Success Story of a Student

Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.

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clothesminded
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Success Story of a Student

Postby clothesminded » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:58 am

This blog has really helped me be more financially aware and responsible.

I'm young (21), not in debt and never really have been. However, I don't make a whole lot of money and I have managed to put myself through school, pay off my tuition in 15 months, and still find room to save. I've had a credit card since 18, but have never let a balance roll over.

I make about 2k take home per month, and right off the bat it's $700 to tuition, $500 to rent, and the rest covers utilities, retirement funding, food, and school expenses. And trust me, putting in a 14 hour workday between my day job and school doesn't make it easy to keep food costs down. Fast food starts to look mighty tempting on busy days :wink: Some months were much harder than others, but I made it through.

As of this month I have school entirely paid off, and an emergency fund in the bank. Being a clothing design student with a taste for the finer things, it isn't easy to stay frugal. I will have an extra $700 a month now that I am done paying for school. The old me would have eagerly spent it on shopping sprees... but the new me will be upping my retirement contributions, and putting the rest away in the bank.

My car is a clunker and on it's last leg, but I am just going to use the bus to commute to work for the next few years and keep socking away all that money. When I buy a new car I plan to pay outright. I'll be moving to a cheaper place this year too and saving another $200 in rent. The only thing that will really change now that I have extra cash is that I can stop eating hot dogs for lunch just to save money!

I just wanted to share my story, since it is a little different than the climbing out of debt adventures. If I can get my act together at 21, anybody else can too. It isn't easy staying smart and making the right choices, but I feel like I will have many opportunities in my future that I might not have if I was bogging myself down in loans and debt. Follow the advice on GRS and other blogs, invest in your future by making the right choices and you won't regret it.

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kmull
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:20 am
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Postby kmull » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:39 pm

Congrats on a great start.

Now, you need some goals -- tell that $700 where to go before it disappears. Sure, throw an extra $50 towards you food budget. That leaves you $650 per month, a great deal of money at your age. Put it towards a car, retirement, and whatever else is important (down payment on a house 5 years down the road?).
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