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Two. 1) Invest in yourself. Your greatest asset when you are young is your human capital. 2) Save a little and save more each year. Saving is like a muscle, more you use it, the larger it becomes.
What did the participants on here do in their 20’s – follow the advice they give here? I lived hand-to-mouth in my early career so the thought of “saving” was not on my radar as much as “survival” was. No brand new fancy car, apartment, or travel was in the picture – it was about not running out of money before the next payday while paying rent, utilities, INSURANCE, and praying for a raise in pay without the car breaking down. Saving was just a concept to me at that time.
In this order: Carry no credit card debt. Max out the 401(k).
Get out of debt and ROTH it up!
Watch the expenses; Contribute to ROTH IRA (direct or backdoor); Max out workplace retirement, or save the same amount on your own if there isn’t a workplace plan; Not enough money? Assume that there was a big layoff in your company and you got away with a 25K pay-cut.
Save, save, save. Be frugal.
Agree with Dick on saving (till it hurts) and never carrying a CC balance. And would add—never pass up an employer match on retirement plan contributions—it’s free money.
Save first, don’t ever pay credit card interest, spend as you like with what’s left.