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40 Things to do Before You Turn 40

Updated on March 27, 2019

The things to do in this list are relatively easy to do whether you are a 30 year old in a rich country like the United States or a 30 year old in a third world nation like Sri Lanka. I am assuming you have read my list on 30 things to do before you turn 30.

1. Buy a nice watch

An elegant timepiece is one of the things that go a long way in making a solid first impression. Like an expensive education, it says a lot about your personality and affluence level.

2. Buy a tailor-made suit

They say clothes make the man. How many suits do you really need? For the average man, having several suits is more of a luxury than a necessity. I think you have to have at least one suit. At some point you’re going to have to go for a wedding. So if you are going to be having one suit, ensure that it is navy as it will be sufficient for most situations.

3. Attend graduate school

If you want to make more money or stand a better chance of getting married, head to graduate school. I know you may have some qualms about it given the cost in terms of money and time. But it will be all worth it in the end.

4. Look into buying a house

You don’t have to put down the money to buy a house. A mortgage at this point in your life may also not be advisable. But it helps to get well versed with the property market. There is always some property that is affordable for you. You’ll have to decide to go and live in the boonies. But it can really help to see things from a different perspective.

5. Get married

For some of us, the more realistic goal may be to simply go on a date.

6. Go on a honeymoon to a top destination

Save up for your honeymoon and go somewhere nice. See if you can pay for your spouse’s portion of the cost too. It is a good idea to have a honeymoon and to enjoy it as much as possible, because years down the line you’ll want to have some pleasant memories of doing something special with the person you love the most.

7. Have kids

We all own things and have amassed a sizable amount of personal belongings once we hit 30. There has to be some line of succession for these possessions and so it is imperative that you have kids. You’ll want people to replace you and your wife (or husband).

8. Visit your elementary school teacher

I can’t remember my elementary school teachers. Even high school seems so far away now. So look to go back in memory lane and bring back the past.

9. Reread the 40 books from your twenties

Tip number 9 is the same as before. Just keep a copy of the books and look to read them again and this time with more intensity, absorbing everything in them.

10. Quit a Job

Sometimes we need to explore the world. Take Nuseir Yassin, for example, who quit his $125,000 job at Venmo to travel the world and blog about it. The magic number was $60,000 or one year’s worth of expenses to live in a city in New York. Also, he had $20,000 in cash and the rest in investments.

11. Lose weight and keep it off

Spend some money on health and fitness. You may envision your dream body in some way. It could be six-pack abs or some really nice biceps. So work on getting those by putting all your resources into it. If you are into strength training, some dumb bells may do the trick for you.

12. Expand your business

You are getting older and you probably have higher savings and much bigger earnings. Funnel this into expanding the business you hopefully started before you turned 30.

13. Watch a sporting event live

This is to actually go and watch the sporting event. It could be anything that is pretty big time which is happening in your country. If you are in Sri Lanka, for instance, you can catch a really good test series. In this way, you get to experience the contest.

14. Make an investment

Invest in something that you are interested, it could be gold or the stock market. Make sure you invest in something that goes up in value.

15. Buy a nice shirt or t-shirt

Spend about $50 and get yourself a tee or shirt that you feel great about when going on a date.

16. Watch the news

If you can let it be CNN or BBC. Look to spend 1 hour a month on this.

17. Write a book

Take the entire decade and come up with the words to fill an entire book. This is about 50,000 words plus. So look at it as about 200 words a day for 10 years, assuming you take Sundays off. We all need a rest day, right.

18. Send a gift to your 3 closest friends

This could be on the occasion of their birthday or just a Christmas surprise. Business is all about networking. There will be someone who knows someone who knows someone. All this will move you closer to your dreams.

19. Watch the popular series from your twenties again

You can reconnect with your past by delving into the things that you were interested once upon a time.

20. Watch the 40 movies from your twenties once again

You might want to get a Netflix account. Amazon would also do the job for you.

21. Celebrate 40 by having a party and inviting 10 friends

Networking is the key. You’ll want to engage with the vast number of social media ‘friends’ that you have build up over the years.

22. Master 3 skills

By the time you reach 40, you should be a master of 3 skills. It could be as simple as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. But put in the work and make the knowledge relevant to your day to day work.

23. Attend a sporting event at your high school

Relive some of your athletic prowess from a distant past by just getting to a game at your high school. It could be a regular basketball game or some rugby.

24. Establish two sources of income

Let’s assume you got the pay rise that you demanded in your twenties. Now get ahead by working on a second source of income.

25. Buy a laptop

Take some time researching and finally buy a laptop that will last till you hit the 4-O.

26. Buy a refrigerator

Now that you are married, you need your own stuff. Even if you don’t end up getting married look to take ownership and get your own things.

27. Buy a TV

Even if you are still living with your parents, you can always chip in and get a TV that can be shared.

28. Get your own furniture

Bed, armchair, stool, cupboard. Research and get around to buying these things for yourself. Always be ready to get married. Or keep the money at the bank in a certificate deposit so you can afford these items later.

29. Create your dream job

You’ll now know what you excel at. Don’t wait for someone to call you up. Create the job you always dreamt of. It could be as simple as setting up a website and boosting on Facebook to get you the clients you need to use the skills you’re great at.

30. See a gynecologist, dermatologist, and primary care doctor

As much as you hate to do this, it is highly recommended you do so. You don’t know what ailments you have and you need to really get on top of any health concern.

31. Work on your looks

Get a facial, have a cleaning at the dentist. Do what it takes to come off looking like a champion.

32. Exhaust your wardrobe

There was an email circulated about the fact that most people don’t wear 70 percent of the clothes in their wardrobe. By now, you would have a rather refined taste and you will take your time buying new clothes. The top brands are out there near you if you take the time to search for them. But first wear all your clothes that you have bought so far and use them up. Then throw or give them away.

33. Hack your mobile phone

In the same vein as the previous tip, look to make full use of your mobile phone. Make every use of every function and really take the maximum usage out of it. Then either throw or give it away like you did with your wardrobe. Now you’ll have the money to buy your dream phone.

34. Read a magazine from cover to cover

I have already started working on this. I have the Economist and will be taking reading it from beginning to end.

35. Enjoy your home

There are different areas in the house which we do not use. It could be the upstairs balcony or a verandah which is kept under lock and key. Look to make full use of your home. That will quench your desire to always dream of a bigger home.

36. Don’t buy things you don’t need

All these things will give you a habit of not basically giving into your wants. Cash is king and just having it frees up your mind and gets you to focus on the important things you need to get done.

37. Set up a trust fund for your kids (or future kids)

You don’t have to be rich to set up a trust fund. You can work hard for a few years and put some money aside that will generate income for your kids to use.

38. Monitor your retirement savings

Stay aware of what is going in with your retirement fund.

39. Invest in technical training

It could be as brief as a three months course. Do what you have to do to become better at your job. Make sure the technical training is relevant to what you are doing.

40. And finally, make a list of 50 Things to do Before You Turn 50

If only because it’s fun.


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