You Can Become A Millionaire In Just Five Minutes A Day!

I’m fascinated by those “earn $7,000 a month at home part time!” commercials that seem to constantly air during low-rated television programming. These commercials seem to contain a number of people who discovered a “path to wealth” from their living room and they discuss how easy it is – anyone can do it, after all.

I’m mostly fascinated because people are willing to believe that a high income is really that easy. By talking up the “part time” and “from home” aspects of the scheme, it’s actually targeting the people without much work initiative, convincing them that you can make money that easily. While the plan might have some potential for money making, I can certainly tell you that success won’t come from the plan, but from the work you put in to make it so.

Having said that, I will let you in on a little secret. You can become a millionaire in just five minutes a day – if you choose those five minutes well, do the right thing during those five minutes, and don’t undo that effort later. Don’t believe me? Here’s how.

Each day, spend five minutes not buying unnecessary stuff. Look through your cart before you check out and yank out the stuff you don’t really need. Stop before you buy an armful of clothes or a book or a video game or a DVD and put that unneeded stuff back. Walk out of the store without buying that expensive item. More importantly, don’t go back and undo that smart move.

Then, on days when you don’t go out, spend five minutes investing the money you’ve saved not buying unnecessary stuff. At first, just hold it in a savings account, then eventually move that cash into a low-cost index fund and set the dividends to reinvest.

That’s it. If you do even half the unnecessary spending of the average American, given enough time, you will become a millionaire. Just five minutes a day – that’s all.

Unfortunately, that’s not the easy plan to riches that is being sold on that television commercial.

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  1. Trent says:

    This post was originally a lot longer, but I decided to trim out most of the fat. It works better short and sweet.

  2. Mark says:

    Trent,

    Great post, gets the point across perfectly. This goes after the source of financial pain for most people, the impulse purchases. Just walking out of the grocery store with what is on your list would save millions of people from the financial breaking point.

    It was just long enough. Most of us have only a minute or two to glance at your site, so a short article works best.

  3. Brian says:

    I agree, this post is the perfect length.

    It’s also a great topic. This is such a simple step and would allow people to save much more than they imagine. Maybe I’ll try it :)

    By any chance, is the longer version of this article posted somewhere for those who may want to read it?

    weiszguy

  4. I think that it is great as a short article. However, a longer article showing how that $20 Bourne Ultimatum DVD I want to buy could be saved to create $1M. (Yeah, I know how to do it, but a longer article would be nice for those who need it.)

  5. Kenny says:

    Trent,

    Where was this post when I spent my $10 on today’s shirt.woot.com?

    But I needed a new shirt, my old ones are almost ready to become dustrags.

    Did I need a ten dollar shirt? Probably not, but those shirt.woot.com shirts are longer than normal shirts and easier to tuck in. And they’re softer, too.

    Still, I could have not spent that money and kept it for something else.

    Good advice, still.

    Good thing I have a pile deducted from my paycheck for my 401(k) before I even see it!

    Thanks, as usual, Trent.

  6. Mrs. Micah says:

    Well, my 5 minutes is almost up–finding this in my reader, reading it, and commenting. :P

    Where’s my million?

    Oh right, wait for it. Ok. Fine. *looks tired of waiting and wanders off*

    j/k, I’m just a little spacey and silly this morning. Good post, I enjoyed the controversial title.

    And on a more serious note, one of the accusations leveled at (some) MLM companies is that people are told they’ll only have to work part-time. And the ordinary people in the organization (not the fat cats) are working overtime, not making ends meet, and feeling guilty because they “should” work less and earn more. Because they feel guilty and pressured, they tell other people they work less than they do and earn more, so nobody knows they’re not alone. It’s sad.

  7. So true Trent.

    It’s amazing how often people can get wound up looking for easy money when it is sitting right in front of them. As you say, 5 minutes is all it takes to get you on the right path to financial health. Short and sweet – like this post.

    Peter

  8. Jen says:

    It’s like one of my professors used to say–”A few seconds of right thinking can undo the habits of a lifetime.”

  9. Laura says:

    I can understand people wanting to get the most moeny for the least amount of time. The problem is that there is a line between working smart (and hard) and working short (and cruising).

    Good advice on saving and investing Trent.

  10. Ernesto says:

    Has anyone done an analysis on how these people make money running these lame commercials? I notice the web site changes slightly every time, can I be next in line with my web site?
    Tap into people’s greed and laziness, there’s a winner.

    Maybe people could purchase an hourglass style egg-timer and take it shopping. Examine your cart while the sand pours to eliminate unnecessary items. Think I’ll buy my wife one.

  11. Steve W says:

    Would you pay $500 a month for digital cable?

    Here’s what I do — I multiply every purchase by 5 to determine its “real cost” (what you lose once you calculate it as a lost, tax-deferred investment).

    So that $80 monthly digital cable bill is really a $500 dollar monthly digital cable bill. Is it worth that much? Easy answer there.

    By the numbers: $80 invested in a tax-deferred investment (401K) earning 13% over 20 years will yield $921.85. Adjusted for 3% inflation = $501.30.

  12. dong says:

    Yeah I find these ads sad because they really are victimizing the people who can least afford it. I think we’re all generally greedy, and I don’t necessarily think that individuals who fall prey to these ads are lazy. They’re not – I’ve met a few individuals who’ve been suckered, and have been impressed by their hard work in what my opinion is a fruitless endeavor. They just don’t know better.

    Sure all of us could deal with does of lower consumption. But when you’re just barely scratching by, increasing income is much more important. It’s too bad the get rich quick schemes advertise so much more than the get rich slow ones…

  13. Deborah says:

    This is a great post. The last three paragraphs are very inspirational. I think I’ll print them up and hang them over my computer (I’m much more likely to spend impulsively online than I am in the store).

  14. Steve W says:

    Whoops, my math, I see, if inaccurate. It’s really a 6.25 multiplier (but if you calculate in taxes, even a possibly lower tax-rate, it does get closer to multiplier of 5).

  15. Lever says:

    Is there an age limit to this e.g. should I have started taking this advice *way* before I reached 37 years old? ;)

  16. Katy Raymond says:

    My empty nesting hubby and I still have MUCH too large of a latte factor. So now, for every day we don’t make a coffee run (which also constitutes a day that we–two self-employed based-at-home workers–don’t leave the house…), I add $6 to our travel fund. It’s set up at HSBC online. We put $$ in every month, but it’s great to see it add up faster as we cut back on our “entitlements.” When we go back to Ireland, $6 is plenty to pay for the groceries we purchase to knosh during the day (brown bread and assorted cheeses, mostly). Ireland–bring it on!!

  17. It doesn’t always work though….eventually you will succumb and shell out $5 for that Caribou Coffee…I just did that 5 minutes ago :(
    -Raymond

  18. Mrs. Micah says:

    Now see, Raymond, if you were like me and hadn’t tried it in the first place, Caribou won’t get you! ;-) :-p

    (It does smell good….)

  19. Lazy Man says:

    The problem is that it takes a lot of days to make a million this slow way. Many people don’t have the patience and discipline for that.

  20. LC says:

    It does take patience, but it is amazing how the little things can add up. If in a given month, you skip the purchase of 2 DVD’s and one shirt ($50), stay home 2 Saturday nights rather than go to dinner and a movie ($100), bring your lunch to work ($100), and skip the morning coffee ($75), you will have almost $1 million after 30 years using Trent’s saving and investing method. Yes, that is a long time, but $1M is also a lot of money. If you only did it for 10 years, you could probably pay off your mortgage.

    Maybe a future post could be about what to look for if someone is interested in a legitimate way to work from home.

  21. Mrs. Micah says:

    The still-bouncy Mrs. Micah seconds LC’s suggestion!

    I’m always looking for from-home/freelance opportunities for my patchwork full time job. Sometimes it’s easy to tell what’s legit/bad and sometimes it’s really hard. Or I could write the post if you don’t. Or I could stop commenting. *breathe*

    Anyway, good idea LC!

  22. Katy Raymond says:

    Money Blue Book–You are so right–it doesn’t always work!! :) And on those days, I enjoy my Starbucks or Caribou to the max. But on the OTHER days, I make sure I put those $$$ into some kind of account that will make me even MORE happy. If, that is, it’s possible to be more happy than I am when imbibing a latte!

  23. Akuseru says:

    Trent, this post has inspired me to take five minutes today to roll up the coins that I have been saving up for the past two years and take them down to the bank to open a savings account.

    Thank you.

  24. Harm says:

    A lot of those ads are by desperate Herbalife
    ‘members’, I think…..
    On the tv show “King of Queens” they had a
    great shot at mlm schemes recently. (might have
    been a rerun, but the message was still
    pointed)

  25. Debbie says:

    Really excellent post! I’ve been switching radio channels when all the Christmas must buy cell phone, car, etc ads come on. Throwing away all SALE mailings and keeping my head down during TV commercials.

  26. Debbie says:

    hit the post button to fast. Decided since I said “no” to going out with a co-worker to lunch I’d move the money I would have spent to my savings account. If I did this with every dollar I saved each day boy would my savings account have grown in a year with compounding interest.

  27. Jon says:

    Good article. Your point is hit home with the google ads that accompany your article at the bottom. They are all for work from home get rich quick schemes.

  28. mjh says:

    Do you mean the TV equivalent of ads like these ones:

    “Investing in Tiny Stocks
    Learn Which Tiny Penny Stock Sits On Billions Of Silver and Gold”

    “Free Money Making Website
    Still Not Earning Any Money Online? We Will Pay You $150 Per Day ”

    “Turn $600 into $39,750
    The Forgotten Commodity – that could turn every $600 into $39,750!”

    “Online Money Market?
    DayTrade USD, EUR, YEN Online 24hrs $25 Forex Accounts. Start Now!”

  29. Doug Smith says:

    Not spending only works if your spouse doesn’t spend either.

    I’ve been married 15yrs and the only time my wife was sensible about money was when we were dating and she worked for it.

    Now that we’re married and she’s a stay at home mom, she has no regard for what anything costs.

    Sure, we could get divorced, but I’d still be paying into the consumerism and maintaining dual households.

    We have no debts and our entire cash flow (over $150k/yr) is spent each and every month on things we don’t need.

    I can’t imagine how far in the hole we’d be if we had a mortgage, car payment and cc debt.

    In 5yrs I haven’t been able to convince my wife to put $500/m aside for the new car we’ll eventually need now that ours is almost 10yrs old.

    Her answer? Take out a loan like everyone else.

    Of course, then we’d have to pay back the loan with interest…

  30. Irina says:

    Party Entertainment that is what I do. WHooowhooo… I used to work a *NORMAL* job, in PR that is… But since I discovered party entertainment I never want to see an office again.. I now can only work when I want to work… no 9 to 5 work for me, it actually was 9 to 9. What I do now is not easy money. There are probably easier jobs, but party entertainment better suits my personality… Plus, I can work as much or as little as I want. There are other perks in being an entertainer, you become somewhat of a local celebrity… Now I don’t have to look forward to my retirement. In essence, I retired from any and all office rigmarole. I am free to learn and explore other things in life and still pay my bills and contribute to my self-employed IRA and 401 (k). I wish someone told me 10 years ago about this event entertainment jobs. I’d be better off in every way.

  31. Kathryn says:

    Steve W – thanks for the reality check. I knew that my cable was a waste, I just didn’t know how much of a waste it really is. Maybe now I can convince my hubby that the third car (his prize mustang) is an even bigger waste ;).

  32. lady says:

    yes you are right. i remember how a person managed to double his money not by doubling the pay he gets from work but by cutting down on unnecessary expenses and through good investments..

  33. I do 30 minutes of work a day on my websites and make about $100 per day. Finding the right category pays off!

  34. lorenamail.com says:

    i always try things to get money just by working at home and it dont work

  35. Lenore says:

    So…does this mean you’re a millionaire yet, Trent? Wise words even if you’re not, and at least you’re on your way versus most MLM victims.

    I’m proud to report I bought NOTHING on Black Friday again this year. Did a little research and found most retailers go “into the black” well before Thanksgiving. (If they didn’t make a profit till the last quarter, could they keep their doors open all year?) Still frantic advertisers and the far-from-free press icite us to join the frenzied mob and spend for patriotic duty or competition. The term “Black Friday” was actually coined by Philadelphia cops weary of shopping traffic and mayhem, and the busiest shopping day of the year is usually the Saturday before Christmas. Perhaps the economy would survive if more of us stayed home to savor Turkey Day leftovers and spend more time with loved ones. I just hope no one got crushed or shot this year for the sake of a sale.

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