"I was able to save about $100,000 in approximately four years. I started with $44. Several years ago, I went through a period of time when the person I worked for was killed, and I stayed with his family to help out for a while. Afterward, I moved and became depressed—I no longer had a job, and I realized that I was totally deteriorating my savings just to live.
At that time, I started listening to Dr. Oz and Jean Chatzky, and then finally, at the last minute, I was able to get a job. I work as a consultant on IT contracts. I took Jean's advice and put myself together. I basically lived off the philosophies of the Oprah Radio XM radio station, and they carried me through it. I was alone and had to take care of myself. Oprah Radio was basically my family. It helped me financially and mentally—it was inspirational.
I took everything to heart. I made my own lunch, and I figured that the most important thing to do was save every penny. If I needed clothes, I bought them on sale. I was buying dresses for $2 that everyone else would reject. I started out by paying down my debt. I had about $15,000 in credit card debt, and it took me about six months to pay that down. I still put some aside while I was paying the debt down because I was trying to establish an emergency fund. After that, I didn't spend anything.
I started out saving $2,000 a month, then bumped it up to $3,000. Now I'm saving about $3,500 to $4,000 a month. I started putting money in a regular savings account, then started getting some CDs. Now I'm focusing on how I can make my money work for me as hard as I work for it."
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