Save. Spend. Splurge.

15 things to do at 30 to feel great at 50

I was thinking the other day about things we should all do now to have a better future. It is easy to look back with regret (like I have) on my teens or 20s and said:

“Oh I wish I had saved more money & had been more frugal during my college years and realized I was taking on a massive amount of debt.”

Hindsight is 20/20 and it is also full of negative regret, so I thought I’d come up with my own list of things everyone should do in their 30s to prevent such regret.

I am not perfect in any of these following items by any means, but it is always a good thing for me to review what I think are important things in life and to actually do it.


1. Save money for your coming retirement now; do not rely on government plans.

Read all my retirement posts here.

2. Try hard to stop smoking, it causes cancer, wrinkles & ruins your lungs for life just google it.

I’m really against it only because there have been deaths in my family because of it.

3. Go for regular checkups. 

Visit your doctor every year and women, get PAP smears every 5 years; your dentist every year and your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) every 2 years for checkups.

4. Do cancer checks on your body by checking for new and unusually shaped moles, and women, do breast exams on yourself to check for lumps.

“Early cancer detection is key.”


5. Learn that you make your own happiness.

I struggle with this sometimes, but you really make your own happiness. If you’re jealous of others, it is because you are comparing yourself to others — why!?

6. Eat less meat. Don’t give it up completely, but cut back.

Everything in moderation, meat can also be a condiment sometimes not the main star of a meal.

7. Wear sunscreen on a daily basis and polarized sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection to protect your eyes

8. Brush AND FLOSS your teeth on a regular basis; brushing is useless without flossing.

I also like to use interdental brushes to really get stuff out in between my teeth that floss misses.

9. Realize that money isn’t everything.

Yes, you need to work, to save, put food on the table, and to pay for things, but don’t turn into a workaholic and sacrifice your life and peace of mind to do so.


10. Take an educational trip abroad.

If you are able to and you have saved for it, instead of buying things to fill the inner void or going to that beach resort, make a plan to use that money to travel abroad to Asia, Australia, Africa, The Middle East, Europe… and experience other cultures and ways of life.

You can do it for cheap by staying in motels & eating from grocery stores rather than living it up.

11. Looks fade, but personality remains.

Don’t be fooled by charming faces, or get caught up in the cycle of trying to look younger, hotter. Yes, beauty is important from a biological standpoint but being attractive isn’t everything.

Truth: you will never look like a teenager unless you are a teenager, so embrace your current age & look forward with pride and joy at growing older.

“Cultivate your brain & personality instead.”

12. Everyone has a personal story and a struggle they’re battling, so be nice to everyone. EVERYONE.

It doesn’t hurt to say hello to the janitor, or to just strike up friendly conversation with a stranger.

13. Cherish those close to you; your family is not necessarily your only ‘family’, you have close friends whom you can treat as well as siblings.


14. Think, act, live and breathe being green.

It can be hard when things are so convenient in plastic, and garbage seems to be magically whisked off in trucks and dumped in landfills, but what kind of Earth are we creating & leaving behind for future generations?

Little no-effort things like using your own cup instead of getting a disposable one, or being more thoughtful in purchases can be impactful.

Here are eco-friendly things I do that people might find weird.

15. Focus on experiences & gratitude.

I’m not just talking about traveling, but even just appreciating that you are healthy, whole, safe, and rich enough to take a walk outside without fear of war, enjoy a cup of tea with clean water, go to the grocery store to choose from an abundance of food, or do mundane things that others in the world are literally dying to be able to do.

We are all extremely lucky.

What are your 15 things to do?


  • Dean

    Amazing list well done writing!

  • C

    I would also say find some physical activity you like and do it regularly. I started out with yoga but in grad school I started lifting and it was a revelation. I LOVE being strong instead of scrawny. I even do cardio now – I can convince myself to run on a treadmill as a warmup to lifting weights when running otherwise seems bloody useless. I just hit 40 and I think regular exercise is one of the things that keeps me sane as well as healthy. Given my family history (heart disease, diabetes, depression) it’s important even though I don’t smoke like my parents did. And going to the gym in the evening is one of the things that I can definitely tell myself is more important than the job.

  • Lady FruFru

    Great post. I had to laugh because I am 50 and I have done most of these things in my 20s or 30s. And I’m pretty happy and definitely financially stable. Giving up meat is a biggie. I’ve been a vegetarian since age 14….but it’s not just what you give up. Replace it with lots of fresh produce. Huge key to the fountain of youth and health. That and gratitude.

  • Marie-Josée

    This is a very well thoughy-out list and I agree with you on all items. It covers what I value most: emotional and physical health, as well as the environment. I would add a recommendation: make sure half your lunch and dinner is vegetables, preferably not root veggies but mostly green veggies growing above ground. Green veggies and those in the cruciferous family (broccoli, bok chow, rapini) contain so many health promoting molecules, they keep discovering new antioxidants on a regular basis. It’s a great habit for portion control as well, as all those leafy veggies really bulk up a meal and the tummy.

  • MoneyGrasshopper

    Love this article! And agree with every single point. Curious about and wanting to try the interdental brushes, what brand and where do you buy from?

    • save. spend. splurge.

      GUM is the brand I use, and can be found at any pharmacy.

      You have to try different sizes though, my partners’ teeth are very tight together and he uses the smallest bristles and in some cases, can’t get the bristle through certain gaps.

      Me, I use the biggest one because I had a lot of dental work done & teeth removed, so I have plenty of space.. 🙂

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