Advice for Joseph McKinley
Advice: Contribute at least 5% to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
How he responded: He increased his contributions from 1% to 5%, for a total of about $100 a pay period over the last three months, which his employer matches.
Advice: Pay down debt and increase savings.
How he responded: He put $750 of the contest winnings toward paying down his Discover card and saved $500 in his savings account. He still owes about $1,600 and is making payments of $150 each month.
Advice: Continue paying $120 monthly on his $1,394 medical bill and aim to pay it off in 12 months.
How he responded: He was able to pay it off completely in 11 months.
Advice: Redirect $150 when finished with Discover bill, plus the $120 he had been putting toward his medical bill to retirement and savings.
How he responded: Due to a change in his work hours and a lack of public transportation, he was forced to drive, eating up $120 or more in expenses for gas.
Advice: Continue $305 monthly payment toward his car loan.
How he responded: McKinley is making those payments and has 15 months left on the loan.
Advice: Create emergency fund.
How he responded: He has saved $1,500–enough to cover nearly two months. His secret? “Every little nickel and dime I had in excess went toward my savings.â€
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