35 Thoughts on Turning 35


Today I turn 35. I’m getting to the age where birthday milestones don’t mean as much as they once did. I thought I’d reflect back on my adult life thus far into the journey and provide a list of things I’d tell my 22 year old self. Kind of like when older Biff when he visits younger Biff in Back to the Future and give him the Sports Almanac that alters the space/time continuum. My only regret at 35 is that I haven’t successfully built a time machine… yet. At least the Cubs have finally won the World Series. But I digress… without further ado… I present 35 thoughts on turning 35.

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. If you want to try a budget app, check out You Need a Budget (YNAB).

  2. If you have big personal goals, complete them before you have kids.

  3. Focus more on experiences.

  4. Don’t forget about friendships.

  5. Pay off your debt as fast as you can. You’ll have more options if you do.

  6. Love what you do. Dig deep, if you don’t love what you’re doing, work hard to find out what you do love, and then work even harder to move toward a career change in that field.

  7. That amazing deal will be there in three months. Black Friday is no longer a day, but rather an entire season… actually, it’s pretty much the whole year. If something you have your eye on isn’t on sale today, refresh the page… there’s a good chance it goes on sale very very soon.

  8. Invest in yourself spiritually: read the Bible, find a group to talk about it with.

  9. Invest in yourself physically: It gets harder and harder to stay fit the older you get… and 20 was a LONG time ago!

  10. Invest in yourself mentally: Read books… audio books count. And, listening at 1.5 x means you can finally read fast, and fill that void in your commute, workout, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow.

  11. If you’re thinking of pursuing the next level of education, do it before you have kids.

  12. Save more money than you think can.

  13. Date your spouse more often.

  14. Don’t buy more house than you can afford.

  15. Journal more: I’ve never had a great memory and wish I would have written more things down.

  16. Save your money for higher quality items.

  17. Hold your kids and snuggle them as long as they will let you. They get big quick and you get older and it’s harder to hold them. And then you have back issues…

  18. Save money to pay for your next car with cash.

  19. Establish yourself as the fun parent. Kids can’t have two fun parents… that’s a circus. (Modern Family)

  20. Just dance. Nobody is watching you anyway.

  21. If you haven’t experienced grocery pickup yet, give it a try. It might just change your life.

  22. Don’t waste your money on cable, find cheaper alternatives and use the money for more important things.

  23. Say yes more.

  24. Time is more valuable than money, work to spend both wisely.

  25. Take full advantage of your retirement options at work. Increase your contributions by 1% every time you get a raise until you get to 10%.

  26. When you have kids, buy the vehicle that can open it’s own doors… minivan.

  27. Take time to remember the past. I use the app Timehop. I get to see a glimpse of the past everyday. As of today my streak is 999 days!

  28. When a youngster gets the courage to ring your doorbell to ask you for money, support them if you are able. I like to ask what their favorite part about the organization is (girl scouts, sports team, school, etc.).

  29. Make friends with your neighbors.

  30. Networking doesn’t have to be scary. Just make one brave move to introduce yourself to one person, and go with the flow from there.

  31. Ride your actual bike. Benefits include, but not limited to: fresh air, trails, sunrises, various animal sightings, thrills, speed, hard work, spandex, and Strava data.

  32. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. You can accomplish more if you let other’s help where they can.

  33. Don’t let someone ruin your goals just because they don’t have their own. Haters gonna hate. Stay focused.

  34. Free is good, but you often get what you pay for.

  35. Be decisive and don’t over think it. The worst case scenario is not likely to play out.

Cheers to another year!