Posted by: Kate | February 8, 2010

Millionaires and Books

I have just finished reading The Millionaire Next Door, a book about the true millionaires of the U.S.A. Parts of the book are very dry, as it is a research-heavy book, but the message and the picture are clear. (Although, I admit to wondering how these millionaires have fared with the hits to the stock market.)

I don’t like to give away the content of books, but I will say this about The Millionaire Next Door. One, the millionaires are not who you expect. In North America we pay a lot of attention to high income earners. This book goes to great lengths to point out some of the faults in this, and certainly changed my perception of wealthy people. Second, people who are truly wealthy live below their means. Not even within, but slightly below. That takes an incredible amount of self-discipline in this era of spend now worry about it later. We live in a society that believes we all deserve everything – a nice vacation, a nice car, a big house – without regard to what we can afford. Not buying into that is difficult.

What the book did for me was make me look inward. I don’t think I’m going to become a millionaire anytime soon. However, there were some strong messages I took from the book about how to accumulate wealth and how to live in the now, that I hope to apply to some areas.

All in all, a very interesting read, although perhaps a little dry and a little dated.


Responses

  1. I have seen this book, and I think its often people around us in our neighbourhoods who do live below their means are often far more wealthy than we realise. And yes, when our kids were young it was SO hard not to buy into the consumer dream! takes real effort to stay commited to living simply.

  2. this is an important message kate – staying focused on living simply and with in one’s means can be hard to do in this consumer-driven culture that we live in.

  3. It seems that maybe if more people focused on living simply, our world economy wouldn’t be so unstable. So many people borrowing money to live a life that they can’t afford is not a stable situation.

    J and I tend to live below our means…and while our job and our hours almost force us into that (no free time means no vacations etc, always in the field means no reason to have nice clothes etc), it’s also been something I’ve striven for. My dad constantly marvels at that…and that makes me proud that I make him proud! :)

    Interesting book/concepts Kate. Thanks for sharing.


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