How did she do it? Well, Bri must have been an extraordinary child. At the age of eight, she realized that her parents were struggling to provide for Bri and her two siblings, so she started earning her own money by cat sitting and dog walking for neighbors. As she got a little older, Bri started babysitting and eventually got a server job at a local café. “Earning money made me realize the value of it,” Bri says. “It would last longer than if it was just given to me.”
While many people her age are just beginning to manage their own money, Bri is handling her finances like a pro. She has a checking account for everyday expenses, a high-yield savings account, and two investment accounts with Merrill Edge, including a Roth IRA. She also uses a credit card to earn rewards but pays the balance in full every month. Although Bri pays for her own food, phone, and car expenses, she's frugal when it comes to discretionary spending on things like clothing and entertainment.
You might think with a work ethic like that, Bri has no time for extracurricular activities, but she also spends three to five hours a day volunteering in the programs department of a retirement home, where she started a Cyber Seniors program to help the residents learn technology.
The College Savings Foundation’s 2016 Survey of Students found that only 32% of high school students have more than $5,000 saved for college. Bri has quite a bit more than that, but she won’t need to use it for tuition. She’s received a full scholarship to George Washington University. Bri plans on buying a condo near school and renting it out after graduation. If all goes as planned, it will be the first of many rental properties she’ll accumulate.
Bri is a natural at saving money and making smart financial moves, so I’m sure she’ll reach any goal she sets. To learn more about Bri, how she managed to save and invest, and her 12-Year Plan, you can check out her full interview with NewRetirement.