“The Seven Dollar Millionaire” is a fund manager who was so worried his daughter was learning nothing about money at school, that he wrote her the book “Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn’t A Fairytale”. Now published by Wiley, it teaches her, and the rest of us (and our kids) how we can build from knowing nothing about money, to being financially independent. Here are his top 7 tips:

Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn't a Fairy Tale

Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn't a Fairy Tale

1. Saving comes before spending - in the dictionary and life! Saving successfully doesn’t happen at the end of the month after you’ve spent as much as you like. It happens first. Separate some money from your income the moment you get it, and send it to a savings or investment account. Even a tiny amount is enough to start.

2. Write it down. Write down your savings, write down your spending: track it all. Research has consistently shown we can’t keep a list of more than 5 or 6 items in our heads, but saving and investing is too important to forget stuff. Track it and you can plan it.

3. Set yourself 3 savings goals. One short-term goal should match your income, whether daily, weekly or monthly, to give you a reason not to spend every day. Then have a medium term goal, where you accumulate these short-term wins. The Seven Dollar Millionaire created a “Thousand Dollar Journal” that takes 21 weeks of saving $7 a day to save $1,000 - you could use something similar. Then have a dream. A house, or retirement. The Seven Dollar Millionaire’s name comes from his daughter’s question of what’s the smallest amount of money she needed to save to become a millionaire! That’s her dream.

4. Denial doesn’t work. Instead, find things that saving money achieves. Like your goals. Like how buying second-hand helps the planet or not buying anything reduces clutter in your house. We buy lots of less-necessary purchases because of stress, so having a belief and goal (savings in your bank and saving the planet) that reverses that emotion really helps. The whole world is using devious psychology to make us want to spend, so we have to push back with psychology too.

5. Habits are more important than totals in the near term. If you’re worried that you can’t afford to save a meaningful amount, don’t worry - the habit is the meaning. Whatever the amount is, save it, and celebrate the habit. In the same way, if you over-spend one day, getting back on track and knowing you can do it is more important than the total.

6. Find a saving friend: you don’t have to do this alone. Try to find friends who want to save and enjoy free pursuits, rather than going out to eat or drink all the time. An interesting one is working for charities. People at charities are usually careful with money, and volunteering is an activity which can make you feel good about yourself (and should be free).

7. Learn to invest, slowly but steadily. If you save £7 a day, from 20 years old until you’re 70, you’ll save £125,000. If you invest it and get an average 7% return, that will make the extra £875,000 to turn into a million! This equation is where the Seven Dollar Millionaire gets his name, and where you can transform the small amounts you save into life-changing sums. But start slow. Invest in a big index fund (the S&P500 or FTSE100) until you’re comfortable doing more.

Happy Ever After: Financial Freedom Isn’t A Fairy Tale , Paperback and ebook

Author: The Seven Dollar Millionaire. Wiley Publication: March 15 2021

https://www.sevendollarmillionaire.com/ @7Millionaire

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