Meet The Wise Millennial Who Saves Every Penny

Home Meet Millennials Series Meet The Wise Millennial Who Saves Every Penny

Kelly is a self-proclaimed finance nerd residing in Boston, MA. She prides herself in living by the golden rule: always spend less than you earn (though that other golden rule about always treating others the way you want to be treated is pretty solid too).

This frugal simple living millennial graduated from Babson College in the spring of 2015 with a concentration in Finance and a passion for a great budget. She currently works in private equity and loves sarcasm almost as much as a good bargain. She also spends time writing about her financial habits and goals on her blog, Cents & The City. I had the opportunity of interviewing her for our Meet Millennials Series! Here’s how it played out:

Want free money?

Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

What’s your relationship with money like?

I’ve always felt a strong connection with money: earning it, spending it and saving it. As a kid I was always looking for ways to make a quick buck: help out with some extra chores, wash the neighbors’ cars, rake their leaves, lemonade stands, you name it. I had a savings account at the local bank and loved watching the numbers in my account go up in my paper bankbook – even if it was only by a few cents from interest.

Fast forward to today. I graduated from Babson College in 2015 and currently work as an associate at a private equity firm in Boston – still harboring my entrepreneurial spirit and excited to watch $ grow, even if it’s that of our portfolio companies.

How would you describe your current financial situation?

Amongst my peers, I am fortunate to be on the steady ground in terms of my current financial situation. A lot of my friends graduated with student loans ranging from a few thousand dollars to well over six-figures (ouch). I was lucky enough to graduate without any student loans, but instead of splurging I take the same amount of money my friends spend on loans each month and I pay myself by adding it to my savings.

Even though I have a steady salary, I live well below my means and split roughly 50% of my gross income between my 401k and savings account each month. To those who know me, I am a notorious excel budgeting nerd who can’t fathom the idea of paying full-price (unless dire circumstances present themselves – yes clothes shopping counts as dire).

What financial advice would you have wished to hear when you started working?

One thing my parents told me (which I am very grateful for) is to start putting money away for retirement with your first paycheck. Regardless of the $ amount putting even a small % away from the start puts you on the right track. It’s easy to put off saving for retirement from the onset (30+ years is long ways away) but with the power of compounding, those small dollar amounts can really add up. Putting it off for a few months can turn into a few years and once you do take a % out you notice it more than if it started from the beginning.

What financial achievement are you most proud of?

With my incessant frugal simple living, I managed to save 50% of my gross income over the course of my first-year post-undergrad.

What expense can you not live without?

My gym membership – I know it’s ridiculously expensive ($260 / month) but it’s a splurge I’m willing to pay for. I’m a member of a CrossFit gym in Boston so I leave my apartment around 5:45 am to make it there by 6:30, workout until 8 and enjoy all of the amenities while getting ready for work. Not only is the coaching staff top notch but the community is incredible.

For me, health and fitness are extremely important (after all isn’t your body your most important investment?). I RARELY (to my friends dismay) blow my money on a night out, so the money I save on that side I put into the gym. Everyone needs a splurge item – and for me, it’s the stress relief and personal development I get with my gym membership.

Want free money?

  • Robinhood is a free investing app for your phone. I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge any fees to buy or sell the stock. You can get a share of stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint for free when you join through this link (must complete application). The value of the free share may be anywhere between $2.50 and $200 and fluctuates based on market movements. You’ve got nothing to lose.

What expenses could you cut down on?

Clothes and shoes. Let’s be real – as a woman I could argue this either way. In order to cut back on spending in this category, I try to purchase versatile classic items that won’t go out of style as quickly and select higher quality items that will last longer. Note – this doesn’t mean I pay full-price! I always enter items I like into a shopping cart, or keep track of them with the Pocket App and routinely check for sales to get the best price possible.

What are your long-term financial goals?

I can’t wait to purchase my first property and build up equity as opposed to spending money on rent each month (rent pains me with Boston’s high cost of living). Watching my savings and investments grow only brings me closer to the down payment on my first place.

What are your short-term financial goals?

I absolutely LOVE to travel and hope to take at least one trip per year. Last year, utilizing Costco travel deals, I was able to take an incredible trip to Kauai in late September. When I’m stressed or feeling unmotivated I think about lying on the beach or exploring a new city. The experiences I’ll get through traveling motivate me to work hard and continue to save.

How do you manage paying off student loans and/or consumer debt? Any tips?

I only take on debt when absolutely necessary, or if a 0% interest rate presents itself. For example, after graduating college I went to Apple to purchase a laptop. They were offering 0% interest for 18 months if you opened a Barclays card and used it to purchase the laptop.

Instead of paying the $1k+ upfront, I spread the payments out over the 18 months (keep in mind I hadn’t started working yet so that chunk of change would have been a big hit all at once). This allowed me to keep more money in my savings account in case of an emergency, and I was able to earn 1% interest on the money sitting in the account. Win-win in my book!

What career path would you choose if money was not an issue?

Salary aside, if I could choose any career path I think I’d be a travel blogger. I absolutely love exploring new cities and learning the ins and outs of a new culture. If I had the $s to do that full time and blog about my experiences/ways to save money along the way I would be one happy camper.

Closing thoughts?

Always, always, always spend less than you earn (obviously there are some exceptions with graduate school, lay offs, etc. but for the vast majority of us this holds true). There are only 2 ways to save more $ (1) spend less or (2) make more. We don’t always have the opportunity to control the latter, but by creating a budget and lifestyle where we can spend less, we will always have control over our finances and be able to handle what life sends our way. frugal simple living

The Best Apps to Save You Real Money

We are on our phone a lot, right? Wouldn't it make sense to save money with the best money saving apps?

AppAt a glancedownload
Get a $100 bonus at Aspiration when you open and fund an account with $10 or more. Then use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within 60 days of account opening.
Open a new account in the next 24 hours and you could get up to $200 in free stock.
Truebill reviewTruebill
This free app delivers on its promise to save you money effortlessly. You can use it to lower your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and bill negotiations.
capital one shoppingBestow
Leave your family $1M. Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? While we don’t all have trust funds waiting for us, there is still a way to provide protection for your loved ones with up to $1 million in term life insurance. You could do this for as little as $8 a month by getting a free quote from Bestow.

About the author

On a similar note...

Explore More On

Do you want free money?

Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.


Our Favorite Apps

personal capitalThe First and Only Interest Earning Crypto Account
  • Receive up to $250 Bitcoin bonus when you make qualifying deposits over the first 30 days
  • Receive up to 8.6% annually on your crypto
  • Join the most trusted financial services for crypto investors on the market
Learn More
aspirationThis Company Will Give You $150 for Opening a Free Account
  • Boost your savings and earn up to 1.00% APY interest on your savings
  • Get up to 10% cash back on your purchases
  • Get $150 bonus when you spend your first $1,000 with your new Aspiration Plus Card
Learn More
personal capitalGet Up $500 in Free Stock for Joining
  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades
  • Get a free stock worth up $500 when joining (must complete application)
  • Simple, easy to use investor platform with no account minimums
Learn More
sofiAll-In-One Investing That's Easy to Use
  • Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, or automated investing in all one app
  • No commissions for stocks and ETFs
  • Complimentary access to SoFi Financial Planners
Learn More
personal capitalThe Smart and Free Way to Manage Your Money
  • Take control of your finances with the perfect union of technology and highly personalized service
  • Get access to free online financial tools, including retirement planner, investment checkup, net worth calculator and more
  • Digital-first wealth management advisor with 24,000 clients in 50 states
Learn More
blooom401K and IRA Management
  • Start your free 401k and IRA management now
  • Find and reduce hidden fees
  • Improve your diversification
Learn More
citEnjoy the Benefits of a CIT Bank Money Market Account
  • A CIT Bank Money Market Account helps you get more from your savings with interest rates for maximum growth
  • Earn over 7x the national average with high-interest rates
  • It now pays to open a money market account with CIT Bank
Learn More
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!