Teaching you to embrace today while making yourself a millionaire!

I wish I would have understood how easy it is to become a millionaire by starting to save small amounts of money when I was younger...

I feel compelled to share the simple concepts you can apply today....


27 February 2009

Thank you University of Cincinnati and Langley Air Force Base

Thanks to the students and Airmen that attended the presentations last week! We had great questions and many follow up emails. Please pass on the information to your friends and family. Time is on your side and you can have a wonderful future with a few changes today!

Keep the questions coming!

Stay tuned......

23 February 2009

Give saving $ the ol' college try (a Noelle blog)

Hello future millionaires! Think that just because you are in college means you have to be broke? This is not actually the case. Here are a few money saving tips I used when I was in college.

1. Avoid University Bookstores. When you tour a campus before you start school they usually walk you past the university bookstore. Don't be fooled into believing this is the only place to get your books! There are usually a number of used bookstores near college campuses. There locations may be common knowledge among upperclassmen, but overwhelmed freshman may not know about them. Used books are a much better deal, especially for gen. ed. texts you don't plan to keep.

Another method is to buy your textbooks online. There will be shipping and handling fees, but you can get rock bottom prices for a lot of books. I always used to find the best deals. They compare the prices at a bunch of book selling sites to find you the best deal. They do all the leg work. With this form of book buying you have to keep in mind that your books may take a while to get to you. It could take one to two weeks. I used to find out who my professors were as soon as possible and either use the university bookstore's website or just go to the bookstore to find out what texts they require. You can usually do this a week or so before the quarter or semester starts and get a jump start on online buying. I wouldn't recommend waiting until you get your syllabus...

Talk to your friends. Have any of them taken this class before? They will probably let you borrow their book (if they still have it) or buy it from them pretty cheap. If you are lucky they may have already highlighted important passages for you. I often had friends recommend classes and we would often borrow or swap books. And if you are taking a class together you might want to split the cost of a book. Just be careful that you stay friends, especially around finals time...

The last and most brilliant way to avoid spending tons of money on books is to see if they are available from your university's library. I have saved myself hundreds of dollars by checking out books instead of buying them. However, this is not going to work 100% of the time. You may not be able to find your Biology text, but it should be easy to find novels or other smaller required texts. It may not seem like the $7.00 for a novel is a lot, but the more classes you take the more you will spend on little books you will most likely never read again.

Also, at the end of each quarter or semester, most used bookstores will be willing to buy books back from you to restock their shelves. Be wary that they will not offer you much (usually a fraction of what you might have paid), but if you don't need the book any more you might as well make some money!

2. Take Advantage of On-Campus Events. University's have tons of money they dedicate to student activities. There are almost always free events on any college campus. I have seen comedians, concerts, first run movies and even the philharmonic for free on my campus. These events are usually promoted around campus via fliers and may even be found on your university's activity board website. These are great opportunities to get a group of people together for a fun evening of free entertainment. I was able to keep better track of these events when I lived in a dorm, so you may want to walk through a dorm on your way home (if you live off campus) and check out the events board.

You also may be able to buy discount tickets through your student union (or similar entity). I have gone to many concerts for fractions of the regular ticket price. And discount tickets are not just for concerts. You may also be able to get discount tickets for movies, plays, theme parks, museums and local area events.

3. Free Food! One of the things I learned when I lived on campus is that events often use free food to boost attendance. Pizza is a perennial favorite and works for most events. Free food can also be offered at the On-Campus events I mentioned above. The best time to take advantage of this is while living in the dorms. Most events in your dorm will probably have food. After all, the resident hall advisors look better if more people attend their events. So swing by for a free meal and some fun on your way out.

Another way to get free food may take a bit of persuasion. Most colleges have some sort of meal plan they require you to carry while living in the dorms. Many students will have meals left over at the end of the quarter or semester. Your college is usually not as friendly as your cell phone provider, these meals don't roll over. Talk to your friends that still live in the dorms. You may be able to talk them into getting you lunch or dinner with their plans. This is usually easiest at the end of the quarter or semester when they are trying to use them all up.

There are so many ways to save money as a college student. Once you know the tricks of the trade you can save tons and still have fun! Please post your comments to share the ways you save or saved money during your time at college.

Stay tuned...

19 February 2009

Great Question

I was at SigEp on Tuesday night when you came to speak to our chapter. I am going to be on co-op in the up coming weeks and my mom has been talking to me about starting up an IRA. I understand the difference in the Roth and traditional I just had two questions regarding them. I have been looking at different brokers and can't make heads or tails of what the brokers are saying, charging etc. I was wondering which broker you would recommend for any IRA or is there a website that gives a comparison to all the major ones? Also with being in school I was wondering if it would be more effective to work towards saving money for the future or trying to take out as few loans as possible ( I already have more than $25,000 in school loans as a sophomore) I want to try and keep them as few as possible but I see the need to save.
Thank you for any help,

Answer: As always check with a financial professional before making any decisions to be sure it is appropriate for your situation.

First off regarding the IRA question - ROTH is the better choice while your income is low enough to be eligible.. The money goes in after tax - grows tax deferred but the benefit is if you leave it in until you are at least 59 1/2 it all comes out tax free. That is a huge benefit.

Regarding companies - T ROWE PRICE, VANGUARD, FIDELITY and SCHWAB are all good reputable discount firms. I believe for a young person starting out the target timeline funds work the best. Different companies call them different names but the concept is you pick the closest date for your retirement date - so you may look at a 2050 or 2055 fund. There is no reason to pay a broker 2 or 3% upfront for a good fund, also avoid class b funds, they are sold saying you pay no upfront fee and as long as you keep it with them for 5 or 7 years the back end load disappears. The catch is the internal cost of the fund is much higher than funds at the discount firms. Class b funds have 12 B 1 fees that cut at your overall return.

Regarding the student loan dilemma - it is tough but I still think if you can start to save for retirement now in the long run you will be ahead due to the Rule of 72 and the doubling factor over time. Once you lose this time it is gone. My thought is really really review your spending and see where you can cut out little things that are not really improving your quality of life and i think you will be surprised - most students i work with find a minimum of $600 a year most find more.

Once you graduate if you don't jump into a super expensive life style you can tackle your loans - hopefully you will never be poorer than in college so once you graduate - keep on that thinking for a few years and you will be shocked at how fast you can get the loans paid down. Then you increase your quality of life in an affordable manner.

A few fun but insightful books to read:
A million bucks by 30 - Alan Corey
You are broke because you want to be - by Larry Winget

Regarding education: but you can go to any of the sites and look under planning or education. They all have good on line tools. If you have any more questions - please let me know - shoot me an email or leave a comment on the blog.

Stay tuned.......

18 February 2009

Thanks to Stefan, Students Success and Career Thoughts

Thanks to Stefan for his posts! His insights have been very helpful and his wit is amusing and fun to read!

I have been out and about doing more and more presentations and am sure now that I made the correct decision to do this full time. It is way more work than my previous job, I have to sell myself and get hired, I learn something new everyday from how to set up a booth at a convention, ordering banners, how to run a web page, create advertising and facebook!

And I am having more fun than I have had in years! The energy you bring to the presentations energizes me but more importantly we are making a difference. GenM is taking hold. I am getting emails from many of you - telling me how you have made changes in your daily lives and are saving money without feeling deprived or cheap!

A student from Ohio State told me he is saving $50 a month just by making coffee at home in the morning instead of grabbing it on the go!

Another student told me they bought a crock pot, plan meals for the week, go to the grocery once a week and use coupons. That way they come home to a nice healthy hot meal. This has saved her about $100 a month.

A few students mentioned that they are not using their college debit cards anymore. The cards give college students access to many more food options - you just swipe the card - so it very unconscious spending. You can run through hundreds of dollars a semester without realizing it. You do have to refill the card when you run low on funds - what the students are doing is going to a cash system. They all laugh at the fact that is much more difficult to give up the green - vs swiping. They are saving between $50 and $150 a month.

Continue to spread the word and give out the blog address. Tell your student activity boards that you would like me to come and speak at your school. It is the best hour the schools can provide to their students.

On another note - with all the layoffs I wanted to share
articles on jobs that will be in demand in the near future. If you are trying to find yourself - these may be a good fit!

Keep up the great work on taking control of your future - you will be so glad you did in a few years!

Stay tuned.....

15 February 2009

Stefan Saves Sacks of Cash (Part 2) - A Guest Blog

Well good morning everyone. Stefan here with Part 2 of my "Sacks of Cash" guest blogging. In my first post I discussed the 3 simple changes in saving/spending money my girlfriend and I have made in our lives. To quickly recap they were taking advantage of fuelperks, grocery shopping once/week and using coupons, and not using my credit card. Easy things that don't really change the way we live, but affect the amount of money we have.

Today I'd like to talk about entertainment. Just because you're saving money and cutting down on spending doesn't mean you have to be bored or sitting around at home all the time. I'm going to discuss entertainment in terms of topics because there are so many entertaining things to do in our society, so let's start with the form of entertainment with which we are constantly being bombarded.


We can't seem to get away from them. With new blockbuster hollywood films being released every week, we're always being reminded that there are dozens of movies we need to see. However, movies aren't exactly cheap. At the local movie theater near my house a new release movie costs $9.50! That's 45 chicken nuggets at Wendy's (sorry I just realized I haven't had breakfast). Plus, not many people I know go to movies and just buy a ticket. No, they get a drink, maybe some candy, and who doesn't love movie theater popcorn? So your movie when it's all said and done can cost upward of $15. Well here's what my girlfriend and I do to make movies affordable.

If we wait long enough we can get the movie at Blockbuster for free. All you have to do is sign up for their membership program (free), and every month you can rent a non-new release for free. Yes it means waiting a little longer than most people to see a movie, but usually people forget about a movie less than a month after it comes out in theaters. However, my girlfriend loves the theater atmosphere, so the next best thing is to check out the cheap theaters. We have a movie theater less than 5 miles from us where movies on a Tuesday evening cost $0.50. Yes that's right, 50 cents! Both of us can see a movie about a month after it's been released for $1 total. That's a big difference from the $19 two tickets would have cost at the first run theater. Now I know there are some people out there that just have to see the movie the weekend it's released, and couldn't bear to wait months to see it. Well I can still help you, because matinee tickets cost considerably less than regular ticket prices. Usually matinee's are considered any screening before 6pm (might be 5pm, or 4pm depending on what theater and where you live). Our local theater has matinee tickets for $6.50, which is $3 less than regular tickets. It still may seem expensive to some, but if you just have to see it you might as well save the $3.

Oh, and when it comes to movie snack and drinks I never pay for anything at the theater. I know movie companies don't like people sneaking in outside food and drinks, but we do it anyway. Why spend $10 in snacks that cost $2 or $3 at the grocery store? Also, some theaters realize that the economy is down and people are spending less on movies, so those food policies have become a bit lax. The cheap theater near me encourages people to bring their own food and drink because they still get your money for tickets.


Sporting events are always fun to watch, and people really bond around their hometeam. The only problem is the high price of tickets. The local hockey team in my area has "cheap" seats for $20. I don't know about most people, but I'm not going to spend that much money to see a team lose all the time in a mostly empty arena. I still watch them on TV, but wish I could get cheaper tickets to the game. Well by keeping my eyes open I have done just that. I found a sale on tickets that wasn't advertised much that charged $12 for tickets that normally cost $50. I didn't just get a great deal on the tickets, that night is $1 hot dog night. So I can buy and eat lots and lots of hot dogs that normally cost $4 each. This is still not the cheapest example of going to a sporting event, but it's a good example of making the most of my money. I won't even spend $20 when the night is through and that's usually the cheapest tickets can be purchased. I'm also going to the game with 4 friends so we're going to have a great time saving money, eating hot dogs, and watching our favorite hockey team.

Other examples of saving money on sporting events are buying tickets to see minor league or less popular sports teams. Minor league baseball teams are in hundreds of cities in America, and the tickets to those games usually costs less than $10 for general admission seating. My local team has a new baseball park opening this season and tickets cost $8 for adults (sometimes less on certain promotional nights). Why not save money and support a team that doesn't get much recognition? My local collegiate women's gymnastic team rarely has more than a hundred or two hundred people show up at matches. Admission is free for students (I still have my student ID) and maybe $5 for adults. It may be a non-conventional evening, but it can be really fun and it breaks people out of their normal routine.


Now I know going to art galleries isn't for everyone. It's not always the thing I want to do. But they are often free if you look for them. Recently an Andy Warhol exibit came through town, and my girlfriend and I wanted to go. We didn't want to spend a lot to see it, so we looked around for when tickets would be cheaper. Turns out that the first Sunday of every month is free admission to the public at the specific gallery at which his art was showing. So we waited until the first Sunday in January and spent 3 hours walking around a really cool and interesting exhibit. This isn't something we can do all the time, but once a month we can check out really famous artist's exhibits for free! We'd be foolish not to take advantage of it.


Nature is awesome, getting outside is good for you, and it doesn't cost anything! If you're lucky like me you may have metro parks in your area that are free to the public (or maybe have a $5 or $10 member fee for the year). If not, you probably still have a sidewalk. Get on your bike, or take a walk, a couple of times each week. Not only is the exercise good for you, but you can easily spend an hour or two biking or walking around. Enjoy nature and clear your head while you're out.

There are multiple other examples of ways to entertain yourself without spending a ton. I enourage you to post a comment with your examples and to share your knowledge with others. These are just a few things my girlfriend and I have done to save on our entertainment costs. I hope we'll find more ways in the future, and maybe in improve upon what we already do. And remember to look for coupons online and in the paper. If you're not using them you're likely spending too much.

Next week, either myself or my girlfriend will post about ways we kept our costs down while we were in college. We found so many of our friends spent way too much on the necesary items required for school, and we didn't understand why.

Stay tuned...

10 February 2009

Energy was High at Ohio State Presentation -

I want to thank Kate Trombitas from The Ohio State Wellness Center for inviting me to speak at the "Money in the Real World Series" and Nick from Buffalo Wild Wings for supporting the event and donating gift certificates. The students that attended were engaged, interested and energetic! The Q & A was almost as long as the presentation- which supports my belief that the current generation wants to make good decisions - they just need to be educated and given actionable steps to implement!

The group last night requested I list some links!

Low cost financial firms that offer "Time Based Mutual Funds for long term investing" These funds are designed around your goal date for needing the money - they start out more aggressively invested in the stock market and will slowly become more conservative - all you have to do is keep adding money - the fund manager will ensure you are appropriately invested for your time frame. Companies that offer funds - Fidelity Investments, T Rowe Price and Vanguard. The sites offer excellent education - take the time to educate yourself.

Some book recommendations:

A million bucks by 30 - by Alan Corey

The millionaire next door - by Thomas Stanley

Please pass the blog along to all your friends and family - knowledge is power and time is on your side NOW! Remember pay yourself first - and budget with the remaining money! Make financial decisions you can afford and you will have options and freedom!

Keep the questions and comments coming.

Stay tuned......

07 February 2009

Stefan Saves Sacks of Cash (Part 1) - A Guest Blog

Happy New Year everyone! I know that seems a bit belated, but 2009 really is a new year for me. I decided to change my spending and saving habits starting January 1st by utilizing Generation Millionaire’s tips. After 1 month it’s amazing how different my bank account looks and how little my lifestyle has changed.

To start, here are some facts about my earning and spending:

I am earning around $35,000/year (this is GROSS INCOME)
I put 15% of my GROSS INCOME into my 401K yearly
I pay $350 rent/month
I pay $468 in student loan repayment/month (paying more than required to pay it all off in around 7 years)

Knowing that, I can easily figure out how much money I have to work with each month by deducting $818 from my net monthly income. I also have misc. utility costs, food expenses, fuel for my car, car maintenance, etc. However, by using these tricks I have saved more money than I thought I would ever be able to.

1) Use fuel perks to your advantage. This topic and the next go hand in hand because my local supermarket gives discounts on fuel when you purchase groceries from their store. I know that my car needs to be filled up about every 2 weeks give or take a couple days. What my girlfriend and I do is build up our fuel perks and fill up our gas tanks at the same time. The perks can be used for up to 30 gallons of gas, so why fill up one car? Our cars combined only hold about 25 gallons, so we both share the discounted fuel. This is especially critical when gas prices are on the rise.

2) Shop for groceries ONCE PER WEEK. I can’t even stress how important this change has been to my saving. My girlfriend and I sit down toward the end of the week and make dinner plans for every night of the following week. We decide what meat, vegetable, and side dish for every night from Sunday through Saturday, and also figure out if we’re going to have leftovers, because that means we can eat that meal twice for dinner, or for lunch later in the week. We scour newspapers, daily mail advertisements, and the internet for coupons. Coupons will save so much money over time, and they’re free, so not using them is wasting money. Our grocery store has many weekly specials, so we watch for things that will be at a huge discount or buy one get one free so we can stock up. This eliminates the need to purchase that item next week, and saves more money. By shopping in this manner we only go to the store once per week and we have a set list, so this ELIMINATES IMPULSE BUYING! No longer do we go to the store multiple times per week. You’ll find that even if you go in for only a gallon of milk, you’ll leave the store having spent $10-$20. If you only go once/week that’s $10-$20 saved. Our grocery costs have gone down to about $35/week each. That means we’re eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for $5 each (that’s $1.67 per meal).

3) Put away the credit card. In 2008 my total credit card spending totaled over $5,000. That’s not too bad for some people, but for me that was a ton! However, once I started practicing the Generation Millionaire way my spending went way down. The last 4 months of the year totaled less than $1,000 of my spending. I was using my credit card without even realizing it before. Now I only use my credit card for gas purchases. And since I only fill up a couple of times per month, my credit spending is less than $100 each statement.

So those are the only real changes I’ve made. Doesn’t seem too difficult and it really isn’t. Here’s the best part, the part where I have more money. By taking advantage of fuel perks, shopping smarter and using coupons and weekly specials, and by using my credit card less I am literally saving HUNDREDS of dollars each month. No longer do I purchase a burger or a burrito 2-3 times a week for lunch. No longer do I stop in at the store on the way home and walk out with $20 less in my wallet. No longer am I putting lots of purchases on my credit card.

Now that doesn’t mean I’m super cheap. My girlfriend and I still go out for a dinner together once or twice each month. Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but I’m not fretting if we spend $40, because we’ve cut back in so many other ways we can afford it. But because we’ve cut back I can put $100 from each paycheck into a savings account that I plan on using as a down-payment for my first house. And even with that $200 into the savings account my checking account still has more money in it than used to.

Simple steps, easy work, and the only change in my life is that I have MORE MONEY!

I will post again in about a week to discuss the way my girlfriend and I have changed our social spending habits. They say the best things in life are free, and going out for entertainment can be free if you keep your eyes open!!!

Stay tuned...

05 February 2009

February Financial Series Continued.........

January was the month to gain understanding of where your money goes. Did you track every purchase - from rent, electric, vending machines, every cup of coffee and fast food run? If you did I am sure you were surprised at how much money is spent on items that keep you from getting closer to your goal and really is not enhancing your quality of life today.

The extra money you now have should go into a savings account. Let's start to build a reserve while we learn more about personal finances.

Today we are going to talk about credit. A great resource is
Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program (Care) We all have a credit score. The range will be between 300 and 850. People with high scores are more likely to pay money borrowed back and are a better risk. Your credit score will determine how much you pay for things the rest of your life! You will get a lower interest rate if your credit score is high. The magic number is 700.

Items on credit report: General personal information, history of on time and late payments for almost all areas of life, bankruptcy and employment.

Stop right now and request a free credit report! You are entitled to a free report every year. Mark your calender and make this a habit. Do not use any other site. Go to Print off the report and review. If your score is lower than 700 there are ways to improve it!

Ways to increase credit score:

1. Check for mistakes and if you find one - request correction.

2. Pay your bills on TIME

3. Pay off credit card debt

4. Have 1 credit card and use it responsibly. By purchasing on card and paying off every month - it will show you are responsible. Do not use it for everything pick one or two small items and then use a cash system for the rest of your purchases.

5. Stop applying for credit cards. Do not get sucked into a free t-shirt, or saving 10%. Every time you apply for a new card they check your report and this affects your score.

The opposite problem is having no credit history. If you have no history you will not be eligible for a mortgage or car loan. While you build your credit the trick is to do it responsibly. Tip #4 - 1 credit card, use it each month for small purchase and pay it off. Use cash for everything else!

Your job this month is to continue to track your expenses and stop the leaks on little purchases take the money and put it into savings! Work on understanding your credit score. Get your credit report and review it, understand it and make sure it is accurate. Continue to work on paying off debt.

Any questions or concerns send me a comment or shoot me an email.

I should have my web page live very soon and we will have printable versions of each months steps to financial success.

Stay tuned......

03 February 2009

Simple Pleasures

Oprah's show today highlighted a family that lives below their means, saves money while raising 4 kids on one income of $58,000 a year. What Americans are finding is that they are not giving up quality of life by making smarter financial decisions. In fact, most say it increases.

The slower pace,
planning meals and shopping together has actually improved some relationships, spending time with kids throwing a football, going to the beach, playing games or going to the library to pick out a DVD is changing the American mindset of having to go out and spend money to have fun.

It is funny because growing up in the 60's and 70's - this is what we did. My siblings and I played hours of games, from jacks on the laundry room floor, Trouble, Parcheesi and Monopoly when the weather was bad to running bases, tag, hopscotch, jump rope, basketball and riding our bikes while the sun was shining. We didn't spend money to have fun.

We lived near Lake Erie and my mom would pack us up and take us to the lake all summer long, she brought a picnic, sun screen and towels and we were happy all day long making sand castles and swimming. To add variety she would take us to the parks in the area to either play on the swing sets or ice skate in the winter.

These activities are fun at all ages - it just takes a little creativity to look for things you like to do in your area.

What it comes down to is living under your means while saving for your future. Living life simply can be the greatest gift you give yourself.

Stay tuned.......

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