A Millionaire is Made Ten Bucks at a Time

I was at a party recently and a lifelong friend walked up to start a conversation.  Although we had never talked about money before, it turned out he had secretly been reading this blog, and now he had a few questions for me.

“I understand now that even a family can retire on well under a million dollars*, but that is still a lot of money. Yet your blog talks mostly about small things like saving $70 a month on electricity or gasoline or coffee.

Aren’t these two different universes of savings that don’t even relate?”

My friend had a good question, of course. It is this perception of “small” versus “large” amounts of money that is the downfall of most of us.

It drives many to fantasize about lottery winnings, since that’s the only way to become a millionaire if your job title doesn’t include CEO, NFL or Notorious B.I.G., right?

And meanwhile, we buy $9.75 bottles of Kirin at the sushi restaurant and $12.00 movie tickets to see the newest Pixar movie with the kids in the movie theatre and pour $70.00 of gasoline into the family SUV so we can burn it up every couple of weeks running around town for relatively short trips. And we don’t become millionaires very quickly at all.

The solution to this is a change of mindset: It’s time to start getting excited about ten bucks again.

When I was eleven years old, I had to cut my parents’ enormous and hilly half acre lawn by pushing a fume-spewing 21-inch Lawn Boy for two hours. For this afternoon of sweaty torture, I would earn five bucks.

Then I would excitedly wait a week so the grass would grow and I could repeat this process to earn another five bucks. At this point, I would have ten bucks.

Sure, that was a long time ago. But even today, ten dollars will still buy about 9 pounds of delicious, kickass, nutritious, muscle-fueling rolled oats – still a solid staple food for many healthy millionaires, despite the fact that we can easily afford more expensive options. Or two gallons of organic milk. Or enough gasoline to drive over 200 miles in a good car. WEEKS worth of regular driving if you don’t have a ridiculous commute. Or enough natural gas to provide hot water for showers and dishwashing for a family for several weeks.

Ten Bucks is a lot of money. So you need to respect it.

Ten dollar bills are not just food stamps or amusement park coupons that you fork over by the dozen to get restaurant meals, smokes, strippers, drinks, tourist attraction admission, and assorted domestic services. Each Ten is a critical brick in the early retirement castle you are building.

So how can we get from ten dollar bills to six-figure sums required for early retirement? Think of it this way:

If you could somehow save $796 per week, and each week invest it to get a rather typical 7% compounded investment return after inflation, after just ten years, you’ll have about $600,000 sitting in your account. And to be more accurate, this money won’t be just sitting around – it will be 600,000 little employees working for you tirelessly in the background, producing thousands of dollars per month of passive income.

As you can see in the footnote section below, that is more than enough to start a nice early retirement, especially if your house is paid off. Maybe more than twice as much as you need, but since we do conservative calculations here at MMM, let’s roll with that number.

“But how the hell can anybody save almost $800 per week!?”

Suppose you’ve got two income earners working together. Now each one has to save only $398 a week.

There are 112 waking hours in each week. So to go from “broke” to “rich enough to retire early” in just ten years, each person has to make 40 successful ten dollar decisions each week.

Some of these decisions can be made automatically – like owning a less expensive car and driving it less ($100 per week per person), using less electricity and other utilities ($25), eating most office meals without going out to lunch ($50), not having cable TV and in general spending less time in retail establishments ($25). Now the remaining number is only $200 a week.

Most zero-savings people blow dramatically more than $200 a week just on random purchases. Spas, yoga, fingernail treatments, bottles of wine, sixpacks of beer, shoes, electronic gadgets, ice cream cones, movie tickets, plastic crappy toys for toddler birthday parties, books from Amazon.com instead of your local library, lawn-care services… whatever.

Those, combined with the automatic savings above, are the ten-dollar decisions that make the difference between the typical broke and indebted person, and the Mustachian Early Retiree.

If you start Respecting your Tens at age 20, you’ll be Retired by 30**.

Now, before the whiners start chiming in and saying it is no fun to spend zero money, you must realize that there is plenty of wiggle room for luxuries in my numbers.

Each person is saving $400 per week or about $20k per year on top of their house payments. Yet many of us have a take-home pay of over $30,000 per year. Sometimes way over that amount.

There is plenty of money to go around in this situation, and I’m even giving you a single family home to live in and a relatively quick 10-year sprint to retirement! If you have any issues with my numbers, make your own adjustments and the results will still be amazing.

But even with all this room for indulgence, it is important to keep your priorities in order, otherwise you are combining Luxury with Fantasy.

For example, it is absolutely ridiculous to buy even your first bottle of wine or restaurant meal if you do not yet have a good bicycle and a bike trailer.  It is insane to buy a luxury car if your house isn’t even paid off yet.  If you still have student loans, get them paid off BEFORE you splurge on that iPhone or overseas vacation.

You can still have these frivolous and fancypants things, some of which I admit to owning myself. But you need to have a rational definition of  “Can I afford it?”

Part of the Ten Dollar Philosophy is that you must pay for the current luxuries in your life before you start adding additional luxuries.  (Can you tell I love that word)?

I’d also suggest that since luxury spending is primarily for pleasure, you could try doing much of your purchasing for other people. Perhaps counterintuitively, it is proven that most of us get more pleasure buying a necessity that really helps someone else – for example, a bike for a family member who can’t afford one – compared to yet another luxury for ourselves – a $100 hairstyle or an upgraded china set for our yacht’s main dining room.

So there you have it – the way to become a Retired Millionaire using just those useless paper scraps in your wallet – by changing the way you think about them.

* A family of four in the US can live comfortably on about 24k per year plus having a paid-off house. With an nice conservative 4% annual withdrawal/return rate on your investments, you need $600k invested to generate this cashflow, inflation-adjusted, forever, plus your $200k house. $800k total. Or, if you want to get off your butt and work very occasionally to earn $12k per year, you can slice the $600k number down to $300k! Or you can save the $600k AND work, and keep saving more and more over the years – ending up a multimillionaire all while doing very little paid work.

** Holy shit, that’s quite a neat little verse I came up with there! Believe it or not, it happened completely by accident.

  • Mel June 19, 2015, 2:13 pm

    I am starting on the $10 mindset. It all happened with my cable company. I was paying $135 month for cable, internet and phone. Then my bill went up to $165 so I called my cable company to ask why. The told me my bill didn’t go up at all. After a few minutes of verbal games they eventually told me “You bill didn’t go up at all. You simply lost one of your discounts.” Thanks for clarifying. They went on to say “This will all change in May when you lose your other discount.” My bill would go to $200 month.

    I realized I am paying $2,400 a year for a mind-numbing box. I should be doing other tasks such as reading, exercising, etc. I called up and canceled cable and my landline. My bill dropped to $55 a month.

    I am in the process of looking at all of my expenditures to find the savings in everything I do.

    • Matty Madonna June 24, 2015, 9:52 am

      Good for you Mel. I have eliminated all cable and home phone. I currently pay $15 per month for internet and stream all movies via Netflix and Youtube to my smart tv for free. I have an HDMI cable to also stream from my macbook to the tv as well in case I want to purchase a movie on itunes (only did so to watch Walking Dead for $2.99 per episode).

      My struggle now is to scale back on how much I am paying in rent (currently around $1370 per month) and get rid of my car payment. I am already very good with my spending habits on a weekly basis and have stopped eating out. My rent and car payment is burning a large hole in my pocket. I would like to allocate the money I save on paying a lower rent (or if I buy a house soon, a lower mortgage and the $500 car payment) and place those funds into my savings. I have small credit card balances and will have those paid off in a month or so. I use my credit cards as springy debt and pay them in full each month. I just opened a 401k at work and also am saving money each month via a dividend reinvestment plan at computershare.com to purchase stock without any fees and having the actual company pay for reinvestment of the dividend. The only fees I will pay is when I sell in the future (very reasonable).

      Moustache’s ideas are entirely possible to implement. It takes great discipline and self control, but he or she that can stick to the plan will win. Yes, the economy is not doing well, but stop making excuses and say NO to the status quo. Who cares what people say. Let them make fun of you. Years from now they will think otherwise.

      Matty Madonna
      Austin, TX

    • EarningAndLearning April 12, 2017, 4:10 pm

      “Your bill didn’t go up, you simply lost one of your discounts” LOL #eyeroll

      You’d think in this era of cable-cancelling & young adults who are just not even GETTING cable when they get their first apartments, that your cable company would be a bit more customer service & retention oriented! When I called TELUS to cancel cable & only pay for internet, they transferred me to the retention department & offered me FREE cable if I would just keep the box & not cancel (so they could keep their TV subscription numbers up). I declined, cause I just don’t want the clutter & won’t use it, so my bill dropped from $115 for cable+internet to $70-something for just internet. Then he gave me some bonus for the next 6 months so I’m only paying $32/month for internet. In 6 months I’ll call and try to extend that bonus to keep that low price.

  • Andy August 1, 2015, 1:12 pm

    After reading this it reminded me of the conversation with a coworker from work so long ago: $100 seems like a lot of money now, but soon you’ll think the equivalent is more like $500. And then later paying for a $1000 repair on your home will seem like nothing…

    That was when $1000 paid for two months “rent” for our co-op. And here I am 15 years later with a $2,000 “impulse” home improvement that really did seem like nothing. Time to get back to thinking about the value of the money I spend.

  • Phil August 14, 2015, 9:14 am

    Great Website MMM…
    For years I have tried to explain my concept for saving/spending money and luckily for me you have completed the heavy lifting by documenting many of my same beliefs on one site. Sadly, even though I share this info on social media many family and friends still will not follow the advice. Sometimes I just want to shake them while yelling “Why do you waste so much money”.

  • Steve August 27, 2015, 5:56 pm

    I have lived sweating the small stuff and am planning my exit from the working world within the next 4 yrs at age 42.

    Great post as usual

  • Vladan February 25, 2016, 7:51 am

    You Americans do not realize how lucky you are. In my country I earn 300 dollars a month. Yes, $ 300 month salary, not savings.

  • Bill February 25, 2016, 3:02 pm

    I wanted to thank MMM for a great website, and service! Although I am nowhere close to earning a moustache yet based on my finances, the attitude and ideas on this website have helped me navigate from ridiculous indebtedness to soon-to-be financial freedom. I have always told people I want to retire when I am 8. Then to explain that I calculate my have, wants and needs then add 8 to my age in decades. It didn’t work at 18, 28 or 38. But I am holding out for 48, and 58 is 100%. Wit the gains I have made following MMM’s ideas 48 is looking possible, but my wife retires before her 58 for sure.

  • LilFrenchie March 4, 2016, 4:59 pm

    As much as I agree with the idea of saving money each buck at a time, your numbers sound very optimistic to me ! Especially in a post-financial crisis world !
    My husband is unemployed and I work two jobs , we save on food by buying in bulk, going to discount stores and not eating mear (I’m a vegetarian and he abstains from meat at home), we cook all lunches and dinners and rarely go out, we buy clothes in thrift stores or at the end of the sales when they are really cheap, we only buy fancy coffees on vacation, we go to the library (I haven’t bought a new fully-priced book in years!), I do not own a car and use public transportation, our rent is cheap, we have a discount card for the occasional cinema etc. But I still only manage to save about $ 5,500/year, after taxes. And I am damn proud of it ^^.
    But I am 36 and I find it hard to imagine retiring early… For the moment the objective is to save enough money to have a down payment for a small house with reasonable taxes. At least we are not broke despite regular bouts of unwanted unemployment for the both of us ! We know that we have a soft cushion to rely on in case something bad happens.
    PS : One tip that you may not have shared: we have a special drawer or cupboard (depends on the season!) for gifts: we buy all the gift of the year (Christmas and birthdays) during the sales and in discount stores, sometimes a year in advance. So we spend at least 3 to 4 times less than we otherwise would. I also bought tons of greeting cards in a shop that was closing and was selling them for a few cents each, so we always give nice gifts and nice cards and people don’t know that we saved money doing it.

  • Kathy March 14, 2016, 1:51 pm

    In your article you use an example of saving $398 a week. I don’t even take that home a week. I save about 20% of my pay automatically and take home maybe 380 a week. With my husband about the same. Most of the remaining pay goes to live off. Realistically a limited income person cannot save at the rate you do unfortunately. I wish I could. It’s frustrating.

  • Zac April 1, 2016, 10:43 am

    I really like this idea you have here and you’ve got me convinced, I’ve always been a believer that anything thing beyond survival is a want and luxury.
    My problem is I’m trying to make this work with my 401k and have savings just sitting in my bank account because I don’t know where to put it.

  • John April 11, 2016, 2:17 pm

    My wife and I are in Canada (Hamilton) and we are trying to become more frugal. I’m 32 and she’s 28. We have unwittingly saved quite a bit of money by living abroad for a long time and always thinking “we don’t have to buy that big purchase because we won’t be here that long anyway” and then ended up being there for 4 years.

    We have 100k cumulatively in cash and no debt. 1 car bought with cash. I work at home (for at now at least) and she works 1km away. we make about 50k post tax cumulatively. She is very risk averse and I’m average. We are trying to cut expenses and develop free habits like hiking for fun. We only really drive to her parents.

    We aren’t sure what to do with the money and it isn’t invested. There seems to be a Canadian housing bubble right now but locally people think that doesn’t apply to Hamilton (because of the downtown being historically underpriced and ppl wanting to move back). Housing prices are rising rapidly in the city but you can still get into gentrifying neighborhoods at 190-250k. Interest rates are low and we could attack a mortgage and be free and clear in 15 years. The prospect of a bubble scares me. We also aren’t certain we want to be in Hamilton long term.

    We could invest the money and wait for the bubble to burst and then try to take advantage? We are thinking of one of the Canadian Couch Potato plans. Is this a sound plan or is there something I’m missing?

    Also, 7% over inflation seems optimistic. From my readings, 5% (3% over inflation) is projected for medium risk investments.

  • wishicouldsurf May 6, 2016, 6:38 pm

    The thing I most appreciate about the MMM blog and perhaps why it resonates with me and so many others is that instead of focusing on big things you can do to save the planet and “save” your finances, it focuses on the individual, micro-economic and micro-impactful (I don’t think that’s a word), choices, many of which also happen to be planet-friendly. Taking small steps is awesome and once you get a solid footing, taking a bigger step and maybe even a leap down the road is much easier.

  • Financial Slacker May 26, 2016, 8:24 am

    When I look through my finances, often it’s not the large expense items (mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.) that make the difference, it’s all the small items that add up. The Amazon purchases, the meals out, the subscription services. To me, that’s where the real savings are and honestly, it should be easier to cut back in those areas than to reduce your mortgage.

    • Talltexan June 10, 2016, 7:38 am

      I see how the aggregate of these little things can be larger; I think changing habits is more difficult than making the kinds of dramatic one-off moves (sell car, refinance mortgage, age child into adulthood) that move the needle on housing and transportation. If your ultimate goal is return-on-energy, I imagine you can spend a few hours on the latter and save $00’s per month pretty easily. When those things are optimized, then it’s time to start changing habits.

  • Tyler June 13, 2016, 10:16 pm

    Great post! Anyone can begin investing a little at a time today, and they would be surprised at how it would grow over the years!

  • Moof July 7, 2016, 5:42 pm

    OK, I live this article save for one detail. Oats. Rolled oats? Really? For a man who clearly enjoys a good life on the cheap I have to turn you on to Steel Cut Oats. Seriously, they are about the same price at the bulk bin, take a good half hour to cook, and taste so much better than plain old rolled oats. No oatmeal lover should go through life eating oats that have had their taste steam rolled out of them

    Hate the half hour wait? No problem. Get the buggers simmering, go take your morning shower, then you’ll be able to saunter back into the kitchen for the last 10 minutes of cooking when it is necessary to start stirring them now and then to avoid stuck bits. Easy peasy.

    • Jeff kelley February 26, 2017, 11:00 pm

      We love steel cut oats, we make granola bars with them instead of rolled oats…

  • Hairless Mustachian August 25, 2016, 3:02 pm

    Another issue is cost of living in certain areas. My fiance and I are going to be living in an area where the cheapest apartment I could find (on Craiglist or Trulia) was about $800 month. This equals out to about $9,600 a year, which is a HUGE expense. Sadly, there’s just no way around this. Sometimes its practically (literally) impossible to live a Mustachian lifestyle because of the area we live in. Thanks otherwise for all the great information you put out there :)

  • Trip October 26, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I really like the metaphor you used about building a retirement castle using bricks of $10 bills.

    To your last point about the family of 4 living comfortably on 24k, it just so happens that we are so lucky to live in a country as great as the U.S. People in many other countries lack the freedoms and opportunities to achieve what you are talking about here. And the whiners will keep whining, not figuring out how to save, and let opportunity after opportunity pass them by.

  • Jeff kelley February 26, 2017, 10:56 pm

    I just found this blog. We lived in Aspen and when my 3 year old asked me why I worked so much, we cashed out and bought a short sale home in Keene virginia. We reevaluated our life style. We renovated it, and included a small efficient wood stove and led puck lights. We did not skimp on our renovation, as we went smaller and with greater energy efficiency. We built two zip tie domes, one for 6 hens the other for a green house. We also built huglecultur berms that require less water from our well. We dropped directv and bought a $100 had antennae, attached it to the satellite pole and now get 12 clear channels that cover our local tv watching needs. Our motto is experiences over objects and we seek more time to live, while choosing work that fits our life style. We have been homeschooling our daughter and we love our lives. We look forward to enjoying your blog. Through lifestyle change we lost 90 lbs between us and we get dirty daily and eat lots of fresh food, eggs, vegetables, legumes and fruits. We make our pasta and breads.

  • Tori Jane February 27, 2017, 12:21 pm

    I have a question. I just recently enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s financial peace University. His basic premise is to first put $1000 into savings and then tackle your debt. I have two children, and recently depleted my savings after needing a spinal fusion surgery. I have $28,000 in consumer/ medical debt, including my car. I have an additional whopping $116,000 in student loans, however, they have not come due yet as I am still in grad school. I feel that only having $1000 in emergency savings is not sufficient. I am returning to work this month, and I am wondering if I should put a significant amount of money into savings, and still work on paying any extra to my debt? Or do you think Dave Ramsey’s suggestion of putting only $1000 into savings and everything else thrown at my debt Is wise?
    * I am planning to stop going to school until I can afford to pay for the rest of my classes with cash. I am eligible for an income-based repayment on my student loans, and I’m planning to take advantage of that until my consumer debt is paid off and I can begin paying more on the student loan debt.

  • Dan March 6, 2017, 1:18 pm

    Love the blog. I am living well within these numbers….until you add in rent. rent alone for this year will be $16,800.00 and that is cheap in my area. I could move, and plan to soon. One question about 401(k), if you are not fully vested in your 401(k) do you recommend staying in a situation you don’t enjoy until you are and then move to a better situation? For instance… half of my 401(k) would be lost if I left my company, and moved to a more affordable/enjoyable location, before being fully vested.

  • dmitri March 22, 2017, 9:19 am

    Dear Mm,
    Thanks for the great site and info. I just recently came across your work via Tim Ferris podcast. Great talk by the way!

    I live in Toronto and have few investment properties. My question is. If I sell my primary residence I will be able to pay off all the debt on my other two houses. they will generate $2200 per month after expenses cash flow. My question is, the houses will be 70000 worth. My question is what is better to sell all my houses and put money in the bank? Some kind of investment or use cash flow from the houses? I am thinking of moving south and buy a small house for around 100-200k. what is the general rule? which is better cash invested or houses?

  • Heather March 27, 2017, 11:28 am

    My clothes may smell like chicken but I save a ton on my electric bill! My husband and I live in one bedroom apartment. I hardly ever use the electric clothes dryer (expensive!) and drip dry everything on a rack. I run my appliances during “off peak” hours only, which I discovered after a fruitful conversation with my electric company. I save close to $27 dollars a month. Ok, so I learned that I CANNOT set up the clothes rack in my kitchen when I am cooking…unless I want to dry myself off with a bath towel smelling like roast chicken. The rack now sits in my bathtub and nobody knows what I had for dinner last night when I share an elevator ride. But hey, that $27 is most of my cell phone bill, or a tank of gas for my 2004 Toyota Corolla which proudly has 174,000 miles on it. I’ m new to your blog but not to your mindset. Can I do better? Yes? Which is why I’m here to take advantage of all your tips and well researched information. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll keep checking back.

  • Frugal Fish May 19, 2017, 10:10 am

    Really late to the game, but i didnt see anyone post in the comments. Just curious how you’re calculating the future worth of $796/wk?

    Ive been using my old engineering economics equations from college for Future Worth of an Annuity.

    I get $571,890 using i=7%, n=10

    However I did get $599,627 using i=8%

    Was your calculation based on 8% or am I using the wrong equation?

  • Juan June 1, 2017, 8:40 am

    I stumbled upon this article for the second time today by hitting the “random” button on the homepage. I believe the first time was a few years ago while binge reading your blog.

    I love this article because it is a great reminder of how small amounts add up to huge sums over time. It made me think of how a few years back the “love locks” had to be removed from the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris because the lock’s collective weight was starting to be too much for the bridge to bear.

    This is no different from how lots of “small” decisions can be the difference between a happy early retiree and a broke person.

  • Adam March 30, 2018, 6:58 am

    I happened across this article again just now; it coincided with figuring our 2018 401(k) contributions, including company match. $796 a week works out to $41,392 annually… and we’re on track to sock away $41,718.71 — near enough to be a rounding error! Add in HSA contributions and we’re starting to talk about a whole lot of nontaxable tenners stashed toward exiting the rat race…

  • DeShena Woodard June 24, 2018, 4:57 pm

    Hi MMM,
    I am in total agreement that people should respect the small amounts that can be saved because with time those dollars really start to add up. I’m a big believer in downsizing from high-priced luxury items and getting back to the basics, especially when your finances are shaky.

  • Arrgo June 26, 2018, 10:24 am

    This is one of my favorite articles and I come back and read it every so often. Its good coaching to keep you on track and in the right mindset. The concept is right on and the small amounts (10 bucks) really do add up. You just have to pay attention to where your money is going. Many people blow a lot of money on stupid stuff then like to complain how broke they are.

  • Ani June 29, 2018, 12:06 pm

    I spent 5 years in college and it was all free thanks to my awesome high school grades and my exceptional essay writing skills. I received more money from scholarships than my college expenses. Unfortunately, I blew that extra money away on fancy video game systems, traveling, and other items. I can’t help but wonder how much $ I’d have in savings if I had found this article 5 years ago.

  • Anonymous October 10, 2018, 4:24 am

    Coming up to the end of 2018 making a base of 48k before bonuses. It’s totally possible to save half your income. If we want we can live off about 18k a year but choose to live on about 24k. In a fairly expensive area in the west coast. That is living in a rental as we are saving for a house to purchase. Eliminating frivolous spending was the main ingredient necessary to make this happen, and really all this extra items, we now know they don’t usually bring us any more happiness. Thank you for your great posts MMM

  • Dino October 16, 2018, 8:36 am

    Whilst I fully agree with not wasting what seem like small amounts is a great way to build wealth (look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, as we’d say in the UK), I’m not always surely it’s helpful to then link that to things like saving a mere ‘$796 a week’. That’s basically a before tax income of around 70,000 (in the UK anyway) being saved. Considering the average salary is less than half that, most families couldn’t achieve it if they lived in the street and didn’t eat.
    Just makes the whole thing feel unachievable, which risks people not bothering with the small saving level that they could achieve

  • John November 7, 2018, 5:51 pm

    I would like to start off by saying that I think it is great that you have a website that tries to help people get out of debt/live minimally. However, I lose interest really quick in these sites when they talk about saving $796 dollars a week. I don’t make that much before taxes. If you calculate $796 a week plus $24k a year to live that is close to $64k a year. Most people don’t make that, I guess I should note that I am single. I understand this would be easier if I had someone to share costs with. You however say that this is all if you already have a house paid off. Maybe I have not read enough from your site but this seems like something very few can do with how devalued money is. Not saying it is impossible just out of reach for so many people in the examples I see online.

    • Mr. Money Mustache November 7, 2018, 8:41 pm

      True John, but that’s just to get a family to retirement-level wealth in ten years.

      Can you save $79.60 per week? If so, that will still get you $60,000 in wealth that most people don’t have.

      The point not how much you end up with. It’s that every $10 counts. And in your situation, if you have a car that would be the first source of savings – driving it less.

  • Chris July 19, 2019, 11:35 am

    If this was a YouTube vid, I’d have thumbs-up’d at “Each Ten is a critical brick in the Early Retirement castle you are building.”

  • George Choy June 1, 2020, 7:18 am

    It’s amazing how people fritter away so much per year on coffee shops and so on. One of my biggest gripes is paying for water in hotels. I remember staying at a very grand hotel in Italy. Four of us walked back to the meeting room we we’d been in all day.

    Three of us (who were all millionaires) picked up the half used water bottles from our meeting tables, and planned to take them back to our rooms. Water was 10 EUR per bottle in the mini-bar.

    The fourth person (not a millionaire) asked why we were taking the bottles as we were millionaires.
    I answered “Because we are millionaires.” This mindset has helped us to achieve our wealth.

  • Angie September 5, 2021, 5:01 pm

    10 bucks is most definitely a ton of money over the long-term. This post reminds me of the book ‘Slight Edge’ where doing one thing for one time won’t change your life, but doing it over a long period of time most definitely would.

    Saving 10 bucks only one time isn’t going to change anyone’s life. But the long-term habit of saving $400/week, for a decade, and compounding that money at 7-10% YoY is going to make someone whose wealth is mediocore to something quite significant and FI relatively quickly.

  • Peter May 2, 2022, 1:21 pm

    Any chance of a revision/update to this post? It is a great one, but an update on numbers/current stats would be great

  • Nomadic Samuel May 4, 2022, 5:42 am

    I’d imagine this is paradigm shifting for a lot of people reading this article. Something I’ve realized is that many of the best things in life are free or nearly free. For instance, meditating, walking, hiking, enjoying nature, strolling on the beach, conversations with loved ones, etc. If you have friends/acquaintances where you feel the pressure to go out and spend money on meals, drinking, etc it might worth reevaluating your priorities and circle of friends.


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