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Financial freedom may take $10 million


Troy Millings, left, and Rashad Bilal, co-creators of Earn Your Leisure.

Source: Tyrell Davis

Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings are among a growing class of financial influencers who want to help people be smarter about money.

The duo — a former financial advisor and a teacher, respectively — launched the podcast “Earn Your Leisure” nearly five years ago with a mission to promote literacy around money and entrepreneurship.

About 1 in 7 people lost more than $10,000 in 2022 due to a lack of financial literacy, according to a study by the National Financial Educators Council.

“I realized there were certain things that weren’t taught inside schools — financial literacy and financial education being one of them,” Millings said of the idea to create Earn Your Leisure.

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Today, Earn Your Leisure has expanded to create multiple podcasts, host live events and offer an online educational platform, EYL University. It has 1.4 million Instagram followers and another 1.4 million YouTube subscribers. Its flagship podcast has an average 3 million downloads a month, said Bilal and Millings. It’s also developing a financial literacy curriculum for high schools.

CNBC interviewed the duo — who have been friends since childhood — to talk about personal finance and financial literacy in the U.S.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

‘Investing is not just for rich and wealthy people’

Greg Iacurci: You told CNBC last year that your “purpose is financial literacy and empowerment.” When it comes to financial literacy, what’s the No. 1 mistake you see people making with their finances?

Rashad Bilal: Not understanding the importance of investing, or [not] knowing how compound interest works.

For a long period of time, investing was something that people looked at more as a luxury, not a necessity, [thinking] if you’re able to invest then you’re in the top 1%, or you have to be wealthy to even consider that.

Investing is not just for rich and wealthy people. It’s for everybody. You can start with smaller balances and dollar-cost average.

Troy Millings: The relationship with money: People don’t understand what to do with it or how to save it. These are simple concepts we’re not taught. When we don’t know what to do, we do what we know, and that’s often spending outside our means. Mistakes are made because nobody is educated.

Investing is the only way young people will achieve financial freedom, says Jim Cramer

People may have heard that investing and compound interest are important but might not know why. Can you speak to that?

Bilal: The only way to really achieve financial freedom is if your money is growing without you working for the money. How to achieve that is through investing. One dollar will only be $1 if it’s saved in the bank. But $1 can become $2 if it’s invested.

Most people understand this without even…



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