This story is part of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which details how people around the world earn, spend and save their money.
As a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service, Jordan Myers typically works 13 hours a day, six days per week. Most days, he walks around 14 miles.
He delivers mail to up to 500 houses each day, he says, and because he has a walking route, he's outside all day, regardless of the weather. "No curbside pull up, drop off," the 29-year-old tells CNBC Make It. He walks "up steps, down steps, through bushes, across yards."
It's strenuous work, but you won't ever hear him complain. In fact, many of his hours are by choice: During the business week, Myers works about five hours of overtime each day, and takes on even more on the weekends.
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
"Everything is mental," he says. "If you have the mindset and the drive to do something, I feel like you can really break through a lot of barriers."
Living in Memphis, Tennessee, Myers earns a base salary of around $41,000 per year. But with overtime, he's able to bring in far more: In 2020, Myers earned around $78,000, and in 2021, he is on track to make over $90,000. He also brings in around $4,500 per year from a rental property.
"I don't think of it as hard," he says. "I think about what I can do, what I'm trying to accomplish."
For him, that means making good money. Though it's a lot of hours, Myers prides himself on his determination and perseverance.
Myers has worked hard for most of his life, starting his first job at age 12. Growing up, his mom struggled financially, so Myers moved in with his dad and began to work for his dad's lawn service. "It sucked, truthfully, but it made me into who I am," he says.
Myers's father never complained either, regardless of the circumstances. Myers remembers his father once getting shot and still returning to work 24 hours later.
"My dad is my biggest hero," Myers says. "When you realize how he's able to persevere ... There's no way I can say 'I'm tired' if he's not tired. We don't make excuses."
Working at the USPS
Before USPS, Myers worked a number of jobs, including positions at the Apple store, Kroger, Dollar General and more, he says.
In 2017, he got a full-time job at USPS after hearing good things from relatives who worked there too. "My grandfather worked for the post office for many years. He said that if I go there, I would be able to make a decent amount of money and get a lot of hours," Myers says.
Myers typically chooses to work from 8 a.m. until 8:30 p.m., sometimes 9 p.m. He usually works six days a week, but will sometimes work on Sundays as well. Though the long hours aren't mandated by the USPS, Myers enjoys the option to do so — and earn more overtime, he says.
"The biggest thing that people don't realize as a mail carrier is how much work you actually do," he says. "A lot of people say it's easy because you're just walking and they only see you maybe five minutes here and there, every other day."
In 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, his schedule was especially hectic. It was "endless walking, around 20 miles a day," since there was much more mail and few carriers. At times, it was even scary, Myers says, remembering packages of medicine piling up and not enough employees to handle it all.
Even now, things are still volatile. "A lot of people are quitting due to being burnt out," Myers says.
Despite his long days, Myers says he is still able to spend quality time with his wife, Jalyn, and 1-year-old son, Jacob. He usually gets to spend a few hours with Jacob each night after work, but says "we really play the most on Sunday."
Myers and his wife have found a balance that works for their family. "Family time is fairly decent and good," he says. "I'm just waiting for Jacob to get older so I can destroy him in video games."
Myers doesn't let his demanding work schedule overtake family time. "Everybody thinks raising kids is tremendously hard. It's more mental than anything," he says.
How he budgets his money
Here are Myers's monthly expenses as of October 2021.
- Savings: $2,900
- Rental property: $913 for the mortgage, homeowners insurance and other expenses.
- Housing: $809 for his own mortgage and homeowners insurance.
- Car payment: $534
- Memberships: $239 for Netflix, Spotify, Tesla internet and investment group dues.
- Food: $220 for takeout during work.
- Misc.: $60 for pet expenses.
- Phone: $62
- Insurance: $41 for health, dental and vision.
Myers and Jalyn both contribute to household bills and expenses. Though Jalyn makes significantly less than Myers, she pays for child care, groceries, car insurance, Wi-Fi and utilities. Myers covers everything else.
They think of each other as equal partners, regardless of income or expenses paid. "I do bring in more money, but we're equal because she does have to take care of [our] son more, and if she didn't, I wouldn't be able to work the hours I work, so I wouldn't make the money I make," Myers says.
One of Myers's top priorities is establishing ways to build wealth. Each month, he puts $500 into his savings account, $400 into his 401(k) and $2,000 into a taxable brokerage account through Fidelity. Currently, he has around $3,000 in savings and $34,000 in investments.
He's also a member of an investment group led by real estate investor and YouTuber Graham Stephan, which has helped him learn about options trading and rental properties. Myers has earned up to $10,000 in a month trading options, despite its risky nature. However, he usually reinvests those earnings and doesn't recognize any gains.
He has also dabbled in other investments like cryptocurrency. He mined Ethereum for a while, but has since stopped.
Myers has one rental property, which he bought in 2019 for about $100,000. "I am actively cash flowing from this property," he says. He pockets about $378 per month from it after covering expenses.
In 2021, Myers bought his dream car: A Tesla Model 3. With used cars selling for a premium due to chip shortages, Myers was able to sell his car for about $15,484 and trade it in for the Tesla, he says. The Tesla cost about $45,000, but with his trade-in allowance, he only owed around $30,000.
In five years, Myers hopes to be "halfway to being a millionaire, if not more," he says. In 10 years, "I think I'd be well over being a millionaire."
Myers has no doubt that he'll be able to reach his goal. "I think I'm going to crush it, truthfully," he says.
Myers is also saving for another rental property, which he hopes will pay for itself over time.
Myers doesn't want to share his story to brag about his success. Rather, he wants to "help the people that are trying to learn and grow like me," he says.
"When you see me, it's like, 'Hey, that guy is also just working a normal job, day to day. He's really growing day by day, month by month, year by year.' I'm hoping I can show people that it's possible."
What's your budget breakdown? Share your story with us for a chance to be featured in a future installment.
Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter