When I was young and cool. Ok, I was never cool. But when I was young, I always had the dream to become a millionaire by 30. Sadly, I didn’t meet that goal, but by that age, I’d realised that my new goal was not just to become a millionaire, but to be financially independent.
Can anyone become a millionaire?
I’d like to think that anyone can become a millionaire in the UK, but the reality is that financial literacy is nowhere near as widely understood as it should be. The purpose of this site is to help promote this knowledge and understanding. So before we go any further, I would really appreciate you sharing this or any article on the site, with someone who may be interested in learning more about personal finance.
The goal to become a millionaire in the UK is an awesome achievement, but is it realistic? Well the good news I have for you is that, yes it is and no you don’t need a high paying job to achieve it. Although it does of course help. With enough time you can become a millionaire in the UK for only £10 invested a day. We’ll come back to that later or you can skip to that part by clicking this link.
How many millionaires are there in the UK?
According to Credit Suisse’s Wealth Report, there were nearly 2.5 millionaires in the UK in 2020. This was an increase of over 10% from 2019. What’s also huge to note is that the percentage of millionaires in the UK has nearly tripled from 1.7% to 4.7% since 2000.
In Ireland the percentage of millionaires has grown over 3.5 times from 1.4% to 5%.
It’s easy to say the rich are getting richer. Because they are! However, if you want to become a millionaire, I’d argue that there has never been an easier moment in the history of time to achieve this.
What makes a millionaire?
There are millionaires and there are those who live like millionaires. The hardest way to become a millionaire is to live like one when you can’t afford it. If you’re earning big money but spending it all, you’ll never become rich.
The definition of a millionaire isn’t that you have £1,000,000 saved in the bank, but rather you have assets that total this amount or greater. Anything that contributes to your wealth is an asset. Anything that takes away, is a liability.
- Cash in the bank
- ISA balances
- SIPP balances
- Company Pensions
- General Investment Accounts
- Most Jewellery
There is some debate online surrounding property equity and whether it is an asset or not. Personally I feel that rental properties can be completely regarded as assets. Whereas personal properties are debatable. Without them, there’d be additional cost for rent and the appreciation of the value is a benefit.
- Personal Mortgages
How much do I need to save or invest to become a millionaire in 10 years?
There are any number of ways to become a millionaire in 10 years (or less). From a mathematics perspective, the simplest is to just save the amount. Alternatively, you may want to invest in the stock market to put your money to work for you.
Example: You could save £100,000 a year. Which equates to saving £8333.33 a month or just under £274 a day. If you break it down further, it’s £11.41 per hour.
Example 2: Save £60,000 per year and invest this in an index fund. Assuming 8.5% returns, after 10 years your continued investments and its growth would become over £1,044,000.
To save £60,000 a year, you’d need £5000 a month, £164.38 a day or £6.80 an hour.
The challenging part is of course that you need to earn at least this amount to be able to save it.
With an understanding of what it takes to become a millionaire, we can start to map out the steps to become a millionaire at 30 or any age for that matter.
You are never too early or too late to achieve financial freedom.
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10 steps to become a millionaire in the UK
- Set goals and create a plan to achieve them
- Budget and discipline
- Start early
- Put money in an ISA
- Put money in a workplace pension or SIPP
- Invest in yourself
- Get a high paying job and work hard
- Start a business and work harder
- Balance your income streams
1. Set goals and create a plan to achieve them
It’s great to have goals, but without a plan to achieve them, they’re just dreams.
Setting goals can be uncomfortable. Firstly because to achieve the goal you will often have to move out of your comfort zone. Secondly our goals are usually lofty in their nature and oh my gosh, we might have to work hard to achieve them. The horrors.
No one is going to hand you £1m, no matter how hard you manifest it.
Saying you want to become a millionaire by age 30 is one thing, but breaking down the steps you need to achieve and then planning to achieve them is another altogether. It can be somewhat liberating and when you realise there’s a plan with goals, it feels much more achievable.
2. Budget and discipline
Setting a budget is the cornerstone of achieving financial independence. If we spend more than we earn, becoming a millionaire is always out of our reach. However, the more we have to invest, the quicker we can become millionaires.
Budgeting is boring. It can often feel like the “Negative Nancy” always saying no to the fun things. It’s true, budgeting takes discipline, but it doesn’t mean you have to rule out fun.
Spending money on the things that matter to you can reduce or cut out everything else. Personally I love skiing in Morzine and if I had to, I would forgo a daily artisanal coffee to ski once or twice a year. For me, travel is a non-negotiable, the bought coffee is.
Understand the practice of delayed gratification and know that any spending now is stealing from your future self.
3. Start early
Time in the market or the length of time you have investments working for you, is the biggest multiplier of wealth because of compound interest.
While it might feel that your goal is so far off in the future that it’s almost unimaginable, I bet you’ll never look back at age 60 and regret saving for your future.
I started investing at age 30 and knowing what I know now, wish I’d started earlier.
The best time to start was 10 years ago. The second best time is now. Not tomorrow, now!
To illustrate this I have 2 examples on how compound interest works for your benefit.
John is 20 years old and has decided he’d like to become a millionaire someday in the future. He has budgeted hard and will be able to invest £3650 a year into an index fund he expects will return 8.5% a year. With only this amount invested each year, he would expect to be a millionaire at age 59.
Jack is 40. He has no other savings but has decided he would also like it be a millionaire by age 59
Based on him investing exactly in the same manner as John and achieving 8.5% returns, Jack would need to save around £22,500 per year to become a millionaire by age 59.
Jack would have to invest over 6x the amount that John would to achieve the same result.
Moral – START NOW.
Investing is like adding rocket fuel to your savings. Yes, if you save really hard, you’ll eventually become a millionaire. But if you invest your money and let it work for you, it will grow faster through growth and compound interest.
Investing also fights against inflation and protects your true wealth.
We’ll be covering investing in great detail on the site very shortly and we’ll make sure to add a link here, so please check back soon.
5. Put money in an ISA
The UK Government has kindly provided those tax paying residents of the UK with incentives to save in a very tax efficient manner. An ISA or Individual Savings Account allows you to put your after tax money to work for you in a savings or investment account. The money within the ISA wrapper grows free of tax.
The maximum you can currently put into an ISA is £20,000 per year, but doing this often and early can allow you to become an ISA millionaire.
6. Put money in a workplace pension or SIPP
A few years back the UK government introduced a process of “Auto Enrolment” into workplace pensions, whereby employees are automatically enrolled into a pension scheme within their work. The employers contribute to this as do the employees.
Top Tip: If your employer is offering a pension match, take it. To you, it’s free money and often you’ll not notice the difference in your own pay packet. You are doubling any amount you put in your pension up to the match! You also save on income tax for every pound you put into your pension. Why wouldn’t you do it?
Those who are self employed or want to have more options with their pension can open a SIPP. We’ve covered SIPPs in depth in our “What is a SIPP?” article, if you want to find out more.
You’ll not be able to take any money from your SIPP or workplace pension until 10 years before the State Pension Age (SPA). This will give you a huge opportunity to become a millionaire as your investments will have a longer period of time to grow.
7. Invest in yourself
One of the most important things you can do to become a millionaire, is to continuously invest in yourself. Learning new skills and having a wider breadth of knowledge will help you leverage this both inside and outside of work.
Being mindful to focus on continuous improvement of your skills and knowledge will open up many opportunities.
8. Get a high paying job and work hard
It’s easy to stay in the job you have and to plod through life doing just enough. But to excel, you need to do what others are unwilling to do. And that’s nothing unethical, but rather, hard work.
Upskilling and taking on more responsibility will allow you to climb the career ladder quickly. What may also help with this, is moving employers.
It’s not that a job for life has disappeared, but as an employer, the stigma of millennials moving jobs frequently is no longer “a thing”.
In fact I have had (and appreciated) a new employee telling me at an interview that he’d leave after 2 years. We hired him and he did leave at month 26. But because he was open with us through the entirety of his career with us, we were able to plan for this and I considered this a great hire.
9. Start a business and work harder
I was always going to start my own business. It’s something that I’d always considered. But for the first 8 years of my career it felt so far away. I had no idea what I could do or what products I could create. And more importantly, I had no idea how to be a sales person.
Prior to starting my business I took a role with a company in their sales department. They were known for being a difficult company to work for, but their sales teams were incredibly high performing and their sales training, world-class. I took this training to build out my own talent stack and to make sure that I was well versed in one of the critical skills a business owner needs.
Don’t start a business until you are ready, but when you are, it’s one of the rewarding things you can do on your way to becoming a millionaire.
As founder of a startup in a very competitive industry, I worked a lot. Sometimes 80hr weeks and often through the night. Unless you’re starting a lifestyle business, be prepared to work hard for an extended period of time. I loved almost every minute of owning a business. It was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
10. Balance your income streams
As you grow your income, diversification is key to building and maintaining wealth. It’s great to have a high paying job or a profitable business, but if this income stream stops, what happens?
Look at opportunities to add multiple streams of income and build each of these out to balance where your income comes from. Consider rental properties, or creative other streams of income outside of your business or primary employment.
Quick ways to become a millionaire
Take this next section with a pinch of salt and by no means am I advocating putting £100 a week on scratch cards. However many have become millionaires at age 20, 30 and up through each of the methods noted below.
- Crypto & NFTs
- Career progression
- Lottery win
- Sell a business
- Property development
How to become a millionaire for £10 a day
I promised to show you how to become a millionaire on just a tenner a day!
Many of my readers don’t want to start a business and don’t want rental properties. Others don’t want to be bothered with budgeting. But they are interested in building their wealth easily. If this sounds like you then read on my friend.
Can you spare £10 a day? If so you can become a millionaire, with enough time invested in the market.
John (back again) is 20 and has just started his first job. He commits to saving and investing £10 per day into an index fund and does so for the next 40 years.
Assuming he attains an average of 8.5% annual return from his investments at age 60, John will be a millionaire. In fact he’d have reached it at age 58.
As long as John is consistent with his investments and the market returns a decent average rate, John needn’t do anything else to become a millionaire.
How to become a millionaire - final thoughts
There are quick ways, easy ways, illegal ways and sure fire ways to become a millionaire in the UK. You won’t get there at all without setting your goals and then making a plan to achieve them.
While the goal may feel gargantuan at the start, breaking it down into smaller steps will ensure you can continuously move forward towards them.
If you’ve any thoughts on the article please leave a note in the comments section below. Alternatively you can get in touch via Twitter.
Remember to take action, now.