How to become rich when you are in your 30’s

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How to become rich when you are in your 30's - MakeLivingGood.comIf you are in your 30’s and missed reading How to become a Millionaire – Things to do in your 20’s when you were in your 20’s then don’t be disheartened. You can still become rich by starting in your 30’s. Yes it is very much possible if done right and I will show you how in this post – How to become rich when you are in your 30’s. I started my journey towards being a millionaire late as well after missing quite a number of good opportunities which could have sped up my path towards my short-term goals. But as soon as I realized that time is the most ingredient in succeeding as an investor; I didn’t want to miss a moment to start working on my plans. Here in this post, you will learn about some of the actions that I took to achieve my goal of being a millionaire, much before retirement age. But before we jump into the actions, let’s quickly talk about goal setting which is very critical to do right in the beginning.

Why being a Millionaire is a short-term goal?

First we need to understand what exactly a GOAL is?

A GOAL is a measurable end result that must be achieved in a definite amount of time set in the beginning.

Goal should be a measurable end result; meaning that we should be able to define specially when a goal is considered achieved.

must be achieved in a definite amount of time; there should be a time frame within which you reach your target.

Now understanding of a goal is clear, here’s a quick recap on how we should set our goals in life.

The goals must be set in staged manner.

Let me explain. You may want to go to moon one day. That is your goal. Just imagine even if you don’t like flights, like me.  🙂

Now since you have set your final goal, next step is to back trace it to today. For instance, you will need to think how can I go to moon? What are the options available today for someone who wants to travel to moon?

Well, you can pay few millions of dollars for Space Travel. But if you don’t have millions of dollars to pay like most of us, then what?

You know that astronauts get to travel to space for free and they are paid as well for doing it. So, you can become an astronaut.

How many years does it take to become an astronaut? 5 years of studies and may be 5 more years of training? So, let us say 10 years in all.

So, here’s how your goal plan will look like:

how to become rich by setting life goals -

As you see, we back traced what is required today to travel into space in future (10+ years later).

We can apply same principle in our finances. I have my goal of being millionaire in 10 years. But that’s not the final goal but a short-term one towards some bigger goals later.

On a quick side note, I recommend you to check these related posts as well:

How to become rich when you are in your 30’s

The reason I took a detour to explain a very important subject – how Goals should be set to succeed in life ; is because goal setting is the most important step in achieving financial freedom. Ok so now that we have an idea about how to set goals in order to succeed in life lets come back to our main topic – How to become rich when you are in your 30’s. 

Before we read further, I want you to understand that there are various ways to reach a million dollar in due time. According to me, becoming a millionaire involves a set of actions that you need to execute in a disciplined manner in order to succeed at it. Below, there are few of those ways to become a millionaire. If method one would take a decade to reach a million mark, then doing method two and three in parallel, will reduce time frame to few years. Basically, you need to do more than one step together to start a chain reaction that will explode into something great financially.

Let’s continue to our list now.

1. Stop All sorts of Addictions TODAY

I already talked about it in How to become a Millionaire – Things to do in your 20’s a bit but i guess getting control of any sort of addiction is important in any age group more importantly when a person is in his 30’s. In fact its much more important now if not already done; to stop any sort of addiction or habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol which put pressure on your money and health.

Addiction is like a sword’s blade which is sharp on its both edges.  Any sort of addiction can put us years behind in our wealth creation process and in parallel it hurts our health. God forbids if anything bad happens to our health like a diseases or something serious, then we have to spend much more money from our savings on recovering from it which further pushes us behind our goal by many years. Unless someone’s goal is to make doctors rich, addiction should be avoided at all cost and an attempt should be made to maintain good health.

Here’s a calculation that I did for my father who was a chain smoker for almost 40 years of his life.

How to become a Millionaire -

As you can see he used to smoke at least 2 packs of cigarette daily at $13.38 a day, totaling $4,884 a year. If you put that money in a mutual fund or some other interest bearing investment then at 10% return for 40 years of his smoking time frame, he would have generated $2.6 million. That’s for not doing something. In general people make money after they do something, some kind of work. Here I asked him to stop doing (read as ‘smoking’).

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If you are into drinking habits or something more fancy, or all three, then you might be doing much more damages to your financial freedom. As you are reading this post; so I assume you are in 30’s age group. If you have been smoking or consuming alcohol or whatever other types of addictions, then probably you have already done lot of damage to your wealth building process and maintaining good health. It’s time to stop it.

2. Invest 3X percentage of your income

I am not a certified financial planner or advisory but only a common sense follower. I seek wisdom through common sense and by studying successful people. That’s not all, I also study people who failed big in their lives. For instance Michael Jackson, the musical icon of the millennium. He lost lots of his earned (royalty mostly) money in legal fights, debt, addictions, medical etc. When he died, he still had over $300 million of debt on his name. The sole purpose of studying failure is to avoid it in my own life. Isn’t it a better approach than trying hit and trial myself.

Before you decide where to invest, read knowledge is the power in investing world which will save you ton of money.

So, after due diligence over few days of thinking, I came up with this formula for saving. It’s very complicated, so pay your full attention.  🙂

You need to save at least x percentage of your income every month, where x = your age.

So, if you are 34 years old, you need to save & invest 34% of your income every month. If you are 28 years old, then you need to save & invest 28% of your income. Although I recommend saving more if you can.

With this approach, your savings percentage shall increase with your age which will speed up your progress to short-term goal of becoming a millionaire.

History has shown that stock markets have given the best results in last century. Even if you invest for 2-3 decades, it can beat any other investment vehicle. If you are scared of picking individual stocks for direct stock market investments, then I suggest you take the route of low-cost Index funds such as Vanguard S&P 500.

Read more – Can we make real money in stock market for sure?

Below is a chart showing S&P 500 growing by 500% in 30 years. There are many up & downs but overall markets trend upwards in long-term as proved by historical movements. Although future returns aren’t guaranteed but index funds will still beat 96% of mutual funds.

I want to become a millionaire - source:

You will ask, how am I supposed to increase my savings while expenses are increasing every year with family, kids education and health, etc. Well, I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not easy. But we need to try our best. Later I will discuss some more ideas to generate extra income but for now, just remember this simple formula to guide you towards your millions.

Another question that I am asked is; when you reach 60 or 70 years of age how will you be able to save 60-70% of your income. You are right again. This is not a magical formula that fits everywhere. That’s why I didn’t cover it in my previous article – How to become a Millionaire – Things to do in your 20’s. There in fact, I suppose younger folks will be able to save much more than 20-30% due to limited liabilities and frugal living. Think of this rule as a quick tool to help you decide how much you should save. If you can’t save that much, do your best to be as close to it as possible. The goal of this activity is not to be accurate but to start the process of saving & investing for future.

Related Post:

Early Retirement: Start Saving Regularly Before its too Late – I highly recommend you to read this to get a reality check about your financial freedom.

To grow even faster, you need more cash, right? Here are my 20 best ideas to earn extra money.

3. Start a side Business

Well this is not applicable to everyone. Right?

Wrong. You couldn’t be any more wrong if you think you can’t start a business.

Everyone has got some unique ideas or even if not unique ideas then creative ways of doing something already done by someone else. Even if you are not creative, you can at least buy stuff from one place and sell at another? Confused? Well, this is what many people do on internet.

You can buy stuff from China or somewhere cheap and then sell it online. You remember few months back all of a sudden a new toy came in the market which took everyone’s attention. Remember fidget spinner? If not, check it out here. I am sure you might have already seen this before.

When it was launched a guy came to me while I was waiting in parking lot for my wife finishing her groceries in the store. This guy demonstrated to me how a fidget spinner works. It was the first time I had heard about it then. You guess what, my 6-year-old, sitting in back seat at that time, was immediate fan of fidget spinner and she desperately wanted it. Yes I bought it in less than 20 seconds from the guy for $15. Later when I reached home and had regained my common sense, I searched for same tool online and it was available for 1/3 the price. But the smile on my daughter’s face was priceless when she held the fidget spinner and gave it a spin for the first time.

The moral of the story is this. A guy who bought few fidget spinners probably online or got them from china for under few bucks, made $15 from me in 20 seconds. And believe me he didn’t even have a sales pitch. He just demonstrated how it works once and rest of the work was done by my daughter in back seat.

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There must be something that you can do as well. It doesn’t need to be a physical product but even something digital online like writing a book or guide (cookbook, learn computer, some kind of how to’s guide, etc). An idea can make you a millionaire probably faster than anything else.

4. Multiply Cash Streams

Well this one is slightly related to Start a side business mentioned above, but I wanted to emphasize that having a business isn’t the only way to earn side income. There are many ways to generate cash or setup cash streams. For instance, if you are good at generating product ideas, then you can probably look into patenting one or two ideas which companies are willing to pay you royalty on. Although i recommend you to first talk to these companies and check whether they are interested in licensing your ideas before investing into patenting process. Patents are expensive to get. I will probably write some day about my experience with patents.

You can also generate dividend income from stocks or mutual funds. That could be another source of extra cash. If you do not shy away for managing a renter, then buy some real estate property (residential or commercial) to earn regular stream of monthly rents.

There are some platforms like lending club or prosper, which offer hassle free peer-to-peer  lending. You can earn around 7-9% from these platforms. There are risks involved in peer-to-peer lending, so please do some research about the borrower before lending your money. Having multiple cash streams will definitely help you in becoming rich by further investing additional cash into your financial freedom fund.

Read more – 20 best ways to make extra money

5. Optimize your expenses

Not many people think about optimizing their expenses over time. For instance, if you have same auto insurance for years and have not been in any accidents or filed any major claims, then you might get better premium rates by switching to a competitor auto insurance provider. In USA, there are various auto insurance providers to choose from; Geico (cheapest in most cities), StateFarm (one of the largest auto insurance provider), 21st Century (for years 21st gave me better rates than Geico) and many more.

When you stay within same insurance company for long time, they usually increase your premium amount by 5-10%. This is a sham by the way. Why premium should be increased if you are living in same locality, driving to same office in same car which is getting older; meaning less replacement cost, and you are becoming a better driver over time of no accidents. But still, they find a reason for increasing the premium amount by 5-10%.

I have learned this first hand. If this is happening with you as well, then I recommend you to check premium rates from other providers in your area and switch. There’s a no reason for paying premium value to one provider over another in auto insurance industry.

You should also review your utility bills every year. If you are in USA, then you can compare rates from various providers at PowerToChoose. My recommendation would be to go for longest contract if you are getting better fixed rates. This alone saved me over $110 a month in my electricity bills. It just takes few minutes to compare and then apply.

Start here and get $10 welcome gift card when you sign up at ebates using my link. Read more about ebates at: How ebates helped me save extra money through cashbacks at absolutely no cost.

You can do same for TV or Cable providers. I switched to Netflix which costs me just $8.65 a month and it provides good content as well which is getting better since I started on it. If you are a fan of ESPN or HBO, then you know that you don’t need to go through cable providers anymore. You can directly subscribe to specific channels for under $10 a month. I used to pay over $80 a month for cable for watching just few channels. With Netflix and direct subscription, I am saving over $50 a month now which give me $600 of extra cash a year.

If you are looking to save some money on Internet providers, then check this link.

As you see, by following above suggestions, you may easily save over $2000 – $3000 a year and that will help you answer your main question – how to become rich?. The answer is that this extra cash is now available for you to invest and speed up the overall progress.

Read more – How to save a lot by adopting frugal lifestyle choices


If you are looking to get married soon and have plans to have a big party and plans to buy expensive dresses for the occasion, then read this.

Your wedding dress will probably cost you 20 times more than your regular daily wears and you will get to wear it for one night only. If you really want a good wedding dress, then may be try to rent it rather than buying. The money that you will save here, will go a long way with you.

Similarly, if you are planning on throwing a lavish party for the occasion, then think about how much will it cost you and how many years it will throw you back from your million dollar. Is there a possibility to have smaller gathering? Can wedding be done at a less expensive venue or local church?  The money you will save from huge party will be much more than what is saved on your wedding dress. This money saved, can be the down payment to your new house that promised to your partner. Before you buy a home, I highly recommend you to check this post which can save you lots of money in the process. Just some ideas for you to think about. Don’t hate me please!!!

6. Rent Vs Own

There’s a many year-long debate on which is a better option; renting a home vs buying one. So, I won’t go into that here. But I will share a way to save lots of money while renting an apartment.

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A friend of mine (we call him Sammy); moved to USA in 2011 and he rented a decent apartment of 900 sq. ft area for $930. In 2011, the housing market wasn’t that great in USA so he negotiated a good deal with apartment management for getting free water supply for as long as he was renting the apartment. So, he’s total monthly rent would be $930 including water.

In contrast, another friend (we call him Rabi) of mine who was also renting an apartment for $850 in neighborhood was paying on average $30 for water bills every month. So, his monthly rent was $880 a month, $50 less than Sammy.

But Rabi doesn’t like to stay in same area for more than a year. So, he rents out a new apartment every time he has to file lease renewal papers. But Sammy is more of a stable guy who doesn’t like packing and moving stuff every year, so he usually apply for 13, 15 or even 18 months lease if its available.

Over 6 years have passed since they both started in 2011, and recently when I met them and asked about their current rents, this is what each of them told me.

Rabi was paying around $1640 (rent) + $45 (water) in 2017.

Sammy was paying around $1180 (rent) + $0 (water) in 2017.

I thought this is very interesting. After digging more, I found that Rabi didn’t stay in an apartment for more than a year while Sammy was still living in the same apartment. Since Rabi was moving his rent was increasing with market rates while Sammy was in same apartment for last 6 years so, his apartment rate was heavily discounted from market rate for being a loyal customer. Wow !!!

When I did the math, I found another way on how to become rich by not doing something.

How to save money while renting an apartment -

Clearly as seen, Sammy saved serious amount ($16,500) of money in 6 years by ‘not’ doing something while Rabi was losing his hard-earned money for what?

Moreover, Sammy didn’t have to change his kid’s school in last 6 years and didn’t have to update his address in all over the place, while Rabi was putting lots of time and effort in changing schools and updating his addresses.

How to become rich? well you need to ask yourself if you are renting an apartment today, are YOU Sammy or Rabi?

If you are planning to own a home, then check my detailed analysis on how to save lots of money while buying a home.

7. Retirement Planning

As I mentioned earlier, I am not a financial planner but just a common sense follower. If you are working at a company that offers 401(k) or any sort of retirement planning schemes where employer shares part of your investment, then you must take it. Read on to know why.

If you are not 60 years old, then you may not know that there used be a pension plan that was compulsory for all big companies to offer to their employees. In a pension plan, after an employee is retired, he/she would get a regular stream of income until his/her death. This would obviously put pressure on companies because they had to support their employees even though they were retired. So, they came up with a genius plan (well genius because it’s in company’s favor) called – 401(k) or provident fund.

How a 401(k) or provident fund or normal retirement plan offered by employers work is; it’s an optional plan for any employee to choose. Once an employee decides to enroll, a fixed portion (say 6%) of his paycheck will be directly invested into 401(k) plan before employee gets his/her monthly check. For employees who enrolled, most companies offer matching employee’s contribution from 50% to 100%. In other words, if you contribute 6% of your salary into retirement plan, then your company will also contribute in same account anything from 3% to 6%. So, you can double your contribution if you opt for retirement plan. This is very important to start saving for retirement as early as possible.

This is free money for you. Isn’t it? Think of it as a monthly bonus that company pays you and allows you to invest in your retirement plan. There’s no sensible reason for not opting for getting free money.

If you haven’t done it yet, then talk to your company’s HR tomorrow and enroll. It usually takes a single form to fill and submit.

You will ask, will this help you become a millionaire? Ofcourse, it will and without you doing anything extra for it. Most retirement plans offer investing in low-cost index funds, which will grow with market over 30-40 years of your workable life. As we discussed in this post – How to become rich when you are in your 30’s, you shouldn’t wait to get free money. Do it today if not already done. It is the key to your financial freedom and to retire richer.


As we learned, there are various ways to reach a million dollar mark. Some of the ways will surpass your goal such as quitting smoking that alone might save you $2.6 million in 40 years, while others may add some extra legs to your existing financial freedom fund. Any of the steps suggested above are more or less autonomous and in a way make you rich doing nohting. You just need to plan and set the system running. That’s it. The money machine will work on its own while you are sleeping, traveling or watching TV.

I hope this article – How to become rich when you are in your 30’s act as your guide towards your first one million dollars. Tell me in comments below what you are doing to reach your first million dollars. 

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How to become rich when you are in your 30’s

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