I just turned 18. I have a bank checking account and I'm thinking of starting a Roth IRA with some of the money I am earning this summer. I have a credit card linked to my parents account (I use this to make small purchases here and there) which is think is showing up on my credit history (I use credit karma to check). I have no real steady job (just some hourly work here and there) and am going to college in the fall (luckily my parents will pay for my college tuition). Is there something else I should be doing and is opening a Roth IRA a good idea?

Note I'm pretty inexperienced with financial matters (being a young adult) but I do have time to research.


Congratulations! It sounds like you're off to a good start. Establishing credit history and starting a Roth IRA now and getting some investment in at this point is likely to save you a great deal later on. A good way to diversify investments in a Roth IRA is to use ETFs, especially index funds, which bundle a whole bunch of diverse investments together into one symbol that you can get into with a single transaction fee ("commission").

As a small piece of advice, if there's inaccurate information on that credit card (e.g. balances due and payments made) showing up on your credit report, don't ask the credit bureaus to correct that data as long as the rest of the information shows generally good standing - they'll just remove the whole thing.

If you have the discipline to pay off your credit card balance in full every month, and view credit card purchases as electronically spending cash, you could consider applying for a credit card of your own to help build that credit history further.

Also, welcome to this site; feel free to check it out as you learn more.
Planet Money might also have some interesting ways to learn about these topics.

Finally, don't forget to regularly let your parents know how much you appreciate all they're doing for you. :-)

  • Thanks. Yes I was looking into the S&P 500 index ETF. And I'll also look into a credit card. – carloabelli Jul 16 '16 at 15:26

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