1. Create a Passive Income
A passive income is earnings that you are not actively working at or have very little effort in managing. The main ways people are doing this is through rental properties, websites, vending-machine types of businesses, ebooks and affiliate programs. My passive income is currently through blogging, but I also follow the beliefs of Michael Gerbers E-Myth which teaches entrepreneurs how to run their businesses more efficiently.
2. Be Credit Card Debt Free
I do not know anyone who hasn't found themselves, at some point, in a little trouble with credit card debt. Start to dig your way out by paying more on your highest interest cards and then work your way down to the others. Currently, I have an "award points" card that I prepay and use for ALL my purchases strictly to accumulate valuable points that I can use for gift cards, merchandise or travel.
3. Have a 3-Month Emergency Fund
Holy smokes, that's quite a bit of money! But you can slowly start tackling this goal. Pay your high interest credit card debt first, but then kickoff your fund.
4. Open a Money Market Account
A money market account is a savings account that has easy access to your money, but typically yields a higher return than a standard savings. Checking with your local bank is a perfect way to start researching the appropriate account for you.
5. Create a Vacation Account
How many friends do you know that have gone into debt while planning their once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Don't be one of them. Start a separate savings where you can stash a little away each month so your next holiday doesn't break the bank.
6. Improve your FICO Score
You FICO score determines what sort of risk a future creditor is willing to take on you. Having a high, above 700, FICO score is completely feasible if you pay your bills on time, keep credit card balances low and payoff your other debt.
7. Have a Retirement Plan
Start saving for retirement today with a 401K or IRA. Talk to a financial advisor to see what best suits your needs.
8. Lower your Monthly Bills
Spend a day going through every bill, line for line, to see if there are any unknown charges and call each company for explanations. Shop rates for such things as insurance, internet and cable. Negotiate interest rates with your credit card companies.