A Millennial Saved $100,000 With This Simple Habit

Shovel up money
Photo by RomarioIen / Shutterstock.com

Amassing six figures in savings within a few years might seem impossible if you are mired in debt or don’t make big bucks. But that’s exactly what Richard Meadows pulled off at the age of 26.

The business journalist achieved his goal of saving $100,000 in about four years — despite carrying student loan debt and working in a field “not known for lucrative salaries,” he explained on his blog.

Accomplishing that goal involved multiple wealth-building methods — paying off his debts, teaching himself the basics of investing and overhauling his spending, for example. But Meadows traces his success back to starting a single simple habit: tracking his wealth.

As he told CNBC last year, “If you’re not measuring something, then you don’t have that feedback loop. You don’t know whether you’re heading in the right direction.”

How he did it

Meadows was writing about net worth for work when he became curious about his own. He computed his net worth only to find it was a negative number. “My savings and other assets were completely wiped out by my debts — and then some,” he wrote.

That realization prompted Meadows to scrutinize every aspect of his finances while keeping in mind his desire to ditch the traditional 9-to-5 work life. He also started tracking his net worth monthly, which helped keep him motivated along the way to his $100,000 goal:

“Things really started humming along after I customized a spreadsheet to track my net worth. Every month I got a little buzz out of seeing the number climb higher and higher. I could also tell if progress was slowing, and give myself a metaphorical kick in the butt as required.”

How and why you should track your net worth

Your net worth is basically a dollar figure equal to your assets minus your liabilities. Or as Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson puts it in “21 Steps to More Leisure — and Less Labor — in Your Life,” your net worth is what you own minus what you owe.

So to compute your net worth, you must add up your assets and add up your liabilities. Then subtract your total liabilities from your total assets. That’s it.

Examples of assets include the money in your bank and investment accounts, as well as the value of possessions you own, namely homes and vehicles.

Examples of liabilities include any outstanding debts, such as credit card debt and loans.

To track your net worth, create your own spreadsheet as Meadows did. Or, look for a budgeting app that features net worth computation. Some such apps are free.

Meadows’ road to financial freedom is based on a universal financial lesson we often emphasize. Here is Meadows’ take on it:

“Sorry to disappoint, but there is no magical way of getting rich. … The true ‘secret’ is simple: Live on less than you earn. Save and invest the difference, and let compound interest do its thing.”

Stacy explains this concept in even simpler terms in “The 10 Golden Rules of Becoming a Millionaire“: Becoming wealthier each month is as simple as spending less than you make. And yes, you guessed it — getting poorer is as simple as spending more than you make.

Do track your finances? Let us know what has worked for you by commenting below or on Facebook.

How to earn $30 in less than 30 seconds

Earn extra money by using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) — a site that gets you cash back at more than 2,500 stores. As a bonus for joining Rakuten between now and Aug. 6, 2020, you'll earn $30 when you spend at least $30 shopping online through Rakuten within the first 90 days. Start earning cash back and claim a free $30 bonus today.

Read Next
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years
10 Cars That Lose the Most Resale Value After 5 Years

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

9 Items Under $25 That Will Keep Your House Clean
9 Items Under $25 That Will Keep Your House Clean

We’ve rounded up some of the best products for cleaning your bathroom, kitchen and every other room.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Sometimes, clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here are some great examples of how to do it.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most
10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most

No state is immune from the coronavirus. But statistics show that some places are especially dangerous for older residents.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do
The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do

Tired of age discrimination? Businesses are clamoring for older workers to fill certain roles.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus
9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus

The pandemic has a silver lining.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.