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Millennials, this is how you can fix your YOLO financial mindset.
USA TODAY

Your 20s aren’t the time to ignore your finances. Quite the contrary — here are a few key opportunities to jump on.

You may not think of your 20s as a time to get serious about finances. After all, your 20s are when you’re first starting out in your career, and you probably won’t be earning nearly the same salary as when you’re older. But believe it or not, your 20s are actually the perfect time to establish smart money-related practices. If you’re in your 20s, here are some specific moves you’ll definitely want to make.

1. Create a budget

Budgeting is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your spending and ensure that you’re not going overboard in any particular category. If you really want to get your finances on the right track, map out a budget and review it every few months to make sure it’s something you can actually stick to. If not, you may need to look at cutting some expenses to avoid debt or cripple your savings efforts.

2. Build an emergency fund

No matter how much you earn, one of the most important money moves to tackle is establishing an emergency fund. You never know when you might lose your job, fall ill, or encounter any sort of situation where you suddenly need money. Emergency savings can protect you from these and other unknowns, so start working toward the goal of amassing enough cash to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

3. Start saving for retirement

Though your emergency savings should trump retirement savings, once you have the former in place, it’s time to start setting money aside for the future. If your employer offers a 401(k), be sure to sign up and contribute what you can — especially since most companies that provide 401(k)s also offer some sort of matching incentive to…