Back in 2000, a 25-year-old Scott Alan Turner realized that he was, in his words, a "money moron."
After graduating from college in 1994, Turner made a series of financial missteps: He got his first credit card and started charging. He bought a brand new Jeep — and later a Porsche. And when the bank offered him a loan to buy his first house, he followed the well-meaning but ill-advised suggestion of a boss who told him, "Buy as much house as you can!"
As expected, Turner landed himself in a heap of debt. He breaks it down into two rounds: The first, around $30,000 of student loans, car payments on the Jeep and credit card bills. The second: $40,000 for his second car and more credit card bills. Plus a $200,000 mortgage on the house.
"I came out of college with not much financial knowledge, as most people do," Turner tells CNBC. "Growing up, my parents taught me to save and that was pretty much the only lesson I learned."