For most millennials who’ve just graduated from college, saving for retirement is perhaps the last thing on their mind. But one young man is already well on his way to quitting his 9-to-5 job.
A guy who blogs anonymously using the name “Money Wizard” says he saved $100,000 by age 25.
How a millennial saved $100K by 25
Think he must be rich? Think again. The now 26-year-old told Business Insider that he makes $70,000 a year in the financial industry and he has received no inheritance.
Less than a year after reaching his milestone, he says his net worth is already nearly $150,000.
This is just the beginning for the Money Wizard, who shared on his website another big goal: retirement by age 37 – just 11 years from now.
How did this man get such a great head start? Here are four of his keys to success!
1. Start saving early
If you start investing early and often, you’re far more likely to reach your savings goals.
As the Money Wizard pointed out in a guest post for MillennialMoneyMan.com, he made his first investment at age 16 – and he hasn’t stopped since.
He says he currently maxes out his 401(k) for the company match and tax savings.
This reminded us about the time when Clark explained how a teenager who starts investing at 15 and puts aside $2,000 for just 7 years will have more than $1 million in retirement.
Here’s an age-based breakdown of how much to save each month to retire a millionaire.
2. Live on half of your salary
The Money Wizard says he saves about 65% of his take-home pay, thanks to a lifestyle that he described on his blog as “minimalist.”
His biggest monthly expense is a $640 rent payment, according to numbers he provided to Business Insider. He splits living costs with his girlfriend.
But his spending in other budget categories – food, gasoline and recreation – are also low.
In our Common Cents video series, Clark.com Managing Editor Alex Sadler provided a few ways to reduce your expenses without sacrificing quality of life.
- Switch to a low-cost cell phone carrier
- Shop around for lower insurance
- Cut out subscriptions that you don’t use
A good first step is to take a look at your budget and figure out the percentage of your take-home pay that you’re saving, just like the Money Wizard did.
Once you have a starting point, you can set a goal to increase your savings rate over time.
3. Avoid all consumer debt
What’s not included in the Money Wizard’s budget? Debt payments of any kind.
Clark is okay with using credit cards because of the hidden dangers of debit cards, but you must pay off your credit card balance in full every month to avoid interest charges.
If you’re wondering about student loans, the Money Wizard got a break. His parents paid for college.
For those looking to save money, Clark recommends attending a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year school where you’ll graduate from.
4. Always have a side hustle
The Money Wizard told MillennialMoneyMan.com that he always had a side job, even when he ran a lemonade stand as a young child.
And it’s probably that willingness to work hard that has gotten him so far!
The great thing about technology is that you don’t have to find a part-time job at the mall to make extra money anymore – because there are so many opportunities online.
The Money Wizard makes side money blogging, but we have a list of some other ideas for you.
Read more: Amazon is hiring and you can work from home
Clark’s path to success
Reading about the Money Wizard’s story got us thinking about a turning point in Clark’s life, which led him on a journey to help others save money.
In his book “Living Large for the Long Haul,” Clark wrote about how he came home from college for Thanksgiving break and learned that his father had lost his job. That meant Clark would have to pay for his next semester on his own. So he got a full-time job during the day and went to school at night.
“For me, what happened when I was a teen was great. It made a huge difference in my life by getting me to work at a very young age,” Clark wrote. “That meant I missed a lot of the fun that people have in college, but the result of it and the benefit in my lifetime has been great.”
Once he graduated, Clark worked several jobs before opening a chain of travel agencies, which he sold in 1987. He retired at 31. Not long after that, a guest appearance on a radio talk show turned into a regular gig, bringing Clark out of retirement. And ever since then, he has been here for you – on the radio, TV and Clark.com.