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Obtain your credit report annually to make sure it is correct. Report any errors and follow-up with required documentation.

Purchase renters or homeowners insurance to protect your belongings.

Think about your financial goals for both the short-term and long-term. How much will you need to set aside each month to achieve them?

Unexpected things happen - build an emergency fund of 3 – 6 months of living expenses. Replenish whenever you dip into it.

Begin investing, on a regular basis. Learn about the types of investments that are available in our Investor Education section.

Open an IRA or Roth IRA and contribute up to the maximum amount each year. You cannot take this money out without incurring significant penalties and income taxes, with some limited exceptions. This should be funds you will not need to touch for decades.

Create a budget. This does not have to be complicated. Start with what your net paycheck shows and then deduct for your living expenses. Don’t forget to include things that are not paid every month – holiday and special occasion gifts, some types of insurance, for example. Also, include your debt payments and saving/investing amounts.