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.
You might spend more on "wants" than you think. A threadbare minimum of warm clothing is a need. Anything beyond that, such as shopping for clothes at the mall rather than at a discount outlet, qualifies as a want. Yes, the rules are tricky, but if you think about it, they make sense.