First if you are a newbie in handling your own affairs, you need to establish credit. If you have a steady job with money coming in regularly, one way to begin is to purchase something that you may be able to afford already.
You might, for example, buy a comfortable chair and set up a small revolving line of credit with a furniture company. Credit tips and credit counseling recommend paying off this small loan as a good beginning to creating a positive credit history. Should you be a college student, think twice about taking out a credit card in your own name. You are probably saddled with student loans and certainly are faced with huge temptations to spend, spend, spend. Not having a card could preclude going into debt before you know what has happened to you.
For anyone, having one credit card only is a good practice. Use it wisely and for emergencies or for infrequent things such as plane tickets. Your credit card payments and any loans should be at or below 20 percent of your income. Go over that amount and you are on a slippery slope to problems with credit card debt. Avoid this by paying your balances in full if at all possible and always pay on time and over the minimum due. Operate as if you have no plastic and use cash for what you buy. It will keep you from living beyond your means. Create a budget that is livable, but aligns with credit tips and credit counseling guides.
Evaluate your goals and what is truly important for you and your family if you have one. Make decisions about housing based upon practicality and safety. As your family changes, so may your specifications and ideas about the perfect home. Does travel equal happiness for you? Are there small luxuries that make you feel special that need to be factored into you plans? Within that budget allocate monies for savings, squirreling away a nest egg for emergencies. Take advantage of company 401K and matching funds too if offered. Use an investment planner or available resources to ensure that by retirement age you are secure. Whatever your circumstances, using credit tips and credit counseling proactively will improve your financial outlook.