The US News and World Report recently came out with a survey detailing what it is that Millennials want, why we are important, and just why older generations don't understand millennials. It's a quick skim, but pretty interesting! http://www.usnews.com/pubfiles/USNews_Market_Insights_Millennials2014.pdf
Let's set the scene. When I graduated from Baylor, none of these things in this survey were on my radar. The only thing I was really worried about was whether or not I was going to miss the Gilt daily flash sale, or where we were going for happy hour Thursday night.
I was putting a tiny % of my paycheck into my company's 401(k), making my minimum student loan payments and covering all my other monthly bills, so clearly I thought the rest should be allocated to my shopping budget. Since I had set up all my student loans (which were close to $60K) to auto-pay, I really did not look at them until I had been paying them for 3 years. I got a notice from Wells Fargo thanking me for making my payments on time, and telling me they were reducing my interest rate by .05%...whoop whoop. That was a turning point for me...
I logged into all the different student loan providers and realized how long they were projecting for me to pay off my loans as well as the amount they were showing I would end up paying for the amount I borrowed. It was terrifying, and I hated every minute of it. I made an excel spreadsheet with the amount owed, and the interest rate I was being charged, and I put the ones with the highest interest rate at the top.
I heard this saying a long time ago, "how do you eat an elephant...one bite at a time." That was my plan of attack. I was going to stick to my budgets and use all extra income to start to chip away at the elephant of student loans that I had. Within the first year, I paid off the two highest interest rate loans and I was well on my way to paying off the rest. I put any raises and bonuses I received towards paying off my student loans.
In my debt-free journey I got to a point that the interest rate I was paying on the debt was so low, that I could actually make more interest through investments, so I decided to go that route. Your goal may be different, and your goal is to be completely debt-free. Whatever works for you, but the faster you can pay off those student loans the easier you can make financial decisions for the future. No one wants to be paying off their own student loans when they feel like they need to start saving for their own children's college.
If you're looking for new ways to learn to save money I suggest checking out http://20somethingfinance.com/