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Job: Customer service specialist for State Farm Insurance Co.

Annual earnings: $36,000

Education: Graduated in 2000 with majors in political science and philosophy, Hamline University

Last major purchase: Bought a new house in April with fiancée Sara Kaler.

Next major purchase: A wedding in April 2006

Smart money: Buying an engagement ring through "Compared to a local jeweler, I saved $1,500 for a comparable ring."

Stupid money: "I lost about $100 by not sending in rebate paperwork for my new laptop."

Job transition: The State Farm call center in Woodbury closes Aug. 31. Andy will get 6½ weeks of severance pay if he stays until then; if he leaves early, he forfeits the severance. Because he knows the termination date, Andy is being selective in his job search. "If I get a better job between now and then, I'll probably take the better job."

Patrick Kennedy