Occupation: Records clerk

Personal life: Married with an 18-month-old son and another child on the way

Biggest financial concerns:
To pay off my credit cards, get an emergency cushion and contribute more to my 401(k).

Lessons learned from The Difference: Setting goals—not just the BIG one (paying off credit cards), but making small "benchmarks." My benchmarks became paying my Macy's card off in two months and taking that money and putting it on my Amex. 

Continuing to view and make the smaller goals has given me a renewed sense that I will make the big goal in two years. My goal of getting an emergency cushion was very easy; I started to have the bank take out money when I get paid, and I don't touch it. I have saved $1,000 since December. 

I also have more money come out of my paycheck toward my 401(k), and I hardly notice the difference at payday (it's one less lunch out). Things are really starting to turn around, and all it took is to see what I had inside of me and use it instead of making excuses.

Favorite chapter from The Difference: Chater 2, "Choosing the Difference."