How to Become a Millionaire in your 30’s – Interview 13 (Church)

November 1, 2018

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If you’re not getting the money you feel you deserve at your current company, there’s nothing wrong with moving on and job hopping. In fact, it could be quite lucrative.

It’s worked like a charm for Church from My Mattress Money.

He’s closing in on the young millionaire mark at age 38 and he’s convinced that a lot of his success has to do with job hopping. I guess it pays to move.

Here’s our interview together. Enjoy!

The Details

How old are you?

38. And based on my dance moves at a wedding last weekend (and my wife’s embarrassment), I have yet to peak.

If you have a family, tell us about them and their ages.

Wife – 28 yrs old. Decided Corporate HR wasn’t for her anymore. Wanted something more fulfilling. She is currently attending Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing (BSN). There is no financial-aid for second-time-around careers.  Her daddy footed the first education, this one’s on me.

What part of the country do you live in?

Philadelphia, PA (home of Rocky!)

Do you own your home or rent?


When did you start tracking your net worth? What was it at that time?

2002. Our net worth was ($31,150.00). That's right, negative.

Related article: How to Increase Your Net Worth by $700,000 in 7 Years

What is your current net worth?

$931,491.94, as of September 30, 2018.

And what is it made up of?

  • Liquid Assets of $551,113
    • Cash – $44,882
    • Life Insurance Cash Value – $423,619
    • Stocks – $82,611
  • Non-Liquid – $503,410
    • Retirement Accounts – $444,699
  • Other – $54,711 (PeerStreet basis, personal note, rent deposit, wife’s engagement and wedding rings)
  • Liabilities – $123,031
    • Life Insurance Loans – $78,550
    • Lease Obligations – $42,487 (rent and other contractual obligations)

The Process

What are your current sources of income?

  • 99.99% comes from my day job
  • 0.005% from PeerStreet
  • 0.005% from dividends/interest

Does that add to 100%? I’m terrible at adding, which is why I became a CPA. Here’s my career history:

  • 2002-2006 – Big 4 accounting firm (staff to senior auditor)
  • 2006-2010 – Big 4 accounting firm (competitor, Manager)
  • 2010-2016 – Global commodity trading firm (Controller)
  • 2016-2018 – North American power and & gas trading firm (startup, Director, Head of Finance)
    • Resigned in August (personal reasons, wife in school in Philly, PA, the startup was in NYC)
    • Will terminate my employment upon completion of issuing the financial report (expected Dec '18)
    • Negotiated payout in January
    • Currently in a discussion for my next move

Does your spouse have other income sources?

No spousal income. My wife is a full-time student. Translation – cash outflow.

What has been the single best thing you’ve done to increase your income up to this point?

Without a doubt, Job-Hopping.  Progressive and coherent moves throughout my career have always kept my income at or above market. Being content with your position and company is all fine and dandy, but don’t let your salary stagnate.

What ways do you invest your money?

I don’t invest. I save and my financial advisor invests.  I thought I was a hotshot Gordon Gecko stock trader, only to realize I was just a bum.  Why try and manage what I am not interested in, right? If there is one thing I do, it is SAVE money in whole life insurance policies (this is the point where 99% of readers click out of this post).

Did you receive an inheritance or windfall of some kind during your life so far?

None to date.

Listen to my weekly podcast to grow your family’s wealth!

What debts do you have (if any)?

Life Insurance Loans and lease obligations.

If so, what are they? Which have you paid off?

Life Insurance Loans isn’t debt in the traditional sense because I technically don’t have to pay (myself) back as long as I continue to fund the premiums.

Plus, the interest rate is simple, not compounding, which makes this my official bank for funding all of life’s large purchases. No need for third-party financing at high compounding rates (whatever readers made it past the first Life Insurance comment, have just now exited). I also have “Lease Obligations” that is akin to what other people say is their mortgage, only my lease obligation doesn’t have a corresponding asset as someone’s personal residence would.

How do you track your net worth?

Excel. I have tried Mint, Personal Capital and an app called eMoney, but each and everyone has had an issue with connecting to one or two accounts. Or the connection needs to be constantly renewed. Lord Helmet (Spaceballs 1985) said it perfectly when he said, “F**k! Even in the future, nothing works!

(Andy jumping back in here … Check out Tiller for automating your excel sheet. I've had zero issues and the automation makes my life much easier.)

Do you budget your money monthly?

Not to the penny, too much anxiety to track in that detail.  Right now, with every paycheck, I budget just enough to ensure my auto-withdrawals are funded for savings, life insurance, and investment accounts – first and foremost – and whatever remains is divided up between my wife and me to live off of.

What are your annual expenses?

I don’t particularly know, but what I can tell you is that it is more than it should be. I save a certain amount and spend the rest without feeling guilty.

But, Church, you could be saving more and getting ahead faster!” Yes, this is true. However, I like ordering fizzy (sparkling) water at restaurants because …

1) I think the bubbles are fun and

2) Unlike chocolate milk, the taste of water sucks and this is one of the only ways my wife can get me to drink enough water. So I pay extra for bubbles. I’m a child.

What is your favorite fintech tool that helps you grow your wealth?

Will you think I’m an angry 90-year-old man returning cold soup if I say I don’t use fintech apps?

Maybe it is that my financial strategies were in place before the fintech boom. In the accumulation phase, which is where I am currently at, it is all about maintaining the course with discipline and consistency.

Millionaire in the Making

How do you plan to become a young millionaire?

Easy, tweak a formula in my excel spreadsheet and BAAAM! Automatic spreadsheet MILLIONAIRE!

All jokes aside, I spoke to the Rich, that’s right, the Rich have their own 1-800 number and they told me their secret to building wealth.  Income & Savings.

You need to be able to generate income and save it, consistently, nothing more.  You can’t invest what you are unable to save. And you can’t save what you haven’t earned.

And what age do you think you’ll be?

39 years old is when my Net Worth will hit $1MM. More specifically, it will be in January 2019. This is when a deferred payout is due from my current company.

Related article: Take Your Salary from 5-Figures to 6-Figures in 7 Steps

Why is it important for you to build up your wealth?

Like everyone else who is focused on building their wealth, I want what wealth can offer me in life –  options. I don’t even know what the options are, but I want them available to me.

What is one financial mistake you’ve made along your young millionaire journey?

Based solely on a handshake, I bought a 1969 Dodge Charger from a guy in Amarillo, TX. And to top it off, I prepaid for the rebuilding and restoring costs up front.  That was 2011. Still no car. I was young, foolish and just received the first big bonus of my career.

What book has been influential to you on your financial journey?

This is the point where you regret featuring me, I actually don’t enjoy reading.

Truth is, I am reading all day at work.  Whether it is a financial report, legal contract or some sort of statement notice my company received, I am constantly reading.  The last thing I want to do when I get home is curl up on the couch with Fifty Shades of Grey (ok, I read certain sections of that book).

What is one financial hack that has helped you that you think most people don’t know about?

Exploit the Employee Handbook. I’ve earned thousands on referral bonuses, a bonus for obtaining my CPA, mobile phone reimbursement and the best of all – requesting that my unused vacation is paid out when there was a freeze on base salaries.

Related article: 7 Free Money Tools That Will Help You Build Wealth Today

Where do you find the most joy in your life?

Spending money spontaneously without hesitation. For example, picking up the bar tab with friends, paying for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant, or paying up for someone else to have convenience. What’s the point of saving all this money if you can’t spend it how you choose to?

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to become a young millionaire like you’ll be?

Disciplined savers always win.

Where are you in your net worth journey?

Please let me know in the comments below!

Track your net worth today for FREE with Personal Capital. It’s the first step on your journey to becoming a young millionaire!


Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • In the spirit of maintaining the integrity of the PF Community, I would like to go on record that I quoted my Net Worth would hit $1MM in January 2019 and I DID NOT reach this milestone.

    At the time of this post, the market was doing well. In November and December, the market tanked and crushed the value of my retirement accounts and taxable brokerage positions.

    A fine example of how being short-sighted is not the way to approach your finances.

    • I love your accountability and honesty. That is something everyone can strive for and learn from. Thank you, Church.

      I’m sure you’ll be hitting that 7-figure mark soon!

    • Thanks for bringing the fire Church!! Let me know when you cross that 7-figure mark!!


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