Once you become 18 there is a surge of urgency to secure your adulthood with adult things, like a credit card. While this is certainly an exciting time young adults need some guidance to realize the long road ahead, and more so that they don't want that road to be riddled with debt. Here are some tips for young adults looking to start out on the right financial foot:
Take Your Time
Young adults can become easily distracted by their environment and the haves of others. Don't worry about what friends or peers are doing or buying. Keeping up with the Joneses is never a solid financial strategy. There is plenty of time to have that BMW or designer purse. In the grand scheme of things, anything fancy you have in your 20s is likely to be gone by 30 and could put you at financial risk.
Have A Plan
Part of securing a credit profile is having credit debt, but there is a fine line between credit boosting and credit damaging debt. Before you apply for a credit card, outline your budget and determine whether credit use is really affordable at this time. Make sure you focus on your essential living expenses first and can demonstrate your ability to follow a budget before throwing in a small credit card payment.
Managing your money and using credit wisely take effort. It is important to save money, track your spending, and monitor your credit report. When using credit always make sure to keep your balances below 25% of the available limit to ensure your debt is working for you and not against you. Again, your financial path is a long one so don't do too much too quickly. Focus on the small goals and put your energy towards education and paving a bright financial future.