1. Save: The first and the most important step would be to save. It seems silly but many a times people are so busy in doing things that the most obvious step is missed. Save from every paycheck. Even if it is a very small amount, do diligently save. Even $10 per paycheck adds up over time.
2. Open a Savings Account: Do open a savings account which pays interest. Check www.bankrate.com to find better rates given by online banks.
3. Minimum Balance: Keep minimum balance, so as not to pay service charges, in any non interest paying checking account.
4. Enroll in 401-K: If your employer provides you with a 401-K then enroll. Try to invest as much as possible into that account. Remember you delay paying tax on this investment till you withdraw money, which might be many decades into the future.
5. Emergency Fund: Keep at least six months of income in an emergency fund. Keep this amount in an interest paying account. Never tap this account for planned expenses. To further discourage from tapping this account, make a CD for this amount.
6. Stocks: Invest in stocks. A percentage of your Net Worth should be invested in stocks. The ideal percentage would depend on your age. The percentage in stocks would be 120 minus your age. Strike the right balance between stocks and bonds.
7. Real Estate: Invest in real estate properties as part of diversification. Keep a very small percentage of your Net Worth in this category. This is not for everybody, but do consider this as an option.