I have been paying into an IRA, taking a class here and there, and paying my bills. Budgeting is the key, but so many people are afraid to unlock the door to financial bliss. Honestly, what do we wait for? If you can cut down on stress by paying off needless debt, you actually feel better.
What are your goals? Mine are to lead a full and low-stress life, fund my IRA, take the money I freely throw to the credit card companies and put it to work for me by adding more to the IRA, and finally put a little something in stocks. I am so close that I tell people about it. This way others can see the joys of tightening the belt.
Tightening the belt isn't as hard if your goal is worth attaining. Just cut out the things you don't really need. You may be surprised to find you can manage. I pay my bills as they come in. Then I write a check to my IRA in the third week of each month. I buy what I need. I hope others take the same road and start a budget that works for them.