Friday, January 7, 2011
New Year, Old Book
Okay, it's not an old book. It's timeless.
I was at a crossroads. Which book should I read next? I have a lot of new ones I would love to read, both fiction and non-fiction.
I decided, instead, to go back to a book I read in college. The Millionaire Next Door was the book that changed how I looked at money.
When I was growing up, one of the favorite shows we would watch as a family was Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous with Robin Leach.
The problem with this kind of thing, is it fuels people to try to live those lifestyles when they don't have the money.
The Millionaire Next Door shatters the Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous look with a look at how millionaires really live.
Interested? Would you like to know more?
The New York Times, with the permission of the authors, have the first chapter available online:
You'll find out that people who live the television dream may make a lot of money, but many are cash poor. Their biggest equity is their showcase home. The real millionaires live a more dull - normal life in a lower middle class to middle class neighborhood. They just don't see the need to flaunt their money with a lot of bling. This book changed my life. Literally. I realized I no longer needed to chase those caviar dreams to be wealthy, I could do it by saving my money.
Why am I re-reading this? Well, when Decker and I got engaged, I made him read it before I would marry him. No kidding, I told him that. Because of this, and the conversations that came from this book, we never quarreled about money. If one of us spent too much, we would simply tell the other "remember the book".
In the years since his death, I lost my way with regards to money. With the stock market crash, Decker's life insurance money was pretty much lost as well. So I'm finding myself back at square one, trying to get my financial life back in order again. It's been neglected quite a bit the last few years as I've been so busy with work and distracted with hobbies. I'm looking forward to getting things back on track this year, starting with re-reading this book.
One of the gifts I got for Christmas was a gift card for iTunes. I used it to invest in the audiobook of Stop Acting Rich, which is the update to the Millionaire Next Door to include current economic issues.
The author, Thomas J. Stanley, also has a web site with a blog on it giving additional comments on current events: