Todd Baldwin was raised by his single mom. Now 27 years old, he is a millionaire with multiple streams of income. What’s more, Baldwin saves 80% of his earnings and does not engage in frivolous expenses.
The serial entrepreneur started working when he was only 12 years old. He would save much of what he earned as he considered it as not only a sound financial management practice but fun. “It’s actually really fun being able to buy something and then choosing not to,” he tells CNBC.
The African-American entrepreneur now brings home $615,000 annually ($305,000 after business expenses) from his multiple businesses. His mixed-income comes from rental properties, his day job working in commercial insurance sales, and the extra cash he makes as a secret shopper.
He owns six rental properties with his wife, Angela, which brings in the majority of the revenue he makes. For instance, they earn $460,000 per year in rent and keep about $150,000 of that per year after expenses such as mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities.
“Although our net worth is seven figures, we don’t do a lot of the typical things that most people envision millionaires doing. We are super frugal,” says Baldwin.
The entrepreneur says he is able to save as much as 80% of his income because he keeps his expenses so low. He does not pay for entertainment like movies or restaurants because he gets paid for that as a mystery shopper. He gets paid for dining out, grocery shopping, seeing movies, and visiting hotels and casinos.
“There are a lot of businesses out there that want to know how their employees are doing and how the market is responding to their products,” he explains. “So those companies will hire mystery shopping firms to find independent contractors like me to go pose at their establishment as a regular customer, buy the product or service and then report on it.”
Baldwin started mystery shopping while he was in college and has so far made $30,000. Since he started mystery shopping, Baldwin and his wife spend around $25 on food. Another thing Baldwin tries to avoid is spending money on needless bank account fees or credit card charges.
Despite being very conscious of what to spend his money on, the serial entrepreneur has no qualms about spending on his wife. Even that, he needs approval. He recalls spending $500 on a designer purse for his wife but she took it back and exchanged it for a $60 purse.
“My wife is more frugal than I am!” he says. “A couple of years ago, I bought her a designer purse for like 500 bucks. But when I surprised her with it, she immediately took it back, exchanged it for a $60 purse at Macy’s, and then we invested the difference.”