Financial Literacy - Smart borrowing
smart spending
Use defensive strategy to get rich

When Alan Corey moved out of his mother's Atlanta basement at 22 to face the real world, his goals were both clear and clearly preposterous: Have fun, hustle and become a millionaire by 30 in New York City.

At a glance
Name: Alan Corey
Hometown: Atlanta
Current home: Brooklyn, N.Y
Education: University of Georgia, B.S., management information systems
Career highlights:
  • Real estate investor, entrepreneur and self-made millionaire.
  • Author, "A Million Bucks By 30."
  • Reality TV veteran of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "The Restaurant" and "The Jerry Springer Show."
  • Wrote and performed one-man stage show, "Creepy Little Famewhore," at Manhattan's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and at East Coast college campuses.
  • Prank-pulling member of Improv Everywhere.

He made it with two years to spare, thanks to some savvy real estate timing in the Brooklyn revitalization, an unlikely run of appearances on reality TV shows such as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," and what he calls "extreme cheapskate strategies" that enabled him to bank and invest more than 60 percent of his $40,000 salary.

In "A Million Bucks by 30," Corey does his own well-earned end-zone dance. Here's how he shrewdly borrowed his way into the seven-figures club.

q_v2.gifYou played a lot of defense (saving) before you could afford to play offense (buying and investing). Which of your penny-pinching techniques proved the most effective?

a_v2.gifOoh, I love sports analogies! I believed "defense wins championships" and still do. It's the combination of all the techniques that make it effective. Saving in one area and not in another is like the ol' yacht racing folly of having two holes in your dinghy and just plugging one.


q_v2.gifHow did you manage to ignore the siren song of credit cards?

a_v2.gifIf I couldn't pay off the balance in full, I wouldn't eat. It was a pretty motivating factor. I would suggest one of two approaches: 1) use it for everything, earn money back, and pay the balance in full each month, or 2) never use it.

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