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31-year-old millionaire shares his most important hack to build wealth

CNBC logo CNBC 3/20/2017 Kathleen Elkins

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Grant of Millennial Money went from having $2.26 in his bank account to $1 million. And he did it in five years, thanks to a lucrative side hustle and smart saving and investing habits.

On his blog, the 31-year-old self-made millionaire shares "the single most important hack" he's used to build wealth: "I break down ALL of my money goals into daily goals."

After all, "our minds are built to think about today," writes Grant, who goes by his first name exclusively.

The idea came about when he used a retirement calculator for the first time and it told him he needed about $1.25 million to retire. "I was barely able to buy a burrito," he writes, let alone think about saving seven figures.

That's when Grant decided to start thinking about saving as a daily goal. He crunched the numbers and figured out exactly how much he would have to save each day to reach financial independence in 30 years. "It's a simple calculation I did using a basic compounding interest calculator," he writes. "In order to get to $1,250,000 I needed to save $50 a day and have an expected 5% annual compounding rate."

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Next, he started making deposits every single day into his investment accounts, with $50 being the goal. At first, "some days it was only $5, but I rarely missed a day," Grant writes. "Then I started trying to make as much money as possible every day so I could invest it. I stopped thinking long term and thought every day about making that $50 threshold."

His daily goal of $50 deposits soon became his daily minimum. He started setting aside "$70, then $80, then $100 dollars a day. … Then as my side hustles started really taking off I started depositing $500+ a day. ... Then I put $5,000 in a day, then $20,000, and the rest is history."

Today, the self-made millionaire still makes daily deposits. "My current minimum threshold is $200 a day," he writes.

The more you save, the more momentum you build. "Depositing money into my investment accounts every day felt, and still feels, like a game," he writes. "I started crushing it."

It's a strategy anyone can use, no matter how much money you earn, Grant says: "Try depositing $5 a day to start and then increase it $1 a week. Trust me, you probably aren't going to miss that extra dollar."


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