You might think that your work or the people you associate with defines your success as a young adult. But while an enjoyable career and a strong group of friends are definitely important, there are other things that help show that your life is going in the right direction.
If you are in your 20s, consider these financial goals that prove you’re doing life right:
Having a Great Credit Score
Your credit score, also known as a FICO score, will determine a number of things—from whether you will qualify for a mortgage and credit card to if you are able to get a decent interest rate for a car loan. Credit scores usually range from 300 to 850; in general, credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered to be “fair,” 670 to 799 are “very good,” and 800 and up are “excellent.” A high credit score will show lenders that you have been responsible with your credit in the past, including that you pay your bills on time. You can check your credit score for free on a number of sites, including CreditKarma.com. If your FICO score is lower than you’d like it to be, Debt.org offers a number of tips to raise it, including setting up payment reminders so you are never late paying your bills and paying down your credit card balances as much and as quickly as you can.
Owning a Home
Twenty-somethings who have managed to save up for a down payment and now own their own home should definitely be proud of this achievement. Instead of paying landlords rent and putting money in their pockets, you have made a major purchase that will benefit you and your financial well-being. Setting aside money for a down payment is no easy task—people who have done this successfully have often had to take on a second job, cut corners on expenses, and have the discipline to pay themselves first. If you have a monthly mortgage payment and hang your hat in your own home, whether it’s a fixer upper or a turnkey house, you should give yourself a big pat on the back.
Qualifying for a Really Great Credit Card
While you don’t want to rack up credit card debt, it is a good idea to have a credit card handy in case of emergencies. Qualifying and being approved for a great credit card is also something to be proud of. For instance, the Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card, which you can apply for through USAA, could definitely be the first and last credit card you will ever need. In addition to not charging you an annual fee, this card is referred to as “The Unlimited 1.5 percent Cashback Card.” This means that every time you use it, you will get 1.5 percent back as cash. If you use the Visa to pay for $500 worth of gas, groceries and other expenses in a month—and pay the balance off as you go—you will not accrue any interest and get $7.50 back while you are at it.
Congratulations, Your Financial House is in Order
Again, there are many ways to define success in life. Health and happiness are definitely important. But if you have already nailed these three financial goals, you are also showing that you have your money well under control, which is a major accomplishment at any age, let alone for someone in their 20s.