Money

Teacher who paid off $40,000 in 18 months: Saving matters more than earning

Thanks to extreme saving, Bobby Hoyt managed to settle a $40,000 student loan tab in 18 months on a teacher's salary.

He also went from making $53,000 a year to bringing in over $10,000 a month after quitting his job as a band director to run his financial blog, Millennial Money Man, full-time.

If you asked Hoyt the contentious question, "Should you focus on earning more or spending less?" he would say the latter, without hesitation.

Bobby and Coral Hoyt
Source: The Hoyt Family
Bobby and Coral Hoyt

"Learning how to spend less and actually develop the discipline to freaking do it is far more important than making more money," the entrepreneur writes on his blog. "From personal experience I can tell you this: more money doesn't always help."

The more you earn, the more susceptible you are to lifestyle inflation, Hoyt explains: "Higher incomes are earmarked with wanting to buy more cool crap. … It's hard to avoid the consistent blitz of advertising that wants to rip it out of your bank accounts because you can act on it."

The argument for the flip side focus on earning above anything else is that the more money you make, the more you can put to work.

Plus, if you're looking for the big bucks, self-made millionaires argue that you can't save your way to millionaire status.

Learning how to earn and save are both crucial skills. But if Hoyt had to prioritize one over the other, the choice would be simple.

While "saving money isn't sexy," he says, "if I didn't know how to save, I'd be screwed."