Money Talks, So Should You

Broke Millennial: Blessings of an early financial lesson

Erin L.
by Erin L., Dimespring 30 (@brokemillennial)

In the summer of 1996 several boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts changed my life. Sounds a touch on the dramatic side, but it’s true. My sister and I worked in the grueling heat of a North Carolina summer morning to sell donuts to shoppers at my mother’s yard sale. After we had proudly sold all of our over-priced donuts, my father strolled over to inspect our earnings.

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He scooped up the fanny pack holding all our quarters and carefully counted out the money on our picnic table. He then proceeded to give me my first economics lesson.

“You have twelve dollars here,” he said.


“Yes,” I said. “I am going to Toys-R-Us.”


“Well, it cost me three dollars to buy the donuts you sold,” he said while he picked up three dollars worth of quarters.


“Then, you had your sister help you sell them so you need to pay her.” He rationalized while handing my four-year-old sister $2.00. 
“So, after expenses, your total profit was seven dollars. This is also known as net profit.”

He smiled while pushing the remaining piles of quarters towards me. I had never felt so cheated in my seven years on earth.

These days I view my traumatic childhood experience as a blessing. In a time of helicopter parents and unemployed millennials, I managed to be raised with a basic sense of financial literacy.

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I find money both empowering and exciting. Even when my checking account gets scarily close to zeroing out, I feel in control. In an effort to spread my infatuation with money, I started my site Broke Millennial and hope to use the same sarcastic tactics to make all you Dimespring readers fall madly in love with finances.

These days I’ve grown up into an overworked, underpaid professional in the communications field living in New York City (by way of North Carolina, Japan and China). Moving to the Big Apple has been the greatest financial challenge of my life. Rent costs 55% of my monthly, post-tax, salary (which says more about my low-wages than high rent). I’m still dedicated, but struggling, to tuck away money for both savings and retirement.

Trying to stay out of the red in such an expensive city is a constant battle. I’m also trying to learn how to invest and maximize the most out of the little I make.

READ: Growing your emergency fund when money is tight

Hopefully, my experiences can help you start a love affair with money and we can have some fun debates about a few of my more extreme financial opinions. When I’m not trying to convince people money is awesome, I’m plotting my next international (or domestic) excursion or trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Oh, I also have an uncanny ability to link anything in real life to TV shows. It’s frightening. So, if you love pop culture, sarcasm and learning about money, then we’re probably destined to be the best of friends.

 

Erin is the founder of the blog Broke Millennial. She hopes to increase financial literacy, specifically in the millennial generation. Erin uses sarcasm and humor to keep readers awake while learning financial basics. Erin lives and works in New York City where she's developed quite the knack for finding deals and free events while surviving on a small income. Erin is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.