Anna Haotanto was 21 when she set her first major financial goal: buy her parents a home before she turned 30.
At 28, she handed them a new set of house keys, and by the time her milestone birthday rolled around she was officially a millionaire.
Haotanto is not the founder of a multi-million-dollar tech start-up, nor did she grow up with money. In fact, quite the opposite: As a teenager, her family was saddled with thousands of dollars in credit card debts and ever-increasing rents on their apartment in Singapore after the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis caused her parents' textiles business to go bust.
But for Haotanto, it was that experience that pushed her to avoid the same pitfalls.
"If you're not born privileged, you always worry about losing it," Haotanto told CNBC Make It. "I wanted to make sure I properly understood how to manage my money."