1. Invest in your self. Invest in your education, your health, and in your relationships with family and friends. Having a lot of money isn't worth much if you don't have your health and people with whom to share your life. Establish a checking and savings accounts for short and long-term saving. Send some Money back to your parents.
2. Take charge of your finances. Procrastinating or postponing important financial decisions and plans is detrimental to long term financial health. Don't wait for a crisis or major event to get your act together. Avoid unnecessary bank fees. Do not keep excess cash in a checking account that gives low or no interest
3. Either manage your finances yourself or hire a trustworthy financial and tax advisors who charge a fee for their services and don't have conflicts of interests. People who sell products and work on commission are sales people, not advisors. Work in partnership with advisors. Never abdicate control. Diversify, invest in Roth IRA, mutual funds, and stocks.
4. Never buy items on credit that depreciate. Items that depreciate including cars, clothing, vacations, and so on. Use debit to acquire assets that are likely to appreciate such as education, real estate or a business. Buy your dream car when it is two or three years old with low milage. The depreciation has already occurred. Purchase a car for reliable transportation reasons, not for ego, fad, or status. Buy the can you need and can afford. Consider such things as purpose, type of travel, comfort, gas milage, maintenance, insurance, and BUDGET.
5. Unless you have a terrific rent-control deal, own your home. If you are renting, then someone else has the keys to your house. Get all your keys! Purchase your home as soon as possible (preferably with in three years after job, income, and location stabilizes). Do your research and purchase only good investment property. Good investment properties are not over priced , has good resale value or return, thriving neighborhood, etc. Buy according to your income level. Monthly payments should be no more than 25% - 30% of your monthly income.
7. Avoid emotionally-based financial decisions. Always take your time when making important financial decisions.
8. Use credit cards only for the convenience of making purchases with out cash or check. Don't pay annual fees or finance charges on your credit cards. If you have a propensity to run up credit card debt, then get rid of the cards and use cash, checks, and debit cards. WARNING! "Credit cards give you the power to pretend, and the ability to overextend. However, you must pay the money back with BIG interest ." SUGGESTION: Have a credit card for charging purchases, but pay off monthly charges each month. Every time a charge is made, write a check for that amount or place the cash in a special envelope / place. Use this money to pay the credit card bill upon arrival to avoid paying finance charges. If you do not have the funds to purchase an item, or the item has not been allotted in your budget, DO NOT BUY IT! Not every thing you want is what you need. If you cannot pay off the credit card bill monthly when it arrives, you have abused credit. Get rid of your card(s). Debt always mortgages your future. Are you still paying for food and clothes you purchased years ago? Make getting out of debt your financial goal.
8. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses by living beyond your means.Act your wage! Don't buy things that you don't need to impress people that that you don't even like. Many who engage in conspicuous consumption are borrowing against their future. Buy versatile clothing that meet your professional and leisure needs. Avoid too many fads. Moderate styles tend to stay longer, are durable, and will last longer. Know the material/content of clothing and determine whether the cost is worth the value of the garment. Buy off season whenever possible.
9. Save and invest 5 - 10 percent of your income. Preferably, you should invest in a tax-deferred retirement savings plan to reduce your taxes and to be financially independent in the future. It is never too soon to start. Let compound interest work for you! Invest the majority of your long-term money in ownership vehicles that have appreciation potential such as stocks, real estate, and your own business.
10. Understand and utilize your employee benefits. Learn about the best insurance and investment options. Consider both term and whole life insurance. Learn the pros and cons of each type. Join a credit union.