You may have partied, traveled and danced your way through your 20s, but when you hit that “Dirty 30,” it’s time to start playing like an adult. Adults manage money conscientiously, spending and saving in ways that reflect their lifestyle, goals, and responsibilities.

Everything changes as we mature and our financial plans should, too. In case you require convincing, consider the following truisms that apply in your 30s:

It’s not about you anymore.

At least, not entirely. Whether that special someone is a significant other, family member, or pet, chances are good that you will acquire some financial responsibility for another living, breathing organism as you mature. Giving to those you care about is a magnificent feeling. Keep it a blessing, not a burden, by putting aside small sums each month to help you give in the manner you desire.

Financial planning includes more than investments. Be sure you are aware of the location and contents of important papers, such as wills, of those you may find in your charge. While you’re at it, check that your own documents are up to date and stored in a safe location.

If someone or something is dependent upon you financially, it is also a good idea to look into types of insurance that may protect you and them in the event of an accident. Can you afford the bill for a medical or veterinary emergency? If something happened to you, would those you leave behind be left without a home, vehicle, or income? Talk to your financial institution about property, medical, vehicle, and life insurance; remember to ask about bundled rates or discounts for multiple services.

Still staggering under student loans, or taking a hard look at your credit cards and panicking at debt? Meet with a financial planner to discuss how to get back on track, and commit to your plan. Minor lifestyle changes can add up to big progress in paying off debt.

Studio apartments eventually lose their charm.

Cramming the best Ikea has to offer into 600 square feet is utilitarian when all you need is a crash pad. As you develop personally and professionally, however, you will at some point want to live somewhere with enough space to welcome family and friends. Perhaps your profession will require you to see clients at home from time to time, or your boss may stop by. Forget what you want; if you have kids, you’re flat out going to need more space!

Space, of course, takes money. So does the security that comes with good neighborhoods, and furniture that doesn’t break if you lean on it too hard. Even if you are rolling your eyes while you read this and thinking that kids sound like a party-ending curse, start setting aside money for a living upgrade, now. When something perfect comes on the market, or you suddenly meet the man or woman who makes you want to build a life together, you will regret not being ready. If it helps ease the transition, think of it as the fund for a bigger and better bachelor or bachelorette pad. However you label it, start saving!

One day, it might be nice not to work.

Retirement, that siren song reserved for your parents and “old” people. Right? Wrong. Retirement is a goal that should be on your mind now, along with an awareness that as Social Security and other benefits slowly disappear, retirement is a goal an increasing number will never reach.

If you have any aspiration of reaching retirement comfortably, you must start planning now. Look into 401(k) options at your job, or open a traditional or ROTH IRA and do your best to maximize your investment each year.

Ready to get going?  Check out the 14 Important Steps You Should Take To Free Yourself From Debt.

Featured photo credit: seniorliving.org via flickr.com

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