5 Smart Money Moves for Young Adultshttp://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2013/02/28/5-smart-money-moves-for-young-adults.aspx Dan Caplinger
February 28, 2013
Financial advice is only useful if it's relevant to your own particular situation. The right move for someone twice your age may be totally wrong for you, while your best financial move may be completely inappropriate for someone else.
To reach as wide an audience as possible, we've spent the week looking at people in different age groups and coming up with tips for them to follow to improve their financial situation. After having given tips for retirees, near-retirees, and middle-aged investors earlier in the week, today's focus moves to young adults and their particular financial needs and challenges.
Just starting out
Finding the right balance is tough, but following these five ideas is a good place to start.
Idea 1: Get familiar with finances.
The Motley Fool's 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly are a good place to find out how to get started with the ins and outs of investing. For more basic advice on debt, savings, real estate, and taxes, the Fool has free resources to help you learn what you need to know. Either way, getting familiar with all the money issues that you'll face throughout your life will pay huge dividends for decades to come.
Idea 2: Address bad debt first.
But credit card debt is another matter. Even after taking substantial losses during the financial crisis, big card-issuing banks JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup (NYSE: C), and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) have all rebounded sharply due largely to falling credit card delinquency rates and high interest rates. There's no investment you can make that will dependably produce returns of 15% to 20% -- even shares of those banks' stock! -- but paying down high-rate credit cards gives you exactly that payoff. Take advantage of it.
Idea 3: Start small and build on saving.