A recent New York Times article “Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be” (1) encapsulates the importance of merging value and frugality. That article points out important values that tend to be found among single digit millionaires. Here are seven ideas we can gain from such millionaires.
#1: “They pay attention to what makes them happy and not just doing what our society tells them to do. They have selective ways to spend on extravagances and are independent about what they spent money on. A common thread was frugality about cars. Not only did they buy modestly priced vehicles, they kept them for a long time. They tend to spend money on good investments.”
#2: “They look upon money as a tool. It’s an important tool. They don’t neglect it, but they also don’t worship it.”
#3: “Millionaires in general are very happy but happiness is not necessarily contentment or satisfaction or achievement so they often have jobs that entail long hours, high pressure and working vacations.”
#4: “These were people who had all made the money in their own lifetimes and done that as much by saving, investing and making careful choices about spending as by making large salaries. Their motivation is less about greed and social climbing. Most have come from the middle class, the working class, and they still believe they’re part of the 99 percent, no matter what, because that’s how they identify themselves. Part of this pressure to keep going is less about greed and more about insecurity that might be self-imposed.”
#5: “The habits that helped many of these people save millions of dollars persist when they are wealthy. They may want to leave money to charity or to their children. Or they may simply not want for more than they have.”
#6: “They learn from its mistakes which is part of the reason they have achieved a level of financial comfort.”
#7: “They don’t seem to take their wealth for granted. They focus a lot on gratitude.”
The way these millionaires live gives us a clue about how to have everlasting wealth. Let’s be grateful but always seeking value seeking value, satisfaction, contentment and achievement in a frugal way.