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Robert Crumpler
Robert Crumpler
Robert Crumpler, 36, is prioritizing his wife's and daughter's educations.
Location: USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
Profession: Engineer
Tip: Live small and keep investing.

I am optimistic because: "First of all, I've been in the Navy 13 years and plan on staying until I'm eligible for retirement. So I have a steady paycheck. My wife is currently attending the Tidewater Community College to study the Funeral Service program. Her career choice as a mortician may be considered morbid by some, but it has a stable job outlook for the future.

We try to live within our means. We don't have long-distance service for the telephone and we don't have satellite or cable TV. Whichever one of us drives the longest distance drives the Nissan Versa. The other takes the Aztek. We owe very little on credit cards and have a small emergency fund. Any economic stimulus rebate given will go toward paying off the credit card and increasing our emergency fund.

My Roth IRA is now worth only half of its previous amount. Even though it's bad, I'm not really worried because I think I'm fairly diversified for my age and will have many years for the economy to recover.

Although we do pay a hefty sum to send our daughter to a private school, we've learned to live with less. We feel that my wife's and daughter's educations are far more important than the latest and greatest fad. But even with less, we still capitalize on the current economic situation.

With our debt and our cost-of-living expenses, we're still able to save a little. And with our new president's policies and commitment toward education, lower- and middle-income families and the economy, I don't see why I shouldn't be anything other than optimistic."

NEXT: Robert Stadnik
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:22 AM ET
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