It may seem like an impossible goal to be a millionaire at any stage of your life. However, that isn’t true. The earlier you start making smart financial decisions, the more likely you are destined to being a part of the millionaires club later in life. However, we are in an age where simply storing money away doesn’t garner more in the future. You have to employ a combination of methods that not only set aside money you contribute, but also compounds it with interest. Today, we will talk about ten ways you can grow your net worth for a more stable future.
If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake.”
– Bill Gates
Increase Your Income
The first step to becoming a millionaire is having the capital to fund your investments that will compound your money. To get this money, legally, you’ll need a stable job. You should work to always make yourself marketable as a way of not only maintaining your current job, but moving up the ladder to a better position or company. If you are in the technology sector, consider to stay on top of tech news and improvements. Even if you are outside of the tech industry, learning a few technical skills can improve your income. Always focus on increasing your income, even if you are currently comfortable.
You may feel that individuals who are millionaires are the ones who drive flashy cars and own the latest gadgets. That isn’t true in most cases, and shouldn’t be in your case if you are looking to work your way to millionaire status. To maintain your income’s growth, this is the time when you have to seek out the clearance rack or sales. Never accept retail price, it simply isn’t worth it. This is the case in grocery stores, shopping malls, the internet, or even club/gym memberships.
Plan to Invest
You may feel that your piggy bank of savings is smart saving. However, it truly isn’t. All you are doing is have your money sit there unproductively. It isn’t gaining interest. This is the case even for many standard savings accounts. Simply having a savings account isn’t enough, but it is a good start.
When saving it is important to remember to save to invest, not save to save. Look into ways in which you can get started creating a portfolio of investments for yourself. Etrade is a great start that is easy to navigate. Acorns is also an up-and-coming option that makes diversified investing more approachable for the common individual.
Shed Unproductive Debt
There is no such thing as good debt. Even “good debt” as some coin it is still money that you don’t have easy access to and doesn’t have the 100% guarantee is materializing into a profit later on (a house, for example). However, there are examples of productive and unproductive debt as I will coin it. Productive debt can be a credit card. Yes, every time you swipe a credit card, you are creating debt because it doesn’t get paid off until you pay your statement.
However, if you spend within your means or only on certain expenses, many credit cards come with reward dollars or cash-back. This is the credit card (one, not multiple), that you should seek. It’s technically free money ($6 back on $200 of groceries, for example). These reward and cash-back dollars add up and can result in savings. Below is a list of three great cash-back credit cards:
Manage Your Money
The only way to grow your money is to know where it all is and where it’s going out. Download the Mint application for your smartphone. This will allow you to stay on top of your (almost) total net worth from your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments. While not all financial services and institutions are supported yet, it gives you a detailed look at the financial aspects of your daily life. Set up isn’t very lengthy and once set up, it updates automatically whenever you open the application. Having a holistic look at your finances makes savings easier and even offers an incentive to save.
Follow the 50/20/30 Budget
Once you get your pay check, every cent of your money should be earmarked or you’ll find yourself spending like crazy. You may feel it’s daunting to have to spend every cent of your pay check each month. However, to spend in this case isn’t to hit the stores. Instead, allocating is a better term. With the 50/20/30 budget created by Elizabeth Warren, 50 percent of your income goes to the essentials (groceries, rent, essential utilities), 20 percent goes to savings (savings account, portfolio additions, Roth IRA contributions etc), and the remaining 30 percent goes to what is considered “lifestyle choices). This includes restaurants, your cell phone, clothing, etc. Below, we have an example for a individual earning $51,000 a year:
Base Salary – $51,000
After Taxes (25%) – $38,250
- Essentials (50%) – $1593.75/month
- Utilities – $80
- Groceries – $250
- Gas – $80
- Rent – $1000
- Savings (20%) – $637.50/month
- Savings Account – $300
- Loan Repayments – $200
- IRA/Portfolio Fund – $100
- Discretionary Spending (30%) – $956.25/month
Grab the Free Money
It is amazing how much free money is ignored by individuals. One of the most common ignored sources of free money are programs offered through your employer. Some can be in the form of student loan payment assistance. For other employers, there is the option of a 401K contribution match.
For example, if you contribute X amount each month, your employer will match the contribution either by 100 percent or even at least 50 percent. While usually to a certain limit, around $6000, that’s six thousand dollars you didn’t have before and wouldn’t have had if you didn’t ask. Make sure you stay informed on these options, not just before getting hired, but also periodically. Many times, such programs can be added later on.
Keep Accounts Manageable
As we mentioned before, managing your accounts through services like Mint is smart. However, having a ton of multiple accounts and cards can not only be confusing, it could hinder you from becoming a millionaire sooner. While diversifying income streams is great, outgoing streams should be kept as simple as possible. Multiple credit cards can mean having to keep up with multiple due dates, and in many cases, multiple credit pulls. Along with possible monthly or yearly fees, these multiple outgoing streams can even encourage you to spend more than you intend.
Save for the Right Reasons
Just as we mentioned before, to save for investments, it is also important to ensure that you saving in multiple departments with a goal in mind. While you savings and investment accounts are multiplying with the goal of becoming a millionaire by 30, you day-to-day savings should have a reason as well. You may remember the multiple times you encounter a sell on shoes and because it is 25 percent off last week’s price, you feel that you are making a good economic decision by buying this sale item.
Not exactly! Those shoes aren’t something you necessarily need, and the $X you spend on your shoes is still an outgoing expense that could be saved or utilized elsewhere. While enjoying that 30 percent of your 50/20/30 budget is important, it’s still important to bargain hunt with a purpose. Gain satisfaction through the deals you gain on bills, groceries, and household necessities, not clothing or other expenses that wouldn’t have been in your scope of attention before the sale appeared.
In the end, you have to be committed to this goal. It is a long-term goal that will continue to go on well after you make your first $1 Million. It’s important to not live with the hope of dying with $1 Million net worth, but to have a $10 Million or even $15 Million net worth.
Aiming high ($10 Million) makes still exceptional goals ($1 Million) more possible. Having an individual (a family member or friend) who you can attest is doing well financially can be a great way to ensure you are on the right track. Everything they say can’t be taken word-for-word, everyone’s economic situation is subjective. But having them as a role model will ensure that you aren’t in this alone.
Let us know in the comments below which way to $1,000,000 by 30 is easy for you to take on today.
Featured photo credit: Wallpapers AX via wallpapersax.com