Putting brunches and dinners on credit cards is easy to do in the moment, but those expenses can easily add up.
That was the norm for Cinneah El-Amin, 26, of New York City, until she saw how much she owed.
"The worst that I got was I woke up one day with over $10,000 in credit card debt that was due in full," El-Amin told "Good Morning America."
El-Amin said it was a wake up call for her to finally get ahold of her finances -- and her biggest motivation was having the financial freedom to travel.
"I absolutely love to travel," she said. "And I just want to remind women that we are worth it and that we can use our 9-to-5 jobs to be able to create the lifestyles that we want."
In three years, El-Amin was able to pay off $23,000 in debt while also growing her net worth to $100,000.
Zero-based budgeting and side hustles
So how did El-Amin do it? She told "GMA" it's all in how you budget.
The 27-year-old product manager said zero-based budgeting helped her achieve her financial goals. This method of budgeting is when any income amount earned is given a "job" so that when you subtract the money that's going out from your income, you would get a balance of zero.
"I'm giving every dollar that I make in my 9-to-5 job a job in itself," she explained. "So when I get paid, my money is going to flow into different accounts and anything that is left over in my checking account, I’m going to make sure I budget out to zero."
El-Amin said she also used destination budgeting, which funnels her money to specific accounts so she can work toward multiple goals.
In addition to a zero-based budget and destination budgeting, El-Amin said she was able to boost her income by taking on side hustles and working toward a higher-paying job.
"I am a staunch advocate for more women to job hop, to get the money they deserve and to stop playing small when it comes to our careers and the next step in our careers," she added.
Flying financially free
Now that El-Amin has taken control of her finances, she's using what she's learned along the way to help others struggling with their debt through her side-company, Flynanced.
Her mission is to help others "fly financially free" so they can build wealth and do things that bring them joy.
"Financial freedom is a game-changer for women, especially women of color and Black women, because we come from legacies of women being financially disempowered," El-Amin said. "I grew up in a wonderful amazing family, but I also saw women that looked like me work to the point of exhaustion."