10 Bucket List Things Every Girl Needs to Have Before Turning 30

Womens Issues

10 Things Every Girl Should Have Before Turning 30

Ten things every woman needs to help make her 30s the best decade yet.


Turning 30 was more than a milestone for me; it was a rite of passage. It meant I survived the beautiful mistakes and epic self-doubt of my 20s and was ready to move into bona fide “big girl” status. My 20s were a decade of wild nights, dating tragedies and learning, but 30 heralded the arrival of an evolved, ready-for-prime-time me. If you’re looking at 30 soon, you can make a smooth(er) transition by arming yourself with these essentials to a grown-up repertoire:

Essential #1: A Soul Sister

#Besties! Your 20s are more fun with a true best friend who shares your pain in hangovers and heartbreak. She wants you to be happy, loves you at your worst, tells you how it is and laughs alongside you when life gets rough. It’s a genuine two-sided friendship that’ll stand the test of time.

10 Things Every Girl Should Have Before Turning 30

Essential #2: Confidence

If you have authentic confidence, you have power—power to grow in a career, fall in love, find strength in weakness and live happily. Confidence is palpable. It’s the consequence of emotionally healthy thinking and a positive support system. Experience cultivates confidence, but a girl can grow her confidence with a few challenges:

  • Don’t overestimate others and underestimate yourself.
  • Rely on logic to drive your thoughts.
  • Quit jealously. It does you no good, and everybody has their own (often serious) issues you don’t know about and wouldn’t want.
  • Find your own perception of beauty. Don’t buy into the narrow definition of ‘beauty’ that the media pushes; remember that it’s designed to make women insecure so they buy more beauty products.
  • Simply: love yourself. Don’t let others into your inner circle who don’t love and respect you.

Essential #3: Your Own Sophisticated Style

A gal’s closet evolves throughout her 20s. Versatile pieces for the office start to take prominence over graphic urban T-shirts and denim cutoffs. Mixing and matching becomes the fashion objective, rather than short, tight and revealing. Welcome the days of carrying a designer messenger bag to work instead of your favorite clear iridescent backpack. Personal style is essential to a woman’s identity and creative self-expression, and is second only to her independence and convictions.

10 Things Every Girl Should Have Before Turning 30

Essential #4: A Growing Savings Account

Saving is sexy. Even if you set aside $25 per paycheck, you’re practicing financial responsibility, and that’s hot. Building an emergency fund should be a budget priority. Give yourself the goal of saving 10 percent of each paycheck. If 10 percent is too steep, commit to actively saving what you can manage. As your funds grow, so will your dedication to healthy financial management.

10 Things Every Girl Should Have Before Turning 30

Essential #5: A Luminary To Look Up To

From the worldly business success of Diane von Furstenberg to Brigitte Bardot’s enviable beauty, the accomplishments or famed attributes of a personal heroine can inspire and empower a girl on a quest of self-discovery. Your 20s are your learning years. You may have found yourself buckling under insecurities, making mistakes and getting lost a time or two. While enduring these years, a strong female role model can keep your spirit ablaze. Ask yourself who’s at the cornerstone of your admiration and passions? Make her the luminary of your 30s.

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A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 58 Comments

  1. I love this list! How many of these have you accomplished, Hilary?! 👀 ✔

  2. Amanda Wilson

    The truth is, I’m writing my own bucket list and it’s very exhausting (and frustrating at one point). Thanks for giving me wonderful idea!

  3. Mikaela Campbell

    This list is very useful! Thanks a bunch!

  4. Andrea Jones

    Your list inspired me… #strivetobebetter

  5. Eloise Ferris

    Excellent list of goals. Luckily I have accomplished some of these (now that I’m in my mid-20s)

  6. Deidre Timm

    As I age gracefully, I’ve discovered that health is a big deal!

  7. Rosalia Russell

    Awesome article! Good thing I found my “soul sister” before 30…

  8. Elizabeth Gonzalez

    I love this list! How many of these have you accomplished, Hilary?! 👀 ✔

  9. Karen Abeyta

    The truth is, I’m writing my own bucket list and it’s very exhausting (and frustrating at one point). Thanks for giving me wonderful idea!

  10. Connie Schmidt

    I have to admit that when I was thinking about my bucket list before 30, I had similar ideas as yours.

  11. For me, confidence is the “most” essential.

  12. Sharon Payson

    “A growing savings account!” Thanks for the reminder! 💰 😅 😕 👣

  13. Maxine Ford

    Turning 30 is a MAJOR MILESTONE. Thanks for this fantastic article!

  14. April Henry

    Amazing list! Thank you soooo much!

  15. Sarah Anne Trevor

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m not getting any younger. I had an exciting and memorable 20s life… have been nothing short of “beautiful mess…” After reading your article, I realized that a certain maturity needs to take place as I start a new chapter of my life…

  16. Kaye Williams

    I’m in my late 30s and I’d agree that these 10 items are essential! Wish I’ve read a realistic and rational article like this 8 yrs ago… #regrets

  17. Daryss Carlton

    The most common reaction to turning 30 is FEAR! I should know because I’m 34 😝

    Another perfect article from you, Hilary and Urbanette. I highly appreciate your writing. I thank you for making women realize that there’s more to life than these “material things.”

    • Jessica Carlson

      You’re right, Daryss! Turning 30 gives one the feeling she is no longer a carefree 20-something. The NEED to think more intelligently and act responsibly seems automatic (which can be scary!)

  18. Angela Freeman

    I’m a little over 30 but since I’m an “it’s never too late” type of person, I can gladly look back on things I did (though I have some regrets not accomplishing most of these essentials). Thanks for always bringing inspiration to women, Urbanette!

  19. Katherine Donnelly

    I always look at life as something that isn’t made of strict rules we all must follow before a certain age! Still, fantastic article!

  20. George Sumanta

    Great ideas! Bookmarked this page for reference 😉

  21. Britni Baynes

    Thank you very much! Before this list, most of the items in my bucket list before 30 were expensive travel!

    • Christine

      Same here! I’ve always dreamed of traveling and enjoying the world. But after reading this article, I’ve realized that there are other essential things in my life than travel 😉

  22. Jeweli Prater

    Wow! I’m on the process of writing my own list and was searching Google for inspiration. Glad I landed into your page!

  23. Lancy Stanford

    Amazing list! I have my own list too but only ticked off two so far. Lots in progress!

    • Monique Johnson

      Goodluck, Lancy! Well, I’d have to say that it’s “really” hard to achieve ALL items on every list!

  24. Luthi Sanders

    Great job! This is the most sensible list I’ve so far read!

  25. Marina Bozek

    I enjoyed reading this! You made me think. I’m adopting this list but I’m gonna replace some which I’ve accomplished the past years 🙂

  26. Kseniya Tomlin

    As I get older, I realize my time has value. Instead of bucket list, I have 30 before 30 challenge. I dare myself of things I haven’t done and afraid to do. So far, I’ve marked and done 6 😍 🆒 ✔

  27. Jesse Wyss

    Mmmmm… Great list! Most of the time, my fears are holding me back. So, for me, CONFIDENCE is the most essential. (I still have a few years to gain this).

  28. Jessie Fernande

    Indeed, these are essentials! But I’d like to add, “a reading goal.” For me, intellectual enhancement as people mature is very important!

  29. Definitely agree with tip #4. I think it’s doing myself a favor if I start saving by 20s and money’s growing by 30s. Retirement might be a blip and it might be here before I know it!

    • Jenna Anderson

      Yeah, it may seem too early to think about retirement when you’re at 20’s BUT the sooner one starts to save, the more money she’ll have when it’s time to enjoy golden years.

      I’m at my 20’s and I started my retirement account. I save about $20-$40 monthly.

  30. Lana Wiliam

    Main item on my bucket list before 30: Make memories I will never forget!

  31. Alena Martin

    Another great article… Urbanette is TOTALLY my favorite blog!!!! I’m going to submit an article to you — keep an eye out 🙂 xoxox

  32. Kathryn Gibson

    Awesome! The things you’ve written are reasonable and can be achieved!

  33. Hena Taylor

    Thanks for the fantastic ideas! Glad I’ve discovered Urbanette!

  34. Lusi Martin

    One thing I’ve learned over the past few years: find self-worth!

  35. Jessi Agusta

    Definitely a good bucket list to aspire!

  36. Bela Christo

    Very inspiring! Now, I’m looking forward to a better future 😉

  37. Anila William

    Your article is an eye opener. Do I have to feel bad? Because I’m turning 30 soon and I only accomplished one of the ten…

  38. Cristina Joseff

    Thanks for writing this awesome article! I’m ready to become a new and improved version of myself. I’m no longer afraid of turning 30 💓😇

  39. Nancy Smith

    Inspiring ideas! I’m focused on having a growing savings account and having a soul sister!

  40. Maria Bruce

    I think I’ll have regrets if I’m not able to achieve all these goals…

  41. Quin Meri

    I’m trying to finish my “30 before 30” list and I love these suggestions. Thank you very much!

  42. Ana Brose

    Thanks for sharing! I’d like to have an epic birthday bash… *calling all my friends and family* 😝👥 💗

  43. Jenifer Jeni

    I’m still enjoying my exciting 20’s life. But thanks for this list, serves as my reminder that I NEED TO look at life seriously soon!

  44. Blanche Martina

    Your list is more of a motivator than a “do or die” type of thing.

  45. I love making lists and things I want to achieve but the hard part is putting them into action. Can you suggest ways on how to make them happen?

    • I made a daily schedule that I stick to, and I put time (even if it’s just 30 minutes) each day to help me achieve different goals I have. It has really helped!

  46. Melani Kalev

    My last epic birthday bash was when I was 16! I should definitely do something epic before/for my 30 (I still have 7 birthdays until that, 30th included!). Although now it’s harder to get my best ones together because everyone lives in different countries around the world.
    That said, 20’s are fun and awesome and I like the personal growth part and I love the fact that my friends are full of wanderlust and they are here-there-everywhere, like I am, but it means that the real bff relationship I have had going on is mostly with myself – which isn’t bad either, just sometimes it feels like there’s something/someone missing. However, it’s a different kind of special feeling when receiving video messages on Whatsapp or having a Skype date with wine and all the necessary girl talk (for yet another 4 and a half hours haha!) 🙂

  47. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I have everything ticked off on this list 😀 I also agree with what the essentials are, strength of character and a sense of oneself. More important than the material things.

  48. Jennifer Roberts

    Great list. I’m so used to reading lists about superficial stuff. It’s nice to read one with some actual meaning.

  49. Jen Garcia

    I feel so glad I came across this article 🙂 They are really essentials before 30, I’m going to share it with friends and will ask them how many of these do they have.

    For me, 20’s is the “experimental age.” During my 20’s, I tried so many things that I was afraid to try when I was younger. Among the 10 essentials, the only thing that I don’t have as of writing this comment, is the notebook full of ideas and adventures. I used to have an updated diary wherein I wrote my experiences, feelings and ides. But I failed to maintain it 🙁

    After reading this article, I was motivated to open that diary and it’s making me smile reading my entries. Now, I’m encouraged to maintain my diary again 🙂

  50. Hannah Mayers

    I’m a little over 30 but I feel glad I was able to have 9 out of 10. I wasn’t able to have an “epic birthday” bash, not because I don’t love it but simply because time was not on my side to have this really exciting, epic birthday bash. And because I can’t turn back the hands of time, I’ll add this to my bucket list before “40.”

  51. Jen Spillane

    I especially like "don't overestimate other people and underestimate yourself." So true, and so essential to your own confidence. Also agree that soul sisters are essential at all points in life!

  52. Arabella Clarington

    I'm reaching 40 BUT I think these things are still “must” to have for us as well. The younger generation has the boost to have these things and my generation was told we weren't allowed to have them. WOMEN should aspire to be everything that they can be, because we are well worth it.

  53. I love that these tips are a mix of fun, style, and personal growth, and I agree wholeheartedly with #1. I am so lucky to have my best friend, I really can't imagine life without her! Nothing makes your 20's happier than someone that awesome to share them with.

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