Seeing as this contest is "my two cents," I have a lot of experience in not having any sense when it comes to money during my twenties. I think the first piece of advice I can offer is to make sure your degree will give you a positive investment return.....in short; be able to find a job! I stupidly wasted my dad's money obtaining a Bachelor's degree in English Litterature with the intent of writing the next great novel. However; after about four years of not being able to find a job with as my dad called it my "pizza delivery degree," I did research and decided to go back to school to become a respiratory therapist. Tons of student loan debt later; and I became a registered respiratory therapist. Part of me still kicks myself for not going into the medical field the first go around (daddy paying for school was oh so much nicer and he didn't have lovely interest rates and monthly payments).
Secondly; if you can't afford it, you don't need it! I discovered the glorious world of pay day loans or loans for "collateral." My thinking was "hey I can pay them back on pay day it'll be fine" (Naivety for the win!!). The problem is that these lovely little things called "emergencies" happen, and well you keep pushing back paying the loans. Then one day the loan companies are calling and calling and calling whilst you think they have the mafia out looking for you; and then you realize they may not have the mafia looking for you, but your credit is shot for a glorious seven years. This isn't good when you need things like a car or a place to live, and when that good ole horrible credit score comes back and mocks you mercilessly because you're not getting that awesome car, you're getting the "I wish I had good credit consolation car!"
My next piece of advice actually comes drone the knowledge of my father in law and husband. If you want to build your credit, start out with a secured credit card, pay it off each time you swipe it (meaning make reasonable purchases you can pay off; if you can't afford the Michael Kohrs purse, don't charge it!). Also, when you manage to get the credit decent again, have a few pieces of credit. I've learned the hard way that people like banks and mortgage companies like seeing several pieces of good credit when applying for things like a house.
I realize there may be several "duh" moments mentioned here, but had I realized these things between the ages of eighteen and about twenty-seven, I wouldn't just be getting back on my feet at thirty-three! I may not be some grand financial guru, but I am completely a person who gas lived and learned the hard way.