"People in their 20s tend to do a lot of expensive things with their friends," Hamm says. Don't spend without thinking just to keep up with your peers, he cautions.

Hamm suggests finding a hobby that you're really passionate about. By focusing your mental energy on one thing you love -- and seeking out friends who share that interest -- you may find yourself not "spending money just for the sake of spending money," Hamm says.

2. Set goals

It's easier to save if you have a clear idea of what you're saving for, Holland says. "If you really spend the time to think about why you're working in the first place, you're much more likely to save more and be more intentional with where you're saving," he says.

If you choose to build up an emergency fund of six months' worth of expenses or to put a down payment on a house, each small amount you put aside will feel more meaningful.

Saving for specific purposes might also help you stay more focused on your personal goals. It's a mistake to act because of your envy of someone whose car, apartment or shiny gadgets are nicer than yours, Holland says.

"Never judge people based on their lifestyle and where they live in terms of their worth because it's never a correlation. More times than not, they're worth less than the person living in the smaller house driving the Honda Accord," Holland says.

3. Make it easy

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The easiest way to save for retirement is to take advantage of an employer's offer to match your contribution to a 401k. You can also set up automatic transfers from your checking account to make building an emergency fund just as easy.

"It's a lot easier to save because you don't have to think about it every time (and) you don't have the opportunity to talk yourself out of it," Hamm says.

Workers whose jobs don't offer matching contributions to retirement funds can set up a Roth individual retirement account. "They're easy as pie to set up; it's just actually doing it and taking action that's always the trick," says Hamm. As a further incentive, low-income workers may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,000 for contributions to a retirement savings account such as an IRA.

Once you've established a saving habit, stick with it. One common problem is what author Roth refers to as "lifestyle inflation," the inevitable desire to respond to a raise or a bonus by spending more. The most successful people he's seen with personal finance don't spend more money as their incomes increase; instead, they bank that money, he says.

This article was reported by Sarah Morgan for SmartMoney.