Hey there! I am Miriam, a millennial who has very serious goals to become a millionaire. I intend to do this not by developing the next great start-up, but by using the tools available to me to slowly build up a portfolio of over $1 million. This is a goal I began working on a year ago when my grandfather died and I talked with my grandma about retirement. As a math teacher, I could run the numbers and see it would be very simple to accumulate $1 million by the time I reached at 65. But lately, I’ve moved toward developing the goal to reach that number much sooner, preferably at age 50. I want to achieve financial independence before I absolutely exhaust myself working. If I can figure out how to do it sooner, I will, and I’ll update you.
Before anyone can become a millionaire, you have to master some more basic money matters. I started collecting essential financial ideas when I was about to finish graduate school. I certainly had financial values before that but it’s always going to be when you have your own money that you start to develop your own habits. I have always analyzed my own spending and saving, but I began to wonder about the psychology of money during my first year of teaching. It all started when a student told me that debit cards and credit cards were interchangeable and they were all bad. I then got the approval from my principal to pause the traditional curriculum in my statistics class and I ran a financial literacy project called “This is your life.” That then developed into a year long course in year two, that I called “Money Matters.” Now, I am back to teaching freshmen in Algebra 1, but I am more committed than ever to learning how to make my income work for me. I started this blog to talk with other people about how to learn the rules of the game and get ahead in life. It doesn’t take a “rich” income in order to amass wealth. It’s a slow game, and I’m here to talk about how to play it well, from the start.
But I’m a millennial, and we have a pretty bad reputation. Other generations call us lazy. They say we are poorly educated. They are obsessed with the fact that we aren’t buying houses like they did. They say we want credit just for showing up. Basically, we are a hot mess. Not all of us are like that. I’m not like that. Chances are, if you are visiting my blog, you’re not like that. Maybe you have it together or maybe you want to get it together. When it comes to money, we have been raised in a society that considers it taboo to discuss our habits, values, or concerns. My parents did a great job teaching me about money and still continue by having in depth conversations with me. But, bottom line fellow millennials, is that it’s up to us now to learn and to manage our own lives and money. The time is now to gain that knowledge so you can feel more in control.
As you read, consider that I am a public school teacher in her third year; I am not raking in 6 figures. I don’t save 75% of my income (but I do save a lot). I am using traditional savings and checking accounts, a high yield savings account, credit cards with rewards, an individual brokerage account, a 403(b), a 457(b), a Roth IRA, and of course, cash in my plan. I have financed a car and, just recently, a house. I have federal student loan debt. The pension plan for teachers in my state is fabulous (but probably quite precarious). My health insurance is very good. I also calculate my own taxes and make plans for my refund in advance, so I don’t waste it. I venmo my friends for dinner and sometimes play around on the stock app Robinhood. I use a composition notebook, a 4 function calculator, a google sheet and a few bank apps in order to manage my money. I budget regularly and believe that writing things out with my own hands is crucial to saving and spending well.
I plan to share with you the most important things I’ve learned about money. I am writing in the only way I can: from my own perspective. I am a 27 year old, single, millennial living in the midwest. I will try to answer questions I know others have and will sometimes write to an audience that has not entered the job market (my students ask amazing questions). Please visit my contact page if you have a topic you want to see me write about.