15 Essential Money Moves if You Want to Be a Millionaire Before You’re Old

Put these financial practices into place if you want to be a millionaire before your golden years.
Last updated March 8, 2023 | By Jenny Cohen Edited By Michael Kurko
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You probably have a long list of things you would want to do if you had $1 million. But how can you reach that financial milestone while you’re still young enough to enjoy it?

Here are some money moves you can make now to get to $1 million sooner rather than later.


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It sounds like one of the simplest things to do, but you need to find a good way to save money to reach that million-dollar mark.

Maybe that means putting cash in an envelope each week or setting aside some of your income every year into a high-yield savings account.

The most important thing to consider is what type of savings plan will be most successful for you.


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Consider setting some money aside in investments like stocks or real estate that can help you build your financial portfolio.

It’s a good idea to look into different options before you start so you know which investments can get you the best returns and which are less risky than others.

Create a budget

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Sit down with your estimated monthly income to figure out where you’re getting the money you want to invest or save to reach $1 million.

A budget is a good way to prioritize your spending into what you need, what you want, and what you’re going to save.

It can also help you identify places where you may be losing cash and find additional sources of money for investing and saving.

Pay down debt

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One of the biggest stumbling blocks to saving money is debt, which can weigh down your budget.

Find ways to crush your debt so you can free up that cash for savings. Calculate what you owe and prioritize paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first.

Switch jobs

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Is your lack of income preventing you from saving more? Then it may be time to get another job.

Look for a job that will appreciate your experience and understanding of your field while also paying you a higher salary than your current position.

It may be daunting to find a new position, but it also can be a welcome change if you can make it work for you.

Cut back on expenses

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One thing you may have noticed when you created your budget is how much you might be spending on things that you don’t need.

Think about cutting back on going out to dinner or spending your cash on frivolous things.

You also may want to check on those monthly expenses like streaming services or fees on your phone plan that can be dropped or renegotiated to help you save a little extra each month.

Stick to your rules

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It’s good to set goals so you have clear rules of what you plan to do and what you want to achieve. It can be harder, however, to stick to those rules.

Try to build your rules around sound financial ideas and goals that you’re achieving so you don’t get frustrated and give up because you can’t reach those goals.

Live below your means

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You may want a flashy car or high-end clothes and even be able to afford those fancy items. But other options are just as good without going overboard.

Skip the fancy apartment with the high rent tag for a more affordable option that’s just as livable or save money on gas with a more fuel-efficient car that isn’t as expensive as a flashier model.

Set up 401(k) deposits

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A good start to reaching your $1 million retirement goal is to make sure you’re withholding enough money from your paycheck each month for an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan.

Find out if your current employer includes matching dollars as part of a benefits plan for your position. You be able to reach $1 million sooner with your company’s matching funds.

Start a side hustle

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It may be time for you to start a side hustle with a hobby you enjoy or use your skills to earn some extra cash.

Factor in any money you might have to spend on supplies for your side hustle. Then decide if you want that cash to go somewhere specific like a savings account for your side hustle.

Learn more about finance

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There are plenty of free online courses and videos that can give you a good foundation in personal finances and wealth building.

Start with some basic courses about how to create a budget or invest wisely. Then look for ways to save money or make that extra cash work for you with bonds, high-yield savings accounts, or other financial products.

Track your money

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Tracking your money regularly can help you find places where you may be losing more than you think or give you ideas on how to save additional cash.

It can also help you identify any habits that can help steer you in a different direction to get more out of saving.

Establish good habits

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Repeating the same thing over and over again can help you make smart money moves consistently.

Perhaps you want to make an effort to set aside a certain amount of money each week or cut one expense out of your budget each month — something you can repeat over and over to reach your goals.

Pro tip: Use one of the best money apps or create a spreadsheet to help you track what you're doing and encourage you to build good habits.

Prioritize other things

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Don’t lose sight of the fact that $1 million could be a great thing to save, but you also don’t want to be miserable and so focused on money that you forget about life.

It’s OK to take a break from the grind of earning to get enjoy some of that money you’ve been saving. Go on vacation or take a break with some of the cash so you can enjoy a bit of it now instead of waiting for all of it later.

Start now

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If your goal is to become a millionaire before you’re old, the best time to start saving is now.

Sit down and come up with a plan that you think can work to help you reach your goal. Don’t be afraid to adjust it as you learn what works and what doesn’t. The sooner you can put your plan into action, the sooner you can reach that million-dollar mark.

Bottom line

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Are you ready to become a millionaire or maybe see if you can retire early? Create a plan that best fits your current financial situation to help you build a strong financial future.

And remember that every little bit is important, whether you’re saving tons of cash each year or just a little at a time to become a millionaire.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.