Millennial Money Management: Part I

A Q&A with Stefan Sharpe of the Millennial Budget


At OppLoans, we’re always looking to provide the best, most usable financial information and insight to our audience and customers. As part of our mission to deliver real financial knowledge, we’re reaching out to our favorite money bloggers and experts. Stefan Sharpe from The Millenial Budget certainly fits the bill! His blog breaks down budgeting, investing, debt and more for millenials today.

Hi Stefan! Thanks so much for working with us! Can you start by telling us about your background, and why you started The Millennial Budget blog?

I was born and raised on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. I attended a Canadian school and represented my nation internationally for swimming. My swimming led to an athletic scholarship in the US, coupled with an academic scholarship, where I got my undergraduate and graduate degrees. At the end of November, I will be working as a tax accountant at a large public accounting firm.

I started The Millennial Budget because I realized that people do not know how to manage their money. I would see my friends get paid then spend it all in a weekend and struggle to make it to the next week. Upon doing some research, I realized this was a much bigger problem than my own little circle. This led to the creation of the blog where I hope to teach people about improving their finances so they can live a more prosperous life in the future.

What do you think is the number one thing that millennials struggle with, in terms of budgeting and finance?

From a budgeting and finance standpoint, the number one struggle is surprisingly their friends. I have many friends who are travelling the world, getting the latest iPhone, and going out every weekend. These same friends are also living paycheck to paycheck. Don’t fall prey to your friends. If you want to stay on budget and increase your wealth, you need to exercise control. This does not mean you stay in your home every weekend watching Netflix while everybody is out having fun. It simply means, instead of going out four times a month, cut it back to two or find ways to make those nights you go out cheaper, to align with your budget goals.

What’s the best piece of money advice you ever received as a young man?

The best advice I ever got was to invest early. While I never grew up talking about money with my family or learning many money lessons, my dad and uncle preached that I should invest as early as possible. Investing is one of the best ways to exponentially increase your wealth over a long period of time. The longer you are in the markets the better. However, I know investing in stocks scares millennials. In fact, many think it is gambling. This is far from the truth. Investing can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be. My advice is to take some time and learn a little about investing. Start investing with a small amount of money or a free stock simulation app to get your feet wet. The best way to learn how to invest is to just do it. It took me almost a year until I felt comfortable but my bank account looks a lot happier because of that advice I got early on.

Check back tomorrow for more money tips for recent graduates, advide for tackling student debt, and more!

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