Amberly Grant knew she wanted to be a millionaire from a young age. She didn’t know then that she’d be nearly there by her mid-thirties.
Growing up the daughter of an artist and a children’s caregiver in Ottawa, Canada, it wasn’t hard for Grant to intuit that money was scarce. “My mom would always say, ‘I don’t even have a dime,'” Grant remembers. Her father’s favorite money refrain, meanwhile, was that “he’ll work till the day he dies.”
For Grant, now 34 and living in Denver, her parents’ financial attitudes had a major impact.
“I don’t want to have a life where I’m constantly worried about whether my car is gonna break down so we have to take the bus. I didn’t want that stress,” she recalls thinking.
Amberly Grant has built a net worth of $835,000.
These days, Grant pulls in $145,000 a year, plus a performance bonus of up to 20%, as a senior project manager at a tech company, and earns another $78,000 in annual income from two local rental properties in Denver.
Because her real estate portfolio is enough to fund Grant’s lifestyle, she considers herself financially independent, meaning she could leave her job and retire early if she wanted to. However, Grant has no plans to do that just yet.
All told, between her properties and her retirement savings, Grant has a net worth of about $835,000. Here’s how she did it.
Establishing a habit of saving
Grant worked about 20 hours a week at restaurants and bakeries during high school, and by 19 had saved around $6,000. A friend of her father gave her an old car that the dealer didn’t want back and Grant spent $1,800 fixing it up before hitting the road to Los Angeles.
She got a job waiting tables in Hermosa Beach, a gig that paid about $20,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but it was far more than Grant needed to live on. Her rent was just $250 a month — the product of sharing a 3-bedroom apartment with six other people.
I always worked with people, and they made just as much money as me, but they never saved the same amount as I did.
Grant was even able to put money away for the future. “I always worked with people, and they made just as much money as me, but they never saved the same amount as I did,” she says.
Consistently saving wasn’t about seeing a big number in her bank account just yet. Instead, it meant the freedom to follow life wherever it led her: “I would take time off and go travel and live abroad.”
From age 18 to 25, Amberly Grant used her savings to regularly travel.