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A 25-year-old real estate investor earning over half a million dollars a year. A family traveling the country in an RV. A first-generation immigrant who hopes to teach others in her community about personal finance.
These are a few of the people CNBC Make It profiled throughout the year in our Millennial Money series, which details how people around the world earn, spend and save their money.
Along with breaking down their monthly budgets, those profiled have shared hard-won wisdom and advice on finances, careers and accomplishing their dreams. We’ve featured everyone from self-made millionaires to small business owners to teachers, and they all are inspiring in their own ways.
Over the past few years, it’s been gratifying to watch a community form around the series, and to catch up with some of the millennials we’ve profiled.
Before season four starts in 2022 (you can apply here if you’re interested in being featured), I wanted to spotlight some of my favorite profiles from this year. You can find all of the videos and articles for the series on YouTube and on our website.
Note: All of the following information was true as of the time of the original publication of each story.
You can always start over
Karen and Sylvester Akpan in their RV.
CNBC Make It
At the end of 2019, Karen and Sylvester Akpan owed more than $110,000 collectively in student loan debt and were paying $4,200 per month for a five-bedroom home in California.
“We were house poor. That’s the honest truth,” Karen tells CNBC Make It. “I figured, why are we living this life, trying to keep up with all this?”
The couple knew that something had to give. With their son Aiden, now 8, in mind, they decided to sell their house and live out of an RV in early 2020. Now, they travel the country, earning money through blogging and social media campaigns. They’ve paid off all of their student loan debt and are focused on investing and building wealth for their son.
Starting over like they did was scary, but ultimately well worth it, they say. “There’s no way we’re going back to a house or careers or anything like that,” Karen says. “We love the freedom that working for ourselves, being entrepreneurs, has given us.”
Have a Plan B
Destiny Adams in front of her salon in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
CNBC Make It
Destiny Adams works for the state of Michigan as a child welfare specialist, earning around $60,000 …….