The No. 1 Skill That Would Make You A Millionaire… Guaranteed

Today, we’re looking at the most important skill you need to save money and build wealth that will last.

Right now, we’re in the second section of Page 16 – 17 in Chapter 1 of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.

And here’s my lesson for the day:

You can retire with more than $1.1 million, by saving just $100 a month, every month, from age twenty-five to age sixty-five (your working lifetime) at the stock market average return of 12 percent.

Yes, this is true. And it works like magic!

And the skill Dave talks about in this part of the book makes that magic a reality.

I must warn you though – learning and mastering this skill takes work.

But this skill is sure to make you a millionaire by the time you retire. I’d say that’s a pretty lucrative skill to learn and master, if you ask me.

“So, how can I make $1.1 million by saving just $100 a month?” you ask. Here’s how:

  1. Use a compound interest calculator: You can use this calculator from the U.S. government’s website on investing here
  2. You’ll be filling out the form on the page:
  3. For Initial Investment, put $100
  4. For Monthly Contribution, put $100
  5. For Length of Time in Years, put 40
  6. For Estimated Interest Rate, put 12
  7. Leave Interest rate variance range blank
  8. For Compound Frequency, choose Monthly

Then hit ‘Calculate.’

What did you get?

In 40 Years, you will have $1,188,342.02.

That’s $1.188 million dollars.

And that’s how you become a millionaire 40 years from now, by simply putting aside $100 a month.

Now, let’s back up a little bit.

So far, we’ve looked at the top two reasons why we save:

  • Saving for an Emergency Fund
  • Saving for Purchases

So today, we’ll be looking at the third major reason why we save money. And that’s:

  • Saving to Build Wealth

Dave goes in-depth into everything you’ll need to build wealth in later chapters (Chapters 9 & 10), but in this chapter, he wanted to cover the basic, essential skill you need to build wealth… by saving money.

And that essential, important skill, my friend, is DISCIPLINE.

According to Dave, “when it comes to saving money and building wealth over the long haul, nothing is more important than discipline.”

Think about that for a moment: You can literally build a life of abundant wealth and financial freedom for yourself, just be practicing this essential skill of discipline.

And not only will discipline help you become a millionaire, you can discipline yourself to win at fitness, relationships, finding your purpose, and a bunch of other things we all chase in life.

Now, you may not like discipline. And I won’t be surprised. No one likes discipline, but we sure love the sweet results that discipline brings when we practice it:

  • You may not like to discipline yourself with your diet and fitness training, but you sure love the way your body feels vibrant and active thereafter
  • You may not like to discipline yourself with preparing for your job interviews, but you sure love the rewards of getting your dream job in a company you love
  • You may not like to discipline yourself by putting away $100 every month, but you definitely love that million sitting in your bank account forty years from today
  • You may not like to discipline yourself by investing in your relationships, but you sure love those feelings of connection, abundance, and warmness you experience with those closest to you

And here’s the deal: we’re always tempted and distracted to skip the ‘discipline’ part, and just get right to that results that we all love and crave.

It’s why everybody wants to get rich quick, right now, today. We enjoy taking the easy path, but if building wealth were easy, then everyone will be doing it.

We all want the juicy results at the end, but not the messy middle, the painful process, along the way.

But if you and I can keep this need to master discipline as a top-of-mind issue, it will make us more committed to push through and break through, when that road to wealth building feels tough.

Why?

Because we’d have been waiting for the pain! We won’t try to take the short-cuts, but we’d steadily but surely push through that marathon of wealth building.

Dave goes on to quote a Bible verse focused on discipline:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” [Hebrews 12:11 NIV]

Yes, building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. And if we’ll keep pushing continuously, without expecting any shortcuts, then we’ll get to where we want to be in the end.

And realize all that running was truly worth it.

All using the incredible power of discipline!

Now back to that $100 a month-to-millionaire example

If we can put away $100 a month for the next 40 years and become a millionaire, then why aren’t more people doing it?

Here’s why: we perhaps can squeeze out an extra $100 from our budget every month, that’s easy…

…the hard part is continuing to put that $100 away every month without fail for the next 40 years.

It’s hard:

  • We’d get distracted many months
  • We’d wonder if this will even work
  • We’d ‘discover new investment opportunities’ that will promise us $10 million, instead of a million
  • Something else will quietly sneak into our finances, to take away that $100

There’s no way around it, my friend…

… if you and I truly want to build wealth, we’ll need to buckle down, set our financial goals, and continue to strengthen our discipline to achieve those goals.

And just like building muscles, discipline also requires constant reps, sweats, and workouts.

For example, once you plan to start putting that $100 today, you’ll face some temptations wanting to hold you back from doing it.

But here’s the deal: if you can push through those, you’ll have strengthened the core muscles of discipline.

Another example: you start saving that $100 a month and everything’s going great for the first 5 months…

… but you suddenly get a ‘new investment opportunity’ blinking at you in your email inbox. If you can push through that too, you’ll have strengthened and flexed the core muscles of your discipline even more.

And on and on… until you reach goals, and pat yourself on the back for not quitting, when you see the outrageous rewards waiting for you on the other side.

But that journey starts with that first step of putting the $100 away in savings right now… today.

So ask yourself: “Is there a way I can squeeze out $100 from my monthly budget / expenses?”

If you can’t get that $100 from your budget today, ask yourself: “Is there something I can build now, that will give me $100 a month 2 or 3 years from now…

… which I can then continually save and invest to build wealth?”

Look really closely into your budget, and see where you can cut to make room for this $100 monthly savings fund.

And then continually build your commitment to keep squeezing out that $100 every month.

And even better, this exercise might even force you to look for ways to make an extra $100 a month that you can put away in your savings.

It will help you look closely at your skills / experiences / interests to see where you can truly bring value to people, so you can get that $100 a month to save and build wealth.

All of this is hard and painful, and this discipline hurts and will need you to sacrifice some things, like sleep, TV time, time, buying junk, getting too comfortable, etc.

But I can assure you, on the other side, the results will well be worth the efforts.

Don’t forget:

You can retire with more than $1.1 million, by saving just $100 a month, every month, from age twenty-five to age sixty-five (your working lifetime) at the stock market average return of 12 percent.

You just need to continuously find that discipline in you to start now… to keep saving and not stopping.

That’s all for today, my friend. We’ll continue in the second section of Page 17 of the book tomorrow.

See you then.

-DD

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