Build Wealth in your 20’s
If you’re looking to build wealth in your 20’s you’re already ahead of the pack. Most guys wait until they’re married and 35 before trying to build that net worth. While it’s never too late, starting early is a massive advantage.
The money you make when you’re young will compound over time if invested correctly. If you make $100 today and you’re 25, that could be the equivalent of $1000 by the time you’re 35… if invested correctly. However, if you blow that $100 on booze, then you’ve lost that potential.
You can see how this can add up over time and make the difference between you being middle class and being a millionaire.
Let’s dive into how you can Build Wealth in your 20’s and make the rest of your life a lot easier.
Reduce Spending / cut expenses
If you want to have money then you need to stop spending it. This means reducing the amount of money you spend and to stop thinking like a consumer. Live frugally more often then not. In other words, be a minimalist for the most part. I say “for the most part”, because if you’re too anal about not spending any money then you can be a real drag.
The only exception is if you’re broke as fuck and need to build some savings to get back on your feet.
For everyone else, you can buy a drink or two when you go out, but don’t get 4 or 5. If you want to have those extra drinks, make your own at home.
Take some time to sit down and calculate how much you spend each month, and on what you’re purchasing.
Some easy ways to spend less money
- Eat out less – cook your own meals
- Make your own coffee
- Only buy 1 or 2 drinks when you go out
- But things in bulk
- Cancel subscriptions you don’t use or need
- Don’t smoke
- Negotiate your gym membership
- Don’t buy new cars – Buy a used, reliable, fuel efficient car (if you need a car)
There are tons of ways to spend less money. Building wealth in your 20’s has to do with not spending the money you get, because you’re likely not going to be making as much as when you’re in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
Nevertheless, the majority of people in their 20’s also have WAY less responsibilities that require money. So reducing your spend is absolutely key.
A few necessities
Once you’re making a livable income, there are a few things I would spend money on. This is considering you’re a single male in your 20’s looking to enjoy life and go out with friends or have dating options.
- A decent apartment in a city, with location being key
- A drink or two for each weekend
- decent clothes and style
Your own place
Having a decent apartment in a city, especially in a prime location, usually isn’t going to be cheap. This is the one area where I splurge and spend money. I still try and get the best deal I can, but rent on a good apartment is my biggest expense by far.
If you’re young and want to enjoy the city and be around other young people, having an apartment in whatever city you’re in is logistically key.
Is it necessary? No, but it will help you out a ton. That being said going without it will ensure you can build in your 20’s and set yourself up. If you’re deep in debt or you’re not going to be able to save while living in a downtown or close to downtown location then don’t do it. Get a good job or get your own business off the ground first.
But spending money on a good apartment is totally worth it in my opinion.
The best move financially only would be to live with your parents and save every dime. Save in your 20’s to then have assets to buy in your 30’s. Or even your later 20’s if you really don’t spend money at all.
However, this website is also focused on being a man and having a life. An alpha male needs his own place and his own space. Having your own place is essential to being an independent man. So it’s really the one place where I’m not cheap as fuck around.
A drink or two
Having a drink or two for each weekend is also fine. It depends where you live, but in expensive cities like San Francisco or New York, two drinks could be a total $20 or $30, and more if you want it be. Getting a drink or two out when you’re on a date is fine. If the girl wants more to drink, invite her over and make the two if you some drinks at your place.
Decent clothes and style
You can still build wealth in your 20’s and have decent clothes. Style is important and can even add a point or so to your attractiveness. Plus you should like to have a good style.
There’s no need to buy anything from Louis Vuitton or Gucci.
You can get some decent shirts from macy’s or nordstorm. They’re not known for being cool but you can get some nice shirts there that match your style. If you’re looking for decent suits for work/professional, or maybe you live in a more dress up / formal city, I like the suits from express.
You can usually get the blazer / pants combo for $200 or less if you go in person. For causal clothes, a v-neck and dark jeans with a pair of good shoes are prefect. V-necks are way better than regular t-shirts if you have a lean body with some muscle.
Growing your wealth – maximize your income
After cutting your expenses and only spending money on a few necessities like an apartment, occasional drink, and decent clothes, growing your wealth means you need to maximize your money.
Whether you’re trying to build wealth in your 20s or your older, making more money is always the goal.
Don’t worry yet about getting a roth ira in your 20s or real estate investing in your 20s, getting passive income in your 20s. While those thing can put you ahead, your main focus needs to be your primary income, then you can look at those options.
Most self help financial gurus will tell you it’s all about passive income. But that takes decades to build up and will never outshine your primary income. So don’t worry right now about what stocks to buy in your 20s or how to invest in your 20s when it comes to the stock market.
Focus on building your business first. Then you can focus on other ways to build wealth through more passive avenues. Right now you’re essential learning how to create wealth from nothing. If you had 2 million in the bank, then yes, you could just have real estate + stocks. But the first wealth secret is about being more hands on.
Your own business
The best way to maximize the money you make is to own your own business.
As a business owner, you can work harder and make more money. You can then pay yourself more and get a much higher return on your investment. It’s best to start a business around something you enjoy and love. However, even just liking it is better than most jobs you’ll have.
Owning your own business also hedges you against getting fired. A lot of people work a job because they think that’s more secure than starting a business. In some ways they’re right, starting a business can be risky. On the other hand, companies are always looking to maximize their profits. Your job can and probably will become automated at some point. Being a business owner protects you from being fired.
Additionally, this guide isn’t just about getting by or doing okay. If you really want to build wealth in your 20’s, you need to own your business.
Type of Business
A business sells a good (product) or service, or in some cases both, in order to generate revenue.
Main types of businesses you can start:
- Service based business
- Product based business
A service based business has the lowest cost start up and the highest chance of success. You can start a personal training or marketing business in the next month or so. You can build a website, get a business email, do some advertising. And if you get a client or two your expenses will be paid. It’s a very profitable way to start a business.
I’d recommend that you sell a service you enjoy doing for your first business. It’s the easiest way to get started. It’s still not easy… but it’s the easiest. You’ll have to sacrifice some time but only a little bit of money.
If you really have no money you still don’t even need to do any advertising. Cash for advertising and marketing will come after some grinding to lock in the first few clients.
A product based business means you’re selling some kind of product. It’s much more hands off, meaning once you sell your product you don’t have to provide a service. Once the sale is completed you make your money.
Although you’ll need customer support of some kind. Product business are desirable because of the “passive income” that can be generated. But… they’re hard to start. They take money, thousands pr more, and you might be successful or you might not.
There are plenty of people making money on Amazon FBA and Shopify. However, there’s a 100 more who are losing money for everyone who is killing it. You’re very likely to be undercut or be wrong about the demand for your product. And if there is demand, you need to make sure you beat the competition.
Is it worth it to try? Well if you have the money, then it’s definitely an option. For those with less money, I’d recommend not spending all of your savings to get it started.
Passion is important
When you start a business you need to like it. In fact you need to be obsessed with it.
If you love a certain product and want to tell me to fuck off because you’re going to make it happen, hey man go for it!
But if you’re just trying to generate passive income and haven’t ever started a business before, start a service business. And… pick something you enjoy!
Figuring out how to invest in yourself in your 20s is the first step before building wealth. Invest in skills that you can use to get a high paying job or start a business doing something you love. Before you worry too much about financial planning in your 20s and get into the weeds, invest in yourself.
Then once you invest in yourself you’ll be in a position to get a high primary source of income through a job or business.
Having your own business is the best way to build wealth in your 20’s. Let’s say you’re not quite there yet, what should you do?
Have a main job, and then start a side business.
If you don’t have your own business then have a main job. This means your typical 9-5 (usually a 8-6).
You need to have some kind of income to pay your bills and build some savings. Whether you’re in corporate sales like I was, or marketing, or whatever. You need to have a main job.
I’m not going to create a whole guide on how to get a job because I’m not an expert in that. I had one sales job, made my money and got out. If you’re a logical, engineer type of guy, I would highly recommend you learn how to code. Anyways, work your regular job during the day, and then work on your side business at night.
GaryVee talks about working 7pm-2am on your side business. If you did this then you could break free within a few months or less on a service business. You’d really be on your way to build wealth in your 20’s at that point. I realize that most of us simply don’t have the drive that he does.
Finding the time to build your side business
Still, if you work 7pm-11pm that’s 4 hours! 4 hours for five days a week is 20 hours. That’s not including working n the weekends (which you should). If you do 5 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday, that’s 30 hours on your side business. That also leaves plenty of time for some fun on the weekends with girls or your boys.
An example schedule that takes some discipline but is definitely doable is this:
- Wake up at 6am, workout
- Go to work from 8/9am through 5/6pm
- 7pm-11ppm, work on side business
- Wake up at 7am, workout
- Work on side business from 9-2pm (and eat lunch during)
- rest of the day to fuck around
There’s no way around the fact that you need to have your time management skills handled if you want to build wealth in your 20’s.
Employee vs Entrepreneur mindset
Plus, if you’re really serious about this whole build wealth in your 20’s thing, you can work 10 hours on each weekend day and do a total 40 hours a week on your side business.
If you have the income from your regular job and your side business, you can be making some serious dough. Better yet, once you make enough money from your side business to live off of you can quit your regular job. Your money making potential is unlimited with a laser focus on your own business.
It’s not easy working all of these extra hours on your side business. But you have to get rid of your employee mindset, and make the shift to an entrepreneur mindset.
You have to work more than everyone else. Not for your whole life. But at least a few years. Ideally you build your business around your purpose.
Then taking ownership, responsibility, and looking at the long term vision will come naturally to you. These are all things an entrepreneur does and an employee never considers.
Become a producer
It’s not easy to build wealth in your 20’s when everyone else is out partying, and wasting their weekends away. Not to mention the precious time after work where most people play video games or drink beer.
But you’re working on becoming an entrepreneur. This is how you achieve financial independence and build real wealth.
Besides employee to entrepreneur, think of yourself as a producer, not a consumer. Get high on achievement and success. Temporary pleasure is fine in small doses. But it long term success should be your main focus when you’re building your wealth.
Investing your money to build wealth in your 20’s
What’s next after cutting your expenses and maximizing the money you make?
Investing it. I’m not a financial advisor or an expert investor if you’re thinking I’m going to talk about stocks and the like. But from my own experience and from seeing what other successful people have done, here’s what you should do.
Create an emergency savings
You can start this when you’re at your regular job and build it more when you’ve started your own business.
I call this a freedom fund. It’s your back up money.
An emergency savings is cash in the bank that you have for emergencies. While money in the bank loses value over time, it’s always a good idea to have some cash saved. You never know if you or someone you know may be in an accident and for whatever reason your health insurance won’t cover it.
This back up cash can also help prevent you from going into debt if the economy goes bad. After all, a key to build wealth in your 20’s is to not go broke.
There’s no ideal amount, but I’d recommend at least 10,000 or 20,000 us dollars. It can go as high as you want, but after 100,000 or so I think you might want to look at how you can invest some of that money. But cash is cash.
Into your own business
When you first start making money, the best place to invest your extra income is right back into the business that’s making you the money!
It’s simple – it already works!
Especially if you started your business with not too much money and used a lot more of your grind and grit. You know you have a valuable service that other people are willing to pay money for.
Now you can invest more money in advertising wth Facebook Ads or Google Adwords. This will save you time so you can stop having to cold email and cold call people. You’ll be able to focus on servicing your clients, while getting new ones will be much easier.
Invest in the machine that’s already making you money!
Into new businesses
You can only spend so much money on your own business before getting maxed out with the number of clients.
Unless you hire employees of course… then you can really blow your company up.
But for simplicity sake, let’s say your business is making $500,000 or a million or a little more. You have high paying clients and don’t really have time to add anymore.
Hiring employees is something you might consider, but for now you don’t want to deal with the headache. You also have money in the bank. What should you do with this extra money?
Into other people’s businesses
You can be an angel investor and put it into other people’s businesses. This definitely isn’t necessary to build wealth in your 20’s, and you should only be doing this once you’ve built some significant money for yourself.
Still, putting 5 to 10 thousand into someone else’s business, in return or a percentage of the company, means you get a percentage of the profits.
You’re banking on the fact that they’re going to succeed, which they might not. But if you know some young, hungry, and driven entrepreneurs with solid business ideas and you have the cash, it can be a great way to grow your money with doing minimal work.
The only thing is, you might never see that money again. That’s a risk when you’re investing in any company other than your own. You also really need to do a ton of research. On the entrepreneur… and on the market for their business. These shouldn’t be random people that are finding you and pitching you.
They should be guys you’ve known for at least a few years and have seen their work ethic and business sense in practice.
Everybody will sell you on that they work hard, but very few actually do.
Assets to buy in your 20s
- Stock market
- real estate
The assets to buy in your 20s are either going to be in the stock mark or real estate. If you don’t have a lot of money in the bank then don’t feel pressure to need to buy these assets when you can’t afford them. Part of your journey to financial freedom is knowing when to save and when to spend on assets.
However, if you are making 6-figures and want to know how to build wealth in your 30s and not just your 20s, then investing in these traditional outlets is something you should consider.
Investing in mutual funds and the like are also another great place to put your money once you’ve maxed out the money for your own business.
Since most people won’t beat the market, just go for a S&P 500 Index fund. This will generally yield around an 8% return year over year, although the actual amount can vary greatly.
It’s not the best way to get rich, but it’s a great way to get richer.
Once you make good money, the biggest challenge is keeping it and having it beat inflation. Inflation generally goes up around 3% or so, so most index funds will keep your money growing in value.
The return still isn’t where near what you can get on your business, but it’s passive income and is there to supplement you.
I won’t tell most guys trying to build wealth in your 20’s to invest in real estate. That’s because most guys in their 20’s would have to take out a mortgage and be a wage slave for 30 years.
That’s debt, and that’s bad. You need to avoid debt at all costs.
But if you have a ton of money in the bank, and can buy real estate in cash, and still have money in the back afterwards, then real estate can be a good option. The absolute key is that you don’t have to pay a big mortgage. The reason banks gives you money for that is because they make money off of you on the interest.
Cash flow from property
However, if you pay it cash, then you own it. Well, in the US you don’t completely own it because of property taxes. Nevertheless, it’s still a way to build your wealth. You can rent out the property to other people for income or you can live in it yourself and not have to pay rent.
Can you buy it with a down payment? Yes, however make sure that it’s easy. Passive income in your 20s sounds tempting, and many people want to build it through real estate. But many of those people lose their primary income and then can’t pay the mortgage..
Just know that with real estate, the value of your property can increase a lot, or decrease a lot. Bubbles happen, and people get fucked. But if own it in cash and still have extra money, then you can still hold onto your wealth. If you’re unsure, then wait and do more research.
Money in the bank loses value, true, but it’s still money.
Traps to Avoid
If you really want to build wealth in your 20’s, it’s essential that you avoid the one big trap. It’s hard to build in your 20s when you’re over leveraged. That’s what happens when you’re in debt.
Debt – Houses, cars, etc.
Debt is the devil if there was one. It’s when you owe money and have to pay it off. You can’t be truly wealthy and live in debt. This means not buying houses or cars that you can’t afford. The biggest mistake most guys in the west is on the house. It usually goes hand in hand with the marriage. Your newly wed wife wants the house. And its not usually the house that’s something you can pay off without much stress.
It’s usually the house that you can only manage to get if you put all your money on the downpayment. Combine that with working like a dog to make sure you don’t fall behind on the mortgage for the next 30 years.
Can you get married and get a house? Yes, but either buy it in cash or make sure the mortgage is very affordable for you. Real estate investing in your 20s can be extremely valuable, but you can’t foreclose and lose the asset. Buy a house or renal property if you can afford it, if not then just wait. You can always save and have real estate as one of the last assets to buy in your 20s or even your 30s.
Avoiding debt will already put you ahead of most guys, which is sad. But we can only change things one man at a time.
Build wealth in your 20’s, not debt.
Dodge debt at all costs.
If you’re going to buy a house or other real estate, for whatever reason, then only buy it if you can pay for it in cash. Same goes for cars or anything else.
Create the life you want to live
In the 21st century, it’s possible to build wealth in your 20’s. In past generations you had valid excuses.
But with the internet, opportunity is everywhere.
The basic formula is
- Cut your expense’s
- Make the most money you can by starting a business
- Stack your cash
- Re-invest in your business
- Once you’ve made money, invest other money in other ventures, mutual funds, possibly real estate, in order to beat inflation and grow your wealth
- Avoid traps like debt and marriage
Now you have the formula, what are you going to do about it?
Are you going to waste your youth doing shit you hate, or are you going to build wealth in your 20’s that will set the foundation for the rest of your life?
My recommendation is to build wealth in your 20’s and get a head start. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can take it to the next level and learn how to get rich by joining the top 1%.