Building a Solid Personal Finance Foundation in Your 20s and 30s

  • Get a checkup: Just as you benefit from a health checkup, be sure to get a checkup on your finances to ensure you’re making the most of your money and your financial decisions.
  • Determine what you need with transaction and savings accounts and evaluate which banks and other financial firms offer accounts that best meet your needs. Be on guard for high fees that erode your savings.
  • Celebrate the savings habit. The earlier in life you’re able to save money regularly, the smaller the portion of your income you’ll need to save to accomplish a given goal. Scrutinize your current spending so you know where your money is going and you can identify what to do about it.
  • Be on the lookout for spending reduction opportunities. Regularly saving money, especially on a modest income, is challenging. I present many ideas for reducing your spending, but ultimately, how you cut your spending is a matter of personal preference.
  • Understand good and bad debt. Debt can be a useful tool to enable the purchase of real estate or other valuable assets. Avoid consumer debt, such as on credit cards and auto loans. Consumer debt tends to be costly, and the interest isn’t tax-deductible.

Managing Finances and Daily Living in Your Young-Adult Years

Getting a paycheck ...

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