It’s “Be a Millionaire” Day!

Raise your hand if you’re a millionaire?

Raise your hand if you’re a wannabe millionaire?

Raise your hand if you could care less about how many millions you have? (Stop it, millennials)

When I first started this blog, all I cared about was becoming a millionaire. I didn’t know how I was going to do it exactly, or why I even wanted to be one – other than it just sounding cool! – but it was something I deeply desired and I eventually started a club around it :)

Over the years of living this stuff, however, I’ve come to the realization that while having a million dollars is in fact nice (I mean – it’s A MILLION FREAKIN’ DOLLARS!!), what’s even *nicer* is hitting financial freedom. Which could come at having a million dollars or come at having 10 million dollars (or even half a million dollars!), all depending on how much you spend – the biggest factor of all.

(Quick calculation for you: multiply your *yearly* expenses by 25 to give you a rough idea of how much you need to reach this freedom, plus or minus some G’s depending on how conservative you are)

Wherever you are on this path, though, celebrating major milestones is key so if any of you’ve crossed that elusive million dollar status as of today, congrats! We celebrate in your honor as it’s National Be A Millionaire Day – woo! A day to “think and dream about what it would be like to be a millionaire.” And one that’s also apparently shared with National Bike to Work Day and National Quiche Lorraine Day too, both of which sound a lot less exciting, haha…

But while “thinking” and “dreaming” is fine, any millionaire will tell you that *doing* is what gets the results. So if you’re keen on hitting this million dollars yourself, here are some quick ways to up your chances today:

  • Stash an extra $20 aside
  • Invest an extra $100 into the market
  • Up your 401(k) contribution by 1%
  • Sell a bunch of crap this weekend
  • Earn some extra $$$ this weekend!
  • Start tracking your expenses/net worth
  • Pledge your Million Dollar To-Do List
  • Play the lottery

If you come back on Monday with just a few extra dollars in your pocket, you’ll make me one proud blogger :) And even more so if you come back this time next year and you’re one of the freshly minted millionaires we celebrate with! How cool would that be??

If you need some more motivation to get you going, or just want to put off doing more work this morning, haha, here are other millionaire-inspired posts from over the years:

Good luck! And don’t forget that while the money is nice, there is a point to it all in the end. And it’s actually not about the money!

PS: Found this old scrap from 2008 scheming my way to a million, haha… Fortunately we’re now only 11 years from hitting it according to CNN’s millionaire calculator :)

millionaire to-do list

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  1. The Green Swan May 20, 2016 at 5:18 AM

    Ha I love how you keep finding these old notes!

    Financial freedom is definitely the ultimate goal!

  2. Brian @DebtDiscipline May 20, 2016 at 6:07 AM

    Happy Millionaire Day to you J$! How are yo celebrating? Going for a walk and looking for loose change?

    Financial freedom is the goal and piling up cash in saving and investments is a great way to get there.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 7:09 AM

      A day’s never complete without a walk :)

      And speaking of loose change – my kids the other day found 22 pennies and 1 dime while playing near a sidewalk! Was like hitting the jackpot for all of us! Haha…

  3. Mrs. Mad Money Monster | @madmoneymonster May 20, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    I am so happy it’s Millionaire Day! I currently fall into the wannabe category – but I’m cool with that. Getting there is half the fun. And btw, you totally need to frame that scrap piece of paper! What a great story prop it’ll be when you’re a cool old dude telling your grandchildren how you got your first million. Of course this will all happen on some chilly winter night in front of a fireplace smoking a pipe. Ha!

    Great motivation for hitting The Job today. Thanks!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Smoking a pipe is on my list of things to try one day actually :) Maybe I’ll save it for that magical day indeed!

  4. kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor May 20, 2016 at 6:58 AM

    Growing up I never even thought about being a millionaire. A few years into adulthood I realized it’s actually quite attainable if you play your cards right and persist over time, and can be a wise way to reach FI. Your old millionaire to-do list is great–I love finding old notes like that!

  5. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar May 20, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    After reading blogs like yours and MMM, I’ve realized that I don’t even need a million dollars to never work again. Millionaire day sounds nice but it’s definitely not what I thought it was when I was a kid!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 7:13 AM

      Haha yup… Remaining a millionaire is pretty much doing the OPPOSITE of what you thought it was as a kid. If you go around spending your money on everything shiny you’re not gonna end up with anything left! :)

  6. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers May 20, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    Today I took the step by finally listing some stuff on Craigslist and Offer Up. I’ve had the pictures in my phone for a month meaning to post them but never got around to it. But in accordance with the holiday I finally got around to starting to list them and hopefully clean out some space and reclaim some of that money we’ve spent in the past.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 6:51 PM

      BOOM! And the magic starts!

  7. ZJ Thorne May 20, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Today’s the day I quit my gig because they’ve told me to complete some work for no pay. I have enough going on that I can just say no and walk away from them. That feels like a million dollars.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 6:52 PM

      Damn girl, yeah it does!! Good for you!

      1. ZJ Thorne May 22, 2016 at 11:12 PM

        (That changed with new information right as I was sending the email. I’ll quit when I return, unless they do the right thing,)

  8. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies May 20, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    I said it on Twitter, but I’ll say it again. The “read more” is my favorite part. Regardless of what Vanguard does today (come on, GREEN!), I learn so much in the PF world that I know I’m already better for it. Thanks for the Friday inspiration!

  9. John C @ Action Economics May 20, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    I’m doing some reading and learning this weekend. I picked up the book “Steal The Show; from speeches to job interviews, to deal closing pitches,: How to guarantee a standing ovation for all the performances in your life”

    Increasing my presentation skills is an area that I need some work in and can certainly help with moving up in income and striking the best work/life balance as time goes on.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 6:53 PM

      Oh man, I suck at that part HARD… put me in a small group or one-on-one and I’m on fire, but I hate talking to a crowd… too much attention and not as much interaction :(

      Send me over all your tips though once you’re done with it so I can learn! :) And then blog about it!!

  10. Lisa O May 20, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Happy Millionaire Day to you J and all the “wanna be” out there! I am there too…working my way towards a goal that I am not sure I will make but having fun trying.

    I found a shinning quarter the other day on my walk and it felt like finding gold. Put that little baby right in my jar of found money……total found money to date $3.75!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 6:53 PM

      Bow chicka wha wha!

  11. Done by Forty May 20, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    I love the old scratch pad calculations! There’s nothing like looking back to give you a reminder of how far you’ve come. My guess is that you’re going to hit that cool million before 53.

  12. Steve @ Think Save Retire May 20, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    I’ve thought about being a millionaire in several different ways over the course of my life. When I was young, I thought being a millionaire was just awesome – having lots of money and nice things, woohoo! Then in my 20’s, my thought process shifted a bit and I began to think that having a million is NOTHING these days. If you truly want to live “good”, then you’ll need much more than that.

    And today, I finally realized that accumulating a million bucks is completely unnecessary with the right lifestyle. If you live within your means, a million is probably *too much* – though, it never hurts to have TOO MUCH money, so long as it doesn’t affect your lifestyle.

    I love the notes you’ve made, J – and I’m even more impressed that, even after all of these years, you still manage to find them! :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2016 at 6:55 PM

      Well, I kinda cheated and digitized it years ago for a post but hey! I still randomly found it today! :) And very much nodded in agreement with how you’ve viewed a million over the years… though with two kids in tow now I very MUCH need at least that if to retire, haha…

  13. PhysicianOnFIRE May 20, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    National Be a Millionaire Day and Bike to Work Day? I am and I do! Biking to work can help you become a millionaire a few dollars at a time.

    Who’s Quiche Lorraine?


    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:22 AM


  14. FIRECracker May 20, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Happy Millionaire day! Celebrated mine back in Nov 2014…right before my 32 birthday! :) I gotta say, after becoming an M (I still don’t like to say “Millionaire” because a neuron in the back of my head, always jumps up and down SCREAMING ‘shut up’! All you friends will HATE you!”), I don’t actually feel that different.

    I mean, other than the fact that I finally got to quit my job (YAY!) and travel the world (Double YAY!), I’m pretty much the same person. Part of me wants to shout out to to the world how ABSOLUTELY LIBERATING it is to live life on your own terms, instead of going in to a job you hate everyday, but a bigger part of me keeps thinking about how much my Millennial peers are going to HATE me. And reading your article “Millennials Don’t Want to Be Millionaires?” kind of heightens that fear. Which is kind of sad because as Millennials, we keep getting beaten up over and over again by the other generations, calling us “lazy, entitled, and narcissistic”, and I REALLY wish we could do something to prove our critics wrong. I’m sick of the bad rap we get, and hopefully one day I can change that perception of us, and inspire my peers to become Millionaires. That is if they can stop hating on money…and me, by association, first.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:25 AM

      Love it! Congrats!! And totally hear ya on not much changing lifestyle-wise… I reckon that will be the same for me too, outside of perhaps a little extra swagger in my step :) And it’ll be nice to have a place where you CAN talk about all this too (here on this blog!) where people are much more supporting and eager to ask for tips/advice vs the opposite in the real world like you mention… People are just too quick to hate on things/each other. Probably good to keep it to yourself and just let it out whenever makes the most sense (like when people genuinely want to hear what you have to say about it so they can reach it too! Because that’s the biggest loss with keeping it to yourself – no one else learns!).

  15. Apathy Ends May 20, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    That old note is awesome! I should look through my old “goals” book when I first started reading personal finance books

  16. Dr. Beard May 20, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    I remember the first season of Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. After the show, the lucky bride was pissed to find out that the “millionaire” had a normal house, average car, and basically lived a relatively boring middle class life. He just happened to have amassed a million dollar net worth the way we all know its done: living simply and saving money.

  17. FinanceSuperhero May 20, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Written notes and goals like yours are what separate achievers and dreamers, in my opinion, J. I wrote a note with a variety of life goals in several categories when I was 18, and now that I am about to turn the big 3-0, it is really fascinating to look back and see how those goals kept me on track. It is also interesting that several of them were WAY off target!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:26 AM


  18. Ty @ Get Rich Quickish May 20, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    I had no idea the fraud guy was featured here! Totally remember that saga unfolding on Yahoo! That’s nuts

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:27 AM

      Was the biggest trafficked article too that year! Felt real bad for the journalist because she got it off my blog and we all thought he was trustworthy :(

  19. Amanda @centsiblyrich May 20, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Love the handwritten list! I probably have 20 of those floating around. I love to list methods, and associated math, to financial freedom. You’ve inspired me to do it again :) Plus – I’m selling some crap this weekend!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:28 AM

      Go girl! Please blog about all the nuggets you learn/doodle down too please! You know we love this stuff!

  20. Paul May 20, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Phase 1: Collect Underpants

    Phase 2: ????????????

    Phase 3: PROFIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:28 AM


  21. Tawcan May 20, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Happy Millionaire Day, didn’t know such day existed. Being a millionaire is great but being financially independent would be even better.

  22. Stockbeard May 20, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    Happy Millionaire day! As everybody above me stated, the value is meaningless on its own, what matters is how it relates to your goal. I’m at 85%, yay!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:29 AM

      Sweetness! that’s killer!

  23. Joe May 20, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    11 years will go by in no time. I’m pretty sure you will be a millionaire sooner than that. One of your ideas is bound to make it big. :)
    BTW, it took us 14 years to become millionaire. That’s shared between two people, though. Does that count or do we need 2 millions?

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

      It all counts as long as you both have access to it :)

  24. Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds May 20, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    I love your old note. I have so many floating around. I’m working right now (from home) and I’ve got 4 different notes laid out next to me with similar things on! I like to look at them as they give me motivation! And to write down any ideas that come to me!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

      I want to see some of them!!

  25. Josh @MoneyBuffalo May 20, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    We are going out of town this weekend, so I won’t be the one to make you a proud blogger. But I will set a few dollars out of my wallet into a safe space before we leave. I suppose that counts for something.

  26. amber tree May 20, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Great to see these old notes pop up and the assumptions you had!
    It is indeed not about the money: it is about feeling good, being happy and having fun. De Free. Sadly, that requires some money.
    I do believe intermediate phases ar possible…!

  27. shaun f May 20, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Hey this is awesome,
    i really like your writing style!
    It’s so true people all want to be millionaires, but when you tell them it takes hard work or you will have to work 60-80 hrs a week and have no sleep, they don’t think it’s a good idea anymore!
    My dad always told me, hard work will pay off and never give up!
    Have a great day!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:31 AM

      Haha true dat… Still trying to master the “work smarter, not harder” philosophy but man is it tricky to figure out :)

  28. Visionary Money May 20, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    I just hit millionaire status earlier it this year. To be honest it was awesome, but I felt more satisfaction and accomplishment paying off my house early because it seemed impossible. Once I learned how to really invest and got everything in order financially I didn’t really feel much when becoming a millionaire because I expected it to happen. I still highly recommend it, but yes you don’t need a million to be financially free…. unless you suck at spending.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:32 AM

      Truth bombs all around!

  29. Greg May 20, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    I like the idea of doing something like selling a few things this weekend.

    I try to I still this in my kids by giving them my spare change on Friday.

    “You’re going into the weekend $2 richer”! I tell them. Hope it instills something

  30. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life May 20, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    I’m trying to decide when our clock started on our journey. I started solo ten years ago, but we combined forces 5 years ago.

    Plus I’m hoping that the first M is the hardest/takes longest because I won’t proclaim status til we hit $10M and that’s gotta happen in the next ten years. Just cuz :)

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:34 AM

      I’ll be standing by waiting to hear all your secrets with each passing million :)

  31. Latoya @ Femme Frugality May 20, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    11 years closer to the dream, whoop whoop! I think I can handle that little bit of hustling over the weekend. Cheers to those already a part of the millionaire club!

  32. Kevin @ The Debt Journey May 20, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Love the handwritten plans, I write everything down just like this.
    My favorite part is to play around with the numbers and see what I can speed up.

    “Ok saving $$$$ has me retiring by 55 but what if I can save $$$$ instead..”

    Saving is Exciting!!!!

    Well that may be the lamest yet coolest thing I’ve ever said….


    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      Sounds like a killer blog url to me ;)

  33. Sarah May 20, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    I started keeping a financial “notebook”. I write in it every time I do something that moves me closer to the FI mark. (Ok…so I am rather liberal with what counts… reviewing the kids’ 529s counts as much as paying an extra $100 to the debt monster.) Flipping through it helps keeps me motivated in the dry spells and reminds me when it’s time to review some bill or policy!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      i love that!! Excellent idea!!

  34. Millennial Moola May 20, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    I wonder if you could frame that future millionaire’s work of art above and sell it on ebay to the highest bidder, thereby rendering your dream that much closer to reality?

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      Are you making an offer?? :)

  35. Eric Bowlin May 21, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    I say your first million of the hardest million.

  36. Get FIRE'd asap May 23, 2016 at 2:11 AM

    You know what J? It wasn’t that long ago that I was under the impression that having anything less than a million bucks would make retirement unsustainable for me, and you know what? When I sat down and did the maths, then made some realistic adjustments to how I live my life, I found that retirement can be quite comfortable for significantly less.

    So I say Millionaire Day can also be Early Retirement Day!!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Agreed 100%! And I want to be the first person alerted on that fateful day you hit it, please :)

  37. Elliot May 24, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Just starting out on my journey to being a millionaire! Hoping to get there one day though. Started my own personal finance blog for the ride!

    1. J. Money May 25, 2016 at 11:51 AM

      That will help with staying accountable! It’s one thing to work on your money by yourself, and a whole other when a community online is watching you too :) Hope you enjoy it!