#GYFLT: How a broke millennial turned things around
If you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a way of life. The glow of a “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign is enough to make you bang a U-turn across three lanes of traffic just to jump in line. But, did you also know that they can teach you about money? That’s how Erin Lowry’s dad taught her about net profits, and it ultimately defined her entrepreneurial career.
From doughnuts to dollars
In the summer of 1996, Erin set up shop alongside her mom’s yard sale and sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts to early morning deal hunters. At the end of the day, she was $30 richer, or so she thought. After her dad explained that she needed to repay him for the seed money she borrowed and compensate her sister for her help, Erin’s net profit was $20. She was devastated, as any seven-year-old would be. Looking back, however, Erin says it put her on a path towards understanding the value of a dollar and the work that goes into earning money.
Erin is now a personal money blogger and the founder of brokemillennial.com. It started as something she wrote for fun, a way to share tips and network with other millennials. But, as the number of subscribers began to grow, she knew her written words were filling a need. Erin has spent nearly seven years helping others, particularly millennials, navigate complicated and complex money issues. Her writing style is honest and open, funny and witty, but most of all, relatable. She doesn’t preach, and she promises no finger-wagging, just simple, practical advice that’ll help you get your financial life together.
Control or be controlled
When it comes to money, her mantra is: either you control your money, or your money controls you. Debt should be carefully managed, so it does not become an obstacle that holds you back from reaching your goals. No matter how much money you make, you can manage it wisely and live the way you want. Erin should know. After graduating from college, she lived in New York City, not exactly a cheap place to call home, making very little money.
Cutting costs is a necessity, but it’s not all about penny-pinching. That only gets you so far. Erin adopted habits that took her from financially scraping by to having money to save. She did it so well that in 2015 she wrote Broke Millennial: Stop scraping by and get your financial life together (#GYFLT). It’s a how-to money guide that includes everything from saving to simplifying to splitting the check. In her signature, fun, story-telling style, her book delivers relevant, real-world situations that are familiar to everyone. It’s filled with witty sarcasm, well-balanced strategies, and actionable advice about how to take back control of your money.
From saving to stocks
Erin’s second book, the next installment in the Broke Millennial series, just recently hit bookstore shelves. Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Money (#LUYM) is a guide to investing basics. She tackles questions like, should you invest while paying down a student loan? How do you sell and buy a stock? It’s for anyone who feels like they aren’t ready, don’t know enough, or think they don’t have the money to get into the market.
The idea of managing your money, digging yourself out of debt, and investing in the stock market can be terrifying, but they’re all necessary steps to building wealth and establishing financial freedom. Broken down into everyday language, it’s easy to understand and a lot less daunting.
Today, Erin still lives in New York with her husband, and her full-time job is building the Broke Millennial brand. You can check out her blog or her YouTube Show for great advice, tips, and information on everything money and millennials. Now go ahead–grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut and start getting your financial life together.