3 Money Bloggers on Saving More, Paying Off Debt—and Aiming for $1 Million
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You may know what you need to do to reach your money goal. But seeing how someone else did it successfully can give you the insights or inspiration to help you actually achieve it.

So we rounded up three money bloggers who’ve hit serious money milestones and asked them to spill the details of how they got there—and the lessons they learned along the way.

j.money“I grew my net worth by more than $570,000 in nine years.”

J. Money, 37, Budgets Are Sexy and Rockstar Finance

Nine years ago, “J. Money” bought a house with no money down at the height of the housing bubble—an experience that ultimately underscored how much he had to learn about smart money management. So he set out to master budgeting and hit an ambitious goal: up his net worth from $58,000 to $1 million. He’d always been frugal, and knew that achieving his goal would come down to finding ways to make his money work harder for him.

He started by maxing out his 401(k), recouping a generous match, and a Roth IRA. (He’d later transition to a SEP IRA after becoming self-employed in 2010, which has a higher maximum contribution.) Then he made sure to funnel all windfalls—from tax refunds to “reclaimed” 401(k)s from old employers to a small inheritance—into his investment accounts. He also focused on increasing his income: Over the years, J. Money has started and sold a few personal finance websites, earning an extra $70,000 in profits, which he invested as well.

The results: J. Money’s timing couldn’t have been better. Since he started ramping up his investments during the height of the Great Recession, his investments have grown considerably. Thanks to market returns, consistent investing and his side hustles, his net worth now sits at more than $630,000 (and growing).

Lessons learned: “Saving money isn’t actually that hard when you put things on autopilot. The more it’s automated and out of sight, the better,” he says. “You just need patience to let it grow—and know that the earlier you start, the larger your account can grow with barely any effort at all.”

His advice: Let technology help you. “Whether you want to invest, save or budget, there’s an app that can help.”

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May 1, 2017

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