Ready To Go The Distance

B.E. catches up with a few of our 2006 financial fitness contest winners to see if theyre close to the finish line

fix it up too,” she says. “If I put my mind to it, I can do what I need to do.”

New Year’s Resolution: “Downsize the BMW. The lease is up in 2008. I’ll go for less glitz and shoot to cut my car payment from $400 to $200. Buy more property. Real estate is the way to create wealth.”

MONEY MANAGEMENT
THE ADVICE

  • Wait 24 hours before purchasing anything that costs more than $50.
  • Eliminate her monthly cash deficit by cutting expenses.
  • Get real about debt. Get rid of two of her three credit cards. Pay off balance monthly, or commit to pay it off within three months.
  • Increase her income by possibly joining the real estate agency where her mother works, on a part-time basis.

THE ACTION

  • Rather than spending time at the mall, her free time is more often occupied by sanding floors and laying bathroom tile.
  • With her shoe shopping under control, Bogar’s cash flow has improved. Plus, she received a $4,000 raise.
  • She still has three cards but no longer carries them and hasn’t made any purchases. She obtained a Sears card for emergency repairs on the rental property.
  • Though her mother no longer works there, Bogar and her boyfriend, also a real estate agent, now partner in selling properties.

PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
THE ADVICE

  • Use the $2,000 contest winnings to build an emergency fund equal to six months of expenses.
  • Maximize her 401(k) contributions. Also begin her estate planning by preparing a will, a revocable living trust, a power of attorney, and guardianship documents. Be sure ex-husband is no longer beneficiary on any of her assets, avoid more college debt, and ask employer about tuition reimbursement for law school.

THE ACTION

  • She used the $2,000 to help with her son’s private school tuition and camp. Still, she increased her savings from $1,000 to more than $4,000.
  • Bogar increased her 401(k) contributions only slightly, to 6% of her salary. She also set up a will, naming her son’s father as guardian, and has named her mother as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She is still working out other estate planning issues. As she begins to study for the LSAT, she’s learned that she will be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

STEADY STRIDE: Danny &_Shante Quinzy : OCTOBER
Sometimes to move forward, you have to move. This past summer Danny and Shante Quinzy said goodbye to Detroit and hello to sunny Orlando, Florida.

The attraction was more than Disney World and sunshine. Danny, 34, made a lateral move with DaimlerChrysler, as a supervisor for a parts division, boosting his salary nearly $10,000 to $78,000. Wife Shante, 35, would reap similar fortunes, landing a process improvement engineer position at aerospace contractor Kaman Dayron, increasing her salary from $61,000 to $77,000.

“This was unexpected,” says Danny. “A position opened in Florida and my bosses allowed me to apply. With the grace of God and luck, I got it.”

Chrysler is in the process of buying the couple’s former home in Michigan, but not for a profit. Still, they will have enough to pay off the mortgage. Given the severe downturn

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