I am an investor and have dedicated the last 4 years of my life to improving my financial intelligence. The benefits have been tremendous and I still keep learning and I will continue learning until I die, that I can promise you.
I killed my student loan in less than 5 years.
To start, you need to create a monthly financial statement.
Get your pay stubs with any income you have over the course of 2 months. Add the gross income and then divide in two if you are doing two months, so you can find what your average monthly income is.
Then add the two months worth of your deductions for federal taxes, state taxes, health and dental insurance, social security and Medicare. Add each category separately, month 1 and month 2, divide in 2 , and you get what you pay on average each month for that category.
Subtract these expenses from your gross income and you get your net income. The net income is listed on your stubs because most pay stubs have this info already calculated for you, but you need to get practice and you need to understand that your taxes, insurance premiums, social security and Medicare are expenses that you pay each and every month.
So your net income is what you have left, to pay your rent, or mortgage, bills, food, gas, etc.
Next, you will have to list all these expenses, including food, clothing, gas, entertainment, whatever you are spending on, car payments, car insurance, everything. Collect all your receipts in the course of 2 months, and list all your expenses. Find out how much you spend monthly on each.
Start subtracting each category of the above listed expenses from your NET income for each month. How much money do you have left after all expenses have been subtracted from your income? That's your cashflow. If it is a negative number, you must cut on your spending, or increase your income, or both. You need cashflow money in order to invest, but also need to learn how to invest. And you need to learn the difference between good and bad debt. I hope this is a helpful start.