your 30s, there's no better time to completely redo your wardrobe and spend some of your hard-earned money on quality items that will make you look just as good as you feel. People will take you more seriously when you're looking sharp — yourself included.

Start a Travel Fund

Start a Travel Fund Life Changes

Instead of sticking all your extra money in savings, start up a travel fund so you can see the world while you're still young. Once you have a certain amount of money, use up your well-deserved vacation and go check something off your bucket list. Because when you look back on your life, you won't think about all the hours you spent staring at a computer screen; you'll look back on the incredible experiences you had out of the office.

End Toxic Relationships

Toxic Relationship Life Changes

Whether it's a toxic relationship with a significant other, a family member, or a boss, cut that person out of your life. Life is too short to spend all your energy on people who continue to make you feel bad about yourself. Make some changes so you're spending your time with those who matter the most — not people who are always sucking you dry.

Wake Up Earlier

Wake Up Earlier Life Changes

No more sleeping in 10 minutes before you have to run off to work. Start your morning off as easy-going and stress-free as possible by waking up early. Work out and meditate, take your sweet time getting ready, and read the paper with a coffee in hand. Instead of instantly being stressed out worrying you'll be late for work, you'll always arrive feeling like you have it all together.

Put Aside Money for Emergencies

Save Money for Emergencies Life Changes

While saving up money for your future travels is important, so is making sure you're also putting funds aside for emergencies. Life is unexpected and you never know when something could happen to you or someone you love. To make sure you never have to worry in a time of need, put aside a certain amount every month so it's always available, just in case.

Focus on Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance Life Changes

In your 20s, you were trying to make a name for yourself and were establishing your career. Now that you're in your 30s, it's time to reap some of the benefits from all that hard work you put in and establish a proper work-life balance. Continue to work hard, but now you can make sure you're working smart, too.

Get Some Culture

Couple at Art Museum

It can be pricey to hit up plays, Broadways, and other culture events in your 20s, but now that you're in your 30s you should add it to your to-do list. All that money you used to spend at the bar can be put toward things that will add value to your life, broadening your horizons and making you a more well-rounded person. Looking to free up more time for your other interests, but unsure of what those interests could be? Find a new creative outlet in The 40 Best Hobbies to Take Up in Your 40s.

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Tehrene Firman
Tehrene Firman is a freelance health and wellness writer. Read more