"This could be us, but you playin'"
1. START SAVING EARLY: More time means more money, so start saving as much as you can, as soon as you can. Save for college, life expenses and all of that, but also start saving for retirement early. The sooner you save, the sooner that retirement can come.
2. BUILD YOUR CREDIT: People (college students) may think that they have some time to worry about credit/credit score/credit rating, but it definitely applies to college students! Credit history and score can impact the rate you pay on your student loans. The lower your credit score, the more you will pay, so build that score. Get your own credit card and pay that bill every month (& all other bills).
3. MAKE YOUR MONEY INTO MORE MONEY: Start investing as soon as possible. Investing in your early 20's means you're creating a path to a stable future. Investing in an array of companies is a safe bet to a financially sound future.
4. WHEN AN EXPERT IS NEEDED- FIND A FIDUCIARY: A fiduciary is a person or organization that owes to another the duties of good faith and trust. When planning your financial future with guidance, make sure that person is a fiduciary, so you can be sure they aren't using you to make more money off a commission sale.
5. HAVE AN EMERGENCY SAVINGS ACCOUNT: An emergency fund is a necessity. Often, people are hit with unexpected expenses. If you don't have an emergency fund, you could be forced to rely on credit, loans, or even retirement money. Save as much as you can each month and put it towards an emergency fund to be safe.
6. UNDERSTAND TAKE HOME PAY: Take home pay or net pay, is the money you receive after taxes and other deductions. Know and understand your deductions, so you can be sure you're being paid a fair amount!
7. BUDGET YOUR MONEY: Budget your money even if you're young. Always pay yourself first, that means put some money away! Divvy up your wants and needs and go from there. Budget your spending on food, bills, and life expenses in general.
8. UTILIZE CREDIT, BUT BE CAREFUL: Credit is a good thing if you use it in a smart way. Using it often can be very beneficial. One can earn airline points, and points to many different stores, which can be a big bonus! If you use it often, you have to pay it off often, so you don't get sucked into debt.
9. KEEP YOUR MONEY SAFE: Place your money in at least a checking account. Most banks are insured by FDIC, which is a fund that will repay you up to a certain high amount if anything were to happen to your money. With a checking account, one can also have a debit card, which can be very convenient!
10. SHOP AROUND: When picking a credit card, make sure to do your research. Know all the penalties and fees for each specific card and choose the one that will benefit you most! (It's probably the one that totals to the least amount of fees/penalties ;])