Though most of us scrimp to buy a house in our 20s or 30s, Lindsay McNeal bought her first home at age 18, thanks to one very valuable asset: pigs. Over years of presenting hogs at 4-H shows, McNeal amassed $40,000 in prize winnings, which she put towards her house. She shared her story on HuffPost Live.
McNeal began showing hogs at a very young age. "I started [4-H] as soon as I could, when I was nine years old, but I showed hogs for the first time when I was four in an open show. And I started saving my money from then."
"I was very fortunate--to win a class in a show is awesome and very rewarding, but to win the champion of a show--more than one--is amazing and you have to be very, very lucky, which I'm so happy that I was.
McNeal explained to host Nancy Redd that her community was instrumental to her success. "I was just able to have the support of my small-town community and everybody came out to support me."
She added that her local 4-H was also extremely tight-knit. "Everybody is helpful and we're all a great big family. It doesn't matter what part of the county we come from, or the state or even the country that we come from. When we go to shows, it doesn't matter where we come from, we come and join together."
Aside from saving to buy a home, McNeal also demonstrated her saving smarts when paying for college. "I was fortunate enough to have a family behind me throughout it all. My dad is a very great investor, so he helped me invest my money through the years. And I was able to finish college with my bachelor's degree in three years instead of four. And I went to a community college close by for my bachelor's in education, which really saved me some money and gave me a new outlook on life altogether."
She now rents out her first home and has bought more property. "The house is doing awesome. I now own a farm with my husband, and [the original house] pays for my [new] mortgage, so it has paid off in a lot of different ways."