The biggest mistake people make in terms of financial management is that they live only in the here and now, and discount their future needs. Bad move when it comes to your finances. You have to take responsibility now. Make a strict budget and stick to it. Don’t get caught in a cycle of credit debt that prevents you from saving for the future. Every person can and should start planning for the future today. Sadly, many people postpone planning for retirement. Either they don’t want to take time and effort away from their present activities, or they assume that they lack the financial abilities to be truly successful. Neither reason is valid. Really, it comes down to daily financial management.

You have to prioritize your financial expenses. Instead of taking out loans to buy a larger home or a flashier car, make it a point to live below your means. Stop spending foolishly on weddings and budget that money for future unexpected financial challenges. Never go in credit card debt for today’s needs. Make sure you have some financial padding to cover emergencies such as illness, or temporary unemployment. Most importantly, set aside 12 percent of your earnings for the future. Then make sure you grow that retirement savings by diversifying your risks, and investing with a sound long-term strategy. That’s the surest way to join the ranks of America’s millionaires. Of course, you’ll never see that common-sense bit of advice on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” But it is the best way to enjoy better lives down the road.