If you want to get out of mom and dad's basement, heed a piece of their own advice: Create a budget.
Determine how much you're bringing in each month versus how much is going out. And of that, how much might you need to cover a rent payment?
It sounds like a no-brainer, but even the simplest tenets of debt and saving are easily overlooked when you're just starting out, says Ken Weiss, an estate planning attorney at McGlinchey Stafford PLLC in New Orleans.
"A lot of people in their 20s come pretty unprepared for being adults," he says. "Many never had to figure out a financial statement or their net worth, or some of the basic steps to taking their financial temperature."
To stick to your budget, fight the urge to splurge, says Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards based in Washington, D.C. Set some space between seeing something you want and actually buying it.
"Get out of the mall and say, 'If I really want this, I'll come back tomorrow,'" she says.