If you’re a twenty-something thinking about your finances, you’ve come to the right place. Congrats! Welcome to adult life!

Maybe you’ve just wrapped up college or are beginning your career. Your life is stretching out before you. Choices you make today could set you up later for financial security, even freedom!

Your twenties are the prime time to make smart money decisions. Why? Because time is on your side! If you’ve already made money mistakes, there’s time to remedy them. Plus, when saving and investing, you have years ahead of you, and every day is precious time to grow your stash.

Here a few top financial goals to shoot for in your twenties.

1. Pursue a Financially Rewarding Career

You should go after a career you’ll enjoy. But don’t let phrases like “follow your passion” derail you from having a job that pays well. In your twenties and beyond, you need work that pays the bills!

If your “passion” happens to be something that earns zip for your bank account, do it in your free time and call it a hobby. Be willing to put in the effort at your job even if that job isn’t your dream. You can gain work experience, get yourself on steady financial footing, and work toward being able to have that dream job in the future.

Better yet, work a day job to pay the bills while building your dream career on the side. If you’re somebody who wants to work for yourself from home, we’ve put together this list of legit work-from-home jobs that actually pay real money.

https://clubthrifty.com/freelance-webinar-registration

2. Get on a Budget

When you’re just starting to make “real” money, you’ll feel like the richest person on the planet. Enjoy that feeling, but don’t spend it haphazardly!

Take control of your finances by creating a budget and tracking your expenses every month. Knowing where your money goes empowers you to make wiser choices.

Use the link above to learn how to create your own budget, or sign up for one the snappy budgeting apps out there. Here’s a list of some of our favorite budgeting programs!

3. Pay Off Student Loans

If you’ve been to college, chances are you’ve racked up some student loan debt. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but you do need to get moving and pay those off quickly.

To save a few bucks on interest, you might investigate whether or not refinancing to a lower interest rate is possible. The best student loan refinance companies may be able to help you cut thousands of the cost of your loan and save years of payments in the process.

Then, don’t just blindly follow a lengthy repayment plan. Use your budget to establish how you’ll tackle your debt so you’re not saddled with those payments into your forties or fifties!

$200 Bonus When You Refinance – Buried under student loan debt? At Credible, you can compare rates from multiple lenders in minutes! Plus, you may be eligible for up to a $200 bonus if you choose to refinance through them. Get your free quotes here.

4. Get Some Term Life Insurance

Since life insurance companies tend to offer the lowest rates to the youngest customers, it’s wise to get in on that while you’re young. Lock in those lower policy rates as soon as possible.

The benefit of this, even if you currently have no dependents, is that you’ll keep that life insurance policy for a long time (usually twenty years). You’ll probably have people depending on you and your income soon enough. Term life insurance is super cheap if you get it started when you’re young and healthy.

 >> Get a free quote here. <<

5. Monitor Your Credit Score

Unless you pay cash for everything, at some point you’ll likely seek financing for a car or house. Keeping an eye on your credit score is key to securing those loans in the future.

A low credit score can interfere with your ability to get loans for vehicles and homes (even a rental), as well as cause you to get stuck with higher interest rates.

Credit Sesame is a great resource for free credit monitoring. It can help you keep tabs on your score, alert you to potential ID theft, and help heck your score regularly and be sure to correct any issues right away.

6. Invest in Retirement

While retirement may seem a long time away, your 20s are the time to start planning for that phase of your life. In fact, the more aggressively you save for retirement in your twenties, the more money you’ll potentially have saved for retirement.

Even if you’re carrying some student loans or other debts, it’s usually still wise to start socking away something for your future. Why? Because of the magic of compound interest!

Check with your employer on what your retirement options may be, then start a 401(k) or similar investment account as soon as possible. Be sure to take advantage of any matching contributions your employer offers, too! Even a relatively low amount such as $20 a month will grow like crazy since you have decades to let it compound.

By investing in your 20s, not only does your money have many years to grow, but you also stop yourself from spending that money today. It’s a win-win!

7. Purchase a Home

This one depends a lot on your situation, but if you’ve handled the other items on this list, home ownership is often the next logical step. While you don’t want to rush into home ownership, your twenties can still be a terrific time to put down roots and build some equity.

By saving up a strong down payment and purchasing a house you can afford, your mortgage payments might even be less than your typical apartment or townhouse rent. Plus, when you eventually sell a home, you’ll hopefully make your money back (and possibly more)!

If you’re interested, here’s a great trick to help you save for a down payment (or anything else)!

Use Your Youth to Your Advantage

When you’re in your twenties and having fun, it can be tough to think much beyond Friday night. Trust me, as somebody who has been there, you’ll thank yourself later if you do.

Making smart financial decisions now will pay off like crazy as you get older. So, don’t wait until your thirties or forties to get your money situation straight! Use the tips above to get started now, and you’ll be way ahead of the curve when it really counts!

What are financial goals do you think twenty-somethings should shoot for? Share your tips in the comments!