It took me quite a bit longer than I anticipated, but I was able to finish reading "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D.
I've discussed my thoughts along the way, from realizing that I was making huge stereotypes about millionaires to realizing that I have the makings of a millionaire mind after all.
Now, since reading the last word in the book and closing the cover I sit here and reflect on the book as a whole.
As someone who hasn't but recently made near $40,000/year for a family of three, I was hoping to come across a book that gave some hints or tricks to accumulate wealth that would apply to my income bracket. After reading this book, I now realize that if I kept on that search, I would end up just spinning my wheels. There are no hints or tricks. Harsh reality, but it's true.
Directly, this book doesn't mean much to someone like myself since it doesn't mention anyone making our family's income. How can I ever possibly become a millionaire? There is only so much "living beneath my means" (which is discussed very often in the book) that our family can do, especially during all of the years when we were making less money.
For someone in my situation, you can either read this book and become depressed, or you can read this book and be filled with optimism. There are no hints or tricks. It all has to do with yourself. Learning about yourself and the way you live and how you treat money. Learning about yourself and how you view others. Learning about how you perceive wealth. See the common denominator here? It's YOU!!
I am so glad that I read this book and read the messages between the lines. Not only did it help me realize that I should be proud of my frugal ways, but I should just be proud of who I am and proud that I am taking the time to discover myself more. I heard a story about a graduation speech where the speaker asked the young graduates "Who here lacks self-confidence?" Only one young man raised his hand. The speaker announced, "That young man will be the most self-confident out of all of you in five years. Why? Because he knew he had a problem and wasn't afraid to face it."
If you are a regular reader - chances are that you have some money woes just like me. If we were sitting in a room together, I'd hope that we all would be raising our hand if asked "Who here needs help managing their debt?" Admit any problems that you may have and then work on them. You are not admitting weakness by proclaiming your problems. You are creating the groundwork to turn those problem areas into your strengths.
I know this review has been quite general, while the book includes tables with hard numbers. To be honest, I really didn't care for those points as much at this time in my life. I found it more valuable to reflect on myself and how I think versus looking at what percentage of millionaires purchase expensive cars. But with anything you read, you have the final say with what you learn from it. Read with an open heart and really think about what you are reading.
This book opened my eyes in more ways than I imagined. But I think it helped me on my personal journey and that varies from person to person. Someone else reading this book may obtain something else from it. It all has to do with your background and the stage in your life you are at right now. The only thing I can say about the manner of the book in general is that I would have liked more information behind the thought of millionaires. But - Thomas J. Stanley did follow this book with "The Millionaire Mind" (which is my next read).
If you've made it this far, I'm glad that you've stuck with me. This is the part I am really excited about. I want to give my copy of "The Millionaire Next Door" to someone who really wants to read it, yet may not have a lot of funds to do so. In return (and I can only take your word for it) I'd like you to give it away to someone else when you are done reading it. Each person is invited to sign the book their own way as I will do. I'll pay for the media mail shipping so only US residents please.
To enter, all you need to do is write a very brief explanation of why you would like to read the book. I'm only looking for three or four sentences, so no novels here. Please submit your entries to bloggingawaydebt [at] yahoo [dot] com by June 30, 2006. I will announce a winner on Monday July 3, 2006 which is the day I am hosting the Carnival of Debt Reduction.
I'd also like to include some of the entries on my blog so if that is okay with you, please grant me permission to post it as well as your name or nickname (if you'd like) and blog address (if applicable). If you do not grant permission, I will assume that you do not want your entry posted. And please, just add one sentence saying that you will give the book away when you are done reading it. You can give it away any way you like, but I would just like your word that you will give it away and ask that that person gives it away, and so on. I may be old-fashioned, but I still value someone's word and hope that it will remain true.
1.) Three or four sentences on why you would like the book.
2.) A sentence stating that you would give away the book to another person.
3.) Your name or nickname and/or blog name if you'd like your entry posted on my blog. You can also choose to have it posted anonymously, but please state that it is okay for me to post your entry.
4.) Email it to bloggingawaydebt [at] yahoo [dot] com by June 30, 2006.
If you have questions, please leave a comment here or email me. Thanks! :)