Job: Certified public accountant in his father's tax and accounting firm, John T. Vetscher CPA in St. Paul

Annual earnings: $45,000 to $55,000

Education: Graduated from St. Thomas Academy high school in Mendota Heights in 1997; bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 2001; worked for accounting firm Ernst & Young, 2002 to 2005

Last major purchase: A condominium in St. Paul in 2004, about $200,000

Next major purchase: A traditional church wedding

Smart money: Buying a condo and investing in a 401(k) retirement account. "I think a 401(k) is the best way to save. Right now my 401(k) money is all in stocks, and they keep going up in value."

Stupid money: Buying a big-screen TV. "It's great and I love it, but it's a toy and it wasn't a smart purchase. I bought it right after I got out of college for almost $4,000." He has since paid off the debt.

Investment/savings plans: 401(k)

Advice: Pay off your debt. "I prioritize. I pay off credit card debt first. Student loans can go a little longer. You also need to be smart and consolidate loans to get a better interest rate." He says young people should avoid the temptation to buy too much too soon. Instead of buying a new car, he bought a used one.

Steve Alexander