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How to Make a Million Dollars in 10 Years

Either you’re late to the game in saving up for retirement, or you just want to have a bunch of money sooner rather than later. Either way, you want to know how to make a million dollars in 10 years. Lucky for you, there are actually quite a few ways to get there, and we’re going to explore every one that we know of in this post!

How to Make a Million Dollars in 10 Years

We come from all walks of life. Some of us earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, others earn a mere $30k. Some of us have quite a few dollars in the bank to invest with. Others may have a bunch of debt and actually have a negative net worth. 

Related: What Should Your Net Worth Be At Your Age?

But, no matter who you are, I still believe that the million dollar goal in 10 years is achievable!

Let’s explore the options below and you can either pick one and run with it, or maybe you want to do somewhat of a hybrid model and do a few of the options at once. That’s works too!

Don’t feel limited to the options below. With the right mindset and a solid plan, you can certainly reach that million dollar mark!

How to Make a Million Dollars in 10 YearsGet Rid of the Stupid Debt

For 99% of the population, debt is a dumb idea. You’re thinking about it too much, it’s weighing you down, and you could build wealth so much faster without it!

If you have…

  • car loans
  • student loans
  • credit card debt
  • and certainly any type of payday loan debt…

…pay them off as soon as possible (use this free debt snowball calculator to help!). I don’t care how much you earn, this type of debt is ludicrous and it’s keeping you from achieving your goal of how to make a million dollars in 10 years.

Downsize Your House

The housing market has been going gangbusters lately. In 2020, housing values have shot up by 16%.

Seems pretty great, right?

Seems like a fantastic investment, right?


If you look at the averages, the U.S. house will appreciate in value by just 3.9% each year. The housing market WILL cool down at some point. In fact, it may even go down like it did in 2008/2009.

AND, to make that 3.9% figure even worse, to maintain that, you’re going to have to put money into your house to make sure it doesn’t fall apart and become worthless (you know, things like a new roof, new siding, new water heaters, furnace, etc. etc.). The average cost of maintaining a house is about 1% of its value per year. So, that 3.9%? It’s more like 2.9%.

So let’s say you buy a $500,000 house. It will likely take 25 years for it to be worth $1,000,000. FYI. That’s not great. Keep on reading to discover why.

Other (Better) Investment Returns

Do you know what the S&P 500 has averaged over the past 100 years? 


Even over the last 60 years, it has still earned 8%. WAYYYY better than the typical home investment. And it costs practically nothing to upkeep if you invest in a basic index fund!

And what if you invest in a rental property? With both the cash flow of rentals and the inflation of property values, landlords typically earn 12% or more a year on their investments (I’ve done it personally!).

What If You Had a Cheaper House?

What if you downsized your house a bit?

Or moved a bit outside that expensive area instead of right in the heart of it?

What if, instead of dropping $500,000 on a house, you decided to buy one for just $200,000 and then invested $300,000 at a 10% growth rate?

Instead of taking 25 years to get to that million dollar mark, you’d get there in just 9 years!

Want to learn how to make a million dollars in 10 years? This is a definite option. Buy a house for $200,000 and invest $300,000 at a 10% return in the stock market or via landlording. 

Boom! Done! 🙂

Earning Your Way There

If you want to make a million bucks in 10 years and you’re already fairly well-educated, then you can probably get there through your salary at work!

Currently, I’m 35 years old and I’m a senior financial analyst. I make decent money, but not mega-bucks. However, if I ramped up my work in the next year or two, I could certainly work my way into a director role…maybe even a VP role, which would earn me $200,000+ per year. I could stash half of that away each year, invest it modestly, and BOOM, I’ve made $1,000,000 in 10 years.

If you’re wondering how to make a million dollars in 10 years and you’re a working professional like me, maybe you could just step up the work a bit and earn your way there!

Side Gigs/Side Jobs For Extra Income

Not a working professional? 

Don’t have the opportunity to make $200,000 a year?

No worries, we can still get you to a million bucks in 10 years! Just do it with a side gig!

Jerry Brown, one of my very talented writers, recalls when he first considered a side gig…and he signed up for Swagbucks and Index Dollars.

His friend promptly responded…

“Man, you are wasting your time chasing pennies.”

I wholeheartedly agree. That statement is dead on.

And of course, Jerry soon discovered his friend was right. From that realization, Jerry wrote this piece for me — “How to Find High-Paying Side Hustles – Work Less and Earn More“.

high paying side hustlesHere’s some of the top-paying side hustles that Jerry discovered:

  • Copywriting
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • WordPress
  • Web Design

And, if you’re not great with the computer, don’t worry! There are other high-paying options!

  • Auto mechanic
  • House cleaning
  • Dog sitting
  • Car detailing
  • General construction
  • Photographer

Just use your imagination, and I’m sure you could come up with a high-paying side gig of your own!

Related: Michelle Made Almost $1 Million Blogging Last Year…So I Asked Her a Few Questions!!

How to Put Those Dollars to Work to Get to a Million!

With the above options, you could potentially earn $60 an hour. Just work an extra 15 hours a week and that becomes an extra $46,800 a year ($900 a week times 52 weeks is $46,800!).

Invest that money into a simple S&P 500 index and assume earnings of 10% per year. At the end of 10 years, you’ll have $800,000. 

Put in another $1,000 a month from your day job and that’ll get you the remaining $200,000. 

Phew, it wasn’t easy, but that million bucks WAS possible. We did it!

Related: Investment Calculator: Free Excel Download!

Get a High-Paying Weekend Job

I intended to have a long list of high-paying weekend jobs listed here, but truthfully, if you’re going to earn big money with an employer on the weekends (and not working for yourself), there are only a few solid options:

  • Bartender
  • Registered nurse (either with overtime, or moonlighting a second job on the weekends)
  • Golf caddie
  • Truck driver

It’s not the most inspiring of lists, I realize… BUT, each of these jobs can get you into the $40+ category when it comes to hourly rates. And, since you’ve likely got Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday to work, you could easily put in 20 hours per week, which means an extra $800 a week, which equates to $41,600 a year!

Again, you’ll have to pitch in some dollars from your other job (like another $1,500 a month) and invest it all to get to the million bucks. 

No one said saving up a million bucks in 10 years would be easy!!

options if you can't sell your house - for rentReal Estate

Ahhh real estate.

It’s my absolute favorite investment.

  • You receive monthly income with rents
  • The house values appreciate with time
  • You pay less in income taxes thanks to depreciation
  • If you buy the properties right, the investment returns can really be incredible!

Over the last 5 years, my rental property has earned me 20% returns. Isn’t that just nuts??!

Even if the value of my property didn’t skyrocket through the roof (pun fully intended!! ;)), I’d still be earning 15% a year. It’s quite incredible really, but it can absolutely be done, and done by anyone that’s willing to learn!

I’m fortunate enough to live in the Midwest, where single family houses can still be purchased for less than $200,000. If you live in my area, or one similar to it, then you potentially have a GREAT opportunity on your hands.

Related: The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status

Here’s what I’d suggest:

  • Earn a bunch of money with one of the above income ideas (an increased earned income, side gigs, weekend jobs, etc.)
  • Put that money into a rental property…that you buy…with cash! (Most investors would tell you to use the bank’s money, but I’m not all about that. Here’s why.)
  • Rent out the property
  • Keep working for extra money
  • Pool the real estate income AND the side money you’re making to buy another property
  • Keep repeating the process

At first, your investment growth (ie. real estate empire) will seem slow. But, once you get 5 or 6 years in, the pace will pick up and you’ll be buying houses at a faster rate than you ever thought possible! (Here’s a detailed post I put together that lays out how the process works and how much money can really be made.)

After doing all the calculations, this method could actually crush the million dollar goal.

In fact, if you do it right, you could get to $1.6 million in just 10 years!!

Related: Top 10 Things to Consider When Buying a House

successful startupsStart a Business and Grow the Crap Out of It

The other way millionaires are born…is by starting their own business. And, then selling it down the road for millions.

  • Are you a seasoned pro at something?
  • Think you could do a better job than all the companies in your area?
  • And perhaps at a cheaper rate?

Then start your own business and grow it with the mindset of expanding it with employees that can take care of all the work for you. If you reach that point, then you have successfully built an asset that can be sold.


I highly recommend the book, “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz.

There are many small business owners that have cashed in on this idea. Sure, it comes with risk, but you’re trying to figure out how to make a million dollars in 10 years, right? Well this is certainly one of the options to get there.

Develop a Product With Residual Value

Passive income – it’s one of the best ways to grow a huge pile of cash.

And not necessarily because it can ramp up into a huge sum of money by itself, but because…

  • you can build one stream of income,
  • leave it alone,
  • build up another stream of income,
  • leave it alone,
  • build up yet another stream,
  • leave it alone, etc. etc. etc.

Let’s say you write a book and it starts earning you $1,000 a month in royalties. 


But…given the examples above, you know that’s not going to make you that million bucks.

So….write another book while the completed one is earning you money!

And then write another one.

And another one!

Let’s say you can write 10 books in 3 years. You’re now earning $10,000 a month in royalties!! 


In those remaining seven years (of your 10), you could invest that money at 10% interest and get to $1.2 million!

List of Residual Income Ideas

Not a fan of writing books?

Perhaps you could earn residual income with these methods:

  • Music writer
  • Product design
  • Create art and photos (sell the prints)
  • Design fonts (seriously. This is a big money-maker)
  • Create an e-course
  • Become an affiliate marketer
  • Rental property (of course!)
  • Rent out space in your garage/pole barn
  • Rent out a room in your house 

Want more ideas? Check out my passive income post! 25+ Great Passive Income Ideas (and 6 to steer clear of…)!!

How to Make a Million Dollars in 10 Years – You Can Do It!!

We just went through an amazing list of money-making ideas. You could get to a million bucks with many of the ideas on their own, but if you want to guarantee getting to that million dollar mark, start putting a few of these ideas together!

  • Become a photographer AND do some web design work
  • Fix up cars AND do a bit of dog sitting
  • Make a load of cash with side gigs AND invest in rental properties!

Whatever it is you choose to do, just go after it with everything you’ve got! Want to make a million dollars in 10 years? You can absolutely achieve it!

What will you do to get to that million dollar nest egg? Tell us in the comments below!

Grow Rich Make Money Money Passive Income


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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