Journey to  Freedom: Ep. 8 – Frugality and Investing to Build Serious Wealth: The Millennial Money Woman

Today, I’m thrilled to be chatting with Fiona Smith, better known as “The Millennial Money Woman,” where she blogs about personal finance on her site under the same name: I’ve been following Fiona, along with around 50 thousand others who follow her, on Twitter at @The_MMW for some time now and I’m so stoked to sit down to have a conversation with the blogger who is taking the finance scene by storm.

She’s a contributor to Forbes and the Budgets Are Sexy site (which you may remember from episode 7) and has been featured and quoted as a pundit on many other finance media outlets. Her site has been listed as a Top 50 Personal Finance Blog and continues to be one of the fastest growing finance blogs today.

The Millennial Money Woman has a Master of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning and dove head first into gaining as much knowledge as she could in her younger years so she could get a head-start in the game. With that newfound knowledge and healthy money habits, she purchased her first home at 23 and co-founded a community non-profit to help young professionals improve financial literacy. She’s currently on track to become a millionaire in just a few short years, by the age of 30.

Fiona’s goal is to distill the tens of thousands of hours of reading, brainstorming and real life experience she’s had so far in finance and pass it down to YOU. And since this is the goal with the “Journey to Freedom”podcast as well, I’m excited to learn from her and to share this conversation with you all to help you along on your own journey to a more free and fulfilling life.

Topics covered: Some of the things we chat about is how she began investing at such a young age–in her early teens. All about her nonprofit that helps with financial literacy and how she quit her corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur. She gives 3 fun frugal tips that will shift how you want to spend your money and how you could be creative with things you THINK you have to purchase. We talk about the fear of failure and the mindset difference between poor people and wealthy people. After a short commercial break we get into the Dollar Cost Averaging strategy with stocks and debunk three myths that many Millennials believe. We’ll talk about renting versus buying, fractional shares and the difference between cash value/whole life insurance versus term life insurance and so much more. As you can see, there’s a lot jam-packed into this conversation which is what I love. It’s such an amazing opportunity to get high-performers like Fiona on the phone so I can pick their brains on every topic under the sun so that hopefully everyone listening will gain at least one valuable mindset shift or tactical advice that will edge them even closer to their goals on their own Journey to Freedom.

Learn more about Fiona at:

Check out Fiona’s Book, “How to Get Rich from Nothing:”

Millennial Money Woman on Pinterest

Articles from Fiona that you may Enjoy after today’s episode:

Frugal Living Tips

How Much Life Insurance is Enough (features PolicyGenius and illustrates screenshots of sample quotes)

Best Investment Apps (M1 Finance, Acorns, Public, etc.)

Dollar Cost Averaging

Fiona’s “Recommended Resource Link” (aggregates the best apps on one page)

(See full Show Notes below)

Show Notes:

-Young Fiona and how she became interested in finance at a very young age

-16th birthday, asked for investing books and $10 to invest

-New experience for her parents to open up an investment account to grant this birthday wish

-This opened up conversation about money within the family for the first time

-First small investment initially lost a lot but a year later, made a few bucks and taught her to “zoom out”

-Quitting corporate job, now a proud entrepreneur as Millennial Money Woman

“For me personally, 9-5, it was just a drag, because I realized that if you wanted to live a limitless life, without a ceiling or cap to the amount of money you can earn, then being an “employee” really isn’t right for you.”

-Talks about her nonprofit which helps young professionals and underserved minorities who need financial education

Nonprofit: “How are they to know which questions to ask?” I want them to learn: “They don’t have to be in the situation they’re currently in and they can make that change.”

“If you want to change this world, it’s time to stop pointing the finger at everyone else and point that finger to yourself.”

Nonprofit is what started the MMW blog.

-3 Frugal Tips

-Frugal tip #1 (on wrapping gifts) saves $180 a year. Invest that every year for 40 years in the stock market where it grows, say 7% each year, this results in $35,934!

-Frugal tip #2 (on hand soap). The average cost is $5 and it’s replaced on average every 2.5 weeks. $104 a year becomes $1,040 savings in ten years!

-Frugal tip #3 (on clothes)

-Mindset of poor versus wealthy people

-“If you want to win you need to be mentally strong. You need to change your mindset.”

-Afraid of failure in younger years and attributes much of that to the school system.

-“Without failure, there is no room for growth.”

-Switching from Fixed Mindset to Growth Mindset

-Carol D. Dweck “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”

-Explains the Dollar Cost Average Strategy (DCA)

-At age 25, if you invest for 40 years, $205 every 2 weeks, you’ll be a millionaire after 40 years.

-4.5 years away from turning 30, and on track to be a millionaire by then

-“If you’re young, especially if you’re young, you have a lot of time on your side. If you give up a little bit today, you’ll get SO much back tomorrow.”

-Not listening to the media when they put out ‘scary’ articles about the stock market

-Three Millennial Money Myths

-Myth #1: You have to buy a house. (renting vs. buying)

-Myth #2: You don’t earn enough to save (fractional shares)

-Myth #3 Buying life insurance is a waste of money (cash value/whole life vs. term life) Term life recommended

-Recommends a policy for half a million to a million dollars

-Launching a mindset program: “How to Get Rich From Nothing” a 14-week challenge