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.
Step Two: Limit Your Needs to 50 Percent of Your After_Tax Income. Now go back to your budget. How much do you spend on "needs" each month, things like groceries, housing, utilities, health insurance, car payment, and car insurance? According to Warren and Tyagi and their 50ቺተ rule, the amount that you spend on these things should total no more than 50 percent of your after_tax pay.