Hi Mr. Bach! In one year, I paid off my car loan early and two credit cards. I was about $6000 in debt…and I am a teacher! The awful thing is that I had the money just sitting in a regular ol’ savings account (at .75% interest – lest to say I don’t “store” money in this low earning account anymore). Now that I am debt free, I opened up a money market account and tranfered a good chunk of my savings. I also set up an automatic ING savings account which withdraws $200/month out of my local account, and I am planning on upping that amount in April so that I have a vacation savings plan as well. I finally paid attention to my accountant and opened a Roth IRA, and then upped myself one by buying a CD ladder! I also “give” more money away, and devote an afternoon to driving to my favorite charities and dropping off checks – that is kind of fun. All this within one year! I attribute my personal growth to being given the task of creating a money management workshop for adults on probation. Please appreciate that before being forced to teach a “budgeting class” my idea of handling money was to always keep $1000 in my bank account so I would never overdraw! It didn’t always work! As a single working woman I totally enjoy ALL my latte factors too much: Dinners out, $50 tickets to a charity event, a $300 shopping spree for something I really didn’t need THAT much…I just was not “thinking” about my future (thankfully I have a state retirement plan that will save me….somewhat). BY developing a workshop called “Show Me The Money” I had to walk the walk and talk the talk. By throwing myself into reading and watching all I could on financial management techniques (and listening to you speak in Tucson in 2006) I dove in and began to lose my fear of money (my father was a farmer so I learned a lot about fear of losing money). My workshop is a success not because I teach budgeting (I hate the word and don’t use it in class), but because I inspire others to dig within and find self-motivation. I help them remove their fears and enjoy life as they work to reduce debts, pay off court fines, and live life more fully. My students are challenged by all the things we each face, but there is so much more weight on their shoulders: counseling, drug checks, reporting in, and community service are added responsibilities – most are to exhausted to think about how to save money! Hopefully my class gives them hope by giving them knowledge and returning them some control. Thank you for re-enforcing that saving money does not have to be as hard as we make it.