Between fixed monthly costs, paying off student loans and other savings goals, making room in your budget for retirement contributions can seem daunting. Still, if you do prioritize saving, and especially if you save early and often, you could find yourself a millionaire by the time you're ready to stop working.
To illustrate just how attainable the dream of becoming a millionaire is, personal finance site NerdWallet created a chart showing the percentage of each biweekly paycheck you'd need to set aside to have $1 million saved by the time you're 67.
The chart assumes you're starting at age 22 with zero dollars invested. It also assumes a six percent average annual investment return and various annual salaries.
Scroll over the chart to see the exact numbers.
Here's how much a 22-year old would have to set aside if they earn:
$40,000: 10.9 percent of each paycheck
$60,000: 7.2 percent of each paycheck
$80,000: 5.4 percent of each paycheck
$100,000: 4.3 percent of each paycheck
$120,000: 3.6 percent of each paycheck
"The key here is really starting so young, at age 22," says Arielle O'Shea, investing and retirement specialist at NerdWallet. "Had this hypothetical investor started later, he or she would have to put away a much higher percentage of their salary. Because of that early start, even the lowest earner can dedicate just 10 percent of their paychecks to savings and end up with $1 million by age 67."
Depending on when you want to retire and what you want your lifestyle to look like in retirement, you may need more or less than $1 million. To help you figure out how much money you need to fund your golden years, check out NerdWallet's retirement calculator.
One of the easiest ways to fund your future without feeling strapped is to have a portion of your paycheck sent directly to a retirement account. That way, you'll never even see the money and learn to live without it.
And the sooner you start making automatic contributions, the less you'll have to save each month to reach your goals. In fact, if you start in your 20s, you may not have to set aside as much as you may think to retire with a million-dollar portfolio.
At the end of the day, "a 22-year-old can build $1 million by saving a little over $300 a month, which is a feasible amount at any of these salaries if you keep your spending in check and your expenses reasonable," O'Shea tells CNBC Make It.
"If you have a 401(k), any employer match counts toward these savings percentages, which reduces your out-of-pocket savings needs even further. Be sure to take advantage of that."
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