It is important to be active and in control of your finances. With our economy in a state of panic and the job market scarce now is the worst time to be idle about money matters. The first thing on the list is to create a budget and stick to it. Start with your total after tax income and subtract your living expenses. These are necessary expenses such as food and shelter. How much money do you really have to work with? While doing the math ask yourself whether changes should be made. If you are barely making it with your present salary then this is a sign that you should be cutting costs.
Our situations and creeds vary therefore there is no universal formula only suggestions on how to save and spend. If your goal is to take a vacation then save and spend responsibly. Dont take the vacation until you can actually afford it. Never sacrifice health and happiness in order to live a certain lifestyle. If you have enough money to invest then consider what you are comfortable investing in. When the recession hit many baby boomers put their money into CD's to hedge for their retirement and to protect themselves from the violent market swings. But if you are young then stocks is something you may want to try.
When it comes to credit cards I suggest being a bit extreme don't buy anything that you cant afford to pay at once. Only use it for things you must buy like groceries and to pay bills. Most people will spend more than usual if they pay with a credit card instead of cash.