Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Millionaire Next Door

Who are the rich in this country?
What do they do?
Where do they shop?
What do they drive?
How do they invest?
Where did their ancestors come from?
How did they get rich?
Can I ever become one of them?

Well, I don't know. But I'm about to find out. :) Many of you know by now that Eric and I are following Dave Ramsey's plan for getting out of debt. Eric and I are incredibly nerdy and we often listen to Dave's podcasts when we're in the car to keep us motivated and on track. If you've ever listened to Dave Ramsey at all you've probably heard him mention the book "The Millionaire Next Door." Several times. Lots of times. Okay, a bazillion times. Dave would tell you that if you're interested in being a millionaire, but you're not one yet, to read this stinkin' book. So... I'm reading this stinkin' book.

I knew that somewhere in the recesses of Eric's parents' basement we had our own copy of this treasure, so I asked the hubs if he could pull it out for me. I am already intrigued. You can get your copy here or skip along to your favorite bookstore if you like. It's probably worth reading if you use money to survive. *Ahem*

I've already read ahead a little, so forgive me for spilling the beans. But since I know most of you have no intentions of turning so much as one page in this wonderful trove, I guess it won't matter if I fill you in. :D 

 Can you spot the millionaire next door?

The first few pages of the book give the typical profile of your average American millionaire. You'll never look at your neighbors the same way again. Haha. 

*He is fifty-seven years old and married with three children. (Yes, unfortunately ladies, it is very difficult for us to be millionaires on our own. About 70% of men in millionaire families earn 80% or more of the household income!)

*About half of their wives do not work outside of the home, and the next largest occupation for the lady of the house is teacher.

*Most did not receive any inheritance; 80% are first generation wealthy.

*They live well below their means. They drive American-made, USED cars and rarely ever lease them.

*Their yearly income is less than 7% of their overall wealth. (They live on less than 7% of what they're "worth.")

*They live in neighborhoods where they are outnumbered by their non-millionare neighbors better than 3 to 1. 

*Many own their own businesses, but many others are welding contractors, auctioneers, pest controllers, or farmers...just to name a few.

This is what one million dollars looks like. Eric and I love this darn show, by the way, even if we find the contestants totally cringeworthy. We're fairly certain that they must be coached to act so spaztastic.

In other words, the millionaire next door could be just about anybody! And I know where the book is going, even if I haven't gotten there yet. (Because I know the principles that Mr. Ramsey teaches.) Through very hard work, sometimes sacrifice, and lots of frugal strategies with money, almost anyone can be a millionaire.

No, money isn't everything. But it sure is fun. Haha. And a good steward of personal finances will have that much more to give to others. Contrary to popular belief, millionaires are very generous givers. They are hard workers who rarely ever really "retire." And most of their children don't even realize their parents are millionaires. Crazy, huh?

So Eric and I are going to keep on chugging along. We're going to keep on aiming high, because "if you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time." And whatever the Lord wants to give us to handle or not to handle, we'll take it. :)  I'm going to stop typing now, because I'm dying to read ahead. And then I'm going to go to bible study tomorrow night and discuss how the American Dream is rotting my soul from the inside out. Bahaha. I like to keep a nice balance in my life. One of these days I'll have it all figured out. (Not.)


"The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D spent more than three years on the "New York Times" best seller list. 

"The implication of 'The Millionaire Next Door'...is that nearly anybody with a steady job can amass a tidy fortune."

"[A] remarkable book."
-The Washington Post

1 comment:

Cassie said...

I was blown away in Dave's class about how many people are first generation millionaires! Truly amazing. That's an awesome goal!! Best of luck. I just always remember ANY TIME I want something "new" what they said in his class, "We live in a generator where we want right now what it took our parents 30 years to get." So then I sit back and say no, I will save for this.


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