22 Things Every 22-Year-Old Should Know About Finances


Inspired by Glamour’s popular “30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Know By The Time She’s 30,” we decided to put together our own list, on 22 things every bright-eyed 22 year-old-college grad should know about money.

By 22, you should have:

  • An idea of what you want to do with your life professionally, and what your bottom line is. Make sure you know what the average salary is regarding the profession you choose.
  • A basic understanding of investing your cash. Here are 10 investing terms that are essential.
  • A credit card. Building your credit is extremely important. Credit is used as a check for almost everything: apartment application, mortgage loans, car loans, etc., so get a credit card early on and use it responsibly.
  • The ambition to pursue jobs you may be underqualified for, and the humility to accept a position you may be overqualified for.
  • A budget — have your income figured out, including financial help from your parents. Make lists of all your fixed expenses and your variable expenses. Seeing your expenses at one time will make you aware of what you have left to save or spend.
  • A plan of attack for your student loans. Knowing how much you owe, the amount your monthly payments will be, and when they’re slated to start will enable you to begin planning repayment. If you’re a grad with student debt but no job, you can consolidate multiple loans into a single payment, which stretches out the payments on federal loans up to 30 years. However, you will end up paying more interest over time.
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