Emily Brown standing with house

Alumna Emily Brown impressed CNNMoney so much, they asked her to share her successful approach to personal money management.

Young Alumna’s Financial Expertise Featured on CNNMoney

February 28, 2017

Emily Brown's Home

The advanced financial savvy of Emily Brown BA, MBA ’12, impressed the experts at CNNMoney so much, they asked her to share her successful approach to personal money management for a story titled, “How I bought a house at age 25.”

Brown’s secret? Work hard, save a lot and buy property you can afford.

Never Too Early

Brown embarked on her journey to financial freedom at age 18. While working at the Dairy Dock in her hometown of Vermilion, Ohio, she saved up $100.

She invested the entire amount into an Individual Retirement Account investing in faster growing stocks, rather than a low interest savings account. She habitually deposited small amounts each month into the IRA, and saved more money than she spent.

Learning during the Great Recession

Brown’s financial know-how was elevated in 2008 during the Great Recession. While studying finance and accounting at BW, many of her professors encouraged saving and investing early.

"Living through 2008 and seeing people lose their jobs taught me you have to prepare for anything. I wanted a game plan, not living paycheck to paycheck," Brown told CNNMoney.

Home Ownership at Age 25

At 25, she purchased a duplex for $107,000. Her tenant pays $900 per month, which takes care of Brown’s monthly mortgage.

By relentlessly executing her money plan Brown joins the small percentage of homeowners under age 30.

Budgeting at BW

Brown maintained her disciplined approach to financing her education. She borrowed $35,000 in student loans, but prior to graduation she had already repaid $6,000 and has quickly whittled the loan balance to less than $10,000 by paying more than the amount due.

Currently Brown works as a senior internal auditor at PolyOne in Avon Lake. She contributes 6 percent of her salary to her 401(k) retirement plan which her employer matches.