Five years ago, at age 29, Kim E. started her first professional, salaried full-time job, working as a firefighter for the City of Austin, Texas. She received a starting salary of $42,000.
Today, five years later, she has saved:
- one year’s salary ($40,000) in an emergency fund
- one year’s salary ($42,000) in a workplace retirement fund
- more than half a year’s salary ($27,500) in a Roth IRA
She also paid off her student loans ($10,000), paid off her car loan (roughly around $16,000-ish), and contributed to an H.S.A. account ($6,000, half of which came from an employer match.) Oh yeah, and she also bought and renovated a rental property.
Translation? Kim has saved (or repaid debt of) $141,500 within five years, as a firefighter with a starting salary of $42,000, excluding the additional money she’s invested into her rental.
She’s saved more than 3x her starting salary, within her first five years on the job.
And she’s done this while earning a middle-class public service salary in an expensive city.
How is Kim saving half of her firefighter salary? And before she became a firefighter, what other frugal tactics did she develop? How did she put herself through four years of college with less than $10,000 in debt? How did she travel before college, when she used to earn $10 per hour? Where does her resourcefulness and motivation come from? And what wisdom can she share with others?
Find out in today’s episode.
- The Anti-Budget
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