Step Three: Limit Your "Wants" to 30 Percent. This sounds great on the surface. Can you put 30 percent of your money toward your wants? Hello, beautiful shoes, trip to Bali, salon haircuts, and Italian restaurants. Not so fast. Remember how strict we were with the definition of a "need"? Your "wants" don't include extravagances. They include the basic niceties of life that you enjoy, like that unlimited text messaging plan, your home's cable bill, and cosmetic (not mechanical) repairs to your car.
The most important of these is automatic savings. Open a savings account, and set up your checking account so that you automatically transfer a set amount each month into your savings account. You don't have to transfer much money _ start with whatever your budget can afford. But making this automatic (and then resisting the urge to spend the money impulsively) will get you on the road to long_term savings.