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Kids, Money, Going Beyond Broke and a Burrito


Grant Sabatier

Grant Sabatier is a “can do” guy, who has bucked the odds and breathed hope into one element of the American dream. He is a millennial millionaire, achieving the financial feat at light speed and prior to age thirty!

Grant is the founder of Millennial Money and author of the forthcoming personal finance book, Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All The Money You Will Ever Need!

Since launching his site in 2015, Grant has reached over 10 million readers and listeners via his blog and podcast.

From $500 to $50,000 in 60 Days

Grant caught the entrepreneurial bug early in life starting his own neighborhood newsletter as a kid. It turned out to be a sign he would birth bigger business ideas as an adult.

His first idea was born accidentally while Grant was working full-time. He took on a side hustle designing websites. His initial freelance project was for a Chicago law firm. He agreed to do it for five-hundred dollars. Less than sixty days later he had sold another project. This time it was fifty thousand dollars.

From $10 to $1M in 5 Years

The success resurrected Sabatier’s inner entrepreneur. From that moment, he poured himself into utilizing all his free moments to build his own businesses. The desire, the dedication, the sacrifice paid off. In under five years Grant grew his asset base from under ten dollars to over one million.

Beyond Broke and a Burrito  

For Sabatier, it started in Falls Church, Virginia, where he was raised. He’s an only child. Grant attended George Mason High School. He continued his education at the University of Chicago University, where he played NCCA soccer and graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 2007.

Then came nothing. Sabatier found himself unemployed. He was broke, back at home residing with his parents, with $2.26 in his bank account and hunger pains for a burrito.

It sucked badly. It was the perfect point and magic motivation to get moving. Sabatier never wanted to feel this way again.

Soon, he was working at a boutique digital marketing agency, where he invested a little over a year developing a timely and strategic skill set helping the company execute internet driven marketing strategies. In 2011, he parlayed that experience into a new job at a business consulting and digital marketing services firm to higher education, Eduvantis, where he is still active as a vice president and principal responsible for digital strategy. It is here, where Grant has been able to launch several of his own ventures.

In 2015, Sabatier founded Millennial Money.

In 2017, he partnered with renowned personal finance author Vicki Robin, and created the Your Money or Your Life website based on the best-selling book.

In 2019, Grant’s book will hit the market, Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All The Money You Will Ever Need!

Related: Kids, Money, Elton John and Dad’s Poor Habit

In addition to the accomplishments cited above, Sabatier is a CNBC contributor and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, etc.

NOW, it is with great pleasure we share some of Grant Sabatier’s childhood memories and insights on kids and money.


Sam X Renick: What is the most important money habit you learned as a child? Please share the story behind how you learned the habit and what impact it has had on you throughout your life.

Grant Sabatier: Money is Freedom was a phrase my Dad used to say when I was a kid. It stuck with me deeply. I recently recorded a podcast episode with my Dad about it. It is located on my Financial Freedom podcast website.

Five and Five

Renick: At around what age did you realize “money was money” or that it had a value? Please share the circumstances or how the realization came about?

Sabatier: Around age 5 I started getting paid $5 a week for household chores. My parents helped me open a bank account to deposit at least $1 a week.

It is More Than You Think

Renick: If you could only teach a child one money habit, WHAT money habit would you teach them? Please explain why.

Sabatier: Save 50% of your money no matter what and spend the rest. Saving 5%-10% is not enough. Starting saving 50% of your income as early as possible will give you a huge advantage throughout your life.

More Grass Money

Renick: What was your biggest money mistake as a child or teenager?

Sabatier: Not saving more of my lawn mowing money!

Making It

Renick: What was one of the smartest money decisions you made as a child or a teenager and why?

Sabatier: I always enjoyed starting small businesses as a kid – I had a neighborhood newsletter, mowed lawns, shoveled snow, sold lemonade – anything to make a few dollars. I learned a lot about business from those small little enterprises.  

Also, as a teenager I really coveted a nice car and started saving for one, but eventually my father convinced me to get a much cheaper car.

Make It and Bank It

Renick: A variety of surveys indicate it is a challenge for parents to talk to kids about money. What would you say are one or two of the primary reasons parents find it difficult to talk personal finance with their children? And, if you have a suggestion on how they can overcome the obstacle, please share that as well.

Sabatier:  It’s tough to talk about money with a kid who doesn’t have any or much money, and really doesn’t have anything at stake. It’s hard to talk about money without the practical real world application – meaning kids don’t respond to concepts, they respond to stories and real situations. This is why I think it’s so valuable to help a child open a bank account early and help them save, so they can see the money growing. And then you can teach them using their own money – here are the tradeoffs etc. When kids get that it’s their money they will be much more receptive. I’ve also found using the Money Talk cards to be really helpful.

Related: Kids, Money and Growing up with a Super Bowl Father

Follow the Money – Real Financial Literacy

Renick: Why do you believe there is not more personal finance being taught in schools? And, do you think personal finance should be taught in schools? Why or why not?

Sabatier: Honestly, I don’t think that banks really want personal finance to be taught in schools because the more kids and people know about money the less reliant they will be on bankers. While I don’t have specific evidence to back this up, the story is that evidently the heads of the big banks sat on a board back when the US department of education were making the standard curriculums in the US and they actively pushed to not have money skills taught in schools.

Obviously, it should be taught in schools. Money = Life and should be a core skill set taught in schools. You could easily build it into each year of school and learn a little more about money each year. I also think that money is so taboo in the US that some schools and parents actively shy away from talking about it.

Are You Kidding?

Renick: Cambridge University research indicates adult money habits are set by age 7? WHAT IF the research is wrong and adult money habits are formed earlier than age seven – perhaps around the age the “give mes” set in? What would this mean for families, schools, and/or the financial education industry?

Sabatier: I don’t believe this. Money, just like any other habits can always change. Most of the money habits I established in my mid-20’s. Money should simply be talked about more openly and frequently.

Reading Riches

Renick: What is your favorite book on personal finance? And, is there one lesson that stands out in your mind from the book?

Sabatier: My favorite book of all time is Your Money or Your Life, which has the simple premise that whenever you are working you are trading your own life energy/time for money. When you buy something you should think about how many hours of your life you are trading for it, not just money.

Friend or Foe

Renick: Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share or questions you would like the audience and myself to consider?

Sabatier: Money is a relationship and either you control it or it controls you. Over time you can get to know it like a good friend and use it to your advantage.

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