The Millionaire Next Door

To the Point – Stop Acting Rich

In my latest blog, Mr. K mentioned that his frugal wife buys some of her clothes at Goodwill.  Do you think that Ms. K is the only person who has a few dollars in the bank and shops at a thift store?  Au contraire!

Take, for example, the case of Mrs. Point and her husband.  I first interviewed Mrs. Point for The Millionaire Mind.  She and her husband live in a 4 bedroom home in one of Austin’s[TX] nicest neighborhoods.  “I believe in living in the best section of the city. . . location, location, location . . . .  I will do without fine cars [plus a lot of other luxuries], but insist on having the best home possible.”

Mrs. Point never wants to spend big dollars on clothes- they depreciate in value too rapidly.  The put a hole in one’s net worth.  But she always wants to look well dressed.  Here is her solution:  “Oh, yes, I wear couture clothes [previously owned] that I buy at the Junior League shop.”  [Yes, there is even a hierarchy among thrift shops!].  Mrs. Point also told me that many of the clothing items that she purchased still had the original sales tags attached.  In other words, they had never been worn.  It seems that Mrs. Point’s clothing expenditures are being subsidized by some of Austin’s “glittering rich” population [see Stop Acting Rich, pp.9-10]. But many Income Statement Affluent types or “aspirationals” [see Stop Acting Rich, pp. 2-6] are also enhancing her ability to transform income into wealth.  If some of the previously owned clothing items don’t fit perfectly, she and Mr. Point do what about 4 in 10 millionaires do to solve this problem.  They have their clothes altered instead of buying new ones.  Money saved this way is used in part to purchase quality stocks.  “I am mindful of the fact we live in a time of medical miracles. . . . I . . . invest in stocks related to medicine.”

“We have land. . . [and] mining operations and oil leases.  We do not tell our friends about our holdings because many of those we associate with do not have as much as we do.”  Could she be talking about the Income Statement Affluent?

3 thoughts on “To the Point – Stop Acting Rich”

  1. Very funny… just the other day my wife came home with a whole new wardrobe for the two of us and our baby; she had spent $50. I was very impressed with the quality of clothes that she got. Now one of her nicest outfits, shoes and all, cost a sum total of $6.00. When she tried it on I remarked that I wonder if someone is still paying for these clothes that she got for $3 apiece.

  2. So true! It is amazing what people will get rid of. Clothes hardly worn, like new furniture, etc. You’ve got to dig through dirt if you want to find gold.

    I also like Mrs. Point’s comment about not telling friends about holdings. I recently had to cutback to part-time at work due to a health issue. My friends were astounded that we didn’t financially implode because of this. As one friend said “We’d be in big trouble after about two months. Don’t know how you do it.” I enjoy my friends, but they don’t need to know how I’m doing financially. Good or bad.

  3. We have a comfortable income but also have eight children. My wife shared the amount of our monthly clothing budget with a friend the other day. The woman was flabbergasted, saying she spends that much on herself every month. Our family always looks great. The secret – Goodwill, Kohl’s clearance sales, consignment shops, rummage sales, and passing unwanted clothes around at church.

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