The time between your late 20s and early 30s is an interesting one. Half of your friends are settled down with a family, and the other half are still partying like it’s their profession. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you should have plans to up your responsibility game by the time you’re 35.
1.Save 20% of your income
When we’re young, many of us calculate disposable income by deducting bills from our income. Everything left is available to spend, right? Not if you want to have a nest egg. As you get older, it becomes time to start saving for the future. Even if you have a retirement account, you’ll need a savings for things like vacations, unexpected medical expenses, emergency auto repair and more. The list gets even longer if you plan to have kids.
According to the 50/20/30 rule, you should allocate 50% of your after-tax income to housing and essentials. This would include rent, mortgage, car payment, insurance, etc. Thirty percent of your after-tax income should be used for entertainment, including nights out, Netflix and cable.
The 20% that’s left should go towards financial responsibilities. This category includes savings, but it can also include paying down debt. Keep in mind that you still need savings even with a debt to repay, so focus on saving enough to cover three months of expenses before you start paying more than the minimum on those credit cards. Once your debt is paid off, the full 20% can be allocated to your savings account.
2. Exercise daily
As much as we’d love to forget this fact, 35 is rapidly approaching middle age. This is a time when we must think about things like heart health and slowing down the aging process. Fortunately, exercise can cover both of these things.
There’s a thing called leukocyte telomere length (LTL) that scientists have discovered is crucial for longevity. The longer your LTL, the longer you’re likely to live. A Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study found that people who engaged in regular moderate exercise were less likely to have short LTL.
3. Avoid processed meats
Put down that pepperoni pizza because the research shows that processed meats are linked to diseases like cancer and heart disease. Not to be the bearer of even worse news, but this includes bacon. Sausages, hot dogs, salami, and beef jerky are also processed meats that should be avoided.
Studies have linked processed meat consumption with almost every common chronic disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bowel and stomach cancers.
To add to the dangers, people who are in the habit of eating processed meats are more likely to smoke and less likely to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat recommended servings of fruits and veggies
USDA guidelines state that adults eat anywhere between 5 and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. For an adult male with a moderately active lifestyle, the USDA recommends a 2,600-calorie diet. Within that, they recommend getting at least 3 ¼ cups of vegetables and just over 2 ½ cups of fruit daily.
Fruits and vegetables are most nutrient dense foods we can eat. That means that this is where the majority of your nutrients are coming from. When you don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to run properly. In the short term, this can cause issues like fatigue and brain fog. In the long term, it can lead to chronic health problems, especially if you’re replacing those calories with things like sugars, starches and processed meats.
Researchers at the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed the eating habits of a large group of people over time to determine whether eating more fruits and veggies had any impact on longevity. They found that people who ate at least five fruits and vegetables daily lived an average of 3 years longer than those who didn’t.
5. Stop binge drinking
Binge drinking is a bad habit that typically begins in the college years. It ends somewhere between the late 20s and early 30s for most people, but some continue the habit for a lifetime. Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism about for men.
Statistics show a grim outlook for binge drinkers. Excessive alcohol consumption is likely to lead to child abuse or domestic violence against a partner. Binge drinkers are also at an increased risk high blood pressure, sexually transmitted infections, diabetes, and heart disease. If you’ve developed this nasty habit, it’s best to stop before your mid-thirties.
If you plan on sticking around for another three to seven decades, now is the time to take care of your finances and overall health. Your future self will thank you.