How one recent college grad intends to retire at 40

Thomas Frank, 23, is aggressively saving and investing to reach his ambitious financial goal.

by: Kate Stalter

When he was 14 years old, Thomas Frank learned a valuable lesson about saving money. He wanted cash to buy a video game, so he took one of the few jobs available to someone under 16: detasseling corn.

“You’re basically pulling the tops off corn. It’s a very difficult job, very hard work,” he says.

The job only lasted for three weeks, and Frank earned more than enough to cover the $350 for the game. However, the money was burning a hole in his pocket.

“I saw all this money I had never had before and thought, ‘I should just let myself have fun with this. I’m going to eat out with friends and buy school clothes and stuff,’” says the now 23-year-old Ames, Iowa, resident. “All of a sudden it was gone, and I didn’t have that cool, awesome thing that I wanted. It was the first illustration that it’s really easy to spend money if you don’t think about it, and you don’t have what you wanted to save for in the first place.”

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