Here are some suggestions.
Save 20% of income and live on 80% (or less) of what you earn.
keep 6 months cash for emergencies.
The 20% you save- mark 15% of this for retirement. 401ks, IRAs and even taxable accounts (which are marked for retirement and not touched). 15% of gross income.
5% of gross income should go into savings for short and mid term expenses. new car, new house, paying off student loans or similar.
If the 5% would be sitting in cash, you are better off using that portion to pay down debt (even if debt is at 4.75%). You would have to tie money up in cash for 7-8 years for it to return even close to 4% after taxes.
Learn all you can about good investing and invest in yourself and your money.
Be giving always put in your budget a portion for charity.
Remember when you loan money you might not get it back.
Have a Great Cheap Cheetah Day!