I hit my first $100k when I was 27, almost 28 years old. I didn’t have a degree, I worked an hourly job in a high cost of living area, I paid all my bills on my own, and I was a very low energy person.
I’ve kept meticulous records of my net worth since I started my wealth-building journey many years ago. For some context, I’m currently 32, hit $100k at 27, and started seriously focusing on building my wealth around 25.
My first $100k wasn’t that monumental for me at the time. I had high expectations for myself because I’ve cared about building my wealth since I was a little girl and learned money could get me Spice Girl Barbie dolls at Toys R Us.
As a little girl, I’d pull up to the street with whatever crafts I could figure out how to make and try to sell them. At the time and for many years after, I thought the key to building wealth was income alone.
Like I said, I expected to have $100k much younger. I started investing in the stock market at 19 and bought my first house at 20. But those moves weren’t enough to offset some bad habits I needed to adjust to really build my wealth. Side note, I bought the house in the middle of the housing crash of 2008 and had to wait five years before I broke even and eventually sold, making just $1k in profit. The house was not helpful in building my wealth.
So what did help me?
1. Tracking My Net Worth
I’m very comfortable with my intuition and don’t live and die by data, but I do utilize data in areas I’m focusing on improving. Collecting monthly data to see how I was doing building my net worth was valuable feedback.
Tracking my net worth gave me feedback on what was working, and seeing it increase motivated me to keep going. I updated my net worth at the 1st of each month and couldn’t wait to see how much I had increased it by.
I have a free net worth tracker, if you want a spreadsheet to help you keep track of yours.
2. Slowing Down
I didn’t take on a 2nd job when I wanted to build my wealth. I focused on slowing down and getting the basics right like building a budget, sticking to my budget, consistently saving, and paying down my debt.
My past experience gave me the idea to try slowing down. I’ve worked myself to the bone before and had nothing to show for it. I’ve had large amounts of money come my way and low bills, and also had nothing to show for it. I knew my most urgent issue with building wealth wasn’t cash flow in, but my cash flow out. I needed to address my budget. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Find Your Most Urgent Issue with Building Wealth
My most urgent issue with building wealth was not managing my outgoing cash flow well. But maybe your most urgent issue is something different.
Are you afraid to invest? Do you have a full time job that offers healthcare and a 401k match? Not saying you have to have a full time job to build wealth, but if that’s your goal, than make it urgent and get after it because a full time job with benefits makes all of this so much easier.
Find your most urgent issue and stare it directly in the face. Make a plan to resolve the issue and work towards it creatively and consistently.
4. The Stock Market
Once I got my outgoing cash flow right by learning how to stick to a budget, the stock market accelerated my net worth. This has a lot to do with timing. If we’re going into a recession than you’ll have to give it time, but once things pick back up, your net worth can increase exponentially. Let me explain this a little more.
Let’s say you get the historic average return on your stock market investments of 10% a year. Once you get $12k in the stock market, your net worth would hypothetically increase $100 a month without you doing anything. For me, working an hourly job and living in high cost of living area, finding $100 to save a month was SIGNIFICANT. So getting the stock market to find that $100 for me was really helpful.
There are a lot of little additional details that helped me get to that first $100k, but the previously mentioned four things were the biggest contributors.
In summary, I tracked my net worth each month, I slowed down and became more intentional with where my money flowed, I focused on my most urgent issue inhibiting my wealth building, and I let the stock market help me out.
Let me know in the comments if any of these tips resonate with you or if you have any tips to add!
Leave a Reply