If you dream of becoming a millionaire, personal finance guru Ramit Sethi has two messages for you: One, you can do it! Two, the sooner you change your financial habits, the better a chance you have.
"What I wish every 22-year-old knew was that you can live a very rich life. You can be a millionaire, no problem," Sethi tells CNBC. "But you have to take action, and the earlier you do it, the easier it is."
To grow wealth, you need to make proactive choices to put your money to work.
"Your money is not going to automatically invest itself. In fact, it's just sitting there losing money right now," says Sethi. "Your 401K is not going to set itself up, your business is not going to build itself."
To develop good habits, start putting money away when you are young. Even siphoning off small amounts for saving and investment teaches you discipline.
"At 22, with one hundred dollars, you're not going to make ten million dollars. Okay, let's get that straight," says Sethi.
"But it's really important to get the habits right with one hundred dollars, two hundred dollars a month, because eventually your income is going to go up. You're going to get raises, you're going to negotiate them, you're going to get paid more. At that point you can take that one hundred dollars and you can tune it."
As your circumstances change, adjusting the amount of money you put into savings or an investment is quick and easy, says Sethi.
The hard part is getting yourself used to the idea of automatically diverting a portion of your income to a long-term investment. But if you can get into the habit of consistently investing small sums of money and then pretending the money is not available to you, "that's when the real magic starts," says Sethi.
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