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Here, I’ll explain more about my financial history and describe how I earned over $100,000 using only menial work. And I did so without earning more than $100,000 in over three years.
I pass on these money-saving tips so that you can save them because I possibly can, so can you.
Here’s how I saved $100,000 in only three years like I did.
How To Save $100k: The beginning of my journey
When I graduated from college, I made only $54,000 a year, but that amounted to only $40,000 after taxes. I saved over $100,000 after five years of work. It was an incredible achievement to make my first trek to financial independence.
I had several excellent things to gain when it came to the output of the terminally-ill patients.
Nonetheless, I’m naturally a saver. By earning, I save, and so I will elaborate on that below.
A few other money-saving tips I’d like to note:
If you would like to know how to save $100,000 in 3 years, read below, where I break down all the things I did in order to show you how I saved that much cash. I’ve also included a few money-saving suggestions you can use for your own savings goals as you set your budget.
My “self-education” from reading books and learning as much as I could was crucial to my success. This completely changed my life and relationship with money and the principles I learned are still important today.
By the way, I have written a book series (yass!), and the first book is called Clever Girl Finance: Ditch Debt, Save Money and Build Real Wealth. This is the book I wish I had to guide me, at the beginning of my journey.
Let’s get into how to save $100,000!
How to save $100k in 3 years: My key tips
1. I contributed to my retirement via a 401k offered by my employer
To be honest, when I first got started, I had no idea what a 401k was. I also did not know why I needed one. All I knew was that I had received large sums of money from a contest, and I was thrilled about it.
Over time, I learned about the different asset classes, investment types, expense ratios, and so on. But to get started, I used the free trial.
At the time, my employer matched 100% of my first 6% contribution. I did not max out my contributions at the time, but I contributed ~15% of my salary. I was able to save about $40,000 during my retirement.
This was well before the last major US recession. So I invested more money since the stock exchange was doing quite well at that time.
Clever Girl Tip: Investing is a crucial part of how to save $100. Contribute to an IRA or 401(k) as soon as you are able. Maximize contributions when it’s most feasible to do so. Don’t increase contributions too quickly, as it raises the cost of gas. Advance your contribution contribution by one percent every three months until you max out.
If your employer offers a game, attend it! Want to learn how to invest? Check out my book, Learn How to Invest Cash, and Grow Your Money!
2. I kept my expenses low
After paying my 401k, health insurance, and tax deductions, my main expenses were my car (I paid a car note for $150 and later $300), insurance ($80), and my mortgage ($900).
I lived at home for six months after graduating college before moving to my first place. This is an important money-saving tip.
I benefited greatly from being able to keep my earnings during those six months because I managed to save a lot of money. Groceries were not a big expense for me being single, as I very rarely cooked. So I didn’t eat much, lol (Yes, ramen was my friend).
Living out of a suitcase typically meant visiting friends’ houses, I did not drink, so saving on alcohol expenses was a huge boon. I traveled a lot for work, so a lot of my lunches during the week were covered. I also lived within walking distance of work, so I didn’t go buying gasoline very often.
When it came to shopping, I did so as well. However, I didn’t have extravagant spending habits. My water, internet, and phone bills totaled about $170 per month.
Clever Girl Tip: Reducing your expenses should be the first thing you do in your budget. Consider renting instead of buying a home to live closer to your job and forgo dining out to reduce your expenses. Cook meals at home and pack lunches to take with you to work.
You can also work out at home, carpool, refrain from alcohol, and use online coupon and rebate sites to save money. This will give you $100,000 sooner!
3. I focused on saving 40% to 50% of each paycheck and anything extra
My first year as a side hustler earned me approximately $1350 to $1400 a month after deductions, other income, and taxes (my tax rate was ~25%). I saved at least $500 to $700 of each paycheck and I had low expenses so that this was easy.
I saved all of my annual bonus (after 50% bonus taxes, this was about $1,500 each year. Hardly anything, but still something) and I always saved a bulk of my tax refund.
As a result, I saved a great deal of money in this way. I averaged over 18,000 a year in extra income, and in 3.5 years I had nearly 50,000 saved by working part-time.
When it comes to saving $100,000, it’s not just about saving money, it’s about making a plan for saving what you already have left. I made the savings automatic by means of transferring every dollar I earned to my savings account once I was paid.
I also invest a great deal of my money in the stock market for the long term. One of the platforms I use is Fidelity for my IRA and non-retirement investments.
4. I started a side hustle
Starting a sideline operation is another excellent way to save $100,000!
I became very enthusiastic about taking photographs around my second year of saving up and concluded up with a very profitable part-time lifestyle and wedding photography business.
To do this, I dipped into my savings to invest in an entry-level DSLR camera to begin my sideline business. I studied my craft, took a lot of free photographs to start, and then raised my rates as my skills improved.
They then asked me to second shoot for them and referred business to me, which also helped my firm grow. I loved doing it and it gave me a secondary income.
I paid my company taxes and spent my earnings reinvesting into my business. This included buying professional cameras and lighting and taking a few courses.
I also saved a great deal of it and saved the early phases of an expensive handbag collection that I later sold. If I didn’t have such a handbag addiction, I could’ve saved so much more money during these 3 years.
In my first year in business I earned around $10,000. In the second year I made over $30,000. In the years following my recovery, I worked harder than ever before. However, given what I had received, it was well worth the effort.
I also started learning to invest money outside of retirement and used some of the profits I made from starting my own business to do so. This spare-time project helped me save a large amount of money well past the 100K mark. It’s a great alternative for finding good second jobs!
Clever Girl Tip: A sideline job, if organized and operated efficiently, can be a big boost to your income. It can also be a big part of how you can save $100 thousand. Just don’t spend your money on things you don’t need!
5. I spent money on credit but I was smart about it
Yes, my credit card was still active, but I used it mainly for online purchases. With a debit card, you are required to pay the full balance every month. For example, American Express Gold is a charge card.
I had a card to cover all of my work expenses. I thought, “Why not get one for myself, too?” I got a few reality checks when I overdid it at times, but using a card always reigned me in, and still does. I know my limitations.
If you can qualify for one, you should consider applying for a credit card instead of a credit card. It will help to build your credit rating and works like a credit card. It’s also very important that you stay on top of your credit report and history.
I get asked about credit a lot, so it seems sensible to learn how it works and why it is downgraded. I think it’s good to know more about credit scores and why they increase or decrease.
You can save $100,000!
These steps are how to save $100,000 in 3 years like I did!
Nonetheless, you may not recover $100,000 right now. You could be in a large amount of debt. Regardless of where you are (single, married, with children, no children-I know what it’s like to have kids-I have twins!), know that there is still time to pay off your debts and save a significant amount of money over the years to come.
It starts with changing your mindset, evaluating where you stand, creating a plan for your situation, keeping your costs low, automating as many things as possible, and staying focused.
With perseverance and time, you will see successes. I promise. Make sure to utilize one or more of my techniques to save $100. Begin by implementing one of these methods.
It’s usually not easy, but it is doable-I did it.
If you are interested in learning how to save even more money, take a look at our ideas for turning $10,000 into $100,000!