Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to your finances. Being in your 20s means suddenly having to figure out a lot of stuff, like where you want to go with your career, how you’re going to pay back those student loans, and whether you’ll ever be able to afford a place of your own. It can all be pretty overwhelming, so the temptation to stick your head in the sand and not think too much about your money and where it goes is certainly understandable. But it’s also pretty stupid.
The money decisions you make in your first decade of adulthood are going to reverberate throughout the rest of your life, for better or for worse. Take a lax approach to money management now and you’ll pay the price later on. Or, you could establish good financial habits, like learning how to follow a budget and staying out of debt, and watch as they pay off big time in your 30s and beyond. If you want to take the latter route, here are seven money moves that will help you get on the right financial track in your 20s.
1. Set a budget
Three-quarters of people in their 20s and early 30s say they track their spending, a 2015 survey by T. Rowe Price found, and 67% stick to a budget. If you’re not among them, now’s the time to get started. Setting a budget (and following it) will help you cut back on unneccesary purchases and avoid racking up debt. For tips on how to get started with budgeting, check out this Cheat Sheet video.