• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 26 years!

    Join tens of thousands of other owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $14,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $14 Million dollars
  • Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! Join tens of thousands of other owners who get this every week! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    Read more Here
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Advice to your 30 something self?

travelhacker

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
259
Reaction score
164
Points
104
I'm in my mid 30's, married, and have 3 awesome kids.

I have a coworker who is a bit younger that came from a family who never really had money, and didn't value education. As we've gotten to know each other, he's gotten more comfortable asking me questions that may seem pretty basic, but were never really taught in his household because they were just scraping by.

For example:

What debt should I pay down first?
Why would I want a 401(k)?
How can I budget better?
When I'm ready to start looking for a house, what should I do?

Anyways, these types of questions got me thinking about what I could potentially learn from others.

While this certainly isn't true for everyone on TUG, I know that TUG probably skews a bit older than I am and was wondering what kind of advice you would give to a younger version of yourself? This doesn't necessarily need to remain completely serious, but what are some things that you've learned that you would want to pass on to yourself as 30 something year old?
 

Luanne

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
13,799
Reaction score
4,562
Points
548
Location
New Mexico
Start saving early. Put a certain percentage, or amount, away with each paycheck and don't touch it.

When I started working for the "phone company" we had something called the Bell Savings Plan. We could put money into it (taken from our paycheck). No matching funds, and at the end of the year we could withdraw it. So I did. That became my "fun" money. Once they started offering a 401K, which they matched up to 66%) I started saving. I was already into my 30's at that point. One of my friends who started with the phone company when she was 18 had never touched the money in her savings and just let it grow. She had a nice little amount built up when she left the company in her 40's.
 

travelhacker

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
259
Reaction score
164
Points
104
Start saving early. Put a certain percentage, or amount, away with each paycheck and don't touch it.

When I started working for the "phone company" we had something called the Bell Savings Plan. We could put money into it (taken from our paycheck). No matching funds, and at the end of the year we could withdraw it. So I did. That became my "fun" money. Once they started offering a 401K, which they matched up to 66%) I started saving. I was already into my 30's at that point. One of my friends who started with the phone company when she was 18 had never touched the money in her savings and just let it grow. She had a nice little amount built up when she left the company in her 40's.
This is really good advice. I was really, really good about saving before kids. Now that we have kids, we decided to do a 15 year mortgage and we've made the goal of paying off the house by the time we reach 40 (with big extra payments) -- so we are saving, it's all just essentially going to the house.

We have a great interest rate on our house, so deep down, I really know that I don't need to meet the arbitrary goal of paying off the house and I should probably think long and hard about getting some compounding interest and invest a bit more in retirement accounts.

Thanks!
 

Luanne

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
13,799
Reaction score
4,562
Points
548
Location
New Mexico
This is really good advice. I was really, really good about saving before kids. Now that we have kids, we decided to do a 15 year mortgage and we've made the goal of paying off the house by the time we reach 40 (with big extra payments) -- so we are saving, it's all just essentially going to the house.

We have a great interest rate on our house, so deep down, I really know that I don't need to meet the arbitrary goal of paying off the house and I should probably think long and hard about getting some compounding interest and invest a bit more in retirement accounts.

Thanks!
My father was an accountant. He gave me three pieces of financial advice that I remember and stick to.
1. Always have a little bit left on your mortgage. (I think this was so you could take advantage of the interest write off)
2. Pay your bills at the end of the payment period so that the money is in your account and earning interest for a longer period of time. (Actually this one I don't really follow so much as the amount of interest I earn on my checking account isn't worth it)
3. Don't think that getting a large refund on your taxes is a good thing. It just means the government has had use of your money, instead of you, all that time. (He felt it was best to come out even, or owe a small amount)
 

Krteczech

TUG Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
366
Reaction score
281
Points
273
Location
Colorful Colorado
Resorts Owned
Towers at Mullet Bay, SXM
Silverado II, CO
Start saving early, put 10% to your saving account thru payroll deduction.
When you get a pay raise increase your savings. Shop around for best saving account.
If your employer offered 401k retirement plan match, save at least what they match.
Do not borrow money to pay for your vacation or for presents to your friends and loved ones.
Pay off your credit card balance monthly.
Learn to cook economical meals for yourself.
Buy high quality products at sale price. Do not pay for services you are not fully using. Be a Saver, not a Spender.
 

Bailey#1

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
225
Points
153
Location
Vermont
My magic word of advice to anyone young would be to have "Patience" . Whether it be job related, big purchases or moves, or even family related issues. Not that I followed that advice myself, but as I got older I see where patience would have helped me!
 

b2bailey

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
2,320
Reaction score
1,232
Points
373
Location
Santa Cruz CA
My father was an accountant. He gave me three pieces of financial advice that I remember and stick to.
1. Always have a little bit left on your mortgage. (I think this was so you could take advantage of the interest write off)
2. Pay your bills at the end of the payment period so that the money is in your account and earning interest for a longer period of time. (Actually this one I don't really follow so much as the amount of interest I earn on my checking account isn't worth it)
3. Don't think that getting a large refund on your taxes is a good thing. It just means the government has had use of your money, instead of you, all that time. (He felt it was best to come out even, or owe a small amount)
I've always practiced #3. This is the first year I regretted it.
( Didn't have my stimulus $ direct deposited.)
I think I may have been able to enter the info online, but I erroneously believed my social security direct deposit info would suffice. Meanwhile, I'm hoping the check has been mailed to my post office box in home town. I will know I'm a week.
 

Paumavista

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
529
Reaction score
75
Points
238
Location
Seneca, SC
Try to never accrue debt for depreciating assets.
Budget.....that means understand how much you make and where you spend it. We have used Quicken for 15+ years and it is truly amazing how we can see where and how much we spend and save - a monthly budget is hard if you have annual insurance, taxes or car repairs....it works out best when you can see where your money comes and goes over the course of a year(s).
Try to acquire a marketable skill.....saying you're a businessman, isn't always marketable.

Don't worry too much about the future.....it won't be anything like your parents (we both have pensions & buying a home and saving was important)....but I've learned that not everything I was brought up to believe is so important for the next generation. It's a new world and changing SO fast. I'm a firm believer in science.....so when I say that I mean...don't forfeit doing things today because you're trying too hard to "save" for retirement or tomorrow....If you have a choice.....choose the experience (instead of the extra house payment)…..take vacations, don't sacrifice all the good times now in order to have more in retirement.....a lot can happen in the next 30 years...…(but you'll hardly ever regret taking time to enjoy today).
 

GetawaysRus

TUG Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
444
Points
293
Location
Southern California
Resorts Owned
Marriott Desert Villas 2
Sedona Summit
Financial advice is important, but there are also other things to think about. I admit that finding the right balance can be difficult.

I would guess that you're currently actively engaged in building your financial "castle." You've got current obligations (mortgage, taxes, ongoing household expenses with a bunch of kids) and you have future obligations to think about (building retirement savings, paying for your kids' future education). Unless you're lucky enough to have some wealth, these are large burdens. You only have to look at the current news (recession, massive unemployment, a skyrocketing federal deficit, Social Security starting to pay out more than it's taking in) to feel that you want those castle walls high.

In my job, I worked with a large number of older individuals, many retired. The advice they gave me: at the same time that you are worrying about building your finances, be sure to live. You need quality time and experiences both with spouse and kids. Make good memories now. So many people told me that they postponed things such as travel or time off with family until they would be older so that they could get further ahead financially. But when they finally got to the point in life where they were more financially secure and now would be ready for travel or more leisure activities, one spouse got ill and their dreams were no longer possible.

So be sure to put some focus now on what you enjoy. Don't overly deprive yourself of doing the things you love for the sake of focusing solely on finances. Try to find the right balance for yourself, spouse, and family.

(And while I was typing this, I see that Paumavista had some similar thoughts.)
 

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
586
Points
348
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
DVC-AKV, HHI, Waterside By Spinnaker
so, at 24 (in 1987), my view was that I needed all my $ then and didn't contribute any to 401K for 3 years--I didn't understand about matching $ from employer. Now, older and wiser:
1. Obviously, save as much as you can in 401K, Roth, etc. For a 30 something without high income, I'd put that in a ROTH if possible, as tax bracket is likely not too high, so no real benefit from traditional pre-tax retirement accounts, and you have a long time to get earnings.
But, assuming he's had-to-mouth, put in at least 5% and try to work up to 10% in time.
2. Don't max out on house. But buy in the best high school district you can afford. [Extra legwork--but can pay off]--Look at school board zoning and past rezoning (you can usually find reports online at county website) to see if the area you want has/is likely in the future to be rezoned--don't rely/trust real estate agents to tell you this. Houses in stable neighborhoods in highly sought after school zones tend to appreciate/hold their value. For houses, look at bones-they can't be fixed easily. This was my advice to 30 something single (at the time) son. He researched school districts and wound up in a different area as a result.
But, also evaluate whether buying is a good economic decision. Run the metrics (online resources of rental prices vs owning). In some markets, renting might work out better. Life/economics has changed. Don't assume that buying a house is the best eco decision.
3. We never lease cars. We buy and keep for 10 years. . We also buy 1-2 year old certified used cars or cars that still have at least 1-2 years factory warranty. Don't pay for extras--get as bare bones as you can be reasonable satisfied with. Most have excellent safety features now anyways.
4. Budget-Make a list of fixed costs--then reasonable extras--decide what extras can be cut out and start an excel/chart, etc. of savings goal and log in each time you actually cut something out and "save." Have a savings account set up to auto-transfer $ "saved" to that account, so it's "gone" from checking and is out of sight out of mind. Even if it's just $80 for dinner out when you stay in instead. Try to lower tech spending--phones, internet, cable, etc. How much is really a "need?" Can a more basic plan work--don't buy the latest upgrades, etc. Watch that account grow for a big ticket item--emergency fund, car down payment, house, etc. Don't finance vacations--pay cash or go somewhere cheaper/free.
5. Ideally, Credit cards should be fully paid off each month. If not possible, pay as much as reasonable on the highest interest one. If you have CC debt, only new charges should be essentials. Or pay cash, so that you're not adding to increased interest charges.
Lastly, it's tough to be 30 something now--student debt, high medical/dental expenses, job uncertainty (even without Covid 19), etc. Above are goals.
 
Last edited:

Panina

TUG Review Crew: Elite
TUG Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
6,037
Reaction score
7,520
Points
449
Location
South Carolina
Resorts Owned
Hgvc Eagles Nest, Hgvc Surf Club, Hgvc Indian River, Hgvc Anderson, Sunrise Bay & Club, Chetola, Jade Tree Cove, Banyan Resort, Blue Ridge Village
I was in my 30’s when I got serious about saving. I only wish I started in my 20’s and saved more in my 30’s.

Save whatever you can in a Roth ira, ira and 401k and never borrow from them or take out money from them. Make sure a large chuck is invested in the stock market.

Find a side job to make extra money for savings, even more important if you are in debt. Debt is the first goal one should set to pay off. Many years I worked 3 jobs, my full time job, selling Avon on the side and doing flea markets and fairs selling merchandise on the weekends.

If you cannot pay for a trip or luxury in cash, do not use credit, and do not get it.

Do not buy new cars, a certified used car from the dealer is more economical and you will save lots of money.

Strive to buy a property whether a primary or second home and pay more then the mortgage each month. The goal is to pay it off As soon as possible.

When it comes time to retire the goal should be to have a property that is paid off that you can live in, no debt, and money saved.

Set up a bank account for each of your kids taking them to the bank to open the account. Explain to them this is a college fund or trade school fund that they need to save for and you will also help. When a birthday comes and they get a cash gift teach them 1/2 goes into the account, 1/2 they can choose what to do.

If you strive when your younger you should be able to retire young If you choose.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
22,539
Reaction score
6,847
Points
799
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Same advice I got when I was under 20 from my mom.
Pay yourself FIRST. 10% of what you earn is YOURS. Save/invest it.
Live beneath your means. If you can afford a $300,000 home, buy a $200,000 home. And
It's better to own the smallest house in a 'good' neighborhood than the best house in a poor one.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
Travel as often as you can. Build memories. Nobody can take them away from you. Don't wait until too late. Too late comes too soon.
Marry well. It's as easy to fall in love with a well educated, ambitious person as a poor one.
And from me to my 20 year-old self:
NEVER SMOKE!

Jim
 

T_R_Oglodyte

TUG Lifetime Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
12,102
Reaction score
2,248
Points
648
Location
Belly-View, WA
Buy that house on NE 28th Street in Bellevue that the real estate agent will show you when you move to Bellevue in 1993, and go in with the guy on the block who will be looking for help starting an internet sales and distribution company out of his garage. (The guy's name was Jeff Bezos.)
 
Last edited:

travelhacker

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
259
Reaction score
164
Points
104
These have all been really good responses. Thanks all. Feel free to keep the advice coming!

I've already learned a few things that I had never thought of and had some good reminders on things that I knew, but had somewhat lost touch on.

I think there is definitely something to be said to balancing enjoying life vs saving for the future.

@Passepartout I like the pay yourself first idea, I'm sure that could be adjusted depending on the situation, but I think there is a lot to be said to "paying yourself first". Seems like the Pay Yourself First method is a good way to balance the need to enjoy life and save for the future.

Keep these coming, these are great!
 

travelhacker

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
259
Reaction score
164
Points
104
Buy that house on NE 28th Street in Bellevue that the real estate agent will show you when you move to Bellevue in 1993, and go in with the guy on the block who will be looking for help starting an internet sales and distribution company out of his garage. (The guy's name was Jeff Bezos.)
That's almost painful to read, but gave me a good chuckle.
 

mdurette

Sighting Expert & TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
4,177
Reaction score
2,205
Points
448
Location
New England
Here is what I did "right" in my 30's.

1. I contributed to my companies 401K. If they offer a match of any contribution, make sure you do it, free money.
2. I established an education fund for our daughter. It should be enough to cover her college in 5 years.
3. I saved wherever I could.....coupons, sales, etc. (I still do this today) Never pay retail.
4. I never charge more than what I could pay in full every month.
5. I focused on my mortgage. When I refinanced, I didn't take the lower payment....I took the lower term.
6. I saved every penny I could.

In a couple weeks I will turn 50 and financially I'm ok with whatever life brings my way. (fingers crossed)
 

Brett

Guest
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,331
Reaction score
1,084
Points
323
Location
Newport News, Va.
Here is what I did "right" in my 30's.

1. I contributed to my companies 401K. If they offer a match of any contribution, make sure you do it, free money.
2. I established an education fund for our daughter. It should be enough to cover her college in 5 years.
3. I saved wherever I could.....coupons, sales, etc. (I still do this today) Never pay retail.
4. I never charge more than what I could pay in full every month.
5. I focused on my mortgage. When I refinanced, I didn't take the lower payment....I took the lower term.
6. I saved every penny I could.

In a couple weeks I will turn 50 and financially I'm ok with whatever life brings my way. (fingers crossed)
yeah, I did some things right in my 30's
but I'd say at age 30 - dude, in 30 years .... buy AMAZON stock ! :)
 
Last edited:

sue1947

TUG Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
1,234
Reaction score
422
Points
293
Location
Seattle
Resorts Owned
Worldmark and VI
First, the same advise as most others: save as much as you can as early as you can. Understand the power of compound interest both for earnings and borrowing. Example: I pulled $2000 out of my first retirement account when I moved in 1980 and spent it on who knows what. If I had put that money in an IRA and added just $50/mo since, I would have another $200,000. When I was in my 50's, the company I worked for was outsourcing like crazy and downsizing. I made it through 3 rounds of layoffs before deciding to quit/retire early at 54. The money I saved starting in my 30's allowed me that choice. The additional that I didn't save in my late 20's-early 30's would have made it much easier. So save so that you have choices in the future when life hands you a surprise (like a pandemic).
Second: enjoy your life. Making money helps, but you need to also find something you enjoy doing. Find the balance between the two and make sure to make time for a private life. It is way too easy to always be on call for work. Spend time with your family and friends. Spend money on things that are important to you but also make sure you are spending time on things that are important to you.

Sue
 

PigsDad

TUG Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
6,648
Reaction score
2,371
Points
498
Location
Northern Colorado
Resorts Owned
HGVC Elite: SeaWorld, Surf Club, Charter Club, Valdoro
Mortgage -- work on paying it off early. Even an extra $50/month can knock off years. And every time you get a raise, direct a portion of it to increase the extra mortgage payment. There is no feeling like the freedom you have w/o a mortgage payment -- it makes so many other decisions so much easier.

I never understood those who said you should keep a mortgage for the tax write off of the interest. It makes no financial sense whatsoever. Example: Would you rather pay $100 in interest to a bank in order to save $30 on your taxes, or would you rather not pay the interest at all and have the extra $100 in your pocket?

As everyone else has said, start saving early. If your company offers a match on your 401k, contribute at least the amount to get the full match. No where will you find an instant return rate like that, and it disappears each year you don't contribute. Then, make it a goal to max out 401k and IRA contributions. If you can max them both out, you will be golden.

I strongly agree with @elaine on cars -- never lease, buy and hold for 10 years. And buy modest cars -- they all have 4 wheels and transport you places; a Ford will get you everyplace a BMW will. I once did a back-of-the-envelope calculation and the amount I saved on vehicles doing this over the course of my 35 years of adulthood, banking those savings away, has netted me close to a quarter million dollars, vs. my wife and I buying a new car every 3-4 years. I was buying $15K 1-2 year-old cars and driving them 9-10 years when my neighbor was as doing 2 years leases on $40K cars. I had a paid off mortgage, and my neighbor chose to downsize after the kids were in high school because he was having problems paying his mortgage (which I'm guessing he refinanced several times). We are about the same age.

With all of this said, I never regretted the money we spent on traveling. Never extravagant, but we did travel quite a bit. I am now 54 and honestly can retire at any point, if I want, from a financial standpoint. No greater feeling in the world, especially in uncertain times like now.

Kurt
 

Bailey#1

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
454
Reaction score
225
Points
153
Location
Vermont
I want to add one more thing, Your health is everything, eat right, exercise, try not to stress out, live each day as if it was your last. I didn't realized this until I was in my forties.
 

Rolltydr

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
924
Reaction score
1,111
Points
194
Resorts Owned
CWA, Ocean Blvd, Fairfield Glade
Start saving early. Put a certain percentage, or amount, away with each paycheck and don't touch it.

When I started working for the "phone company" we had something called the Bell Savings Plan. We could put money into it (taken from our paycheck). No matching funds, and at the end of the year we could withdraw it. So I did. That became my "fun" money. Once they started offering a 401K, which they matched up to 66%) I started saving. I was already into my 30's at that point. One of my friends who started with the phone company when she was 18 had never touched the money in her savings and just let it grow. She had a nice little amount built up when she left the company in her 40's.
This is great advice. I also was about 30 when I started contributing to a 401k. I had refused for about 10 years because the rules and penalties for early withdrawal were so harsh, or so I thought. My wife and I both were pretty poor growing up and I didn’t want to have money stuck in an account that I couldn’t easily get. When I did finally start contributing, I only saved the minimum and my company match was about $600/year if I remember correctly. Fortunately, we both had successful calreers and I contributed the maximum amount for about my last dozen years or so. That allowed me to retire at age 58 and with that and my pension, we’re doing well. I am able to allow my Social Security to keep growing until I have to take the mandatory withdrawal at age 70 when I will receive the maximum monthly payment.

So, save as much as you can in the 401k and remember when the market tumbles, that just means you can buy more shares. In the long run, history shows the market has always trended upward.
 

dago

TUG Member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
80
Reaction score
38
Points
128
Location
Northeast Ohio
Resorts Owned
no longer own any timeshares. Look to rent only
I've always practiced #3. This is the first year I regretted it.
( Didn't have my stimulus $ direct deposited.)
I think I may have been able to enter the info online, but I erroneously believed my social security direct deposit info would suffice. Meanwhile, I'm hoping the check has been mailed to my post office box in home town. I will know I'm a week.
Agree -I always practiced #3 - I had the same issue with stimulus check. I also assumed my SS direct deposit info would suffice. I got my check on May 12.
 

travelhacker

TUG Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
259
Reaction score
164
Points
104
I want to add one more thing, Your health is everything, eat right, exercise, try not to stress out, live each day as if it was your last. I didn't realized this until I was in my forties.
This is something that I have just started to realize. I have a relatively thin build, and never really had to worry much about what I ate, but it has started catching up with me in the past few years. I love skiing, so I am going to work hard to drop about 30 pounds in time for ski season with a mix of regular exercise, eating a bit healthier, and a bit less....now if COVID cooperates and I am able to ski is a different question. Unfortunately, my dad realized this lesson too late and has mobility issues, type 2 diabetes and has had a heart attack and he's just a shade over 65.
 

Talent312

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
13,445
Reaction score
3,269
Points
548
Resorts Owned
HGVC & GTS
Your health is everything, eat right, exercise, try not to stress out, live each day as if it was your last...
I concur with this and the financial advice. But I would add some behavior advice:

Do you know how you are? Don't be that way. Be a better person than you are.
We tend to behave as if it's all about ourselves, what we want & what we enjoy.
Instead, show respect and consideration for others, especially your spouse. Lastly:
Give yourself (and others in your home) space in which to grow as a person.
 
Last edited:
Top