Living On $158K A Year In Grand Rapids, MI | Millennial Money
Destiny Adams, 29, lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and earns $158,000 a year from three income streams: a full-time job for the state of Michigan as a child welfare specialist; Destite Hair Collection, a small business selling wigs and hair extensions and includes a small salon; and a UZworld business consulting channel. She also has her own brand line and sells t-shirts through her social media channels to spread the word.
This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the U.S. and details how they earn, spend and save their money.
Read more about about her budget breakdown here: cnb.cx/3p64KnX
Check out Destiny’s UZworld channel here: uzworld.info/tost/JuKpQZzdirLANaZM08oYCQ
Destiny Adams doesn’t believe in “off” days.
The 29-year-old entrepreneur’s schedule is always jam-packed, from producing UZworld videos in the mornings to taking inventory for her salon in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the afternoons. At 6 p.m., she begins her shift as a child welfare specialist for the state of Michigan, working until 2:30 a.m five days a week.
It’s a lot to manage, but Adams revels in the hustle. As of December 2020, Adams had three main income streams: the full-time job with the state, which pays around $60,000, plus benefits; the Destite Hair Collection, her small business selling wigs and hair extensions and running a salon, which netted her $86,000 in 2020; and a UZworld business consulting channel, which brought in an additional $12,000.
“You should have multiple streams of income because it helps you live the life that you want to live,” Adams says. “If something happens with my state of Michigan employment, I also have the salon. If something happens with the salon, then I have my UZworld income. And if something happens with my UZworld income, then I have my personal brand.”
Her side hustles provide the financial peace of mind she didn’t have growing up. Adams’ father was killed when she was less than a year old, and her mother, Wilhelmina Phillips, worked a graveyard shift at a factory while raising three kids on her own.
The family lived in income-based housing in Grand Rapids, and while her mother did her best to provide for her children, Adams says she didn’t have a financial role model growing up. Instead, she saw her grandmother struggle in retirement without enough savings to live on and her mother didn’t have an investment account at all. Though money wasn’t discussed in her household, Adams didn’t want to struggle the same way.
It wasn’t until she joined the Michigan National Guard in 2012 that Adams learned about budgeting, saving and investing for retirement. She stresses that by being open to new opportunities and putting in a lot of hard work, it’s possible to build a different life.
“Growing up in low-income housing, being in a single-parent household - you can overcome all of that,” she says. “I was still able to go to college, start my businesses [and] become successful.”
Adams decided to launch her hair brand because she saw the opportunity to meet a need in Grand Rapids. While attending Grand Valley State University from 2009 to 2013, she routinely traveled 150 miles each way to Detroit to get her hair done and buy wigs and hair extensions that weren’t available locally. Soon, she realized that there was money to be made in bringing the Detroit salon experience and products closer to home.
She began sourcing hair and selling wigs and extensions online in 2016. In the beginning, Adams hand-delivered the products to her clients. But by 2018, she made enough in sales to open a salon that doubles as a physical storefront for the wigs and extensions. Adams leases the space for $685 per month, and two hair stylists pay her a flat fee to rent out a chair to cut and style hair.
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Living On $158,000 A Year In Grand Rapids, MI | Millennial Money