People who became millionaires faster

Becoming a Millionaire FAST (and people that have done it!)

On Monday, we went over how easy it is to become a millionaire. Today, we’re going to look at a few people that have done it and have done it quickly!

Saving a Million Dollars FAST

1500 Days:

We’ll start with Mr. 1500 Days (he’s one of my favorites!). Now he started 2013 with over $585,000. He managed to hit $1,000,000 for the first time less than two years later! Note that Mr. 1500 days uses Personal Capital as well!

double comma

To be able to compare him to others, we’re going to focus on his January numbers, which means it took him 3 years:

  • Starting out: 1 January 2013: $586,043
  • 1 January 2014: $869,635
  • 1 January 2015: $987,351
  • 1 January 2016: $1,057,961

If you look at his monthly numbers, he was knocked under $1,000,000 three times since first hitting it!

Financial Samurai:

Now the Financial Samurai argues that the first million dollars is the easiest. He details his entire journey to his first million in net worth in the same post. I’ll summarize his journey (in just numbers) here:

  • Age 22: Net worth – $160,000
  • Age 23: no update
  • Age 24: Net worth – $260,000
  • Age 25: Net worth – $400,000
  • Age 26: Net worth – $550,000
  • Age 27: Net worth – $800,000
  • Age 28: Net worth – $1,100,000

Financial Samurai’s journey started with a lucky stock market deal, but continued with consistent 401k max-outs, smart job moves, and buying real estate (and having a rental in SF!).

Freedom With Bruno:

Travis and Amanda over at Freedom with Bruno (spoiler: Bruno is their car) managed to save $1,000,000 as well. Their journey to financial independence is a basic story of reducing financing and completely ramping up savings rates (maxing out both 401ks and IRAs!). Here is the graph on the website:

bruno millionaire

Again, we’re looking for year-by-year rates, so we’ll make some estimates based on the above graph:

  • July 2012: $450,000
  • July 2013: $700,000
  • July 2014: $825,000
  • July 2015: $1,000,000

Go Curry Cracker:

Jeremy and Winnie are some of my other favorites, so I really want to include them here… although (as far as I have found) they don’t share the specifics of their financial journey. The closest to specifics I can find is this chart with the history of the S&P 500 alongside the history of the Go Curry Cracker portfolio:

multi million dollar portfolio

But since there are no actual dollar amounts, I can’t include it into the upcoming comparison. Moving on…

Root of Good:

Justin over at Root of Good is also a favorite of mine (it helps he has 3 kids like us). He has also published his journey from zero to millionaire in ten years that includes this really helpful chart:

root of good millionaire

He captions it: “Slow and steady wins the race. Go team tortoise!” But really, he’s among the elite that have managed to hit a million dollars in a ten-year span!

Chris Reining:

Chris has declared that becoming a millionaire is a letdown. It turns out, when you save and invest money, one day, it just happens! He’s also so nicely set out his path in an awesome chart!

chart to a million dollars

Mr. Money Mustache:

I feel obligated to include Mr. Money Mustache, though his route to early retirement wasn’t to a million dollars (though I’m sure he’s probably a multi-millionaire these days). He’s shared the specifics of his ten-year journey to early retirement in a post called: “A Brief History of the ‘Stash.” I’ll summarize just the numbers below:

  • Year 1: $5,000
  • Year 2: $23,000
  • Year 3: $67,000
  • Year 4: $150,000
  • Year 5: $250,000
  • Year 6: $365,000
  • Year 7: $490,000
  • Year 8: $600,000
  • Year 9: $720,000
  • Year 10: $800,000+

Since he is one of the BIG names in early retirement, Mr. Money Mustache is showing the world how it’s done! Steve over at Think, Save, Retire has also argued that you don’t need to be a millionaire to retire.

Tracking Your First $1,000,000

If you’re like me, you like to see aggregated data… maybe even graphs! Well, friends, you’re in luck! I’ve mapped out the above numbers (the ones I was able to pull out specific numbers) on one graph so you can compare!

save a million dollars

I like looking at this all together. There’s definitely an exponential growth kick right at the end of the journey for half of our millionaires. Also, once you hit $500,000, it’s completely possible to hit $1,000,000 in 4 years!

What’s the secret formula? High savings rates. The market has helped these guys, but the major strides they make each year are mainly their own contributions!

Who’s line will you follow most closely on your path to early retirement? Track your line by signing up for a FREE account with Personal Capital.

Personal Capital links on the blog are affiliate links. At NO COST to you, we get a “thank you” commission if you sign up through our links. If you don’t feel good about that, open a new window and go directly to their landing page. 


Saving a Million Dollars is Easy!


Shared Inspiration


  1. Cool post! Nice to see these numbers from different bloggers all put together into a single page. You’re absolutely right, a high savings rate is the primary factor in achieving millionaire status. High incomes can make it happen faster, but they aren’t required.

    • MaggieBanks

      Agreed Steve! And aggregated data of people that have actually done it are very motivating for people like us at the very beginning of the chart! 🙂

  2. I love all of this, but I especially love your point that consistent, high savings makes it possible!

  3. Nice graphs! A high savings rate really helps, because like in our case we really didn’t start this journey or focused savings until about 5 years ago, maybe 4? We’d been consistently saving, but not at high rates, as we were not in that mindset back then. With the last 4 years of focus towards saving more, we broke into the double comma club, and then went under and then over, then under, like Mr. 1500.

    We started off pretty negative asset wise. In 2008, I had $64k or so of student loans and ~$18k of credit card debt, plus, like a financial genius I’d cashed out my 401k so no assets for me. Mrs. SSC had about ~$40k in a 401k and ~$40k in savings from a previous home sale and no debt. We focused on paying my debt down quickly, and saving minimally until debt was paid off, and then turned the “debt money” towards savings/investments and ramping that up even more. That approach should lead to us hitting our number in about 2 more years, which is only 10 years after starting in this industry. Not too shabby when you think about it like that.

    The higher salaries helped socking away more, but the concept is the same regardless of income level. Pay down high interest debt, and then turn that money towards even more savings, all while living below your means.

    We have found once we hit a certain point our input into the savings isn’t the biggest driver anymore. The market has a way stronger influence over our money now than we do by contributing to it. That’s a nice and scary feeling at the same time. For instance, if we stopped contributing to our egg right now, we’d still hit our number by 2020 with a 4% market return. That’s nice. Conversely, If the economy tanks, markets tank, and more, our investments could drop like mad and we’d be SOL until the market recovered – I’d still be buying stocks on discount, but we’d be forced to working longer waiting for the recovery. That’s scary.

    Whatever – I can’t complain about having to wait until markets recover and possibly working until I’m 45 – gasp! the horror! 🙂 It’s all relative, so keeping perspective in these matters helps.

    Like Steve points out, you don’t need to hit the double comma club to be FI, it’s more about what your lifestyle needs cost and what your risk tolerance and FI plans are.

    • MaggieBanks

      That’s so awesome you guys! We’re attempting to do a similar thing with the mortgage… it’s more motivating to pay down debt in some ways (plus the market is really high right now) and then we can throw the momentum of paying that down right into savings when we’re done! (If the market tanks, I’ll move all that extra money over during the “on sale” times!)

  4. thejollyledger

    We spent our first year to FI really paying off some debt. Now, we are really mimicking the same path as MMM. Ought to hit that magic FI number in 4.5 years!

    • MaggieBanks

      Nice! We’re not really on the chart yet, but if we choose to save a cool million, it’s still possible in a ten year span!

  5. Great collection of figures from some awesome bloggers. Becoming a millionaire is not one of our goals, so the years are more of a focus for me, and really encouraging. These families achieved enormous change in their financial status within a relatively short amount of time. It gives me hope that we will be able to pay off debt and build up enough assets to reach our goal of financial semi-independence, by 2022.

    • MaggieBanks

      Yes, Harmony! Me as well. We still haven’t figured out our entire plan. I think we’re going to be flexible. But either way, seeing these possibilities helps tremendously. Once the ball starts moving in the right direction, momentum is behind you!

  6. I love seeing the numbers from everyone in the PF community! Seems like if you have a high income, just try to live like a normal person for about 10 years or so and you’ll easily hit a million!

    • MaggieBanks

      Truth. But it’s possible even without a high income (harder, but still possible).

  7. Nice analysis. Gives me a lot of hope for sure. 🙂

  8. Very cool compilation! Makes me want to put a graph as well. I really think 3 million is the new 1 million now due to inflation. I also think we can all get there if we continue to just save and invest over the long-term!

    Thanks for putting this post together.


    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks, Sam! We have to think 1 million is possible before we start thinking about 3 million! 🙂

  9. Great article! And I love the graph at the end, it satisfies my analytics side.
    I had the idea of such a post in my draft folders but I couldn’t have presented it better 🙂
    I should hit the double comma club in a little over a year, unless the markets decide otherwise, and I can definitely confirm that things grow exponentially after 500k, once investment gains become meaningful.
    The first 100k is the hardest, as is the first 1M.
    In other words, it’s exponentially easier!

    • MaggieBanks

      Great minds think alike! Now that we’ve hit the first 100k, we’re clawing our way to 500k and then counting on the exponential upswing from there!

  10. I don’t like the look of that last graph. It makes me appear like the richest one of all these millionaires! 😉 No way I can afford to buy beers for all those other guys. I’ve got 3 kids to raise! 🙂

    Very cool look at the various ER bloggers in the community and where/how they hit the million mark.

    • MaggieBanks

      I realize there’s problems with the fact that I don’t have exact data on when you hit a million and each year before that (since you ended up higher than $1 million), but I did the best I could. 🙂

    • You ARE the richest one! Your graph proves it! I expect not only a couple beers but a steak dinner to boot.


      • MaggieBanks

        Uh oh. Sorry I’ve started something here… 🙂

        • Nah, Justin is too busy to respond because he’s too rich! 🙂

          Ignoring the little people is what happens when your site gets huge and you get to swim in a bathtub of money every day if you want.

          Gotta keep things real!


          • MaggieBanks

            Ha ha ha. Ooooo. Nice taunting. And thanks for supporting us “little people”

          • RootofGood

            Sorry it took a while to respond. Still swimming around in my bathtub of money 🙂

            And drinking all the beer and eating all the steak.

            Looks like I’m all out. Who’s buying now?

            Can’t wait for Maggie to join us in the Million Dollar Club so SHE can buy us steaks and beer. 🙂

          • MaggieBanks

            You’re both invited to a salmon dinner at my place when you start spending those buckets of money to fly to ALASKA! 🙂

          • RootofGood

            My oldest kid wants to go to Alaska sooooo bad. 🙂

            We’re booked through 2017. 2018 might be a road trip across US, though not sure we can make it all the way to Alaska in one summer

          • MaggieBanks

            That would be a very long road trip. I recommend flying. 🙂

          • RootofGood

            I’d recommend that too. 🙂

        • I’ll happily fly to Alaska to go fishing and inhale nature every day during the summer!

          Been there once and flew a puddle jumper to a like in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. Awesome time, awesome place!


          • MaggieBanks

            Well the salmon dinner offer stands. Let me know when you’re coming. 🙂

  11. It’s cool to see all aggregated like that. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell my double comma story someday (soon)!

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m ready for post number 2… let me know when you’re ready to be a part of it! 🙂

  12. I just read Sam’s comment and nearly had a heart-attack. Is that like 50 is the new 30? (I can tell you it is NOT).

    • Agreed. I think if any saver can hit the 25x of their expenses, maybe 30x if possible, the total number is meaningless. Somehow we get that $1M as a magical number when all it is is a number with a couple of commas…

      Still if I was living in SF, I would want $3M. Real estate would eat one third to a half of that quite quickly as Sam has discussed on his blog many times.

      • MaggieBanks

        yup and yup. 3 million is definitely not a goal of ours, but makes sense for some. I’m just running exercises on de-stigmatizing millionaire status. It’s easier than we think to hit.

    • I’m almost 40 and still feel 25 🙂

      Inflation is a KILLER! Don’t we all remember 90 cent gas and public school costing $3,000 a year or less just 20 years ago?

      I linked to the post with a chart of all the pre and current prices. Scary! Especially $60,000 a year private school costs. Yikes.


      • MaggieBanks

        Why don’t we have 10 cent movies (with popcorn) anymore?! Agreed that inflation is a beast.

        • Or $1 Whoppers with Cheese or 25 cent bowling rounds! Ah, the good ‘ol days!

          But alas, things like the real estate market is finally starting to cool. Now it’s time for us to hustle to catch up with some extra income rocket boosters!


  13. Thanks for this informative list of millionaires and how they became. I found Zero to a Millionaire story most interesting.

  14. Cool summary. We were the tortoises for sure from about 2000-2013. Saving into 401ks, 529 plans, REITs, IRA’s, building cash. Oh and did I say living life to the fullest? We also bought our mountain home in 2013 and have no mortgage on that so that is saving well, I guess.

    The last couple of years we have been picking up the pace significantly in terms of more aggressive saving as we see the FIRE date within grasp. Although it feels like the last mile of a very long hike…..we’ll get there but it feels oh so slow even with that line in sight….

    • MaggieBanks

      I would love to do another post like this with all the other people that are so close and will eventually hit it… so, when you’re ready, write your own “each year on the journey to retirement post” so I can share it all over and then aggregate it with others! 🙂

  15. We just started our own journey to reach financial independence as early as possible. We do not have the entire plan laid out yet. We are already making some lifestyle changes in order to see how these changes can improve our situation. Seeing how quickly others got there is a big encouragement.

  16. Great post Maggie! Our journey that includes pensions totally goof up all the graphs! We might not be “millionaires” but we are FI because of pensions. I love reading all of these but our path is always a little different 🙂

  17. Great idea to combine several of these together — love the chart. It IS possible! Patience. Persistence. Courage!

  18. This is such a cool post! Thanks for doing the legwork to put it together. It gives me hope!

  19. Thanks for putting this post together! Really great idea. To answer your question, I’ll probably reach it the frugal/entrepreneurship/dividend investing way. I’m fine with making sacrifices.

    • MaggieBanks

      We still haven’t figured out what our path will look like… but this all makes it seem totally doable.

  20. You’re making me want to share our numbers so bad! But yes, I can totally attest to the upward slope that happens after a few years of saving hard, once you get the tailwind of compound interest on top of a high savings rate. Love that you compiled all of this stuff — so cool to see the aggregated chart especially!

    • MaggieBanks

      NUMBERS! (just kidding, no pressure). I’m counting on that exponential curve post-$500,000. This beginning part feels like we’re clawing our way there!

  21. This is a great round up of the most inspirational financial bloggers and how they reached their first million. Thanks for putting this insightful post together Maggie.

    With all your interest in hitting the first million lately, have you been thinking about putting a fast-track plan together?


  22. ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike

    This is a great post. Excellent job pulling in the necessary data.

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks! (I mainly wanted to be able to chart it so I could add my own points as we progress!) 🙂

  23. Awesome post Maggie! Thanks for putting this together – it is very encouraging!

  24. Maggie, not sure how, but I just “found” this one. AWESOME 10 year chart comparing all of the millionaires. Really interesting, and encouraging. I’ve not published my numbers, but I too have surpassed $1M. I’ll have to compare my “curve” to the others, I suspect it’s similar!

    • MaggieBanks

      I would love to hear your results (for personal reasons!) to see if your line is pretty similar. I am hoping if we can claw our way to $500k, we’ll hit a million 2-3 years after that!

  25. TJ

    I don’t know how I missed this one! Love the graph where you overlayed everyone’s numbers. I feel like I probably don’t need a million bucks for just me, but I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. Assuming that I have gainful employment for most of the remaining years in my 30’s, I wonder if I can hit that number before 40. That would be 9 years, and most of these folks did it in 10 or less, sooooo…..time will tell.

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks TJ… my thoughts are very similar to yours… we shall see how my trajectory goes!

  26. Awesome post, I love all the data! Great to see everyone side-by-side!

  27. This was very enlightening. Thanks for putting it together

  28. Late to the party, Maggie, but thanks for including us in your illustrious group of retirees! I’m a big number/graph/spreadsheet nerd and you created a cool summary 🙂 Working on 2016 annual spend numbers at this very moment! Best to you up in Alaska!

  29. Fascinating summary. Investment gains have been stellar over this 7 year bull market. I’m preparing myself for more brute force saving and less investment gains in the upcoming decade.

    • MaggieBanks

      I agree! Though I think markets tanking now will be good in the long run for us all to reach independence!

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