Woohoo! Finished another great book – The Millionaire Next Door. (Find it here) Have you read it? My husband also just read this book too, so be sure to check back here to get his viewpoint as well!
What do you think of when you think of a millionaire? What type of image do you conjure up in your mind? Middle-aged executive, maybe a lawyer or a company CEO? What kind of car do they drive? A Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche? Do you see them using the latest technology with their smart phone, watch, and other electronic devices, scrolling through their iPad with perfectly manicured hands? Perhaps you notice that their hair is styled in a modern look, and they wear name-brand clothes and tailored suits. Some combination of that description is how I used to picture millionaires. Details would change, of course, but in general, I expected to see their accomplishments in their possessions.
However, this book showed me that I was WRONG! I had a completely distorted idea of what the average millionaire looks like and how he lives.
The average millionaire is a 57-year-old male who only married once and has three children. The majority of millionaires today are first-generation affluent; they didn’t inherit their wealth, and they know the value of working hard! In fact, many of them hold what the book calls “dull-normal” jobs including welding contractors, pest controllers, paving contractors, auctioneers, etc. Most millionaires drive older American-made cars; and they all live well below their means (this is key!!). Half of them have lived in their same home for over 20 years!
Not a very glamorous picture, is it? But wow, what peace a person can have when they are not trying to keep up with the Joneses, as the Joneses are most likely not millionaires and may be heavily in debt!
As you can see, the book shows that millionaires are not what we necessarily picture when we think of a millionaire. This presents an interesting concept – the people you see around you living an extravagant lifestyle may not be quite as successful as you previously thought. And the neighbor down the street, working a blue-collar job and driving an older Ford sedan may just be more prosperous than you initially supposed! However, the most important area where you need to focus is: where do you fit in the picture?
Are you spending your days trying to accumulate wealth just so you can spend it? That is not true wealth, as you don’t have true affluence if your assets are depreciating cars and expensive homes with a hefty mortgage.
What if you chose to earn money so you could invest it for a better future? Choose to live below your means now so you can have financial freedom in the future. As financial guru Dave Ramsey often says, “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else!”
I highly recommend this book! It has a lot of stories, and it can give you hope for your future if you’re willing to make the decisions now to do the wise thing. For less than $10, you can read the awe-inspiring story of someone who never made six figures a year and yet was able to reach millionaire status, along with many other stories and compiled statistics. It makes the millionaire goal seem much more attainable and something anyone can accomplish.
The key is not how much you make, but what you do with it.
Do you spend your money as it comes in (or worse, before you earn it?) Or, rather, do you choose to live below your means, giving to others, and investing your finances to provide for your future?
Have you read this book? What stood out the most to you? I challenge you to go read this book, and then come back and comment with the changes you are going to make for your family’s future. What did you enjoy most about the book?
If you’re curious about what’s next on my reading list, here’s my current stack (although, as I mentioned here, I’m trying to cut back on multitasking, so I don’t plan to read all of these at the same time!) .