What about those who dream of traveling the world, paying off loans, and starting a family?
Accomplishing even one of those goals can be difficult, but marketing and communications director Charlie Riley did all three.
Riley earned a half scholarship by acting as manager of his school's basketball team. Then, when he wanted to continue his education, he was able to do so at no cost thanks to his full-time job with the university.
What's more, he graduated with $25,000 in debt — all of which is now paid off.
So how did he do it? There were two tools Riley used to become debt-free: automating student loan payments and budgeting apps like Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB).
These tools enabled him to save for multiple goals simultaneously. That included things such as paying for a wedding, buying a home, and even traveling from Buffalo, NY, to far-off destinations like Greece and Jamaica.
Now Riley and his wife are raising their first child. And his wife is using the side business she started to earn extra money before they were parents to supplement their income while she stays at home.
For Riley, it all came down to choices made each step of the way, from balancing priorities to paying extra whenever possible.
"A lot of it came down to making choices: If we want to take really nice trips or have specific things as part of our wedding, we need to make concessions in other areas," Riley explained. "We would incrementally increase payments to recurring debt like student loans when we received raises, bonuses, etc., to reduce those principals and interest faster."