I lived for a few years like no one wants to so that I can live for the rest of my life like no one can.
This is the basic success formula recently reported by one of my readers. In the following paragraphs, another reader, Honey, paints a similar picture of how her mother became a multimillionaire.
I was raised by a single mom who immigrated to the US in the early 1980s . . . did not speak or write English very well . . . perhaps the most frugal person I have ever known. She ran the family household like a miserly CEO, by cutting expenses . . . .
The money that her frugal mother saved was immediately plowed back into the family’s business ventures, the first of which was a restaurant. Honey explained that she and her siblings worked enthusiastically . . . in our family run restaurant [begining in] grade school . . . . Honey’s mother also saved money by shopping for her kids’ clothing, as well as her own, at a variety of thrift shops, Goodwill stores, and selected flea markets. In spite of this no one in the family ever thought that they were disadvantaged or financially poor. While building wealth, the family perceived itself as being in transition, between modest means and wealthy. Thus they never felt degraded wearing the clothes purchased at thrift stores.
Later her mother bought the building that housed the restaurant. Then over time she bought more and more income producing real estate.. . . eventually acquired several shopping centers and then retired a multimillionaire. Presently Honey’s mother is enjoying a life of leisure as do most financially independent senior citizens.
Keep in mind that not all people who patronize Goodwill type stores are at economic ground zero. Some are are entrepreneurial commandos. They are intent at building a business and ultimately wealth by living a spartan existence. Some “live in the factory” to save money, i.e. living behind their restaurant, below it, above it, etc. Plus they can eat the food produced by the business. Come to think of it no wonder that so many farmers have high WX scores.
Honey’s purpose in writing to me was not to criticize but to praise her mother, a loving and nurturing parent. Yes, she was frugal regarding consumer products but not when it came to funding her children’s college educations, etc.
Honey and her siblings recognized that their mother had a dream for the family. She sought financial independence. Plus her children recognized that no one worked harder, longer hours and spent less on themselves than their mother. She was an inspirational leader.
She taught me the value of true character was not in how one “spent” money and allowed money to change them, but how one can do truly great things by accumulating money and treating others fairly. There is no task too undignified as long as it’s an honest day’s work.
What can be learned from Honey’s mother’s method of building wealth? You should discipline yourself to focus on where you are headed. Hold on tightly to your dream of becoming financially independent. View living a spartan lifestyle as temporary, merely a prerequisite to joining the ranks of the socioeconomic achievers in America.