The first million dollars is a big milestone for anyone. It’s the point at which you can live pretty much whatever lifestyle that you want, but it doesn’t come easy to people who don’t know how to save money and eat healthy. Here are fifty ways that I have personally found helpful in my own journey towards financial independence

This is a list of 50 ways to save your first million in order for you to be able to retire early or afford the things that matter. Some of these ideas may not work for everyone, but with some research and effort anyone can find their own way towards financial freedom.

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50 ways to save your first million

Okay, so $1 million isn’t quite as exciting as it once was. Thanks to inflation, “The Social Network” by David Fincher, and Russ Hanneman!

However, joining the two-comma club is still a worthy financial aim. And one that can be attained with a little luck and a lot of effort. Depending on where you are in life and how much money you have in your bank account, you could choose to do the opposite.

With that proviso in mind, here are 50 behaviors that, when combined, may earn you a billionaire (more or less).

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1. Put aside 40 to 50 percent of your income.

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“Keep living like a student,” suggests Jeff White, a financial analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com, if you’re just starting out in the job. That is to say, attempt to put away almost half of your salary. You’ll want to save money, but you’ll also want to…

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2. Invest

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Because, let’s face it, nickel-and-diming your way to a $1 million is almost difficult these days. The top strategies to invest $100,000 in 2020 are shown below.

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3. Expand your horizons.

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Take that 40 percent to 50 percent of your earnings and “diversify [it] among several sources,” White advises. Stocks, bonds, real estate, and mutual funds are all examples of this. However, if you’re already feeling overwhelmed (we understand: investing is scary),…

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4. Begin small.

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There are several investment applications available to help you get started. Betterment and Wealthfront, for example, are robo-advisors, while others act as online investment brokers. Consider the games Robinhood and Stash. Then there’s Acorns, which allows you to put your extra cash to good use.

 

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5. Include long-term assets in your portfolio.

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We’re talking about individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans. These assets are necessary for a secure retirement. Early withdrawal penalties, on the other hand, should deter you from using that money for non-emergencies. To put it another way, “you don’t feel tempted to dig into those funds simply to travel to Disney World,” White explains.

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6. Contribute to a 401(k) plan established by your company…

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If your company contributes up to a particular amount, that’s the amount you should put into the fund each pay period. Otherwise, you’re essentially throwing money away for retirement.

Everything you need to know about 401(k)s is right here.

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7….as well as your IRA contributions each year

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For example, in 2019, your total contributions to all of your conventional and Roth individual retirement accounts can’t exceed $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable salary for the year, assuming your pay was less than that amount.

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8. Take part in an initial public offering (IPO).

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We know, it’s terrifying, but consider how much Facebook stock sold for when it first went public ($38 a share) and how much it’s worth now ($214.67 as of this writing.) Of course, before making any large investments, get the advice of a financial advisor.

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9. Don’t squander your money

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Sure, it seems obvious, but these days, folks (ahem, Gen-Zers and millennials) are all about being different. Gen-Zers and millennials, don’t be fooled: Pants for $400 are hardly an investment.

 

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10. Adopt a minimalist mindset.

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That’s the philosophy that all those little home searchers on HGTV adhere to: less is more… It’s also good for your financial account.

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11. Make money by selling your belongings

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Make some money off of your still salvageable items if you decide to downsize — or even when you decide to reduce. There are several websites and applications, including as eBay and Poshmark, that will assist you in selling your lightly used items to the general public. Here’s a step-by-step instruction.

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12. At the absolute least, get rid of the excess fat.

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Not everyone is suited to true simplicity. (Minimalism pioneer Fumio Sasaki maintains just a roll-up mattress, three shirts, four pairs of socks, a box that serves as a table, chair, and workstation, and a computer.)

Even if your budget is already tight, there’s almost always some room for improvement. Typical money-squanderers? Toast with avocado. Coffee in the morning. Smartphones cost $1,000. You know what I’m talking about.

“Years of wise financial decisions create millionaires,” says entrepreneur Tyler Douthitt. “Make the necessary financial sacrifices to make it work.”

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13. Keep in mind that you are not cheap, but you are economical.

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There are many affluent people who are unashamedly thrifty. Consider Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, who previously sported a vanity license plate that said “thrifty.”

Looking for additional ways to save money? Sign up for the Policygenius newsletter to get weekly quick money advice in your email.

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14. Stay out of debt

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It’s worth noting that we didn’t state “pay off your debt.” That’s vital, but it’s also its own thing. For example, if you’re significantly in debt, you should concentrate on paying it off rather than trying to make a million, you know?

Future billionaires limit their debt to a bare minimum, even if it’s good debt, such as debt tied to an asset that will appreciate in value. As if it were a home. (Here are 50 simple debt-reduction ideas.) In relation to that…

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15. Don’t be a housing poor person…

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This is a word used to describe someone who lives in a residence that eats up all of their earnings. So, although you may be paying your mortgage, you may have credit card debt and no emergency savings. How are you going to save $1 million if you can’t save three to six months’ worth of expenses?

“Buy a home that suits your family, not one that is in the most expensive area,” White said. “If you’re attempting to save money, you don’t have to start from scratch.”

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16…. yet make an effort to purchase a house

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Because it’s a financial commitment. A monthly mortgage payment may also be more reasonable than a rent payment, depending on where you live and how much of a down payment you can put down. If you have to rent…

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17. Keep your rent below 30% of your gross income.

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When it comes to housing costs, that’s the normal rule of thumb, but if you want to attain a million, you’ll need to strive higher. In this situation, lower. Consider a percentage range of 20% to 25%.

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18. Make sure your belongings are properly insured…

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Lest a fire, break-in, explosion, or other calamity deplete your funds and derail your ultimate strategy. Yes, this also applies to renters. More information about renters insurance may be found here.

 

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19…. as well as yourself

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If you’re unexpectedly unable to work for an extended length of time, disability insurance will replace part or all of your income. If you cause an accident with your vehicle, your car insurance will cover you. Umbrella liability insurance may cover everything in between as your wealth rises. Bottom line: If you want to increase your net worth, you must safeguard your possessions.

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20. Maintain a gleaming credit report

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Your credit impacts everything, as everyone affected by the Equifax data hack knows: how much interest you pay on a loan, what apartments you may get, and how much your vehicle insurance rates rise. The list might go on forever.

To maintain excellent credit, pay all of your payments on time (yep, every single one), keep your debt modest (as I previously said), and gradually increase additional lines of credit.

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21. Re-negotiate all of your agreements.

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It’s easy to get caught up in a contract, but we’ll be the first to tell you that shopping around pays you. Call your existing service providers, such as your cable company or credit card issuer, to see if you can get a better deal. If not (and your contract is about to end), choose a new place to do business.

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22. Go ahead and negotiate everything.

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Just a thought.

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23. Are you going through the motions of life? Spend less… just not too little

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It becomes much more difficult to save almost half of your earnings after you have a spouse and 2.5 children. Rather, aim to put 20% or more of your monthly salary into a retirement account.

“By the time you reach retirement,” White adds, “the compounding returns should easily make you worth considerably more than $1 million.”

And, listen, if even that proves difficult…

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24. Set aside at least 10% of your earnings.

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“Whatever happens,” he said.

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25. Put your funds on autopilot.

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There are a few things you can do to make saving a little simpler. Setting it and ignoring it is one technique.

“Have your bank account structured to automatically put a particular amount in your savings account or investment portfolio every time a [paycheck] is deposited,” says Jay Labelle, proprietor of The Cover Guy.

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26. Separate your emergency reserve from your regular savings.

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“If something unexpected occurs, which it will with kids,” White adds, “you don’t dig into your savings or investment accounts.”

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27. Stay away from the hotspots

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Couples with children are (perhaps) less likely to spend a lot of money on $85 pet rocks. However, there are some temptations that would-be $1 million parents will have to overcome.

“Find unforgettable getaways that are also inexpensive,” White advises. “You don’t have to spend $20K to have a good time with your kids.” If you’re looking for a cheap family vacation, here are a few options to consider.

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28. Put your windfalls in the bank

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Sure, you want to purchase a new TV or an Escalade, but saving that money for later will get you to $1 million far quicker.

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29. Go to bed and get up early

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You know, what makes a person healthy, affluent, and wise?

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30. Start a side business

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Make more if you can’t save more. And, owing to the gig economy, there are a plethora of opportunities to supplement your income on evenings and weekends.

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31. Provide a somewhere to stay for a brief period of time

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It’s also feasible to generate some additional money while you’re travelling thanks to services like Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner). You simply have to be okay with strangers renting out your property. Here are eight simple steps to renting your house.

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32. Establish a company

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What are the chances? It’s possible that your side hustle may grow into a full-time job. Or maybe you have a brilliant concept that venture investors would like. That may seem a little far-fetched, but consider this statistic from The Cato Institute: Approximately one-third of first-generation millionaires are non-financial company owners or managers.

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33. Become a full-fledged landowner

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As your money rises, you may want to consider purchasing some investment/rental properties. Alternatively, you may rent out a room in your home to help pay down your mortgage. House hacking, we’ve heard, are all the rage these days.

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34. Take on the role of an influencer

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We know, it’s a dirty word, but according to Forbes, top influencers may earn almost $187,000 every Facebook post and $150,000 each Instagram post.

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Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever

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That’s according to Mark Cuban, and although it sounds… well, awful, we thought we’d share it.

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36…. never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,

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The inability to enjoy life is a common topic among self-made billionaires. VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk said earlier this year that millennials are financial failures because they binge-watch Netflix and play too much Madden. ¯ (ツ) /¯

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37. Workout

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Wealthy individuals, according to studies, exercise more. It’s also beneficial to your health. The healthiest (and unhealthiest) states in the United States are shown below.

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Lean in 38.

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Since the crisis, wage stagnation has slowed a touch, so you could discover there’s more money to be earned in your existing employment. According to a Salveson Stetson Group poll, senior executives who moved employment in 2013 got remuneration hikes of up to 16 percent.

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39. Collect your bonus

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Take whatever bonus choices you have at work seriously, and don’t assume you’ll get the whole amount. It may need a desperate race to December, but if you don’t put in the effort, you won’t receive the money. What if you’re not eligible for a bonus?

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40. Request one

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Of sure, as long as you meet a specific objective.

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41. Stay away from the rat race.

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If you want to make a million dollars, you must ensure that your spending does not rise in tandem with your earnings. Seriously. Lifestyle creep is a major issue that has prevented many high-earners from getting the most out of their money.

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42. Consider yourself a hacker

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Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is the source of this one.

In a 2012 note to Facebook shareholders, he said, “The Hacker Way is an approach to developing that incorporates continual improvement and iteration.” “Hackers think that there is always room for improvement and that nothing is ever finished.”

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43. Participate in a game show

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The big reward on Survivor and Who Wants to be a Millionaire is $1 million, after all.

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44. Make up for lost time

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You may make yearly “catch up” payments into some retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, after you reach the age of 50. On the IRS website, you can find out how much you may put into each account.

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45. Put off receiving Social Security benefits.

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Also beneficial for those who are older but not quite at the $1 million barrier, since delayed retirement credits allow you to retire at 70 and get greater (indeed, the highest) Social Security payments.

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46. Take use of all available tax benefits.

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Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Benefits of commuting Deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest (told you it helped to own a home). Make sure you’re taking advantage of any and all tax savings Uncle Sam has to offer. Here’s how to file your taxes this year.

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47. Seek assistance

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Your finances will get more complicated as your salary rises. (Take, for example, all of the tax advantages we just described.) It’s also a good idea to hire a professional – a certified financial planner or a certified public accountant – to assist you handle your money at some time.

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48. Do not give up

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Because amassing a tiny fortune does not happen quickly. In reality, according to a 2016 research, the typical self-made billionaire takes 32 years to become wealthy.

 

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49. Have faith in oneself

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Because you have the potential to earn a million dollars.

White states, “Confidence will carry you through your times of weakness when you want to withdraw money from your savings or investment accounts.” “Keep going, and you’ll reach your objective before you realize it.”

Alternatively, you could simply cross your fingers and hope…

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50. Be a lottery winner

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It’s possible. If that happens, here’s what you should do.

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Skowronski, Jeanine

Jeanine Skowronski is a personal finance writer and content strategist who has worked as the Head of Content at Policygenius, the Executive Editor of Credit.com, and as a columnist for Inc. Magazine. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, and CNBC.

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