The Millionaire Next Door

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley, Ph. D.

This book delved into the lifestyle of the millionaires in America, and how they were able to become so affluent. Dr. Stanley's research challenged me to reexamine what I believed true wealth was all about, and gives me greater perspective on how to live my own life.

According to Dr. Stanley, the majority of millionaires are financially independent not because of high salaries, advanced degrees, inheritances, or luck — but more so because of disciplined budgeting and savings habits. In a nutshell, millionaires are quite frugal, and very selective in what they spend their money on, preferring instead to invest in their future goal of financial independence.

The mindset of the millionaire is vastly different form the majority of society, including my own. Before reading this book, I believed the affluent had status symbols of wealth by their salaries, the jewelry they wore, the houses they lived in, the cars they drove, etc. I now see it is all a facade if there is no true wealth behind it all. Chasing materialism can easily become a prison of its own, because now I am chained to support the image that I have erected. And if that happened, I would have to work even longer hours each day, with no time to do the small yet much more meaningful things of life that I have learned to appreciate and treasure in here.

I have decided to begin budgeting and disciplining my own consumption habits in here. That way I will get in the habit of being very selective in how I tether myself to debt upon parole. True wealth for me would have to be fulfillment of the heart and soul, which can only be achieved through spending time and connecting with loved ones and neighbors, not chasing status symbols of success and achievement. I most likely will never be a millionaire, but after reading this book, I have vowed to never portray and imprison myself as one either.

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