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Make smart choices about your money, time and productivity

Jul 9, 2018

#139: 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.