50 ways to save your first million

Making the two-comma club is still a noble financial goal, though. And an attainable one,  too, with a little luck and a whole lotta work.

With that caveat in mind, here are 50 habits that, taken collectively (more or less), could make you a millionaire.

Save 40% to 50% of your paycheck

If you’re just starting out in the workforce, “keep living like a student,” Jeff White, a financial analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com, says. Which means, yes, try to set aside almost half of your income.


Because, let’s face it, these days, it’s pretty much impossible to nickel-and-dime your way to a $1 million.


Take that 40% to 50% of your paycheck and “invest [it] into more than one source,” White says. That includes stocks, bonds, real estate and mutual funds.

Start small

There are plenty of investing apps out there that can get you started. Some apps, like Betterment and Wealthfront, are robo-advisors, while others serve as online investment brokers.

Mix in long-term investments

We’re talking IRAs and 401(k) plans. These funds are essential for a stable retirement. But the tax penalties associated with early withdrawals should dissuade you from tapping that money for non-emergencies.

Max out an employer-sponsored 401(k)

If your employer matches up to a certain amount, well, that’s the amount you should deposit into the fund each paycheck. Otherwise, you’re basically leaving free money on the table for retirement.

& your annual IRA contributions

In 2019, for instance, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth individual retirement accounts can’t be over $6,000 or your taxable compensation for the year, assuming your compensation was under that limit.

Take part in an IPO

Be sure to consult a financial adviser before making any major investments.

Don’t waste money

Sounds like a no brainer, sure, but people (ahem, Gen-Zers and millennials) are into being extra, these days. Don’t fall for it, Gen-Zers and millennials: $400 pants are not an investment.

Embrace minimalism

That’s the theory all those tiny house hunters you’re watching on HGTV subscribe to: Less is more … and great for your bank account.