I mentioned before in my post about the four books that changed my financial life, that one of my top four books was “The Millionaire Next Door” by Dr. Thomas Stanley. He also wrote a number of other books that I enjoyed reading, so today I’m going to tell you about another great one – “Stop Acting Rich and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire.”
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Stop Acting Rich and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire
Overall, the lesson from this book is very similar to that of The Millionaire Next Door, but with a slight twist. Instead of focusing only on self-made millionaires, Dr. Stanley talks about the “glittering rich” as compared to real millionaires. The glittering rich have so much money that spending $100k on a car, or $10k on clothes, makes no difference to their overall net worth. Most real millionaires don’t have quite that level of wealth-and know that trying to imitate the ultra-wealthy is a recipe for financial disaster. So instead, they live frugally, and wisely spend/invest their money so they can meet their long term goals.
A big mistake many non-millionaires make is to try to imitate the ultra-wealthy’s homes, cars, clothes, and lifestyle. Instead of living like a real millionaire, they “act rich” and never achieve their financial goals. Dr. Stanley goes through various types of purchases from cars to shoes, watches, alcohol, and others – showing each step of the way that making purchases based on what makes you happy, not showing off or trying to imitate others, is a path to wealth.
The book is filled with tidbits of information that you should remember when building wealth – here are just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Satisfaction in life is not a function of what you can buy in a store
- Nothing has a greater impact on wealth and consumption than than choice of house and neighborhood
- Most people who live in million dollar homes are not millionaires
- There’s a difference between looking and acting rich-and being rich
- Most rich people do not drive their balance sheets or wear their income statements
- Everything you think about being rich is wrong
- Overspending in anticipation of future wealth will not make anyone rich
- Rich people don’t buy BMW’s – they buy Toyotas
- Most millionaires don’t own vacation homes, fancy new cars, boats, or expensive watches/suits
- Is this success? Having parking lot attendants you will likely never see again think you are a success?
- Most millionaires are motivated by their need to reach financial independence…consumption is a nice side benefit
- Those who earn big incomes early are among the most prone to spend heavily on expensive products with prestigious names
What We Can Learn from Real Millionaires
The bottom line lesson is that people who “act rich” – have the boat, the second home, fancy clothes and new SUV – often are not millionaires. Real millionaires don’t have a lot of those trappings of wealth that people think of when they think about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. They don’t see the point in accumulating consumer goods for other people to think they’re rich-they would prefer to actually be rich and quietly accumulate more wealth toward their long-term goals.
Many of these real millionaires live in ordinary homes, drive ordinary cars, and probably aren’t the most fashionable people in town. They don’t have an expensive watch, “bespoke” clothes, a boat, or a vacation home. What they do have is financial independence, peace of mind, the ability to spend time/do activities with their families, and they give to worthy causes. Instead of accumulating stuff, they accumulate money to meet their financial goals. We can all learn a lot of lessons from real millionaires.
Have you read this book – or The Millionaire Next Door? What impact did it have on the way you view wealth? Are you living like the “glittering rich” or like a real millionaire? Let me know in the comments.