Building wealth is a lot like building anything of substance. You need a good, strong foundation, a master plan and a lot of patience.

In the same way you would never dream of building a house on a pile of sand, a wise person would never dream of building wealth while sitting on a pile of unsecured debt. The first step to building wealth is to move onto solid ground by paying off all of your unsecured debt: credit cards, student loans, signature loans and any other debts that are not collateralized.

Then, you need to build a foundation. You do this by growing a Contingency Fund (known to some as an emergency fund). Your CF needs to have at least enough money to pay all of your bills and living expenses for three months (six is better) without any income.