We can probably all agree that major decisions—like whether to buy a home or take out student loans for school—can have a big impact on our financial futures. But sometimes a few small and (relatively) painless decisions is all it takes to get ahead financially.
Want proof? Meet Dan and Dawn. Both are 25 years old, live in the same city, earn $50,000 a year, banked a six-month emergency fund in their early 20s and dream about buying a home in their 30s. They each owe $35,000 in student loan debt (with 6.8 percent interest and 10-year terms), plus another $10,000 on a credit card with a 17-percent interest rate.
Their financial situations are identical now—but three simple choices they’ll make will end up putting one of them tens of thousands of dollars ahead of the other.
Click the slideshow button below to see how.