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How to Become A Millionaire – 5 Steps to Becoming Wealthy

by Ryan Guina

My wife reads my site and often sends me links to stories and other ideas. The other day she sent me a link to a story on MSN, 8 Ways to Make a Million bucks. The article chronicles 8 different millionaires and shares a brief story about how each of them reached millionaire status.

As you would expect, the stories are as diverse as the people they highlight. Several people started their own business, one man made his millions in real estate, a firefighter cashed in his pension, and another made his millions working an $11 an hour job (and making wise money decisions along the way).

I sent my wife a quick e-mail thanking her for the link and in closing, I wrote, “I wonder what our millionaire story is going to be?”

Her response: “You think we will have one?”

Me: “Of course, it’s only a matter of time.”

And I believe that. I don’t know what it will be, and it may not be glamorous, but we will be millionaires. It’s only a matter of time – and a few other factors.

How to Become a Millionaire:

How to become a millionaire

Want to become a millionaire? Follow these steps!

Becoming a millionaire is not extremely difficult. It takes money, time, discipline, and a little luck. All you need to do is follow these 5 steps:

You Need a Source of Income

Unless you are born into riches, inherit wealth, or strike it rich in the lottery, you need to earn money. And as this 78 year old man proves, you don’t need to earn a lot of money to become wealthy; it’s what you do with that money that matters. If you want to increase your odds of becoming a millionaire, then look at some of these methods of making extra money. Just adding a few of these ideas to your lifestyle can increase your wealth.

How are we doing? My wife and I earn a decent living, but along the way we made several lifestyle choices which reduced our income, including the decision for my wife to be a stay at home mom. I firmly believe we will still become millionaires – even in a one income household – and the reason I hold firm in this belief is because we follow the rest of the steps in this article.

Earn More Than You Spend

My wife and I have done fairly well with our finances, primarily because we spend less than we earn. Another, and perhaps better, way to look at this is to earn more than you spend. I am not implying you should yourself from the things you enjoy or live a monk’s lifestyle. My belief is that you should focus on buying value on the the things you enjoy, and you should focus on making big wins to reduce your expenses on non-essentials and things which don’t bring you joy. Above all else, living within your means is the key to financial success. If you can combine both of these principles, earning more and spending less, you will be ahead of 95% of the world. If you want to supercharge your

Save Some of Your Income

There is a simple fact that many people miss: you will never grow wealthy if you spend everything you earn. Regardless of how much money you earn, you need to put some aside in savings. Having a cash cushion is nice because it helps you prepare for unexpected expenses and helps you avoid debt. But there is another reason that saving money is important – because of taxes and other factors, money saved is worth more than money earned!

Another advantage of having some cash savings is the ability to use the money for investments or other large purchases when you come across a good deal. This could be a something like an investment, property, or just a good deal that saves you thousands of dollars on a major purchase. Take advantage of these principles and save money whenever possible.

Make Regular Investments

Investing is the best way to grow your wealth. Compound interest has been called the strongest force in the universe, and you want that force working for you! There are many ways to invest, and you can be successful as long as you make wise investment decisions and let time and compound interest work for you. Investing in tax advantaged retirement accounts such as a 401k or Roth IRA can help you grow your wealth more quickly since you won’t have the drag of taxes pulling down your investment portfolio. You can also use retirement accounts to shape your taxes both now and in the future, giving you a powerful tool to help grow your wealth.

Investing can seem intimidating if you haven’t started yet. But it doesn’t have to be. Check out these investment strategies for beginners to get you started on the right path. You can also start by opening a 401k plan with your employer, or opening a Roth IRA.

Monitor and Repeat the Process

The path to becoming a millionaire becomes easier once you get the process started. It all starts at the beginning with small lifestyle changes. For example, making small lifestyle changes to reduce your fixed monthly expenses can go a long way toward helping you spend less than you earn. This in turn makes it easier to save a little money each month. Once you have a little cash saved, small emergencies are no longer emergencies and you are no longer treading water. This makes it easier to invest.

There are other things you can do to make the process easier. You can, for example, set up an automatic savings or investment program so you don’t have to think about it. Out of sight, out of mind is a great motto when it comes to saving.

But you also need to know where your money is going. I recommend using some form of money tracking software to give you an idea of where your money is going. There are a number of excellent free online money management tools which make it easy to see your income, expenses, and spending patterns in one place. My favorite is a free money management tool called Personal Capital which helps you track income, spending, and your investments.

Once you know your patterns, you can plan your spending and investing around them to help you reach your goals.

Is Becoming Wealthy Really that Simple?

Earn money, spend less than you earn, save, invest, repeat the process. After that it’s just a matter of time. Even if it takes years or decades, the process really is that simple. Of course, it may not seem as easy as I laid it out here, but it really is. Remember, this is not an overnight get rich quick scheme. It takes time, planning, and a little luck along the way.

Get started. If you want to become a millionaire, you need to decide to do it and get started. If you are not be able to save money right now because of debt or other financial obligations, you should work on those issues first. A good place to start is with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. This is a tried and true method for setting up an emergency fund, paying down debt, and beginning your investments. Once you have that started, you can begin your million dollar journey.

What will your millionaire story be?


Published or updated January 23, 2013.
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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric

I am hoping my success story involves a combination of the blog and consulting. I’ve been really struggling with the consulting lately in an attempt at networking and obtaining more clients. Between the two blogs, keeping up with industry, and maintaining an amicable family relationship I find I am short on time. My wife has not worked for over 2 years so we are on a single income. We do have a child who takes a lot of time and money.

It is a lot harder when you only have one person working. Yet she has been looking at jobs lately and the pay is sub par. In fact one job was offered to her where if you do the calculations. Including gas, day care, and lunch she earned roughly 5 dollars a day. At that point it isn’t worth her working.

Anyway, I’m hoping some day sooner than later I will reach that millionaire status. Takes a lot of work, and a lot of patience

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2 JOHN BOSCO AGABA

Is that true.

Can we get in touch on my mail for more communication?

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3 Steve

Building up big money is as simple as Ryan lays out but the hardest time to develop your nest egg is when you are under either financial or time pressure.

Money equals time and when you don’t have enough time, we tend to compensate by spending more money to pay for services to fill the gap. This might be personal services or just eating out. It doesn’t matter.

I’m curious, did she ever find the job?

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4 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Everything is only as hard as we believe it to be. When people can start with nothing, and I mean dirt poor nuthin’ and wind up filthy rich, no one with a properly functioning mind has an excuse.

The difficulties lie only in the mind.

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5 Tim

Just wondering how many people you know personally, that saved and invested, especially if they made minimum wage, weren’t college educated, had a family to support, etc. and became as you say, ‘filthy rich’ by following the principles of this page? People read simple-minded articles and poor things, if they are simple-minded enough to believe the garbage.

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6 Ryan Guina

Tim, I know several millionaires, and most of them have done it the old fashioned way, which is working and saving over many years. Some have started their own businesses, some have made wealth through other means such as investments and real estate, and some have done it other ways. Virtually all of the millionaires I know have families (some were married without children, but most had children). I’ve never counted how many millionaires I know, but of the people I know for certain, I would venture to say that I know at least 10-15 of them would qualify under these standards. As for the college education part of it, I’ve never taken a poll to find out how many had degrees and which degree they had, if they had one.

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7 Jarhead

One day man one day. I have finally gotten my finances to a point where I can see how this will be possible just have to get it done now.

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8 Benjamin

I’m exactly sure how our millionaire story is going to pan out either, but I am quite confident that it will happen (someday).

I think the trick is staying focused but not become overly obssesed with the idea.

Finding a steady financial plan that you can stick with is key. It also doesn’t hurt to pursue a job that you love.

I can rest assured that my Blog will not be an intergral part of my attainment of “millionaire” status, but at least it can be used as a medium to track my progress along the way!!

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9 Ryan

Benjamin, I plan on using my blog to help keep me on track as well. In fact, I wanted to name my site “Million Dollar Journey,” but that domain was purchased a few months before I started blogging. I’m happy that Frugal Trader ended up with it though, because he has a great site! :)

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10 Kristen

I read that article, too. As much as I like to be an optimist, I must admit that I don’t think I’ll ever be a millionaire. I think I can do better with my finances and build a more secure future. But, I don’t think I’ll have a million or more unless I get really lucky and hit the lotter!

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11 fathersez

The process does seem easy, if we manage to master the all mighty earn more than we spend. Still how we handle the bumps along the way will make a big difference.

I have no doubt that you and family will end up millionaires. And you can tell your wife I said that.

Best regards

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12 James Romines

Folks, don’t confuse simple with easy. The principle of ‘spend less than you earn’ is indeed simple. But, like many other things, it isn’t easy; our current media inundation with advertising which begs, cajoles, pleads, ridicules, and browbeats us to spend, spend, spend makes it especially difficult to exercise the self-discipline required to abide by the principle.

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13 Island Spice

This is how I live already, I’m not a millionaire YET, but I am comfortable and satisified and in the end thats what really counts.

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14 Mr.Vue

Don’t let people put you down. You can become rich as long as you know your path were your going and know what your doing. Anyone can become rich, here’s some idea of becoming rich, catering to the rich people, selling private jet planes to people. Make your own websites and when it has a value sell it off, but to whome? see the problem here is that you got to know the right people, and talking about makeing websites believe me, you can sell your websites for 10million and or less it really depends on the value and effort of time that you put in it.Ex,Look at tom a Young adult who is the maker of myspace. everyone thought that myspace probably something thats going to be laim but Tom waited and as time goes by the whole world know’s about myspace now. And lets see he sold his website to some rich company for 2million and he’s living off from the money. and talking about lottery believe me there is only a 00.001/2 chance of winning only don’t dream about it.

sincer,mv

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15 Mark

Your advice is golden, but what captures my curiosity is: are YOU a millionaire,Mr. Ryan. How can your words HELP me if they hav’nt helped YOU?

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16 Ryan

Mark: No, I am not a millionaire at this point. But one does not need to be an Olympic athlete to coach an Olympian.

How can your words HELP me if they hav’nt helped YOU?

I think you missed the point: these words have helped me. I have no consumer debt, a reasonable mortgage payment with a lot of equity, a healthy retirement account based on my age and income, and strong professional prospects. I earn money, live within my means, save and invest that money, and repeat the process. I am well on my way to becoming a millionaire, and I wish you the same success.

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17 Buddystips

I have practiced the same debt elimination and savings techniques for years, and do so quite aggressively, though more conservatively than one of my best friends. I am 60% there in savings and my only debt is my mortgage payment. My best friend in 23 years reached 130% of his goal to become a millionaire. He began with $3000 and was more aggressive in his investing than I have been. My point is, he made it…retired last year and is living off his retirement, social security and investments to the tune of $150,000 per year. He owns two homes, bought a boat and is traveling and enjoying his life to the fullest. My goal is to follow in his footsteps. All of this takes discipline and sacrifice, but believe me it can be done by anyone, so don’t think this is a bunch of bull…anyone can do it, but you MUST make saving a life time habit. Set short term savings goals and work hard to reach them. Once you reach a short term savings goal, set your next savings goal and continue to work hard to reach it. Then repeat, repeat, etc.

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18 Monevator

Good luck with your mission, my friend. (I’ve added a comment elsewhere saying I don’t think targeting net worth is the best way to financial freedom, but I fully applaud your ambition!)

One pointer — have you considered income protection insurance (or whatever the equivalent is in the US (I’m writing from the UK)). A lot of your eggs are in the ‘earning’ basket, rather than the ‘passive’ basket at present, so it may be worth protecting yourself in case the worst happens. (God forbid).

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19 Ryan

Monevator: I don’t think a net worth goal is the way to go either, but a lot of people put stock in a number (it’s an easy concept for a lot of people who are new to personal finance). Personally I’m going for exactly what you mentioned – the crossover point where my investments are earning me more money in passive income than my day job. That is when I will feel financially free.

We do have disability income here in the US. I have a bit, but probably not enough. My wife and I plan on going over our insurance situation here in a couple weeks, so I will look into it then.

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20 money-saving-tips

“Whats the quickest way to become a millionaire?”

Start off a billionaire and set up an airline.

Usually attributed to Richard Branson, though I suspect he got it from someone else.

On a serious note, I like the idea of “thinking big”. For example, starting your business can certainly be the beginning of becoming a millionare. But, you really have to think bigger…like a plan to franchise the business, create a new market, etc.

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21 joshua

One of the best ways to becoming a millionaire is investing in real estate. Let’s face it.. the market is unstable. Though there is negativity around real estate and though it does take more time and effort to become rich..it is still the way to go. Where do you think Donald Trump made his millions? How do you think he got started.. real estate. SO, if you’re ready as I am, get a copy of “The Pizza Delivery Millionaire” by Rick Vazquez. Unlike many other books out there that might be geared to people who already know something about real estate, this book is simple yet offers great suggestions on the keys to becoming successful. This is the year for me!

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22 Ryan

Joshua: Real estate is definitely an avenue to becoming a millionaire. I only have a primary residence at the moment, but I think that may change later in life. The beauty of real estate is cash flow, whereas stocks and other equities don’t produce much cash flow outside of dividends (at most 3-5%). Good luck with your endeavors.

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23 Bernz

According to what I read it is much easier than ever before to become a millionaire nowadays. There are more millionaires now than it’s been. And this is mostly attributed to the home values in the past years. Home equities and rising appreciation of real estate makes it possible to a lot of Americans to be considered millionaires. However, the past two years the real estate market has been hit hard, home values have depreciated back into the 2003 level.

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24 Ryan

That’s true – housing prices have made more people millionaires than in previous years. But the housing bubble and subsequent market crash erased a lot of those millionaires. There are more ways to get there though – which is what I am working on. Slow and steady. :-)

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25 Millionaire Acts

I think that the ultimate step in becoming a millionaire is to be frugal, save more than what you spend, and learn the fundamentals of investing like stocks, real estate, bonds, etc.

Set goals and be focused on those goals. Surely, it will be reached soon. This is what I did and I’m quite close in achieving it in our local currency at athe age of 26.

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26 John

You are right.. i think – i’ll follow your advice – i’m 23 so it’s achievable…

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27 Gazzali

This is a good article and very convincing ideas to hit that first million

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28 MoneyEnergy

I’ll be more than a millionaire, I don’t doubt it at all. The hardest part is starting your way up the curve, since that’s when the snowball process of compounding takes the longest to kick off. Once you reach a critical mass, the last… say… third or fourth of the journey will be relatively easy. If you’re in the right investment allocation, the real question is how soon can you make it to $750,000 in net worth? Or how soon can you start bringing in income from a second investment property? No, friends, a million is not far off at all…

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29 casper

The steps above might not make us all millionaires, but surely it is the right path to more money. If you try just to make a quick calculation on how much money you actually could put away to earn interest, you might be amazed how fast that money will grow over time :)

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30 ghmsushi

I think that the whole idea is just plain old belief, once you have that, thinks should fall in place. Belief my problem.

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31 Eros Nolasco

i’m 13 years old and working hard to make my dream come true. I have to get it right the first time!

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32 mo

i have the surplus, but unable to either invest in the stock market or decide to do anything with it.

i used to handle money very easy and let go very easy.
but i am grwoing and afraid to take risk.
i do want to own a busines one day,
i hope someone give me some idea,

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33 RB @ RichBy30RetireBy40

I would suggest NOT including any property or illiquid assets not readily sellable into your Millionaire calculation.

I’m focused on building a $3million Cash Nut by age 42, and whatever else I have, be it property, 401K, private equity investments is just gravy.

Don’t depend on anything else except for The Nut! :)

Rgds, RB

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34 AJ

I’m 27 years old, I am married to a doctor in residency, just bought our first condo in boston have a roth account a 401k some precios metals. I want to be doing so much more but kind of stuck not knowing what to do next. We are working on paying off debt from my wife’s med school and the condo. Does anyone have any advice? I have a finnacial advisor also and he just tells me to keep investing! I need more direction then that! I’m 27 there’s a lot to learn still…. I’m currently working on making more money at my job just have to wait for the big promotion. Please help?? Thanks guys

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35 Ryan

AJ, If you are just getting started with your path to financial freedom, I recommend taking a look atDave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, which is a step by step method for achieving financial freedom.

There are many other great ways to get ahead, so I recommend searching for the way(s) that work for you.

Along the way you will want to pay down debt, invest, look for ways to earn more money, look for ways to save money, and balance that with the rest of life. I know those are broad strokes, but each situation is different, and that is the best I can do without knowing more about your situation.

Best of luck to you and your wife. :-)

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36 Buddystips

Dear AJ,

Two thoughts come to mind. First, at 27 you have a whole life in front of you, so whatever you do will be right if it is directed correctly. Second, pick a goal and work towards it (e.g., pay off medical debt; or pay off condo mortgage). Always remember, as you succeed in any one of these, then you can broaden out into other investments opportunities (e.g., stocks, mutual funds, real estates, etc.). The choice and timing are yours to call. My basic point; however, is while you are young “focus” on a GOAL and go after the goal aggressively.

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37 Noel

will for me the key to become millionaire is first study complete your education. second seek a job. Third save while planning. Fourth invest wisely.

If you study, your brain has a knowledge. not only in school but also study the community`s needs.
Put up a business. when you have a business you will mature about financial consequences.

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38 ChristianPF

Yep, you hit the nail on the head. If you have 20-30 years to do it, it really isn’t that difficult for even average income earners…

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39 Leah Bell

Because of the real estate bubble, the current definition of a millionaire is one who possesses a million dollars in net worth excluding the value of their home.

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40 Millionaire Acts

I think the ultimate way to become a millionaire is to EARN MORE and DESIRE LESS. Earning more increases your income i.e. (taking a second job, investing your money, buying assets that provide passive income, etc.) while desiring less lessens your spending (i.e. budgeting, frugality, etc.)

Make it a habit and definitely, you would become a millionaire someday.

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41 gil

I think to become a millioner is a destiny. Without blessings from God is nothing. Even if you work hard, even you earned more money if its not your destiny you will not be a millioner. God will give ways that your earned money will be spent. But don’t lost hope just keep on working of your plan to become a millioner together with prayers… then may be its your destiny.

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42 Tahwa

For you to succeed in anything, you need a clear plan on how you are going to achieve that. The plan will enable you to benchmark your progress and hence spur you on torwards your mission. I do have my own plan of attaining financial freedom and things look quite good. Remember, if you fail to plan, you are actually planning to fail.

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43 FinancialBondage

I don’t want to be a millionaire. But debt free with 200K in the bank for emergencies sounds like a nice place to be. :)

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44 Lee Roberts

I became a millionaire by investing in real estate. It can definitely be done in almost any market. The question is are you willing to spend the time to learn what you need to know? Are you willing to make whatever personal financial sacrifice is needed to get things going? The answer to these two questions for most want-to-be investors is no.

Lee

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45 Joe

Hi,

Good luck on your endeavors.

In 2003 I was broke,no money in the bank but was the owner of my own home of about USD 50,000.Which really was a good start of course
I was at home on a hot summers day here in Brazil thinking about which direction life would take me next, when the telephone rang. I NEARLY DIDN’T ANSWER THE CALL this is what happened next:

I received a call from a company in March of 2003 here in Brazil from one of the owners of the company that wanted to import from China but could not speak English. I started to help him import Chemicals for his company which when I started to work for him was worth USD2 million. Today 7 years later I am worth with savings and assets around USD800,000 and pushing towards my first Million.

My clients company is now worth a staggering USD 150 Million!!!!

These kind of things are happening all over the planet

My 10 steps are :

1. Try to be a good and honest person….doesn’t matter how much you make, if you are not a decent human being
2. Believe in yourself …..if you don’t no one else will
3. Keep your family close they can help you know and its good for you too!!
4. Money comes and goes….Don’t give up if you stumble along the way…..no one said it would be easy and its not!!
5. Don’t buy things on credit if you cant afford it you shouldn’t buy it
6. Sleep well and look after your body….whats the point of all that wealth if you are going to end up sick at the end of it all
7. Try and have some fun along the way…..life is for living too!
8. Go with your gut instincts. If any future money making venture doesn’t seem right to you…..think long and hard there are very few get rich quick schemes that work.Success will only come from hard work.
9. When you have reached your first Million CELEBRATE!!!!!! You deserve.
10. Maybe just maybe just now and again you should thank god for what he has allowed you to achieve

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46 Ryan

Joe, Congratulations on your success and helping the company reach new levels of success. And thanks for sharing your tips – they are excellent! :)

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47 javier

Hi Ryan,

This is exactly the same topics I talk about in my website. It seems that the recipe to become Millionaire is quite the same :)

Nice post!

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48 Mcneri

Becoming a millionaire is such a popular topic. However, sometimes we overlook living a fulfilled life and just want that label, millionaire. We must endeavor to live a productive life by seeking to better those around us. If you have the vision, create a product, pump in passion and deliver to make things better for people. That is one sure way of becoming a millionaire. Most of the million dollar persons we hear of today have added value to people’s lives: Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Me, Mcneri! Add value, live your life and IT WILL COME.

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49 David

I couldn’t disagree more. The concept of systematic saving and hoping for a solid average return in the markets isn’t something that I believe in anymore. I’m 32, and have been investing in the markets since I was 18, under the assumption that if I set up automatic contributions throughout my life I would ultimately be “rich”. I started by maxing out my SEP-IRA and then by maxing my Roth. I invest monthly in a range of products, again, all with the goal of cost averaging the market to my benefit over time. Fast forward 14 years from when I began, and I have accumulated less than $60k. My invested dollar amount exceeds my current total, as it did even at the recent market highs in 2007. In other words, investing for the long haul doesn’t work like it used to, particularly for my generation. The first decade of wage earning is the most important in terms of compounding interest, and we have just experienced a completely lost decade. The hopes for recovery to make up for that lost decade (14 yrs in my case) do not appear reasonable. David

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50 sheena

i strongly agree with u mcneri. most of the comments failed to impart the essence of becoming a millionaire. having good intentions to become a millionaire, like building foundations for the less fortunate pips, giving employment etc., aside from wanting to achieve financial freedom is a sure way with the guidance from God. FAITH and ACTION is a must… i am not there yet but with this mind, I CAN DO IT.

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51 d3so

Everyone wants to be a millionaire but only a few take the initiative to actually start on the path to getting there. The others are either lazy or lack the education to do so.
I’m trying to create a business, I know I’ll make it up there in time.

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52 Bryan @ How To Retire At 40

“Spend less than you earn”

I think this pretty much hits the nail on the head. When you think about it’s not rocket science you just need a bit of discipline.

Write everything down that you can afford to spend, and then work out how much you have left to spend on what you want. = Savings

Bryan

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53 Dr. Artfredo C. Abella

I truly believe that if you want to attain the status of being a millionaire, one must make the necessary adjustments in life. The status of being a millionaire entails a lot of sacrifices but what is more realistic is that it is achievable and doable. More than anything else, be a millionaire for it takes to be one – frugal, investment conscious, earning more than what you spend, paying yourself first, diversifying your investments by not putting all your eggs in one basket alone, intuitive, resourcefull, sound knowledge in financial language and accounts, passionate, loves what you are doing, charitable, innovative, seizing initiatives in the market plays, delaying instant gratification and always never sacrificing the needs of your family in terms of financial needs and matters.

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54 Harris

I have a question. I am 24 and I just started selling commercial insurance. My wife and I have about 70 k in student loans which we plan on paying back asap. I am going to have an additional 10k on top of my salary next year which I plan on saving until the end of the year and allocating it as I see fit. Everything I read says “compounding interest is the bomb” but then says “don’t save, pay down debt”. Now, I hate debt but I want to take full advantage of our young age and compounding interest. What would you recommend I do with extra 10k if we already put and extra $200 towards debt a month and we have an emegency fund in place? Fully Fund our IRA’s for the year or pay down a loan? I feel like there is no right or wrong answer. Your thoughts?

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55 Ryan

Harris, I think it depends on several factors. First, I recommend having a well established emergency fund that will be enough to cover several months living expenses. This will help you cover any unexpected expenses and avoid taking out additional debt. Next consider other short/medium term goals. For example, are you saving to buy a house, do you need to replace your car in the next two or three years, etc. Finally, consider the interest rates of your student loans and what you may be able to earn in an IRA and decide which option is best for your needs. Investing for retirement now could be a huge benefit for you and your wife when you reach retirement age, but eliminating debt increases cash flow and gives you peace of mind. Both options are solid. Best of luck.

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56 Brandon Winters

Love the article Ryan. I love thinking about what my story is going to be. I always try to remind myself of why I want it, and that it has a time frame. All I need to do is decide how I’m going to do the next step towards getting there.

I’d love for you to come visit my site and maybe share some of your thoughts. I love exploring the mindset structure behind manifesting millions and always invite others to do it with me. My goal is to help inspire people to breakthrough to brilliant living – whatever that is to them by defining, refining, and acting on designing the ideal lifestyle.

Hope to see you around. Thanks for the awesome article.

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57 Geoff

The principles that I have followed out of grad school seems to have correspond to the article. At my age as part of the mid-end of the gen X, it seems that reaching the status of millionaire doesn’t reduce the anxiety of how to provide for the family. I still worry about the same things as before, but at perhaps at a different level. I admit getting to the first million was relatively easy with luck and good planning, but I thought I would have been much better off by now. It is also very tough to maintain with a bad economy. Forget about buying the Lamborghini or the large estate, it’s time to hold what you have.

Advice-owe less and if there’s opportunity, pay off those loans.

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58 Blue Spyder

Everyone wants to be a millionaire but today nobody wants to work at it. This is the age of “pass the blame” for all your problems. Becoming a millionaire is going to take more than just savings and luck, you’re gonna need a good support system behind you to keep you focused nowadays and maybe a friend named warren buffett won’t hurt.

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59 Rob McCance

Sound advice. You definitely have to earn more than you spend, and save it. This is the bare minimum first step required for sure.

Then, you can ramp up from there in may diverse ways.

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60 Ed

I see we have the same mindset. I really believe I’ll be a millionaire in the future, and I’ve been working toward that for many years now. From time to time something can happen unexpected and cause you to have to spend a little more than you earn… you can’t make a habit of doing that though. This was a good article, and should help a lot of people if they will just do it.

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61 TheFinanceKid

hahaha cool article. I hope to follow some steps with improvement..but i m pretty sure i wont be a half millionaire also by this year…will need around 3 years for savings and income to increase…hopefully my journey in financial field works out.
But i got a question for you…have u become a millionaire yet?? if yes ..can we be friends haha :P

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62 deviga

i like to be a millionaire, my famly is middle class fmly… my father passaway already..
i need to learn @ make money to asis my famly as well…. please live any advice……

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63 Milagros

In my opinion those who become millionaire are those people who already born rich by their parents and yet those people who become also a millionaire are those who are lucky and tried their best and pursued their dreams to become rich and others maybe it’s their destiny. I also dreamed to be rich even not totally a millionaire, ’cause I know dreaming is not bad and it’s really free. I never stop dreaming, but now am going to be 63 yrs. old this coming November, I asked myself do I still have the chance to become rich? Am still working as a babysitter, I have 5 childrens, 4 of them are married, and I have 9 grandchildrens. But, I never loss hope, that someday I can also reach the peak of success not only in my dreams but in the real world. And I know, only our creator will give me want I really want to be and maybe because of my faith to be one of those lucky people.

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64 Steve

I’d say an interesting thought to add would be an idea suggested by Mark Cuban a while back on his blog. It was basically the idea that you’re not necessarily saving money so that you can invest slowly and retire comfortably, but that you were saving every possible penny, at every moment, so that when an actual fantastic opportunity came around you’d have money to invest.

Think of the 25 year old that’s saved up $40k to invest in a friend’s restaurant or to take advantage of the housing crises.

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65 Virginia

I fear your wonderful advice comes too late for me. I am 58 years old and have no job skills. The world is a wonderful place for you young people who have jobs and a meaningful life, but for someone like me it is difficult to want to keep going. I feel antiquated and out-of-date. I will never be a millionaire–not even close! What is even worse is that my two grown sons can only find part-time, minimum wage jobs and both of them went to college.

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66 Jeffrey Trull

It really is that easy, and I think a lot of people don’t realize that. It’s just a psychological barrier nowadays since many can’t imagine what having $1 million feels like. In reality, $1 million isn’t that much money anymore. That might sound ridiculous, but I know I’m going to need much more than $1 million to retire someday. I’m not sure what my millionaire story will be yet, but I’m certain it’s going to involve self-employment since and not a job.

Great meeting you at FINCON, Ryan!

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67 Brad

all your advice works. i know because i have followed those steps since my early to mid-20s when, as a self-employed freelance journalist, i opened what was then called a keough account. those were pre-cursors of today’s ira’s. i always socked the limit into those, and soon opened an ira, as well as a 401k and a roth when they became available. i also opened fidelity and later, vanguard, mutual fund accounts. i always saved more than i spent, probably at least half my pay, which was never higher than about $65k during all the years i worked in journalism. true, my friends always liked to joke that i was “cheap,” but who’s laughing now? i crossed the $1m line in late 04, quit full-time work at age 51 and do exactly as i please with myself today, which is mainly being a semi-pro musician, the career the i almost established when i was in college. mercifully, i don’t have to live off it today. my main advice is to avoid credit-card debt. i am always astonished by how much people carry. ive never carried any. my debts are always limited to mortgage and, at times, car loans. i could own fancier cars and houses, but i have never felt the need, unlike my cash rich, but investment-poor friends. i live off corporate junk bonds today, plus music and random freelancing. my goal is to get to about $1.5m, get 80 percennt out of today’s way too unstable stock market, and live off mostly fixed income investments. way down the road, ill add social security, and a pension from the 25-years-plus i worked in newspapers. it can be done. the millionaire-next-door exists all around us.

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68 Bernz

Hi Brad… that’s another inspiring story and I agree with you on the credit card debt. I remember 5 years ago, I paid off my wife’s 10k credit card debt and that was really the last time we carry a balance of over $500 on our credit cards.

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69 Nick

Great story. At the end of the day it’s relatively simple to become a millionaire, right? Simple, consistent saving and smart spending. No derivatives or credit default swaps needed!

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70 jenny stillwater

You made tons of really good points, and yeah I guess for myself its just a overall view with all my expenditures and not just in a few areas but all of them…yikes I got a lotta work to do! Helpful story thank so much :)

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71 Adam

Yes, but the question no one is answering is: what’s the point of a frugal life just so you can be an 80 year old millionaire?

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72 readtoawake

Everybody wants to become a millionaire; but nobody wants to follow the success principles. People who drives expensive cars and wear expensive suits are not millionaires, these people are usually in heavy debt. People who look rich may not actually be rich. They are just over-spenders.

On the other hand millionaires in their early life do not buy expensive cars or expensive houses, they live frugally and try to save every cent they can and then they invest that money wisely.

By submitting this comment I just want to thank you for all the good work you are doing on this site.

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73 Andrea

I’m a 43 yr old Mother of 3 boys, married and living pay check to pay check. I want to learn how to invest smart. I’ve been working since I was 16, I wish I was taught this in my 20s. I want to become a millionaire before I’m 60.

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74 AJ

This is my update, it’s been a couple years and I feel now is a good time for one! After my wife and I turned 30 in July I have been thinking about updating our story. We continue to prosper at what we do and have been pretty frugal since when we first posted. I finally got a raise and a promotion , which is just the start of our good luck. About two years ago we purchased land back home in PA even though we still have time left in Boston. We got an amazing deal on 2.2 acres on a golf course that now appraises for $350,000. Since the last time we spoke we have paid down debt,we have paid off both cars, my wife’s medical loans and under grad degree, also purchased about $25,000 in gold and silver. We have about $55,000 in equity in our condo in Boston and together we now have over $95,000 in 401k and Roth accts. We are working extra hard at paying down the land loan so that we will have enough equity to build a 1.5 million dollar house ($300,000) needed or 20%. We also just signed with a private practice which is going to pay my wife and I a $50,000 signing bonus and over $250,000 before taxes a year, starting in 2014. We make about $175,000 a year combined now but once my wife becomes partners at this practice she is expected to make over $750,000. So we are very lucky and well on our way! We our currently half way away to a million. Our plan is to become millionaires before we turn 35. Can we do it? Thank u Ryan for your advice. Work hard, it doesn’t matter what you make… It matters what you are able to save!

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75 Nguyen - HIMMFM

And you also need to have a millionaire mindset as well. You need to become a millionaire person before having a million dollar. Would love to feature your success stories on our site. Let us know if you do guest blogging.

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