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I Asked A Money Expert What I Should Cross Off My Checklist By Age 35

From making a will to stashing away savings, there's a lot to think about.

Ever wondered what you should be working toward in your 20s and early 30s (other than finding a job, navigating adulthood, and generally figuring out your life 😬)?

To help, I chatted with Brian Walsh, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal finance company.

Just keep in mind, these recommendations are pretty broad and general, so they might not be exactly right for your personal situation. Even if the suggested numbers seem a little (or a lot) off for you, looking at these kinds of idealized financial suggestions can still be helpful because they can show you aspects of your finances that might need attention. So take what's useful for you, and leave the rest.

1. Learn how to budget in a way that makes sense for you.

2. It's recommended that you pay off any "bad" debt and make your "good" debt manageable. (But first, what's the difference between the two?)

3. And try to put enough money in savings that you could float yourself for three to six months.

4. Make sure you're well insured — and that includes disability insurance.

5. Once you have the basics covered (see #2–#4), try to put 15%–20% of your income toward retirement.

6. When your retirement is in a good place, it may be time to start saving for your short- and long-term goals. (But first, what's "a good place"?)

7. Before you start thinking about buying a home and building equity, it's recommended that you make sure your financial basics are fully covered (see #2–#4).

8. If they are, you might want to consider buying a home — but keep in mind it isn't the best move for everyone.

9. Just remember that your rent or mortgage shouldn't be so high that you can't afford to put money toward your financial goals.

10. You might want to consider investing any money you have left over.

11. And, if you have a kid, consider putting together a will.

12. Since all this can be confusing (and vary based on your personal situation), your best bet is to connect with a financial planner or advisor.

How's your financial journey going? Share your successes and the things you're still working on in the comments.

And for more stories about life and money, check out the rest of our personal finance posts