Money

Millennial who banked $100,000: There are 2 big problems with mainstream money advice

Richard Meadows, 26, went from zero to six figures in just three years.

The New Zealand-native didn't bank $100,000 by following conventional money advice, he writes on his blog, Deep Dish: "It didn't take long to realize most mainstream money advice was mealy-mouthed bulls---."

There are two big problems with the advice you hear all the time, Meadows tells CNBC Make It: "The first is that it's just too unambitious and feeble."

26-year-old Richard Meadows banked $100,000 in three years
Courtesy of Richard Meadows
26-year-old Richard Meadows banked $100,000 in three years

He gives the example of the classic money advice that you should set aside 10 to 15 percent of your income: "It's technically true, but it's not really going to move the needle. It's not ambitious enough. If you're a young professional earning a decent income, you've got this massive opportunity in front of you. You could save half your income and retire in 10 or 15 years."

While mainstream money advice "is not wrong per se," he says, "there's just so much more that you can do, from my point of view."

After all, the richest, most successful people tend to think big and set their expectations unreasonably high.

The second big problem, says Meadows, is how we tend to approach saving money. The focus shouldn't be on "how to slash your grocery bill or how to reduce your power bill," he says. Rather, the focus should be, "why am I saving money? People can figure out the basics in terms of money-saving strategies and frugal tips, but what they're usually lacking is some sort of vision or dream to work towards."

You have to have a specific goal. Or, as Meadows calls it, a "why": "Your 'why' is going to drive any behavioral change. You're not going to make a whole bunch of changes unless you have something burning in your consciousness to work towards."

The goal could be early retirement, a nice vacation or a down payment on a home. And the more specific the goal, the better.

"Once you have something to work towards, then you can put strategies and systems in place to get you there," says Meadows.

As for what those strategies and systems may look like, check out Meadows' two favorites, both of which helped him reach the $100,000 mark.

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