The Millionaire Next Door

A Cheap Date

When people ask me about the activities of millionaires, I have a short answer.  As I wrote in The Millionaire Mind, the typical millionaire is, in three words, “a cheap date!”  Yes, a cheap date even among a fraction of the top 1% of the wealth holders in America.  Many of the favorite activities of millionaires are not at all costly.  It matters not if you are rich or poor, the best things in life are free or close to it. I was reminded of the “cheap date” concept when I read a recent e-mail from a self employed multimillionaire “right on the mark. . . balance sheet affluent.”


 . . . ride my bike to work, 12 miles round trip . . . been doing it for the last 8 years. . . age 59, married 38 years, no inheritance. . . 3 adult children, all successful. . . we paid for three private colleges. . . no mortgage. . . own a business . . . no debt.


My career is demanding [60 hrs./wk] but I have coached kids’ sports, I sing in the church choir. . . have a garden [as do 67% of millionaires]. . . annually make many gallons of apple cider. . . keep honey bees. . . attended 6 homebuilding trips to Mexico and serve on a variety of professional committees.


Statistically those who are active in their various houses of worship are more frugal and have more traditional values than others. 


Wife and I share many Christian values. . . This has contributed to our long term marriage.  All of our friends seem to have similar values to ours. 


 He mentions that he has no burning desire to drive a new car.  As he said:


We are satisfied.  Our cars tend to last a long time, 2002 Tahoe-90,000 miles, 1995 Buick purchased 3 1/2 years ago for $3500. 


This millionaire spends his time and money in ways that give him great satisfaction. Being a “cheap date” doesn’t bother him in the least.

5 thoughts on “A Cheap Date”

  1. How can spending money in and of itself be fun? It is the activity that is fun. Being a cheap date simply means a good value system is in place.

  2. My ideal date? Honestly it’s renting some Blockbuster movies (preferrably the old tried and trusted titles from the Gold Section) and sitting at home with a soup and salad. It also happens to be an activity we can make work most any night of the week for a little break. Wonderful!

  3. What is more interesting in this profile is that this man is able to combine a number of things to achieve a constructive end. For example, rather than paying for a gym membership, he rides his bike to work daily. This, as well as eating his home-grown produce,has got to impact his overall health so that he is spending less on health insurance and health care. His ability to balance work demands with life keeps his emotional health in good shape. His example is inspiring.

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