How an Average Single Person Earns Half a Million Dollars by Age 35

How an underprivileged child who eventually matures into the top of the class beta male and squirrels away a half million dollars by age 35 is far from what most people would imagine.  Trust fund? Lottery? Google stock purchase plan?  No, No, and definitely No!

In fact, common sense and life choices coiling the dial towards luck are the steam that powers the engine towards high net worth.  Beyond the engine lies the depth of the vessel, but most people would not board a ship that navigates through overcast, drab waters.  Keep in mind that this is one formula to achieve a high level of savings with a high level of sacrifice in all aspects of life.

To be specific, the facets that can lead to wealth involve the underrated pariahs of social conventionalism.  First of all, being a loner lends a hand on which cash can rest its fantastic, crusty adorable self.  Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year are saved when you don’t have to buy the fatty appetizer, half eaten entree, melting apple crisp a la mode, and overrated French red wine every week for a date that usually goes straight home to watch Gossip Girls.  I know I am better than Gossip Girls.  No anniversary gifts, expensive trips for two, a marriage ceremony that runs into the thousands, eventual children Hoovering up your cash, birthday gifts, museum trips, and whatever else comes with constant dating or marriage.  The single life is a tax free gift, indeed.

Sacrifice is a virtue rewarded with instant dollar signs, which most people consider as a sin.  Rent instead of buy is a smart way to avoid the maintenance and tax costs of owning a home.  Purchase an economical car that is fuel efficient.  Maintain it with regularly scheduled oil changes.  Run that car for decades until it is worn to the point that you have to give the car away to charity or pay a tow truck to lug it to the pound.  

In addition, durable goods should last, as the label implies.  Keep that couch, dust collecting mattress, bulky television, inefficient washer/dryer, and anachronistic, hard to rewind VCR.  Well, maybe not the VCR, since that might be pushing into the vacuum tube of insanity.  Instead of traveling four times a year, like your neighbors the Goldsteins, rent a couple of dollar movies, cook up some macaroni, and watch the Goldstein’s manicured lawn as you meditate in carbohydrate bliss.  Be creative with your routine maintenance.  For instance, use toilet paper to absorb your sneezes instead of buying tissue paper.  Turn off the lights and fire up a candle.  Make pasta for two, one for your dinner and cold leftovers for your lunch.  Your coworkers will gawk at your economic prowess as they stare at the pile high plate of noodles saturated in red sauce, while they eat a microwave box of abandonment.

A cocoon of calm engulfs me as I reminisce about my dividend saturation.  I am a 35 year old that invests like a 75 year old retiree in Golden Years, Iowa.  And that is a bad thing?  Remember when it was frowned upon when you did not invest in a house.  Now, you sound like a visionary.  That is how people feel about conservative investing for young people.  Financial advisers are tricksters, most of them, sucking you into the world of 10% annual returns and high fees.  There is no such number, 10%, for average people, like myself.  To get to half a million dollars, you are advised to invest at least 40% of your savings into high yield funds, whether in oil trusts, REITs, municipal mutual funds, and/or large cap funds .  Turn away from value, growth, OTC, and individual IPO stocks, if you can.  There is nothing comparable in opening your bank statement and watching the monthly dividend, free income, blossoming before your eyes, like a bag of buttery, golden popcorn ballooning in the microwave.  In addition, avoid missing any credit card payments, owing anybody anything, and always carry coupons in your pocket, ready at the moments call. 

During my lifetime, it has been rare for me to actually pay a dime for any travel, including hotels, rental cars, and airfare.  Sign up for hotel, airline, and car rewards.  There are times when credit card companies offer promotions to provide 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in three months (  In addition, American Airlines ( offers you a mechanism to keep track of all of your credit cards.  Each time you spend money at restaurants, you earn points.   All of my credit cards have no annual fees, offer hotel/airline reward points, and are paid off every month.

Finally, luck does come into play in some cases.  If you find yourself in a high paying job that is a bonus.  If you find yourself traveling every week with a consulting company, you can save loads upon loads by collecting on per diems, avoiding grocery bills, gas bills, electricity bills, etc.  Live like a King or Queen and you become one of those $50,000 millionaires as they like to be called and retire as a jester, a fool who eventually leaches off the social welfare intended for those who could not make the same choices you could have wisely, rationally made.