If you can do these 6 incredibly simple things, you will likely have over one million dollars of net worth in about 20 years. If I'm half wrong, you will have $500,000, which is no slouch, and if I'm 75% wrong, at least you will have $225,000!
1. Contribute the max to your 401(k) or 403(b) at your job. I don't care if you work at McDonald's, Target, or Taco Bell. I don't care if you are greeter at Wal-Mart. Start contributing immediately. Money NEEDS time to grow. Here is the catch: when you change jobs, you should ALWAYS TRANSFER the money from one jobs retirement system to the next jobs retirement system. You need to call the job you are leaving and tell them that you are "transferring" the money. When you "transfer" it, you don't pay a penalty, but if you let them cut you a check, you pay the huge penalty. This one is vital!
2. Invest an additional 5% of your gross salary into growth mutual funds or index funds. Download an app such as Stash, or logon to Vanguard or Charles Schwab, and create an account. Do some research and open a brokerage account somewhere, and start to invest 5% of your gross income into at least 2 mutual funds or index funds. Do a little homework with this one, but start! This way you have a percentage of your investments at your job, and another percentage of your investments that are not connected to your job.
3. Buy a house in a good location and put it on a 15 yr note. Housing is a top builder of wealth. Don't let this pass you up. It doesn't matter if you are 21 years old or 50 years old, do this. And whatever you do, don't fall for the 30 yr mortgage trick! See my other blog post: https://www.smartmoneybro.com/post/2018/10/17/5-reasons-you-should-never-get-a-30-year-mortgage
4. Never accumulate debt, or at the very least, pay off all of your debt, and, other than your primary resident, NEVER borrow anything else. Buy everything cash. If you can't buy it cash, don't buy it. period. This one is a tough one and it's one that I have struggled with. I know it's difficult. But this is important. You can't borrow your way to wealth. It doesn't work. It looks good on paper and the math adds up, but life isn't math.
5. Live below your means. Budget, save up for larger purchases, stop keeping up with the Jones's, and shop conscientiously with wisdom. Live a simpler life, downsize, don't go on every major vacation, don't go to every big concert, don't buy the biggest car, don't spend money like there is no tomorrow, and have DISCIPLINE! I'm not saying be cheap.....I am actually saying be frugal and smart, and curb your enthusiasm when it comes to your lifestyle. Some people live champagne lives on Keystone beer incomes. That will kill your wealth! Everyone likes to focus on the Income and few people realize that you have to focus on the expenses.
6. Give to others. Whether its tithing to your church, giving alms, giving money or clothes to a homeless shelter, giving items to a local domestic violence shelter, or giving money to help needy families. The point here is that GIVING is a major part of getting. Be a blessing to others and you will be blessed. You weren't put on this earth to take, you were put here to give, to serve, to help others, and to be a blessing to someone else. Use your money to do that. Yes, you can use your time and talents also, but I'm challenging you to give MONEY to the causes you feel are most helpful to others. No one has ever gone broke from giving!
I'm just a regular guy, but I realize becoming wealthy is not complicated, its not mysterious, and it's not for only a certain group of privileged people. You can do it!