Whether you’re just starting out or have a history of financial trouble, there are several basic steps you can take to improve your financial health. These steps will allow you to build a solid foundation for your future.

Make a realistic monthly budget. This will help you avoid making large purchases without having enough funds. The budget will also reflect your spending habits and help you plan for your future expenses.

Invest in a retirement fund. Dave Ramsey recommends investing 15% of your household income into retirement. Also, invest in a down payment on your home. You will have a better chance of getting a mortgage if you have a large savings account.

Create a spending diary to record your spending. This can be done online, on paper, or with a mobile app. Keep track of your spending so you can see where you can cut back.

Pay your bills on time. This will save you from late fees and boost your credit score. Avoid paying high-interest debt. If you have a family, set aside a family legacy.

Build an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund will help you in case you get a surprise bill. It also turns a major problem into a minor inconvenience.

Create a savings plan. General savings account will strengthen your financial stability in the event of a job loss. Saving for a new car or a vacation is also a good idea.

Don’t forget to keep up with taxes. When you pay your taxes on time, you can boost your credit rating and increase your savings.