The top 10 biggest mistakes people make in their 30s

As someone in their 40s, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the mistakes I made earlier in life.

The truth is, your 30s are a pivotal time; you’re discovering who you are, focusing on your career, and laying down stones for the future.

And while this is all good, there are still areas during which 30-year-olds neglect themselves or those around them!

They later go on to regret these decisions, which is why I want to highlight them to you in this article (mainly so you don’t make the same mistakes I did!).

Here are the top 10 biggest mistakes people make in their 30s:

1. They prioritize security over ambition

As someone very ambitious, I can relate to this point…

You see, when you hit your 30s, you finally start earning some real money. You’ve likely worked your way up the ranks by this point and may even have money left over at the end of the month to splurge.

But there’s a hidden trap here…

The monthly paycheck can be so alluring that it makes 30 year old’s forget their youthful aspirations and dreams!

Unfortunately, many people stay in jobs they aren’t happy with, just because it funds their lifestyle and pays the bills.

But let me tell you, when you reach 40 and realize that the money wasn’t worth your mental health, you’ll likely regret this decision!

So, get into the mindset that your happiness matters more than a job. Then, once you’ve figured out what makes you happy, look for a job in that field!

2. They spend less time with family and friends

As a result of working so much, most 30-year-olds tend to neglect their family and friends.

Especially their aging parents. The truth is, when you’re young, you imagine your parents will be around forever.

And in your 30s, most parents are still fairly young and active. But once you hit your 40s and beyond, you start to realize just how quickly people age!

This is a major regret for most 30-year-olds, they simply forget that time stands still for no one. And while they’re busy working, spending, and partying even, their parents and friends can easily be pushed to the sidelines.

So, make it a point to visit your loved ones dearly – this is a regret you don’t want to have hanging over you in the future!

3. They think they know it all

Now, this is one point that no one wants to admit to, but we’re guilty of:

Thinking we are old enough to know it all.

But here’s the thing, your 30s should be about self-discovery! You’ve had fun in your 20s, enjoyed fewer responsibilities, and made a handful of mistakes along the way.

So, your 30s should now be a time of reflection and growth!

But many people think they’re too old for that – they get set in their ways. I’ll be honest, self-development, learning new things, and being open to different perspectives should happen at all ages.

And your 30s are a prime time to work through any insecurities you picked up in your childhood, so you don’t carry them into your 40s!

4. They don’t set up a fund for the future

Next up on our list of the biggest mistakes people make in their 30s is not setting up for the future.

In recent years, it’s become much harder for young people to get on the property ladder, so many 30-year-olds feel helpless.

Even if they save for years for a deposit, they may still face hurdles at actually purchasing a property.

Is it any wonder then that many people resort to spending their money on things they don’t actually need?

I get it, especially if there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel!

But the bottom line is, you’ve got to set up and save for the future. Whether that’s in the form of a property that will act as an asset, a trust fund, or a private pension.

It doesn’t get any easier in your 40s, so start as early as you can!

5. They feel like they have to settle

Ah, if we’re talking about mistakes, our love lives must come into the mix, right?

Here’s the thing – in your 20s you can be in a crappy relationship and stay put because you know you’ve still got time to get out and meet someone else.

But as you get into your 30s, the pool of choice gets smaller.

More and more people are getting married and having kids, thus there’s simply less availability!

So, many 30-year-olds end up staying in the same, unhappy, relationship simply because they feel pressured to settle down, and they know they don’t have much choice looking elsewhere (a total lie, by the way).

Let me make one thing clear – it’s never too late to get out of a relationship if you’re not happy! Whether you’re 30 or 90, you deserve to find true love and a healthy partnership.

6. They rush into having kids (or not having them)

Now, as well as feeling pressured into settling down, many 30-year-olds also feel like they have to rush into having kids.

Even if they’re not ready for them. This is a tough one though, as women do have a biological clock that can make it more difficult for them to conceive later in life.

With that being said, a child is forever! So if you’re thinking of having one, make sure you and your partner are fully prepared for the responsibility (and you’re not doing it just because your parents keep hinting about having grandbabies!).

On the flip side though…

Some people rush into the decision not to have kids but then may regret it later down the line.

So the point here is to think really carefully before making either decision!

7. They compare themselves to older and younger generations

Well, if there’s one thing we shouldn’t do at any age, it’s to compare ourselves to others!

But let’s be realistic here, it’s quite natural to do so.

After all, a 30-something-year-old will likely look at the youthfulness and energy levels of a 20-year-old longingly, whilst also admiring the wisdom and experience of a 40/50/60-year-old.

My advice to you?

Focus on your own lane.

Everyone has a different timeline in life. Some get settled and successful early, others later in life.

Comparing yourself to others won’t do anything to change your situation (unless you view them as inspirational and work towards what they have).

So folks, the moral of this story is to stop being concerned about what everyone else is up to, and focus on your own life and progress!

8. They feel like they have to change their social life

I know 30-year-olds who developed FOMO (fear of missing out) so they went crazy and partied even more than in their 20s.

I also know 30-year-olds who felt like they HAD to start staying home more because they were “too old” to be out clubbing or going wild with their friends.

The bottom line is:

Do whatever you feel like doing!

Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t give too much importance to the number 30. If you still feel energetic and like you could dance the night away, do it!

Equally, if you actually enjoy staying in and watching Netflix with a glass of wine, you do you, baby!

9. They don’t invest in their health

Another mistake people make in their 30s is neglecting their health.

Look, I know you feel pretty fit; you’re still young enough to get up in the morning without stiff joints.

But that’ll quickly change if you don’t make your health a priority. Naturally, we tend to be more active in our 20s, we’re out exploring the world, socializing, etc etc.

When we hit 30, many people start to slow down. But it’s a terrible mistake! And one you’ll certainly pay for later on (when it’ll be much harder to reverse the effects).

So, I know you’ve got a gym membership lying around somewhere – start using it!

10. They delay travel for later in life

And finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make in their 30s is delaying travel for later on in life.

We’re sold this idea that you’ve got to earn money, get a house, have kids, blah blah blah. Traveling can happen when you’re retired, right?


By the time you’re retired, you have no idea what your financial situation will be, or how your health will withstand the test of time.

That’s why you need to travel and do it now!

Do it while you have the means and can fund it.

So, we’ve covered the top mistakes people make during their 30s. I hope this gives you some food for thought and you don’t repeat the same bad choices!

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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