When you’re in your 20s, it probably feels like you don’t have to worry much about future decisions, such as buying a house, debt, or how to pay for a new car. This feeling is likely particularly prominent if you’re in college and can only focus on the next deadline or test you have coming up. While these feelings are understandable, it’s also important to plan ahead so you can set yourself up for future ease regarding your finances. By starting to focus on your finances early, you’ll help yourself achieve success later in life because you’ll have experience being fiscally responsible. Here are some financial goals you should strive for when in your 20s.

Educate yourself

Unfortunately, most high schools and colleges don’t have mandatory classes (or any at all) to teach basic financial skills. You’ll need to teach yourself in order to be financially literate and have an understanding of how best to manage your money. Attend any seminars offered on your campus or a local college that you can go to for free. Talk to a representative at your bank and see if they have any useful advice. Check out lots of websites and books that offer overviews that are easy to understand. This website has a fairly comprehensive list.

Start budgeting

Even though you might have a part time job and not have to pay rent because you still live with your parents, this will not always be the case. It’s important to be able to use self control when it comes to your money, so set a careful budget for yourself and then follow it. You won’t exceed your monthly income and you can begin saving money. Download a budgeting app, like Mint, and check your bank account balance frequently.

Watch your credit score

Your credit score fluctuates according to your financial history and whether or not you pay your bills on time. In order to make any large purchases in the future, your credit score should be a decent number, generally above 600. You can check your score for free on sites like CreditKarma. While your score also depends on how old you are, by always paying your bills on time and opening your own credit card to use sparingly, you’ll be able to keep your score looking good.

Start saving

Once you establish a budget, open a saving account and begin setting aside a bit of money each month in case an emergency arises. Try to reach a goal of around $1000, which should cover any medical bills or car repairs you may need in the future. You can also save up for a vacation or large purchase. Set up automatic withdrawals so the money is taken off of your paycheck and immediately put into a savings account; you won’t even be tempted to spend it instead.

Find a side hustle

When you’re in your 20s, you’re less likely to have children or other commitments that will take up a significant amount of your time, unless you’re in school. If you’re only working a full-time job, you probably have free time each week that you could be using to work a few hours at some other job to earn extra cash. You’ll have more energy when you’re younger and thank yourself later if you take the time to earn a few hundred dollars more every month. Get a side hustle and earn some cash.

Check out my other posts on financial goals for different decades of your life!