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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Nail Your Money

Mary Hunt on

If you've never figured your lifetime earnings, here's an easy way to get a pretty darned good estimate:

First, get a figure in your mind for your current annual household income. Let's say it's $50,000. Now multiply that by four, which equals $200,000.

Now, add a zero. In my example, $200,000 with one more zero becomes $2,000,000. Still with me? Good, because we're not done.

Next, multiply that first figure by five, like this: Fifty thousand dollars times five equals $250,000.

Finally add the two results together, like this: Two million dollars plus $250,000 equals $2,250,000.

The $2,000,000 represents $50,000 a year for 40 years. The $250,000 is the amount for an additional five years. Add them together and you have a rough estimate of your household income over 45 years of wage earning.

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So, how much money will flow through your life during your lifetime? It's not chump change!

Sure, you haven't earned $50,000 every year since you began working or formed a household, but you won't stay at $50,000 in the future either. So this is a quick and easy way to come up with a reasonable estimate.

Did you have any idea you are a millionaire? You may not feel like one, since you are getting your fortune one paycheck at a time. You are on the installment plan. Sadly, it's possible that your money is just slipping through your fingers -- disappearing about as fast as you get it.

The challenge for all of us it to find new and unique ways to hang on to at least some of that money and put it away in a safe place for the future -- when those paychecks go away. We need to protect and preserve as much as possible so it is safe from our impulsive urges and mindless spending.

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