“That’s Why They’re Wealthy” was the original title of The Millionaire Next Door. Give credit to my brilliant editor, Suzanne DeGalan, for suggesting the final title. One of the main reasons that “they are wealthy” is that they live below their means and shopping for value is part of their lifestyle.
But now even among the more general population “‘Value’ becomes a shopping mantra: ‘Stigma is gone’ from clipping coupons,” as reported in a recent article in USA Today. The writer mentions:
Few things are more practical than the use of coupons. Before the recession, 22% of the households reported using them. During the recession, the figure ballooned to 35%. . . . . . . now, an even higher 37%, say they use them, Nielsen reports.
Does 37% mean that there is no longer a so-called “stigma” attached to redeeming coupons? I think that the stigma is an illusion. Fully 49% of multimillionaire households, representing the top 1% with an average [median] net worth of $9.2M [$4.3M] and an annual income of $749K [$436K], consistently redeem coupons (see The Millionaire Mind). Interestingly, the median household net worth in America is just under $90K. There is a greater portion of these millionaire households than households in general which never felt a “stigma” and is actually proud of its coupon usage.
As as an example of frugality among the rich, you may recall what I wrote in The Millionaire Next Door:
How did the wife of a millionaire respond when her husband [a client of mine] gave her $8M worth of stock in a company he recently took public? . . . she said, ‘I appreciate this, I really do.’ Then she smiled, never changing her position at the kitchen table, where she continued to cut out twenty-five and fifty-cents-off food coupons from the week’s supply of newspapers. She does today like she always has done, even when all we owned was a kitchen table. . . .
That’s Why They’re Wealthy!