I concur with all the above advice with one exception:
I would pay off debt before I buy stocks, mutual finds or ETF’s. Why?
As Steve L noted, if you pay off a loan with 18% interest, you have effectively earned a guaranteed 18% return. You have no such guarantee in the financial markets. Once all credit card and installment debt (car loan) is paid, I would save for a down payment on a home.
Also as noted above, you should balance a 6-12 month emergency fund with paying off your debt.
Finally, I would deploy savings in an internet bank. As of today, one can earn over 2% in an internet bank such as American Express. and CITI.
Good job everyone!