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Becoming a millionaire can seem like a pretty lofty goal — or even just a fantasy. But according to financial adviser David Bach’s book “Smart Couples Finish Rich,” all it takes is a little planning.
It might seem impossible, but you can start off by saving just $2 a day when you’re 20 or $20.55 when you are 40. Believe it or not, that can get you to be a millionaire by the time you’re 65.
Start Early (Or, At Least, Now!)
According to Bach, the key to getting rich is sticking to a savings and investment plan as early as you can.
So how exactly will $2 a day get you to be a millionaire in time for retirement? Bach created a chart, which Business Insider recreated, to illustrate how you can build your wealth over the years.
The chart assumes you start with no money invested, and it assumes a 12% annual return. That may be a little aggressive — even the historically standard baseline of an 8% return on investment may be considered high these days — but it can give you an idea of what a few dollars a day can do.
The Key Is To Invest
The key to accumulating wealth is to not just save money but to invest and let it multiply. According to the authors of the wildly popular “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy,” millionaires invest 20% of their income on average (and, accordingly, the majority of them live well below their means).
Robert T. Kiyosaki echoes this advice in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!,” which bills itself as the #1 Personal Finance Book of All Time (and, is part of the “Rich Dad” series that has sold over 27 million copies worldwide).
Earning a lot of money won’t automatically lead to wealth. It’s how much you keep and what you do with it that counts.
It’s Not Too Late To Start Saving
Whether you are just starting to save money now or want to increase your investments (to get that oh-so-essential return!), the process can be confusing and overwhelming. Don’t give up though.
As “The Millionaire Next Door” authors William Danko and Robert Stanley advise, financial planning takes time — but it’s time very well spent.
An article on GetRichSlowly summed up this point:
“Prodigious accumulators of wealth spend nearly twice as many hours per month planning their investments as under accumulators of wealth… You don’t have to earn a big six-figure salary for planning to pay off. In a survey of 854 middle-income workers, Danko and Stanley found ‘a strong positive correlation’ between investment planning and wealth accumulation.”
Related: Looking for some inspiration? Check out this couple who saved their money, retired early and now spend all their time traveling across the country:
Need More Help Saving Money?
Finding a trusted financial planner to help guide your budgeting and investments can be a good use of your time and money. If you need help saving money on a daily basis, there’s another chart that shows you how to save $1,000 in a year based on how much you need to save each day.
Each day for 12 months, store the amount listed on the chart, cross it off and voila! At the end of the year, you should have an extra $1,000 to invest.
The blogger behind Medium Sized Family created the chart, and it’s pretty brilliant. Head over to her site to print out twelve of these for the year ahead and get more helpful saving tips!
And if you’re still not sure how much you need to be saving, try this handy savings calculator.
RELATED: Here’s How Much Money You Need To Make To Be In The Top 1% Of Every State
The long and short of it: The next time you’re thinking of getting that coffee or green juice, you might want to consider setting that money aside instead — it will definitely pay off in the long run.