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Here's when you'll become a millionaire if you save $300 a month

CNBC logo CNBC 7/2/2018 Emmie Martin

If you're aiming to build a $1 million retirement fund, as recommended by experts, regularly saving and investing can put you well on your way to reaching that milestone by age 67.

Are you on track? If you start in your 20s, you should aim to put away around $400 a month. But that's not possible for everyone.

CNBC Make It used CNN Money's helpful millionaire calculator to estimate when you would become a millionaire if you're able to contribute $300 to an investment account each month, assuming that you're starting from scratch with zero savings.

  • With a 4 percent rate of return, you'd become a millionaire in 62 years, by 2080.
  • With a 6 percent rate of return, you'd become a millionaire in 48 years, by 2066.
  • With an 8 percent rate of return, you'd become a millionaire in 39 years, by 2057.
  • With a 10 percent rate of return, you'd become a millionaire in 34 years, by 2052.

Try out the calculator yourself here.

As these numbers show, depending on how old you are now, putting away only $300 a month may not be a reliable long-term plan for building wealth and preparing for retirement.

Consider reworking your budget and trying to find areas where you can dedicate more to saving and investing. You want to start putting money away as early as possible to take advantage of compound interest, in which any interest earned accrues interest on itself. That means a little money invested now can end up being more than a lot of money invested later.

You're not alone if even $300 is maxing out your finances: Even $2,100 a year, or $175 a month, is more than most Americans can manage.

But if you're able to get started investing, here are a few simple, low-stress ways to begin:

  • Sign up for your employer's 401(k) plan and take full advantage of any company match, which essentially gives you free money.
  • Contribute to a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, which are both individual retirement accounts that offer tax breaks.
  • Use micro-investing apps such as Acorns, which help you begin by investing small amounts of what it calls your "spare change." The app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically puts your coins to work.
  • Try other apps that aim to make investing simple.
  • Consider automated investing services, known as robo-advisors, that can help you out no matter how much you have in the bank.
  • Research low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffett recommends.

Related video: This simple money hack could save you hundreds each month

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