5 Scenarios: can you become a millionaire with savings?

The motives for rapid wealth accumulation are not always of a purely material nature. Most of the time, money is just the means to a deeper, more emotional end. This can be the protection of your own family and children. Or the freedom to travel the world. Or the need to be able to finance social projects with the money.

But you have to be a successful entrepreneur or win the lottery for that? We make in five example calculations the test, whether it is possible to become a millionaire purely through savings. We show you how much money you have to put aside for a certain period of time and at a certain interest rate to achieve your first million.

Note: Here we ignore inflation and taxes for simplicity, as it is mainly about understanding the mechanisms of compound interest and time in wealth accumulation.

Example calculation 1: How not to do it

In the first example, we assume that you simply store your money in a wall safe or in a non-interest-bearing checking account and add 100 euros every month.


duration: 40 years
Savings rate: 100 Euro per month
Interest: No

In 40 years, with this method, you will have a fortune of 48.000 euros. That makes with annual living costs of approx. 20.000 Euro just 28 months you would get by with it. So great luxury and security are not possible with this way.


Deposited capital: 48.000 euros
Interest Received: 0 Euro
Result Sum: 48.000 Euro

Nevertheless, this example should not demotivate you. It is better to have a reserve of close to 50 percent at some point.000 Euros to own than to live completely without a reserve fund. But more is possible, as the following calculations show.

Example calculation 2: How to do it better

In the second example, we assume the same parameters, except that you now pay seven percent interest p.a. GET. This is possible, for example, with an investment in shares or ETFs. Historically, the return on the stock market over a long period of time is six to eight percent.


duration: 40 years
Savings Rate: 100 Euro per month
Interest: 7 percent per year

Here you can find our recommendations with the best depots for stock and ETF savings plans. In our hub around the stock market, we also have more exciting reading material around investing for you.

Due to the long duration and the interest rate, compound interest works for you and you already get significantly more money out: In total, your capital at the end of the term is just under a quarter of a million. So you have already reached 25 percent of your goal.


Paid-in capital: 48.000 Euro
Interest received: 200.551,65 Euro
Result Sum: 248.551.65 euros

Example calculation 3: How you make it in 40 years

In the third example we stay with the seven percent interest per year, only now you put aside more money per month.


Duration: 40 years
Savings rate: 402,34 Euro per month
Interest: 7 percent per year

With this, you will reach your goal after 40 years – even though you only have just under 200.000 Euro paid in. Keep in mind, as mentioned above, that we do not take into account the tax. If you sell or trade your securities in the meantime, you always pay 25 percent capital gains tax on them.


Paid-in capital: 193.123,20 Euro
Interest received: 806.899,49 Euro
Result Sum: 1.000.022,69 Euro

Example calculation 4: How you make it with 100 Euro per month

In the fourth example, you put aside only 100 euros per month, but then you need significantly higher interest rates to reach your goal.


Duration: 40 years
savings rate: 100 euros per month
Interest: 12.074 percent per year

Possible 12 percent, for example, on P2P loans through platforms such as EstateGuru, Bondora or Mintos, but also on other high-risk investments. Of course, you can also achieve 12 percent with shares, but you need a good hand.

In this example you pay even only the 48.000 euros from the first bills at a. The rest adds up over time through compound interest.


Paid-in capital: 48.000 euros
Interest received: 952.009,31 Euro
Total result: Euro

Example calculation 5: How you make it in 20 years

In the fifth example, of course, you have to invest more money and get higher interest to reach your goal in half the time, i.e. in just 20 years. But even that is possible, as the calculation shows.


Duration: 20 years
Savings rate: 1.000 Euro per month
Interest: 12.69 percent per year

If you invest every month 1.000 euros back and receive a constant 12.69 percent on this money, you will be a millionaire after 20 years. You have deposited just under a quarter of a million by then, with interest of 760.000 Euro.


Paid-in capital: 240.000 Euro
Interest received: 760.058,30 Euro
Result Total: 1.000.058,30 Euro

Interactive depot comparison: How to find the best depot for you

If you don’t yet have a securities account to start with, our free and interactive securities account comparison will help you, allowing you to enter various parameters and compare the best securities accounts for you.

Our tip: Scalable Capital

Shares, ETFs, crypto and derivatives permanently without order fees tradenden goes quite simply with Scalable Capital. In addition, all savings plans are free of charge.

  • Unlimited trading for 2,99 € per month
  • All savings plans starting from 1 € savings rate
  • Over 1.900 ETFs of all providers

Conclusion: You can save yourself rich, but..

It takes three factors to build wealth: money, time, and interest. Each of these three factors can be balanced with the other two:

  • If you don’t have a lot of money, you need a lot of time and high interest rates.
  • If you don’t have much time, you need a lot of money and high interest rates.
  • If you don’t have high interest, you need a lot of money and a lot of time.

You can save yourself rich, the first million is thus achievable. But it needs the interest-bearing investment for this success. Simply leaving the money on a non-interest-bearing current account or call money account is not sufficient in most cases. The only exception: You can set aside large sums every month.

Reading tip: The book "The way to financial freedom: The first million" by Bodo Schafer describes the first way to a million very practically.

Note: All content is not investment, tax or legal advice. They are used to inform and entertain. We do not take any responsibility for risks or losses. Never forgo doing your own thorough research! Links can be affiliate links.

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