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« Free Money Finance March Money Madness, Round 1, Posts 29-32 | Main | Should You Pay Kids to Shovel Snow? »

February 02, 2011


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LOL. yeah - i think its the Conflicting Priorities/scarcity of time for most people. When you deduct time spent on work, household chores, and (hopefully) spending time with family, there isn't much (if any) time left over. Personally, I don't even find the time to do the stuff I need to do while still getting a necessary amount of sleep.

I think there are a lot of other factors too. The economy can greatly affect your ability to obtain revenue. You might have to step outside the box and get creative. However, some years will definitely be better than others.

Some of it could be lack of good examples and lack of connections. I think it is a lot easier to make a lot of money when you already know kind of what to do and you have resources available.

However, that is just part of the equation. Everyone knows people that came to this country as immigrants that were able to make a lot of money through hard work. It can obviously be done, but I do think you need a little luck along the way!

Ok, so the concept is simple, but it's not that easy. Someone else has to have that million bucks first for you to acquire it.

# Complete a paid survey online and make $10. Do it just 99,999 more times and you will have a million bucks.

---Yeah, if only the paid surveys I've taken would let you take it 10 times a day every day...

# Write an E-book and sell it on your website for $24.99. Sell 40,000 copies and you are a millionaire.

---First of all, can you get that much traffic to your website? Second, is your e-book good enough to be worth $24.99?

# Complete a chore for a neighbor, such as baby sitting or mowing the lawn. Say you make $45 per task. Simply do it 22,222 times and you have your million.

---If my neighbor were a millionaire and I wanted to babysit their kid well into his sixties, then sure. Someone might send me to the funny farm if I thought a lawn needed to be mowed 365 days a year for 61 years.

# Freelance on the side and sell your spare time at $50 bucks an hour. Put in 20,000 hours of work, or the equivalent of 2,500 - 8 hour work days and there you have a million dollars. That’s less than 7 years!

---This is by far the most practical idea in the article, but the author leaves out the fact that you have to live, you know - eat and such.

# Before wandering off on creative tangents, the entire foundation of the retail business revolved around the simple concept of buying widgets for $1 and selling them for $2. Buy some product in bulk and sell it at a margin. Do it over and over and you will sure make your million.

---What sort of product can the average person actually buy at wholesale and sell at retail?

I think the author has good intentions and explains the barriers for most people of getting to $1 million, but better thought out opportunities would give the article more credibility. The old adage "it takes money to make money" still applies to many of these things and is probably the #1 barrier for most people. The article does a good job of illustrating that there is no magic formula for getting there, though it comes across as rather flippant as if it's easy and why isn't everyone doing it.

The easiest path in my opinion starts very early in life.
The first three goals should be:
1) Get your education on the right path the first time and stick with it. Make it an education that has definite career paths.
2) Get your career right the first time. You don't have to stay with one company but you need to stay in the same field and work your way up.
3) Get your life partner right the first time. Everyone needs a soulmate to share life's journey, and switching partners mid stream can shatter your financial plans.

Then when you are in a great career and have a great relationship make saving a #1 Priority right from the getgo. Contribute the maximum possible into 401K plans. Live within your means and don't make stupid financial decisions - just keep saving steadily.

The final thing is to become a wise investor - easier said than done, and not everyone has what it takes.
The two rules of investing are "Don't Lose Money", and "Understand the Power of Compounding".
It can be catastrophic if your investments make good gains and compound nicely for many years and then when you hit a year like 2008 (and there have been many others like it), you don't take appropriate action and allow your investment portfolio to quickly get cut in half. Then you are faced with the very difficult task of having to double your money just to get back to where you were.

Lastly don't discount "Luck". There are great times to be born and there are miserable times to be born, and you have no control whatsoever over it. You have to play the cards you are dealt.

It's even easier than you stated. If you invest the money as you make it, then you'll reach a million MUCH faster than merely socking it under your mattress. :)

For example, if you can sock away $5,000 per month, it would take over 16 years to reach a million. But if you invest it at an average 9% return, then it would only take about 10 years. Then you'd have a second million in less than 8 years without adding a penny!

I don't think the issue is MAKING a million dollars. It's SAVING a million dollars.

At a salary of $50,000/yr - it will take 20 years to make a million dollars. Most adults work 40 years, so even if you only made $25,000/yr, you would still MAKE a million in your lifetime.

My plan to become a millionaire is quite simple. Increase my professional career income, run successful businesses, and save.

@ Chris - great point. making $ is one thing, managing it and keeping it is another ball game all together. case in point = once millionaire athletes who are now filing chap 7. your plan of increasing the top line of your personal income statement sound very good to me.

@ Robert - i agree that consistent investing over time is key to growing the nest egg. let me ask you this - is the standard 7-9% average return that "we" commonly talk about still accurate? is it still reasonable to use that number? what about the tax factor? (assuming you are not talking about stocking away in a retirement vehicle since it can't be accessed till a certain age) ?

@ Old Limey - great fundamental points that people still stumble at despite the wealth of conventional knowledge out there (i.e. your points). we can't change the cards we are dealt with, but we can make the most of what we have you are absolutely right.

@ JC - agree, some more concrete examples could have reinforced the underlying point better. do you really think however that money truly is the barrier preventing most? agreed that money can make money faster, but with the technological advancements and "ease" of doing business today (i.e. online), don't you think $ is less of a barrier today?

@ Everyday Tips - great point indeed. clarity is critical to be able to focus on the end goal. know the direction you want to head in is half the battle, maybe more?

@ Sarah - i certainly don't envy your schedule. you seem very busy!!!! but make sure to get that beauty sleep in! i love sleeping . . .

Even when you are both retired it's quite difficult to get everything done that you need to do.
The problem is that part of the aging process is that your metabolism slows down and that you don't have the strength, energy, and endurance that you had when you were much younger and raising a family.
One option is to start hiring people to do some of the chores but that can start getting quite expensive.
I still do all of my own gardening which is a huge amount of work and I find myself doing more of the household chores since my wife isn't as active as I am. My problem has never been that of accumulating money - I'm very good that. My problem is bringing myself to the point where I'm OK paying others to do things that I am still capable of doing myself.

@old limey. This last comment is great. If you are busy due to work i wpuld recommend a maid 2x/month. While some would say it is a "waste" , i think it is well worth it when you consider the amount of time you save it is worth it.

Very thought-provoking, and I understand the sentiment of the poster...when the term 'make a million dollars' is used, it simply implies 'earning'. This is not an all-inclusive, in-depth study of the accumulation, just the basic idea.

So, if you are so fixated on the taxes that are due from the million you have earned, then go ahead and earn two million just to be safe! lol

Investing is key, obviously, but I am completely satisfied w/a 5-10% return these days since our accounts have bounced back after the fall of '08 and '09.

@ Old Limey - spoken like a true entrepreneur. we know delegation and "outsourcing" is the solution, yet we just cannot get ourselves to do it for many reasons. your comment certainly resonates with me. are you an entrepreneur by chance?

@ Easyexchange - you make a great point about arbitrage. if I am making $150 an hour doing what I do, I have no issues paying someone (i.e. a maid) $40 for what they do

@ Holly - you're right on! that's exactly the intent here. and yes, if 1 is not enough, go for 2. who said we have limitations ?

You must have been reading my mind. After noticing a cleaning lady come to my next door neighbor's home I decided to have one come once/month. I discussed it with my wife and she agreed but first offered the job to my daughter. The daughter received a $2M settlement and $20K/month for 9 years from her divorce 3 years ago but was eager to actually earn some money on the side in addition to selling books on Amazon and other items on eBay as well as being my hiking companion once/week.

I was an aerospace engineer throughout my working life and never gave any thought to becoming an entepreneur but after retiring in 1992 at age 58 and needing to manage our money I became enthralled with "The technical analysis of the stockmarket" and kind of fell into becoming an entrepreneur. It started out with giving away to fellow subscribers some financial software I started writing for a proprietary market database I was using. In return the grateful recipients started sending me gifts from all over the country. The software started getting bigger and bigger and was consuming my whole life so one day my wife suggested that I should start selling it, which I did in 1996. Unfortunately the software ran on the old MS-DOS operating system and I took it off the market in 2008 when it started running out of memory, but I did quite well over the intervening 12 years as well as learning to become a very good investor and making lots of good contacts.

wow . . . excellent story Old Limey. way to live the afterlife (retirement) after life (career) like a RockStar!

I think the goal of a million dollars is a sort of red herring in life, a rabbit hole, if you will.

A million-dollar net worth is readily attainable by any one in the middle-class as defined by income. An E-1 (with only a high school diploma)entering the military today and achieving the rank of just E-7 will receive a pension worth over $750,000 in only twenty years!

And that pension will include healthcare for life. And you can be as young as 37 when you begin to draw on that pension.

Accumulating a million in cash is another story but not impossible but why would you want to? Define your ideal life and figure out how to finance that -- in most cases it will be a lot less than a million dollars.

Of course you'll have to pay taxes on this self-employment income, so that will cut into the million a bit...

This post doesn't make sense.

All but one of the opportunities lack any kinda time frame or even how to save the money. Ok, so if you mow a lawn every day at $45 you can earn a million dollars in 60-some years. Great.

If you work for 40 years (age 25-65 or whatever) making an average of at least $25k a year, you will have made a million dollars in your life. Does everyone agree that most people will do that, and almost no one is dreaming of makeing $25k a year so they can make a million in their lifetime?

An article that would make more sense is how to save a million dollars. Or how to do something in your free time for extra money (probably not with a goal of a million though - spending 60 years mowing lawns is no inspiration for anyone). Or, how to devote your time to making a million in a short time frame. The freelance job touches on that, but it would have been better if it went into how to get a freelance job that you make $50/hour at *after* taxes and the costs of your business. A lot of things you can bill $50 an hour for you will barely break even on after all the costs are applied.

It's funny how many negative comments have been made on this post, which is all about perceived barriers to success.

One option I rarely see on Financial Blogs is to work abroad. I have worked in the Persian Gulf for the last 20 years and I am close to hitting my 2 million dollar goal (2012). I have saved all this since 1991 and paid my taxes too. My companies have paid 100% of my living costs and I save at a 70% of my take home salary. Go work overseas is my advice.

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