My Story


First Habits Win – About the Author

Mike Miller is a seasoned executive leader in the financial services industry and the creator of the
First Habits system and author of “First habits Win.”

Mike Miller is an executive leader in the financial services industry and the creator of the First Habits system and author of “First Habits Win.”

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Kansas State University. He has served on the Insured Retirement Institute’s Senior Steering Committee for Operations and Technology and currently serves on the advisory board for the Kansas State University Professional Financial Planning Program, a top-five program in the United States.

After creating the First Habits system for his daughters and seeing the benefits, Mike has become passionate about helping parents provide the education, training and real-world experience to set their children on a path to a positive Money Mindset and financial success.

With “First Habits Win” and the First Habits system, Mike aims to improve the financial lives of a generation by giving parents the tools and resources to provide the education their children will rely on for the rest of their lives.

This photograph represents the center of my world and all that I hold dear in it. From left to right, my son-in-law, Josh and his wife, our oldest daughter, Lauren. Hayley, our middle daughter is to my right and my wife Denise is on my left. Anna is our youngest and her husband, Cody is on the far right.

I grew up in a loving middle-class family with parents who taught me the value of hard work and taking personal responsibility. They worked hard to provide for me and my brother and even paid for our college education. They were a living example of frugality and living within their means.

Even with this as my example, plus graduating without any debt and going straight into a good job, I did what so many young people do. I got us into debt. While the debt was easily manageable at first, the birth of our first two daughters meant daycare and other expenses that lead to a financial situation that was nearly unmanageable. We struggled to pay rent and put food on the table after making minimum payments on the debt.

We ultimately scaled back on every expense that was not an absolute necessity and put ourselves on an extremely strict plan. We put cash in envelopes for every expense, rent, groceries, gas, clothes…. everything. After several long years, we were able to work our way out of the problem.

The anxiety and embarrassment that I experienced during those times is what drove me to create the First Habits System for my daughters. Formal education, a financial head start, and a great job were not enough for me. Like many people, I had to learn to manage my income, expenses, savings and debt by making costly and painful mistakes.

It has now been 17 years since our oldest daughter started the First Habit System. It works! I’ve seen the benefits for all three of our daughters as they are now financially independent young adults. I have also identified several ways to improve on the training and education I provided for our daughters. Those improvements are included in the book, First Habits Win, and in the First Habits System and the Cabbage App.