How Simple Steps Can Put $678,000 in Your Pocket

If I have learned one thing in my nearly 20 years as a financial adviser and coach, it's this: It's not what you earn that makes you rich or poor; it's what you spend.

Millions of Americans are burning up money every day while they squander the planet's nonrenewable resources and pollute the environment in ways that lead to global warming and climate change. And we don't even realize it. We are just doing things the way we have always done them.

We buy a car because we like the way it looks and handles. We build a house with as many square feet as the bank's mortgage officer will allow. We renovate our kitchens with Sub-Zero refrigerators to increase our home's resale value. We run the sprinkler on our lawns using water that's so cheap that it's practically free. It's all just common sense right?Wrong. When you change your mindset to a green way of thinking, you will change your actions, and those actions will put money back in your pocket. And over time, the money you save can make you rich.

Consider this: You improve your car's fuel economy and save $884 annually. You save $114 more by adjusting your thermostat three degrees. You start bringing your lunch to work and pocket another $2,250. Lastly, you save $580 a year by making your own nontoxic cleaning products. That's a total savings of $3,828, or more than $10 a day in green savings.

But here's the best part: If you were to invest that $10 a day and you earn a 10 percent annual rate of return (some of the green funds I share in Go Green, Live Rich have earned far higher returns), in 30 years you would have $678,146!!

How many changes would you make to become a green millionaire? Let us know in the comments below.

David Bach is the author of Go Green, Live Rich and a guest contributor to TreeHugger. Read a review of the book here, or get more green financial tips on Planet Green.

Image credit::Fueled Driving, Piggy Bank On Grass