Real-Life Tips From The Frugal Millionaire Next Door (Do You Know One?)

There’s a book I wanted to read called “How Rich People Think.,” by Steve Siebold. I love the word “rich” and I always love learning more ways to think rich, so I ordered my Kindle sample. It was going along great (although I felt the tone of the book to be a bit harsh) until I read this sentence: 

“The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities. Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickel and dime thinking of the masses.” -Steve Siebold

The Frugal Millionaires
The cover of The Frugal Millionaires. The author and the millionaires he interviewed are big believers in frugal living.

So, I didn’t purchase the book after all. But I did purchase the book, “The Frugal Millionaires,” (a great $9.99 investment) by Jeff Lehman (here’s the book’s official website), in which seventy millionaires anonymously share their common sense ideas about money to help each other and to help readers. Lehman’s findings go against Siebold’s idea that frugality is a waste of time. In fact, millionaires who are in it for the long-term thrive on living a frugal life. It’s interesting to note that Lehman’s book was published in 2008 (millionaires practiced frugality before the economic implosion) and Siebold’s book came out in 2010 (which may be the reason it’s written with a tone that hammers you over the head–maybe he feels he has to get through to the dense “average masses”).

My question to Siebold is this: isn’t frugality the way to increase net worth which is the true indicator of wealth? Certainly buying “stuff” is one big way to decrease your net worth. Even Warren Buffett, my favorite billionaire, is well-known to be frugal, still living in a modest home he purchased for around $31,000 over fifty years ago, according to Investopedia.

“The Frugal Millionaires” is a lot like the highly regarded book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. These two books go hand-in-hand, espousing frugality as a path to accumulating–and keeping–wealth. “The Frugal Millionaires” has great gold nuggets (no pun intended) of practical wisdom by true millionaires about their purchasing, saving and investing habits. Though we may have heard of a number of the same tips on when and how to save money, it’s refreshing to hear millionaires discuss their frugal lifestyle strategies.

Cover of "How Rich People Think (Volume 1...
Cover of How Rich People Think. I’m not so sure this author is a big fan of frugal living!

Here are a handful of favorite gold nuggets from “The Frugal Millionaires” that support my own view of living frugally and abundantly:

1.On buying personal electronics, almost every millionaire had this to offer, but here’s one quote that captures the general consensus: “Don’t buy cutting edge technology unless you need it for work. Last year’s tech is always cheaper.”
2.On getting rid of “stuff” most millionaires in the book said this: “I donate stuff and take the tax deduction.”
3. On travel, most of the millionaires came to this same consensus: “Fly coach! Use cheap rental cars and mid-level hotels. There are deals out there, find them.”

The one major point that Lehman wanted to make when writing this book is this:

“Everyone (even millionaires) can be smarter with their money. Don’t waste it! Period.”-Jeff Lehman

Now, that’s what I call thinking like a rich person.

-Marilyn, TFF

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