Turning thirty is a big event – more significant, perhaps, than when you turn forty. You still have a long way to go, of course. But, by the time you reach your thirties, you should be well rid of your teenage angst, have a bit of money behind you, and have some idea of where you are going.

It’s also a time of your life that could go either way. For example, all those little habits you pick up as a teen? They might well become irritating to others when you are a fully formed adult. And, unless you understand a few of the basics of life, you’re going to struggle to get to where you want to be. Here are fifteen things that all men should know by the time they are thirty.

You can’t drink as much as you used to

First of all, an obvious point, but one that might not have sunk in yet. By the time you are 30, your metabolism is starting to drop, and hangovers take a little longer to get over. There will be times when you still have the ability to stay awake all weekend, of course. But, make sure you have a couple of days off when you get home. You should also realise that things are never going to be the same again – it’s time to start taking things slower. Choose nicer drinks – go for craft beers rather than Stella. And, learn when your body is telling you to call it a night.

You need to quit smoking

Smoking is a dangerous pastime – as you will already know. But, there is some evidence that if you quit by the time you are 30, your lungs have a chance of recovering to almost full function. There are no guarantees, of course. But, as your body gets older, it’s going to be more difficult to quit the habit. And, it’s going to be harder for your lungs to get rid of all the gunk. If you want a long and healthy life ahead of you, then you only have one option.

Life’s what you make it

By now, you should realise that you – and only you – are going to make things happen in your life. This isn’t just about careers – it’s about everything. You shouldn’t be leaning on your parents every time something goes wrong, and you have to be responsible for your actions. It’s all down to you and the decisions you make. So, work out those kinks in your personality and free yourself from fear. See a therapist if you have to. Get things straight and you will go on to enjoy the rest of your life.

Money is important

During your twenties, you have probably spent a lot more money than you should have. However, all that needs to stop when you are in your thirties. Money is important – as sad as that may be to some of you. And, if you want a comfortable future, it’s vital that you have a better relationship with your finances. Start saving, and set up a pension plan if you haven’t already. Build up a surplus in your cash, and syphon some of it off so you have a fund available for emergencies. Look into sensible investments that will give you a real return over the long-term. And, make sure that you understand the difference between good debt and bad debt.

How to drive – properly

Everyone should know how to drive. It gives you far more options in life, and there is an element of freedom to it, too. However, learning to drive isn’t enough. You should also know how to drive properly – and safely – as well as have an understanding of cars. After buying a house, a new car is likely to be the biggest investment you will make. So, you should be looking for reliability over looks – especially if you are settling down. So, trade in the unreliable luxury car for something like a Toyota. As Currie Motors car dealers say, they are “reliable, efficient and visually appealing cars”. When you hit the age of 30, those are the three things you should be looking for to give you the best bang for your buck.

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You need a wider view of the world

When you hit 30, there’s every chance you will start to take a lot more interest in politics. You’re beginning to realise how all those decisions made in Parliament are starting to affect you at this stage. And, you are likely to have a favourite newspaper or source of information. However, you should still read the views of those you disagree with. Every paper or news source has a slant or an angle, and if you want the full facts, you have to work a little harder to get them. It doesn’t matter if you are left wing or right wing, if you don’t have a broad view of a subject, you aren’t going to master it.

You are mortal

Another thing that will hit you when you are 30 is your own mortality. There will be a lot more people you know who have accidents or develop illnesses. And, of course, you will start to be exposed to a lot more death – family members, friends, and work colleagues. You’ll realize that you need to take care of yourself a lot more. Exercise regularly, eat better food and stop all those dangerous habits. As we mentioned above in the smoking section, if you can make all those changes now, you have a chance of undoing all the damage from your younger years. But, you don’t have too much of a time frame to do it – so start right now.

The past is history

You have probably made a lot of mistakes in your life by now. But, try not to panic about them. Making mistakes is the best way to learn, and everyone makes a few howlers when they are in their younger years. The trick is to learn from those mistakes and don’t let them hamper your future. You might have a few regrets, but you can’t afford to keep thinking about them as you go into the most significant period of your life. You might have a partner, a family, and even grandchildren coming your way in the future. That’s what you should be thinking about – not that thing you did when you were 18.

You should be more responsible

Of course, you still have many mistakes to make. You might be an adult, but that doesn’t mean you are going to sail through life in a perfect way. So, when you do something wrong, admit it. Don’t blame anyone else – because it’s all on you. If you can start taking more responsibility for your own actions, you will begin to learn how to make better choices. And, you will get a lot more respect from those around you.

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You need to communicate

Learning how to communicate with people is just about the most important thing you can do. It’s going to help you get a better job, for a start, and it will help strengthen any relationships you are in. Some people are natural talkers, of course. But, communication is a two-way thing – so you need to learn how to listen, too. Extrovert and alpha male? You’ll need to learn when to shut your trap. Introvert? You have to know how to speak to people without feeling shy or embarrassed. Try taking some acting lessons if you are low on confidence, and it might give you a boost.

You’re not always right

When youthful exuberance dies down a little, it’s often a good time to eat some humble pie. You aren’t always right – and never will be. And, if you can accept this, then you will have a much happier life in the years to come. Learn to take criticism, too. You can’t expect to keep friends if you fly off the handle every time someone thinks your jokes aren’t funny. Just accept that people have different views of the world and that there isn’t always a right answer to anything.

Keep learning

Never stop learning – it’s the only way to improve your life and the lives of those you love. The more you know, the further you can go. Plus, it’s the best way to keep your brain in good condition, well into your old age. Look at local colleges and see if there are any adult education courses you like the look of. Put yourself forward for more learning opportunities at work. Even reading more books will help you understand a lot more about the world. There are a lot of obstacles in the way, of course. But, if you make time to learn about something that interests you, it will improve your outlook and opportunities.

OK, so there you have it. Is there anything else we have missed on our list of things you should know before turning 30? Let us know in the comments section and lend us your experience!

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