I found this list of 12 Ways to Go From Getting By to Getting Ahead on page 200 in Larry’s book, You’re Broke Because You Want to Be (Affiliate Link). My thoughts are added in italics:
1. Know where you are. This is THE BEST place to start. Like Larry says in his book, most people don’t know how much they owe nor do they know how much they make. You gotta figure this out if you really want to make changes.
2. Take responsibility for the situation. Although it may be easy to play the victim of your circumstances, it won’t get you anywhere. Accepting responsibility for your situation is actually liberating.
3. Feel bad about it. Experience remorse. I’m of the opinion that if you don’t feel remorse, you’ll simply do it again. It’s kind of like when I get after my kids for doing something wrong. If they show no remorse, I’m almost certain I’ll be getting after them for the same thing in the future.
4. Make the decision for things to be different. I have nothing to add to this.
5. Know exactly what you want your life to look like. As Larry suggests in his book, write down exactly what you want your life to be like. How much do you want to make? Where do you want to live? How much do you want in your retirement account? Write it all down and memorize it.
6. Create an action plan to get there. If you’re currently earning $30,000 per year but you’d like to be making $100,000 per year, you’re gonna have to make up a plan to get you there. Do you need to go to college? Do you need to network with others in order to get where you need to go? Figure it out and make a plan.
7. Know what you are willing to give up to get what you want. If you have to make changes, you’re gonna have to give up something to make those changes. If you don’t, you’ll still be in the same position one year, five years, and ten years from now.
8. Spend less than you earn. DUH! You’ll never be able to outspend yourself to prosperity!
9. Figure out ways to earn more. Take a second job? Start a blog? There’s lots of different ways to earn more money.
10. Stop all unnecessary spending. This goes hand-in-hand with number 7. If you’re spending $500 more per month than you make, you’re gonna have to cut $500 (or more) from your spending. Make a list of all your bills and outgoing expenses and prioritize. If it’s not absolutely important, cut it out for now.
11. Pay off debts as quickly as possible and only go into debt for things with long-term value. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can do when you have no credit card debt. A reasonable house note is an example of acceptable debt. Notice I said REASONABLE HOUSE NOTE!
12. Build a cushion. Save! An emergency fund is absolutely critical to long-term financial success. Why? Because emergencies are ALWAYS going to pop up. Being able to pay for them without piling on more debt will give you the warm fuzzies. Trust me!
I like this list.
Larry goes into detail for each of those twelve points in his book.