How I Saved 1 Million Dollars (Strategies) and Why it will be EASIER for YOU!

by | April 18, 2020

It takes dedication, work and focus. For me it was freedom and the ability to travel. I wanted to be able to live off the investments, and doing the work I wanted to, when I wanted.

Video: How to go from Zero to 1 Million in ten years (with a touch if discipline)

My first real job was for the summer, bagging groceries when I was 16 years old for a summer, making minimum wage.
I had a few other odd jobs sine then and quickly realized that what I valued most in life was Freedom.
Freedom of time mainly, and that meant having cash in the bank, and my goal immediately became to save 1 million dollars. 

My goal is to offer you the strategies that when followed, will lead you to the same promised land.
Here are all the strategies that if you follow, that will almost GUARANTEE you will have a million dollars in the bank.

Step #1: Know Your WHYy

You have to have your WHY, because like anything in life worth doing, it isn’t easy. It takes dedication, work and focus. For me it was freedom and the ability to travel. I wanted to be able to live off the investments, and doing the work I wanted to, when I wanted. I didn’t care about flaunting wealth, I cared about being able to do what I want when I wanted.

That was my drive.

Your WHY might be different. Maybe it’s the ability to contribute to others, to take care of your family, to buy that really expensive house on the lake you’re dreaming of. We all will have different values and that’s what makes the world interesting.
So know why you’re doing it, otherwise you’re going to find an excuse to spend your nest egg on immediate gratification. Which brings me to

It’s About Delayed Gratification

The number one thing I have to say, saving a million dollars is about delayed gratification. It takes time that might be more enjoyably spent hiking, watching TV, going out with friends, than learning a new skill, going through the rigamarole necessary to start a business, to grow it, to save money versus spending it on the first immediate pleasurable thing.
Believe me, it’s super easy to lose focus, so here are a few guidelines.

Wait to Have Kids

I have two babies right now both under 3. I love them dearly, but the amount of work and time they require to keep them alive and happy counters directly with the time that you need to be putting into, concentrating on working towards your goal of saving your money.
You simply will lose focus on your business, as a good parent, children will take priority.
Also, part of saving a million dollars is SAVING a million dollars, and kids are really really expensive.
So, kids are great, but again, but far better to have them after you attain your goal as they will be a major major distraction.

To offer you immediate evidence: look at wealthy neighborhoods- the new Dad’s will be way older on average than in poorer neighborhoods.

Save All The Money You Make

Again, it’s difficult to have a nice balance in the bank without cutting back on spending. That’s why they call it “SAVINGS.”
Also, when you save your paycheck it has greater power than earning the same amount, because when you put it aside, you’ve already paid taxes on that money.
So buy used, you’ll get a far better price. Want to furnish your residence, you can buy a new couch for $4,000 plus sales tax, or nearly the same couch on Craigslist for $500, maybe less. Sure it might not be as shiny the first month, but you’ll forget about that pretty quickly. That’s 3500 dollarydoos.

New car, the moment you drive it off the lot it loses twenty percent of its value. The cars made today are really good, and they last much longer than in the past. Buy your car used!

Don’t buy popcorn at the movies, negotiate wherever you can, eat ion instead of out, avoid spending $5 a day on coffee.
All these things add up to more savings. The more you save the faster compound interest will bring you to your goal.
If you do want to go out to eat, get a Groupon and save off your meal. Let the competition of the marketplace help you on your quest.
Oh, and side note: don’t use Groupons on dates. A girl once let me know very clearly that she was interested in a second date with me. I announced that I would be happy to take her to a new restaurant for which I had a Groupon. The date, somehow, never materialized.
On the plus side, the amount of money I saved by being bad at dating brought me closer much more quickly.

Save on Taxes

Yeah, the government takes a substantial part of your earnings. That means that if your goal is to save enough to be financially free, you will make your goal much more quickly if you do all you can to keep your pockets from getting picked.
So, California, where I grew up, apparently trained really hard to compete in the taxation Olympics and to their credit won gold medals, in income tax;13% at the highest level, and a second gold in sales tax.

Now, if you have to be in the state to earn money at your job, which some people definitely do, then so be it, you don’t have a choice.
However, if you can earn the same amount in a state with lower taxes, you are going to do far fart far better.
So, in the section on compounding I told you that starting from Zero if you saved $1,500 a month, at a 7% return, you would have a million dollars in under twenty three years.
So, let’s say instead of paying california $10,000 a year on a 100k yearly income, you paid that to your savings instead. You would have your goal of 1 million dollars in 18 years.
You can work for the state and their wasteful spending or you can work for yourself.  Think about it, that’s a 5 year vacation you could take if nothing else.

Caveat- Don’t go Overboard

I’m going to pause for a second here and issue a caveat, you still have to enjoy life. I was so overboard that my friends stopped inviting me out because I refused to spend money with them. No alcohol for me, ever.
I went 10 years without drinking, it was a waste of money I thought.
Today I realize buying the occasional beer for someone should be okay, you have to enjoy life. 

Another story, someone ran into the front end of my car, 100% their fault.
I got like $1,500 which from the insurance company, and I just put the money in my bank account as an added bonus.
A month later I got a date with a very attractive girl, and I went to pick her up in my old Toyota Corolla with a giant dent, trying not to let her see that side of the automobile, a mission in which I was of course, unsuccessful.
Once again making fun of myself, but going overboard with saving in such ways did not exactly convey the immediate message that I was successful, but it enabled me to save money by not having to upgrade my mattress.

You Still have to Earn!

No matter what you still have to get paid for something, and paid well. The more you earn, the more you can save, the faster the magic of compounding. That’s why you need to have a marketable skill, and invest the time in building that out.

Maybe you went to college for a specific skill like engineering, or computer programming and you can make a good salary right away.
Perhaps you’re really good at product sales, and get such a job earning a commission.
Maybe you’re a real estate agent and you put in the time to build your business are generating lots of referrals. You’ve invest in yourself a lot of time where you made zero, but then the starts money flows in much more quickly. 

The same holds true for virtually any business, the more time and intelligent effort you put into it, the more it will start producing for you.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and learn a marketable skill and know that sometimes turning on the revenue spigot takes more time than it takes to learn how to earn $12 an hour as a barista at Starbucks.

Augment Your Income

Again, the more you earn the faster you will reach your goal.
Maybe in addition to work you have a side hustle of selling baked goods or make-up to people that doesn’t require too much time .
Another is to utilize your resources so that they make you money. Let’s say you have an extra room, or you’re going away on a business trip our vacation. You can Airbnb your place or an extra room in your residence while you’re gone, our maybe take on a roommate for the right price.
I had a one bedroom in LA, and I put the room up on Airbnb for $120 a night. Occasionally someone would stay with me and I’d sleep on the couch in the living room. On other occasions I would rent out the living room. Again, it’s about bringing in money with as little of your time as possible.
By the way, if you’re interested in Airbnb’ing your place, here’s a link. I would be happy to help you get set-up with them and  augment your income.
Just leave a comment for me and let me know, or just follow the link if you don’t need any help, It does come with a bonus so contact me.

Scaling

You absolutely have to scale your efforts in order to earn more money. The reason that software engineers get paid so much is that aside of being a challenging skill to learn that is in demand, when you push a software update, with the click of button you might have an effect on the lives of a billion people.
The same cannot be said for a sole proprietor hamburger vendor selling flipping burgers on the street corner.
But if you have a hamburger stand and franchise it out like McDonald’s did, you are helping people get their own business started and you make a portion of their proceeds, thus you are SCALING your efforts, where your work is amplified and produces revenue when you aren’t there.
One way that this takes place, rather than having sales people, you have an internet website selling something. Think of what Amazon and Jeff Bezos have done, providing massive amounts of infrastructure to allow sellers to connect with buyers and earning a percentage of their sales in the process.
And even in the affiliate program, you might make a small amount selling a product, allowing internet links to work for you when you aren’t there.

Take Advantage of Bonuses

If someone is willing to incentivize you with cash to use their product, take it. A lot of times financial institutions will offer you a bonus to use their product offerings. if you have have a savings account with cash in it, and Chase is offering you $200 to set-up an account with 10k in it, what is stopping you?
Similarly, credit card companies will offer you $500 to spend $4,000 with their card or whatnot. That is an automatic 12.5% return on your money that you were going to spend anyways, and $500 a few different times adds up.
Or you can get free airline miles to be used for tickets that you’d otherwise have to pay for.
Once you save 1 million dollars and have that in your brokerage account, other brokerages will offer you $2,500 to transfer those assets to them.
I mean, when you start out earning $12 an hour like most people do, and you save that much, and suddenly you have the opportunity to make that amount in an hour worth of work, you’d be crazy not to.
And once the hold period is over, you can do so again and again.
Of course, the credit card companies are betting they’ll make their money back in interest in fees, and I HIGHLY recommend you never carry a balance on your cards, but take advantage of these opportunities.

Here is a link to such an offering worth $505 (currently.)

Hire an Assistant

Yes, this will cost you out of your pocket and seems to go against my decree to save all your money, but this isn’t done out of laziness, it’s on the presupposition that you have a skill where you make more for what you pay your assistant to run necessary errands.
For me it was stuff like groceries, going to the post office, even cleaning, so that I could  concentrate on tasks that brought in greater revenues.
if you pay someone you pay $12 an hour to run errands, and you make $30 an hour with whatever you do, that is a $18 an hour in your pocket for not having to do the generally more boring parts of life.

The Magic of Compounding

No less than Warren Buffett will tell you the reason that he is so rich is due to the magic of compounding. You let those savings roll over and grow. Most of you are familiar with term, but on the chance it’s new, if I have $1000 in the bank, and I earn 10% the first year, I’ll have $1,100 next year, having earned $100.
The following year, assuming the exact same return, I won’t make $100 but rather $110. The money grows faster and faster as it compounds.
That is the key here, because compound interest and investing allows you to scale. You own a a small slice of Apple, as the company grows so does your investment. Just by virtue of the capitalistic machine, you are owner, granted a tiny minority owner of the world’s greatest companies and benefitting from their growth.
You are making money when you aren’t there.
So, given that one of the keys here is the compounding of money, I want to quickly show you how klong it will take, starting from zero to reach 1 million in savings.
Assuming the 7% market return, starting from ZERO, If you 1 million in cash run the bank in:

5 years: 160,000 a year to set aside, or about $13,000 a month. if you;’re doing that well, good for you.
10 years: 68,000 a year set aside. $5667 a month. Way less than $13,000
15 years: 37,000.00 a year or $3080 a month.

And that is the magic of compound interest, you see the longer time frame you have, the longer the money has to work for you, and thus Compound. So the earlier you start the better. if you make a decent salary, and you start right after college, you can very easily save a million in cash by the time you’re 40.
And by the way, this is a large part of the reason that the the greatest percentage of millionaires are senior citizens. The money has had time to grow.

Investing

For simplicity purposes I am just going to recommend that you purchase an S+P 500 index fund. As America grows, as we see increased gains in productivity, your investment will grow. Of course, if you have specialized knowledge in a field and see it growing, by all means you might be able to discern what will be a winning company, and there is nothing wrong in putting a bet down on it, but for our purposes here I am going to assume a 7% annual rate of return as has been the historical average for the US markets.
You will have a ton of people that will guarantee you an above average market return in exchange for a fee. Despite their promises, very few people are able to deliver, and you are far better off keeping those fees in your account and compounding that nest egg rather than giving it away.
Also, just hold long term and avoid paying capital gains taxes unless you need cash. again, you want the magic of compounding to take place.

Summary

Look, there is nothing magical about saving a million dollars. The more you save and put away, the faster you will get there. Be strict about the way you spend, but also, have some money set aside specifically to enjoy life.
Scale your efforts. Whether that be allowing the internet to work for you, hiring people to do the tasks while you build your business, or in the case of a personal assistant, just allowing you to do things that will earn your more money.
The truth is that with the opportunities available today, with the decreased costs associated in investing, it likely has never been easier to attain this goal.

2017 data- how does your household compare to America?

Net Worth Percentile

Net Worth

10.00%

-$962.66

20.00%

$4,798.06

30.00%

$18,753.84

40.00%

$49,132.21

50.00%

$97,225.55

60.00%

$169,550.64

70.00%

$279,594.27

80.00%

$499,263.50

90.00%

$1,182,390.36

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