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Young CPA Lives by the Principles Found in The Millionaire Next Door

By Thomas J. Stanley on Jun 10th, 2014 in Studying the Wealthy

Most millionaire next door types and those on their way were raised in a nurturing environment filled with harmony, mutual respect, discipline and frugality.  As an example please review the following case study from one of my readers. 

While still in high school, my parents had both my brother and
I read The Millionaire Next Door. The topic was something that
interested us both, and we saw numerous similarities in the way
our parents ran our family. My Dad was a long time state employee who worked 37.5 hours a week and was always
present in our lives. My mom was a stay at home mom who loved
shopping at garage sales. We ate out 4 times a
year, my
brother’s
birthday, my birthday, mom &
dad’s
birthday (which, being less than a week apart, they combined
into one) and their anniversary.

My brother and I worked since
we were very little because we enjoyed it! My parents gave us
each an allowance so we could learn to manage money and not
just ask for it whenever we needed it. My brother and I are now
29 and 26, respectively, and
it is clear
how the lessons we learned when we were young have paid off.

We
lost my mom 3 years ago and due to her passing, our family has
received a substantial amount of money. My father has kept a
significant portion of it, but also passed down approximately
$250K each to my brother and me. My Dad has continued to live
in the same house he had before and still drives his 2003
Toyota Avalon. My brother opted to buy a house in the same
neighborhood, still works and drives his 2005 Toyota Camry. I
still work (at a very demanding job as a CPA) and choose to
live in a house with 4 other girls, which is great for many
reasons, including rent well below the average just outside of DC.

I have left the inheritance in my
investment account and continue to aggressively save 20% of my
income for retirement. We are not misers, and we all enjoy some
little luxuries. For me it’s travel, for my brother it’s good
food, but it is all within our means.

I tell this story because
I think my brother and I are anomalies in America today. When
most 23 and 26 (the ages we were when we received the
inheritance) receive such a large amount (and often times, when
they receive even smaller amounts) the kids quit their jobs,
buy a fancy sports car, spend it all on shopping sprees &
travel or numerous other activities. My brother and I kept our
jobs, kept our same cars and have not changed our lifestyle one
bit, simply because we know how to be content. While I
understand that most millionaires now a days are self-made, and
it’s not
due to an inheritance, I still think of my family as the
millionaire next door type, we just received a little boost
along the way.

3 responses to “Young CPA Lives by the Principles Found in The Millionaire Next Door”

  1. Ken Arnold says:

    What a great story. Proof that these principle’s work. Thank you for sharing!

  2. maria w. says:

    I really like the responsibility the parents displayed in showing and being an example for their kids. I’m a very late bloomer however I really think my 25 year old is catching on.

  3. Scott says:

    I’m sorry about your mother. Thank you for your post. Yes, you and your brother are anomalies. Most every single one of my friends would have blown through their inheritance within 2 years. I’m with you and would have done the same thing. Like you said, you have a demanding job. It’s far easier dealing with the pressure when you know you don’t have to work. I have a demanding job also–my sole goal is financial independence. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING!!!

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