1. Create emergency savings
Life is full of unexpected emergencies, and some extra cash can help a serious illness, home repair, or other sudden financial need from derailing your finances. Prepare for unpredictable expenses by putting aside six to eight months of expenses in an easily accessible cash-equivalent account.
2. Make a monthly budget and stick to it
Budgets may sound like a lot of unnecessary work, especially if you are financially comfortable (or just comfortable laying on a couch like me), but it's pretty easy to let your spending go off the rails if you're not tracking it in some way. Set a budget and work on sticking to it for a couple of months. Don't aim for perfection; instead, try for incremental improvement.