Before I became a millionaire at age 28, I told myself that I would either make it or be a complete failure by the time I turned 30. I worked hard because I was afraid of not having a job, savings, investments, or a way to retire early.
There is no “magic formula” for getting rich. But I can tell you that it’s much easier to become a millionaire in your 20s. You have more energy, fewer people who depend on you, and not much to lose.
Here are the ten rules about money that helped me have a net worth of $1 million at age 28:
1. Stay focused in school:
1. Stay focused in school: Your habit of binge-watching won’t help your GPA. Every year, a lot of people finish in the top 1% of their class. Be like them. Why not take advantage of the fact that you’re paying thousands of dollars for your education?
You can keep saying that grades don’t matter, but that won’t change how hard it is to get a job.
Some big companies will tell you that your GPA doesn’t tell the whole story, but that doesn’t mean they won’t ask to see your transcript.
With a 3.78 GPA, I was able to get a job at Goldman Sachs. But it was still hard. I looked for a job hard for six months and went through 55 interviews before I got an offer.
2. Save until it hurts:
When I was in college, I didn’t have much money, so getting a steady job made me feel rich. But even after I got my first full-time job, I kept living like a student for years. I had to be very strong-willed and careful to save as much as I did.
I didn’t say I needed nice clothes or a new car as an excuse. I lived with a friend in a small studio for two years to save money on rent. This made it possible for me to max out my 401(k) on a small salary and save another 20% of the money my 401(k) sent me.
No matter what, try to save at least 20% of your income after taxes every year. Remember that if the amount of money you save each month doesn’t hurt, you aren’t saving enough.
3. Work hard and know your place.
Working hard doesn’t take any skill at all. I promise you’ll get ahead if you’re the first person in the office and the last person to leave. Pay your bills early, and you’ll be able to take it easy when you’re older.
Will you have less fun with friends? Yes, a little bit. But you’re still young, right? You have so much energy! When I first started working, I went to work at 5:30 a.m. and stayed until 7:30 p.m.
I learned a lot, got more done, and earned the respect of my peers. And because my boss saw how hard I worked, I was able to keep my job when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
4. Consider both aggressive and conservative strategies. —-
It’s fine to invest in an S&P 500 index fund, but if you want to get rich quickly, you should make more high-risk bets. For a small part of your portfolio, you can win more money.
Don’t go crazy and lose all your money, but don’t be afraid to try out risky ways to invest. As I said, when you’re young, you don’t have much to lose. I only had about $4,000 to my name when I was 22. I put 80% of my money into one stock and made a return of 5,000%. Some of it was due to luck. But I did my research and took a big risk, and it turned out to be a good move.
5. Make property your best friend.
Inflation is a beast. Make it a goal to own a primary residence as soon as you know where you want to live for the next five to ten years. If you put 20% down on a home and it goes up in value by 3% per year, you get 15% back on your money.
At age 26, I bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in San Francisco for $580,500 with the money I won from one stock investment. Since then, the mortgage has been paid off, and the property brings in a steady stream of income.
6. Live like you’re poorer than you are:
6. Live like you’re poorer than you are: Too many young people spend money on things they don’t need just to show off to their friends or on social media. It’s not embarrassing to be young and poor.
Drive something cheap. Stay in a small house. Don’t always eat out. Don’t buy clothes you already have (thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, wearing the same thing every day is fantastic). Then you can be the quiet millionaire next door.
Once I had a million dollars, I bought a car that was six years old and drove it for ten years. Then I rented a Honda Fit and drove it for three years. I still wear the same casual athletic clothes I wore when I was in my 20s.
7. Start a side hustle:
7. Start a side hustle. Even better, you can do both of them. Over time, your part-time job could grow into a big business that pays you even more than your full-time job.
I started Financial Samurai in 2009 to bring order to the financial chaos. I had no idea that the site would get so big so quickly. It gave me the confidence to negotiate a severance in 2012 and quit my full-time job for good.
8. Build a strong network of support.
8. Build a strong network of support. It’s not enough to work hard. You have to talk to people, show that you care about them, and do other things to make them like you.
Once you have someone with a lot of power on your side, your whole career will move forward much more quickly. At least once a week, I made it a point to take a coworker out for coffee. At age 27, I became vice president because I had built strong relationships with people.
9. Invest in your education:
Your most valuable thing is a good education, so keep learning even after you finish college. Now, you can learn almost anything for free thanks to the Internet.
After I finished my part-time MBA program, I kept taking classes to keep up with everything that had to do with money. That made me want to keep writing for Financial Samurai, because the more I did, the more money I made.
10. Keep track of your progress.
The amount of money you save is more important than the amount you earn. I know a lot of people who made a lot of money but then went bankrupt a few years later because they didn’t know what happened to it.
Use the free money-saving tools available online. Stay on top of your money by keeping track of your cash flow, analyzing your investment portfolio, and figuring out how much money you’ll need in retirement.
Thanks to: CNBC