7 tips for getting your first $100,000 (2024)

The Mint app has shut down as of Jan. 1, 2024. For alternatives, check out CNBC Select's ranking of the best budgeting apps.

For many people, financial stability means being confident in your ability to pay for all the expenses in your life — whether expected or not.

There's no one-size-fits-all number in your bank or investment account that means you've achieved this stability, but $100,000 is a good amount to aim for. For most people, it's not anywhere near enough to retire on, but accumulating that much cash is usually a sign that something's going right with your finances.

That said there's nothing magical about a six-digit number — if you think you can reach financial stability with a smaller amount, then great! The good news is that the fundamentals of how to save money will remain pretty much the same.

Here are some tips you might consider when working toward your first $100K.

1. Figure out how much money you can safely save each month

To find out how much you can reasonably save each month, you need to know how much money you have coming in vs. how much you spend on necessary expenses such as rent, groceries, commuting and more.

Remember that it's possible to save too much money. If you try to dive into an unsustainable lifestyle that puts you on a diet of only ramen and tap water (for example), you might end up abandoning your savings goals altogether out of frustration.

Take advantage of tools like budgeting apps Empower or Mint to get a good picture of how your budget so you can formulate a realistic plan to get to $100,000. These platforms connect directly to your bank account and automatically track and categorize your spending and income.


On Empower's secure site

  • Cost

    App is free, but users have option to add investment management services for 0.89% of their money (for accounts under $1 million)

  • Standout features

    A budgeting app and investment tool that tracks both your spending and your wealth

  • Categorizes your expenses

    Yes, but users can modify

  • Links to accounts

    Yes, bank and credit cards, as well as IRAs, 401(k)s, mortgages and loans

  • Availability

    Offered in both the App Store (for iOS) and on Google Play (for Android)

  • Security features

    Data encryption, fraud protection and strong user authentication

Terms apply.

Once you know how much money you have to spend on necessities, you can decide how much you'd like to save each month. Just remember to account for surprise expenses and for the expenses and activities in your life that give you joy.

2. Automate your savings

Consistency is key when it comes to saving your first $100K. One of the best ways to remain consistent when you have a savings goal is to take on a set-it-and-forget-it approach with automated savings.

You can schedule recurring deposits into your savings account or investment account for the same day each week or even each month. You can also choose a fixed amount of money you'd like deposited into savings every time.

By automating your savings, you avoid giving yourself the option to accidentally spend money you had intended to save. Plus, you're getting closer to your savings goal without even having to think about it.

Also make sure that you're saving your money in a high-yield savings account since these accounts let you earn more interest on your balance than you otherwise would with a traditional savings account. Granted, you won't be earning hundreds of dollars in interest (unless your balance gets really high) but every dollar counts and gets you closer to your goal.

The Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings is a solid pick since it doesn't have a minimum deposit amount and doesn't charge fees for overdrafts, excessive transactions, or monthly maintenance. UFB Secure Savings is another great option since it currently offers a strong APY at 5.25%.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.40% APY

  • Minimum balance


  • Monthly fee


  • Maximum transactions

    At this time, there is no limit to the number of withdrawals or transfers you can make from your online savings account

  • Excessive transactions fee


  • Overdraft fee


  • Offer checking account?


  • Offer ATM card?


Terms apply.

UFB Secure Savings

UFB Secure Savings is offered by Axos Bank ® , a Member FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Up to 5.25%APY on any savings balance; add a UFB Freedom Checking and meet checking account qualifications to get an additional up to0.20%APY on savings

  • Minimum balance

    $0, no minimum deposit or balance needed for savings

  • Fees

    No monthly maintenance or service fees

  • Overdraft fee

    Overdraft fees may be charged, according to the terms; overdraft protection available

  • ATM access

    Free ATM card with unlimited withdrawals

  • Maximum transactions

  • Terms apply.

Read our UFB Secure Savings review.

3. Maximize your employer-sponsored savings and investment accounts

Don't discount your employer-sponsored 401(k) account or HSA account when it comes to reaching your savings goal. You contribute pre-tax dollars to these accounts, which means you don't even have the option to choose to spend the money on something else. And, of course, you don't have to manually move the money into your 401(k) or HSA.

Pretty much all retirement accounts have contribution limits that can change each year due to cost-of-living adjustments.According to theIRS, you can contribute up to $22,500 to your 401(k) for 2023. If you were to max out your 401(k) contributions every single year, it would take you just under five years to reach your $100K goal.

Of course, maxing out your 401(k) isn't an easy task to accomplish given all of life's other expenses. A more realistic goal might be taking full advantage of your employer's match (if they offer one), which is getting extra money for retirement for free.

4. Save your tax refunds and work bonuses

You might see a big tax refund or work bonus as an excuse to splurge (and sometimes, that's exactly what you should do), but you should at least consider putting that extra money into a savings or investment account to bring you closer to your goal.

5. Pay off existing debt

Paying off credit card debt can help you get closer to your savings goals. The money that would have gone toward paying interest on that debt can now go toward your goal of reaching $100,000.

If you've been carrying around stubborn credit card debt that's been tough to pay down because of interest charges, consider using a balance transfer credit card. These cards help you pay down the balance a bit quicker since they typically offer a 0% intro APR period (but after that period is over, interest charges resume). During this time, you won't be charged interest so more of your monthly payment can go toward your principal.

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers a strong 0% intro APR period on balance transfers of 21 months (18.24% - 28.99% variable APR after), which means you get almost two years to make interest-free monthly payments. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

On Citi's Secure Site

  • Rewards


  • Welcome bonus


  • Annual fee


  • Intro APR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 28.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • Foreign transaction fee


  • Credit needed


See rates and fees.Terms apply.

6. Seek a raise or some other way to increase your income

Sometimes, to reach a lofty savings goal you need to reassess whether your current level of income needs to change. You can only cut back on expenses so much, and you don't want to pare down your spending so much that you're miserable.

Earning more money without inflating your standard of living and other expenses can give you a lot more room to save even more. This makes reaching your $100K goal feel even more attainable.

It would be prudent to approach the conversation of getting a raise at your current job when appropriate. Alternatively, you might apply for a new job with a higher salary, or pick up a side hustle.

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7. Stay committed to your goal

Saving your first $100K is no easy feat and you'll almost certainly need to make some sacrifices — whether it's going out to eat less or skipping that vacation or not buying that dress. Just avoid depriving yourself of the things that bring you joy for the sake of saving money, as that can lead to burnout.

Also remember that the journey won't be linear; you may have a surprise expense that pops up and forces you to use your emergency fund. Or, you may decide that to be happy, you need a graduate degree or a wedding or any number of major life changes that cost a significant amount of money. You may take a step (or 10) backwards on your journey to $100,000, but you can always pick up where you left off.

Bottom line

Saving your first $100K will almost certainly be a big challenge. Beyond the concrete actions you can take such as saving your tax refunds, automating your savings, and more, you'll need to adopt a mindset of flexibility and resilience. If you feel the payoff is worth the pain, keep yourself motivated and remember that it's not a race.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

7 tips for getting your first $100,000 (2024)


7 tips for getting your first $100,000? ›

One of the fastest ways to make your first 100,000 is to diversify your income sources. Don't rely on one single source of income, such as a salary or a business. Instead, create multiple streams of income that can generate cash flow from different sources and in different ways.

How to get $100,000 fast? ›

One of the fastest ways to make your first 100,000 is to diversify your income sources. Don't rely on one single source of income, such as a salary or a business. Instead, create multiple streams of income that can generate cash flow from different sources and in different ways.

Why is the first 100k the hardest? ›

Another reason why your first $100k is the hardest is due to the lack of compound interest. You may have heard of the power of compound interest: how it's the 8th wonder of the world. After some time, compound interest is the reason why your investments can really take off.

How fast can I save 100k? ›

Many people can realistically reach a $100,000 goal in as short as six years, allowing them to move on to saving the next $100,000 much sooner.

Is 100k in savings by 40% good? ›

By age 40, you should have saved a little over $185,000 if you're earning an average salary and follow the general guideline that you should have saved about three times your salary by that time.

How to make $10,000 ASAP? ›

How To Make $10k Fast?
  1. Become A Freelancer. Freelancing is one of the most popular ways to make money quickly. ...
  2. Invest In Cryptocurrency. ...
  3. Participate In Online Surveys. ...
  4. Become A Virtual Assistant. ...
  5. Do Odd Jobs. ...
  6. Create An Online Course. ...
  7. Become An Affiliate Marketer. ...
  8. Sell Your Stuff.

How can I make $1000 tonight? ›

How to make $1,000 fast
  1. Sell stuff you already own.
  2. Deliver food.
  3. Pick up a part-time job.
  4. Rent out unused space.
  5. Start freelance writing.
  6. Try affiliate marketing.
  7. Drive for a ridesharing service.
  8. Find odd jobs.
Jan 17, 2024

What wealth puts you in the top 1%? ›

The top 1% of household net worth in the U.S. was just shy of $13.7 million in 2023. An individual would have to earn an average of $407,500 per year to join the top 1%. A household would need an income of $591,550. The median household income was $74,580 in 2023 and $45,440 for individuals.

Is 100K considered wealthy? ›

If your household income is over $100,000 a year, then you are in the top 30% of Americans in terms of income. Congratulations, most Americans consider this “rich'. Maybe not quite “wealthy.” You are at least upper middle class.

How rare is a 100K salary? ›

According to the U.S. Census, only 15.3% of American households make more than $100,000 annually. A $100,000 salary can yield a monthly income of $8,333.33, a biweekly paycheck of $3,846.15, a weekly income of $1,923.08, and a daily income of $384.62 based on 260 working days per year.

How to save $5000 in 100 days? ›

It works like this: Gather 100 envelopes and number them from 1 to 100. Each day, fill up one envelope with the amount of cash corresponding to the number on the envelope. You can fill up the envelopes in order or pick them at random. After you've filled up all the envelopes, you'll have a total savings of $5,050.

How to turn 100K into 1 million? ›

There are two approaches you could take. The first is increasing the amount you invest monthly. Bumping up your monthly contributions to $200 would put you over the $1 million mark. The other option would be to try to exceed a 7% annual return with your investments.

Is 100K saved at 27 good? ›

“By the time you're 40, you should have three times your annual salary saved. Based on the median income for Americans in this age bracket, $100K between 25-30 years old is pretty good; but you would need to increase your savings to reach your age 40 benchmark.”

Can I retire at 60 with 300k? ›

Yes, you can.

Let's say, for example, you have £300k in a pension after taking your tax-free cash, you have no outstanding debts or mortgage to pay off, and you're entitled to the full state pension at age 67 (or 68 from 2044). For this example, let's say you take £1,500 from your pension per month.

What is the 50 30 20 rule? ›

The 50-30-20 rule recommends putting 50% of your money toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings.

How many Americans have 100k in savings? ›

Most American households have at least $1,000 in checking or savings accounts. But only about 12% have more than $100,000 in checking and savings.

How can I turn $1000 into $10000 fast? ›

6 Ways to Turn $1000 into $10000
  1. Invest in Real Estate.
  2. Invest in Stocks and ETFs.
  3. Get Out of Debt Now.
  4. Start an Online Business.
  5. Retail Arbitrage.
  6. Invest in Yourself.
Jan 23, 2024

How to make 100k at home? ›

Work At Home $100,000 jobs
  1. SRE POD Technical Leader/W2. ...
  2. Licensed Real Estate Agent. ...
  3. Remote Phone Salesperson. ...
  4. Remote Mental Health Therapist (LMFT) ...
  5. Website Sales $125-250k with Base Salary - 100% Remote. ...
  6. What are your desired job types? ...
  7. Medical Reviewer(Medical Review,Promotional/Non-Promotional Materials,Veeva)

How can I make super quick cash? ›

How to make money fast
  1. Test user experiences. ...
  2. Take surveys online. ...
  3. Sell stock photos. ...
  4. Sell other stuff you already own. ...
  5. Become a dog walker. ...
  6. Try pet sitting or animal care. ...
  7. Consider house sitting. ...
  8. Drive for a rideshare company.
Dec 13, 2023

How to turn 10k into 100k? ›

How to Turn 10k into 100k in a Year?
  1. Invest in stocks (try Acorns or Public now)
  2. Start blogging (click here for the best blogging platform)
  3. Write an email newsletter (here's my recommendation for the best email marketing software)
  4. Start an online business (Shopify makes it easy)
  5. Flip stuff.
Apr 10, 2024

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