I am pretty early into my career (1yr graduated from college) but the things I focus on include:
-maximum Roth IRA contributions ($5K I think)
-maximum company 401K contributions (to the point that they match, around $5K)
Outside of those, I do no investing. I make a pretty good salary but with all of my current bills (car payment being at the top) and the $10K I put into retirement, there isn't a whole lot to budget for.
I also keep my checking account balance above $5K at all times to make sure I am okay for emergencies or whatever the situation may be.
I don't budget food,gas,etc. I am pretty good about understanding what I can and can't afford and how much I have to spend. Plus as long as I don't go below my $5k benchmark, I consider it okay.
As I receive salary increases, bonuses, etc I will begin to raise my contributions and checking acct balance.
ETA If you have loans, I would go after those first. I paid off my total loans ~$3k in 6 months.
This post was edited on 10/24 at 12:08 pm