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Profile: Lindsay McNeal

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A couple of years ago, Shelby Holliday met with a very determined teen, Lindsay McNeal, who had saved up money she made in 4H contests showing her award-winning pigs, to purchase a house. That’s right, a house.

Because she was just 18 at the time and still lived with her parents, she rented the house to her aunt and uncle and provided herself with instant income. Of course, if you paid attention to Lindsay in the piece, you might have figured she didn’t just spend the money she was making. She saved it up and used the funds to buy – another house. We followed up with her recently to find how she?s doing and see what’s new for this young saver.

Turns out, Lindsay has graduated from college and become a teacher. We asked if she had any advice on covering the costs of college.

“I was lucky because my parents were in a position to help,” she explained, “but I worked 40 hours a week while in school and I took 28 hours a semester. I finished in three years, I didn’t want to go to college to goof off and I saved a lot of money that way. I also went to a state school, which was half the cost, and I lived at home” while she was there.

And though Linsday is still a saver (“I still don’t splurge on shopping – I have to wait!”), life has changed since she started working full-time. “I was making less than half of what I make now while I was in school. At the time, I knew it was going to be a struggle because I was paying $80 a week for gas to get back and forth to school, but now I feel so much more comfortable. The pressure has been lifted and I love the feeling of stability. I have insurance!”

She also shared more important milestones – marriage and yet another home for her and her husband. ”Our goal was to buy a farm. I had one rental property that I sold about a month ago – for a profit. We’ve got 15 sows that we’re raising that have been at my husband’s parents’ house, until now. He owns a paving company and farms for a hobby, but in the evenings, we’re with the animals.”

How does someone so young seem to have all of her ducks (or sows?) in a row so soon? She offered this advice:

Be dedicated. If not, it’s easy to slack off and put off what you want to do until the next day.

Enjoy it. My three years at college were great.

Stay focused. I had a lot of publicity and some of it was negative but it taught me to stay true to myself, to set goals and go for them.

Lastly, you might not be surprised to hear that Lindsay and her husband are still planning for the future.

In the short term, they’re headed to the national hog show in Louisville. “It’s nice, we can afford to go where we want to go. We’re also saving for cattle for when we get over to the farm.”

And finally, “even though we don’t have kids, we’re putting a portion of our paychecks into CDs, and setting aside money for college, like my dad did for me.”

To find out how Lindsay saved to buy her first property, check out the video below.

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What one teen did with her life savings.

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