Who is the Common Cents Millennial?


I am the Common Cents Millennial, and I am a 23 year-old living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was born and raised in the Steel City, eating chipped ham sandwiches and watching Steeler’s Football every Sunday. After graduating from a local state school in the Spring of 2016, I began working in the accounting industry as a CPA. Like many in the personal finance space, I was introduced to this community through Mr. Money Mustache. I was excited to see that there were others who were interested in a different lifestyle than the normal 40 year work career and had a hands-on approach to their finances.

I live in the city with my husband and we tackle our personal finance issues together. You’ll find us working with student debt, budgeting, side hustles, savings, travel hacking, reducing our expenses, and focusing on early retirement. With this blog, I want to showcase our experience. The more we talk about our finances, the less awkward it feels.

After graduation, my husband and I collectively have $150k in student debt! While the number seems overwhelming, any debt can be quickly managed with a budget and a plan! We create and change our future plans monthly, but all with one goal in mind. We want to be debt free and financially independent within the next 15 years or less! Tag along as we make decisions on houses, cars, investments, travel, random expenses, school, kids, and our careers.

What is Common Cents Finance?

How much money do you have in your bank account right now?

How much are you putting in a 401k or paying on your student debt?

Better yet, how much is in your emergency fund?

Chances are, having someone ask you those questions made you feel uncomfortable. We as a society have been subconsciously taught to put up these walls when it comes to talking about our finances. To many, your socio-economic status says a lot about you as a person. Having someone lay out their financial situation in front of you feels like getting an inside-look into their life. One that is personal and private. This leads us to not only stay clear of conversations about money, but prevents us from feeling comfortable to ask others when we have questions.

For Millennials, this problem can be even worse. We are currently dealing with crippling student debt, lower expendable income, and a tough job market. We are the first generation to be less well off than our parents. More and more of us are living at home, commuting to university, working in jobs below our qualifications, and working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Usually, the harder financial situation you are in, the less you want to talk about it. Finances make us anxious because it is something that we feel is out of our control. This is something that I want to flip on its head. I believe that we can change the perception of personal finance from something that is scary and nerve-wracking, to something that you discuss with friends over dinner or in the office on your coffee break. And it all starts with you.

*Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of any organization that I am affiliated with.