17. Pay Down Debt
The vast majority of American households carry debt, from credit cards to student loans to car leases to mortgages. Moreover, while being able to get a loan to buy a house or go to school may be beneficial in the long run, if you are not careful, the interest on those debts can run your finances into the ground.
Alongside a savings plan, you need to be aggressively paying down debts. This is paramount to escaping middle-class status. Put in more than the minimum payment each month so that the debts can go down quicker. Focus on the debts with the highest interest rates, because those are costing you the most in the long run.