I have read a number of very good books over the years about money management and how things can work out extremely good or extremely poor for some people. With these books there is always an underlying theme, and that is for those individuals that live below their means who have a savings, and investment plan they will almost 100% of the time come out on top. Those individuals who do not keep track of their income and expenses on a consistant basis, have a tendancy to over estimate what they have and underestimate how much they spend on a day to day basis on things that do not increase in value. There are so many great authors and ideas out there on how you can reach your financial goals, unfortunately, people read these books and don't take action to remedy their situation. In today's economy it is more important than ever to have an emergency fund and a written plan of attack on how you are going to spend less than you make. Without taking the necessary steps today, you will never be able to gain ground for the future. People are overall intelligent but when it comes to financial intelligence, everyone needs to take a good long inventory of what they are doing, and how it is working for them. If it's not working, maybe you might want to consider changing your habits or getting some new ones.