Only the other guy gets rich. It’s never you. The system is rigged against you.

Or is it?

There are things you can do to accumulate a substantial amount and achieve financial independence. In this column I will draw up a millionaire plan for anyone who smokes and drives a car that he or she doesn’t need. It only requires that one is willing to take a few steps over 25 or 30 years.

Give Me Your Thousands

Let’s say you invest a thousand dollars a month, every month, over 25 or 30 years in the lowest cost equity index fund (I use Vanguard Funds. But there are others that work). You ask: “O.K. where am I getting a grand a month?

Smokes cost something on the order of $14 a pack in many places. Stop smoking and you just gained $400 a month. Can you get by without a car? Yes? Then you just gained probably around $600, $700 or possibly more a month when you add up all the costs of running a car in a place like New York, whose pols are always leering at drivers when they need more money. And they always seem to need the latter. So don’t let them eat up your geld because they’ll eat it all up and then demand more.

There’s your $1,000 a month and more.

Not Just for Smokers and Motorists

Others can do the same. The column isn’t just for those who own superfluous cars or smoke.

But let’s just take the $1,000 and faithfully invest it. I used automatic deductions from my checking account to ensure money goes into the index funds. When I worked full-time, I automatically had money taken out of my pay and put into my 401(k) at work. (And remember doing that could double the money put into your account if your employer matches your contribution).

So, because you are smart, quit smoking and no longer own that financial albatross called a car—you can still rent one from time to time if you’re a car fanatic—you now have at least $1,000 to put into investments. Now let time make you rich.

Let’s say you earn nine percent a year—a rather average rate or return—over 25 years on a $1,000 a month. You invest without fail even month, especially in bad months.

Twenty-Five Years Hence

After a quarter century or so you have $1.3 million. You’re a millionaire. But let’s say you go thirty years, or five years more. Then you have some $1.8 million. That extra five years meant an additional $500,000 or so.

You can do it. You can be one of those people who doesn’t have to work or who only works at the things he or she wants to do. It is not impossible to achieve. But it requires investing money on a regular basis over decades; sticking it out through bad markets and good ones. And it also means not letting money get away from you that you don’t have to spend.

Paying for Your Death?

So do you really need to smoke, even though it is going to kill you and possibly bankrupt you in the process? Do you really need to impress the neighbors by having everyone in the area know that you just had a new car delivered?

Hey, they’re not going to make the payments on the car, pay the insurance, put gas and oil in it as well as pay the endless taxes that our ruling classes constantly want from car owners?

Take care of yourself, and others, by having the courage to save and invest over long periods. Twenty-five years seems like an eternity, especially when you’re young. But it will fly by before you know it.

The “Other Guy” Who Wins

Have automatic saving and investing vehicles in place at work and in personal accounts. Then, sooner than you expect, you’ll be “the other guy” who gets rich. For every person who succeeds, will have accomplished its mission: Help people to help themselves and not depend on governments, which so often promise x or y and end up giving you something a lot less than x or y.

Gregory Bresiger
Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent financial journalist from Queens, New York. His articles have appeared in publications such as Financial Planner Magazine and The New York Post. The eBook version of his latest book "MoneySense" is available now for Free Download by clicking HERE

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