Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Grant Sabatier from Millennial Money shares major money mistakes to avoid and what helped him to become a millionaire by 30!
Big Lessons Learned from Money Mistakes
It seems like news stories love to focus in on how bad millennials are with their finances.
While I’ve seen some struggle with their finances, that’s not the case with most.
Today I want to talk to someone who is bucking the trend. Grant Sabatier, the creator of Millennial Money, talks about his extraordinary journey from a broke college graduate with only a few dollars in his bank account to a millionaire.
By age 30!
To reach that huge milestone Grant had to make some serious changes to his mindset, habits, and routines.
In this interview we get into
- three money mistakes he and other millennials make
- how you can save too much money
- discovering where you need to save and where you need to outsource
You can listen to the podcast now or read the highlights below. I hope you enjoy!
If you want hear more from another young millionaire, please check out my interview with Justin from Root of Good.
He gave his investment and savings strategy that helped him and his wife retire in their 30s!
Resources to Save More Money
Want to start boosting your savings? Here are some resources and tools to check out and use:
- Best Budget and Money Apps: Personal Capital, Tiller, Mint
- Automatic Saving:
- Free 401(k) Analysis:
- 5 Days to $5K: It’s my free weeklong course to show you how to find, save, and make extra money so you can dump debt and save more!
- 7 Millennial Money Mistakes
- 17 Money Saving Strategies We Used to Triple Our Savings Rate
- Escape Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- Early Retirement in Your 30s with Frugalwoods
- The New Parents’ Guide to Financial Independence
Money Mistake #1: Setting Money Goals, Not Lifestyle Goals
Elle: Did you have that big mistake upfront or how quickly did you figure it out?
Grant: Yeah. Unfortunately, it took me a while. I think a lot of young professionals [focus on] the goal is to try to make as much money as possible and the focus is on that number in your bank account.
I remember obsessively checking daily just to see if there are fluctuations and in my investment balances and honestly, I think that creates a lot of anxiety especially when you know you’re not able to make more money or you’re not able to save more money.
And I think that the end of the day focusing on that number can be really damaging. A lot of the popular literature out there is focused on what your retirement number.
At the end of the day, it’s not about the number, it’s about really the lifestyle that you want to live and how much money does it take to basically support that type of a lifestyle.
So the things that I personally realized was that I have enough money to live the lifestyle that I want and a lot of people miss that.
You know I really wanted to build a flexible lifestyle. I’m very similar to millennials that I’ve talked to recently. You don’t want to retire but we want to take many breaks.
And so how can you save enough money to make that possible? Or perhaps you don’t have to work for a year or two and you can go travel or invest yourself on a project that perhaps isn’t as profitable.
And so once I started setting lifestyle goals instead of money goals I became a lot happier.
Money Mistake #2: Saving TOO Much Money (Yes, that’s Possible!)
Elle: I feel like chasing a number is missing the point for so many different reasons. The online calculator
It’s a great source for ballpark figures but you have to discuss what you want to do and why it’s not put X amount in it.
Grant: I honestly probably saved a little bit too much money. And I think that that’s the balance that that really people need to find and that’s mistake number three that I won because really at the end of the day for a lot of people’s lifestyles it probably doesn’t take as much money and won’t take as much money as you think it will.
For me personally, I think they’ve got a little bit obsessed with it. And I think that for many years probably about four or five years my relationship with money was was pretty unhealthy in so many aspects.
Unfortunately I missed some experiences that I probably would have wanted to partake in but fortunately, you know I woke up and all of a sudden had this large net worth.
One analogy I make is started playing guitar at the age of five. All of a sudden I feel like I woke up 18 and could play the guitar really well right.
I really didn’t have a choice but I’ve been able to benefit from just that sort of early discipline and feel very similarly about money.
Elle: Do you mind tell me what opportunities or experiences do you think you missed out because you were so focused on saving?
Grant: I started really saving in my mid-twenties when I launched my own company. And honestly, I’ve spent the last five or six years spending so much time building my businesses and forming partnerships.
I think I’ve missed out on a lot of social aspects of my mid-twenties now so I was working from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Occasionally we take a Sunday off.
Fortunately during that time my wife is a is a professor and so she was working on her research in her books. So she and I very much align and our drive and really working and working together was the core of our relationship.
We weren’t taking as many trips as we probably wanted to. By the end of the day, that’s what it took to get my companies off the ground and to set me up where I am now and honestly now I’m able to take advantage of more opportunities than I probably would have you know back then. So it’s really for me it’s been a tradeoff.
Luckily it’s been a tradeoff sacrificing some of that social time in my mid-twenties for now you know significantly more opportunities in my 30s. Like I just last night was planning I’m going to go to France for the month of June and July.
This upcoming summer and just work remotely and explore wineries and you know that’s something that you know previously would have been impossible for me to do. And really the only way it is possible is because I did make those sacrifices.
I think my just my one piece of advice is for younger investors is really to find that balance. I feel like I’ve particularly been lucky but I see a lot of older people who have sacrificed their entire lives and worked 60 hour weeks their entire lives to be able to retire.
By the time they
Money Mistake #3: Not Outsourcing
Elle: The last tip I thought was fascinating maybe because I own my own business, is not hiring an expert when you need one.
Grant: I think this is something that a lot of younger professionals younger entrepreneurs and just people in general. This mistake they make is that experts are expensive and at the end of the day I think that you know we’re of the generation where we try to do everything ourselves right.
And that’s really burned to me in some cases specifically came to tax planning and to some legal issues early on I just I thought I could do it myself right it’s like oh I’m a smart guy I can read all about this and sure I can figure out the tax code and I got completely burned three years ago and made the decision that moving forward I’ll focus on what I’m good at and I’m going to go out and pay for the best advice that I can.
For example, you know on the blog that I made the example of the attorney who specialized in LLC legal issues charged twelve hundred dollars an hour.
I literally called him and I was like ‘I only need 15 minutes of your time. I have these two questions. Can I pay the 15-minute rate?
And he’s like ‘OK. Sure.as long as you call me during my lunch hour or so’
I think honestly some of the most successful business people on earth the reason that they’re successful is that they surround themselves with people who just are experts in their field.
And I think that’s something that a lot of entrepreneurs should learn and take advantage of earlier rather than later.
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This episode was originally released in December 2016. the show notes have been updated January 2019.
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