Get Your Budget on Track. You're not going to get ahead financially until you develop a reasonable budget _ one that allows for both some indulgences and for emergencies _ and then stick to that budget. Budgeting your money is the cornerstone of a sound financial plan. You might scoff at the idea of creating a budget _ after all, you pretty much know what you spend every month, especially on big_ticket items like rent/mortgage or car payment.
By listing all of your sources of income against all of your monthly expenditures (from required expenses like mortgage or rent payments to discretionary spending like eating out or going to the movies), you get a true picture of your personal cash flow, which will allow you to make better and more informed financial decisions. An accurate budget will also help you to answer that ever elusive question, "Can I afford it?"