A Financial Checkup for Your 20s

Good financial health is all about recognizing the most important issues during each stage of your life.

When you're in your 20s, establishing good financial habits from the outset—maximizing savings and minimizing debt—can help make the difference between financial independence and money woes later on. 

Pay down high-interest credit card debt

Paying off debt—regularly and quickly—can free up money to take care of other priorities.

Gather all your bills and order them in terms of interest rates, from highest to lowest. Make at least the minimum payment on every one of them, and pay as much as possible on the highest-interest card until you pay it off. Then apply what you’ve been paying on that bill to the next, and so on, until you’re free of debt.

As you are paying off your debt, try not to use your credit cards, so you don’t keep adding to the balance. Taking these steps will help position you to borrow for major purchases down the road, like a home.

Contribute to your UC 403(b) or 457(b)

Retirement may seem far away, but time is truly your ally when it comes to growing your savings for your future. Enrolling in the UC 403(b) or 457(b) Plan is a great way to do just that. Plus, these plans offer the potential for tax-deferred growth and compounded returns that can help boost your savings. 

If you want help getting started, consider working with a Fidelity Retirement Planner.

Create a household budget and emergency fund.

Creating a budget can help you find more money to save. If your combined essential and discretionary expenses are higher than your monthly income, look for ways to reduce any expenses that don’t align with your values and goals.

And try to create an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of spare cash to cover expenses.


Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

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