As the third round of stimulus checks reaches millions of bank accounts, many Americans are deciding how to spend this money. First and foremost, it's important to make sure your bills are paid and you have a solid emergency fund with three to six months' worth of savings. If either of these areas are lacking, it's best to put your stimulus money toward these goals, instead.

But if your financial situation is strong and you can afford to invest your check, the following strategy can help you build long-term wealth. While you have many options to choose from when deciding where to invest, these Vanguard ETFs can help turn your $1,400 check into $100,000 over time.

Large pile of hundred dollar bills

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1. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO -0.22%) tracks the S&P 500 and includes just over 500 stocks from some of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S.

S&P 500 ETFs are one of the safer types of investments because they're a good representation of the stock market as a whole. The market itself has consistently seen positive returns over time, despite short-term volatility. By investing in an S&P 500 ETF, you'll likely earn positive long-term returns, as well.

Since its inception in 2010, the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF has earned an average rate of return of around 15% per year. That's largely due to the phenomenal bull market we've experienced over the past decade, however, and it may be more realistic to assume average returns of around 10% per year over the long run.

Even by playing it safe and assuming 10% annual returns, you can still make a lot of money with this ETF. Say you invest $1,400 right now. Here's how much you'd need to continue investing (and how long you'd need to save) to reach $100,000 in total savings:

  • Invest $125 per month for 20 years
  • Invest $250 per month for 15 years
  • Invest $40 per month for 30 years

Keep in mind, too, that these ETFs are passive investments. In other words, all you have to do is invest consistently and then sit back and watch your money grow.

2. Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG)

The Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG -0.10%) contains just over 250 stocks that are expected to experience higher-than-average returns.

Growth ETFs tend to be on the riskier side because high-growth stocks can be more volatile than well-established companies. However, some of the largest stocks in this fund include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook. While these companies have experienced incredible growth, they're also relatively stable companies -- which limits your risk.

This ETF was established in 2004, and since then has experienced an average rate of return of just over 11% per year. If you invested $1,400 right now, here's how much you'd need to continue investing to accumulate $100,000 with an 11% average annual return:

  • Invest $115 per month for 20 years
  • Invest $225 per month for 15 years
  • Invest $30 per month for 30 years

3. Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT)

The Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT -0.52%) includes nearly 350 stocks from the information technology sector.

This fund can be riskier because all the stocks are from the same industry, so it doesn't provide as much diversification. However, the tech sector is known for its explosive growth, so this ETF is more likely to experience higher returns.

Since this fund's inception in 2004, it's earned an average rate of return of around 13% per year. Assuming you invest $1,400 right now, here's what it would take to end up with around $100,000 with a 13% average annual return:

  • Invest $90 per month for 20 years
  • Invest $200 per month for 15 years
  • Invest $15 per month for 30 years

Time is your friend when it comes to making a lot of money in the stock market. By investing your stimulus check now and continuing to invest a little each month, you can earn more than you may think.