Your 20s and 30s are an exciting time in life, but they are also critical for building your financial foundation. Unfortunately, many people make costly mistakes that can impact their financial future for years to come.

To help you avoid these missteps, we’ve put together a list of the top financial mistakes to avoid in your 20s and 30s.

– Not creating a budget: Creating a budget is the first step in taking control of your finances. Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend and end up living paycheck to paycheck. To start, track your spending for a month to see where your money is going. Then, allocate your money to cover your expenses, debt payments, and savings.

– Not saving for the future: Saving for the future is a critical step in building a strong financial foundation. The earlier you start, the more time your money has to grow. If you don’t have a plan for your future, it’s easy to fall into the trap of living for today and neglecting your future. Start by setting aside a portion of your income for your emergency fund, and then begin investing for the long-term.

– Taking on too much debt: Debt can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can help you achieve your goals faster, but on the other hand, it can hold you back and take years to pay off. Avoid taking on more debt than you can handle, and prioritize paying off high-interest debt, such as credit card balances, as soon as possible.

– Not shopping around for the best deals: Whether you’re buying a car, a home, or a product, shopping around for the best deals can save you thousands of dollars over time. Do your research, compare prices, and negotiate to get the best possible price.

– Not having adequate insurance: Accidents and illnesses happen, and without insurance, the cost of medical care can be devastating. Make sure you have adequate health, life, and disability insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones.

– Not taking advantage of employer-sponsored benefits: Many employers offer benefits, such as a 401(k) plan or health insurance, that can save you money and improve your financial situation. Make sure you take advantage of these benefits and contribute enough to maximize the employer match.

– Not paying attention to your credit score: Your credit score is an important factor in your financial life. It affects everything from your ability to get a loan to the interest rates you’ll pay. Check your credit score regularly, and work to improve it by paying your bills on time, reducing your debt, and disputing any errors on your credit report.

In conclusion, your 20s and 30s are a crucial time for building your financial foundation. By avoiding these common financial mistakes, you can ensure that you are setting yourself up for a secure and prosperous future. Make a plan, stick to it, and never stop learning about how to improve your financial situation.