Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanely, William D. Danko

I liked the message of the book, which was simple:

  • Spend within your means.
  • People with million dollar net worths are not necessarily the ones that look the part.
  • Money is just as much a trap as a means to financial independence.

Business owners started with humble beginnings but grew their net worth by living frugally, investing their time, money, and energy into their businesses, and are often worth far more than the people driving the luxury cars, wearing expensive clothes, and eating fancy foods.

It all boils down to the expression: “You don’t get rich by spending money.”

For advertisers trying to appeal to the affluent families, it might be eye-opening that the wealthiest people may live in middle class neighborhoods and drive US-made cars.

For me, it covered living frugally, investing in yourself, using this knowledgeable to consider services to these overlooked affluent. The UAW (under accumulator of wealth), AAW (average accumulator of wealth), and PAW (prodigious accumulator of wealth) were interesting to see that you could do even more than just living within your means but you could also set yourself up for success in the future with savings and investments. It also defines the difference between high income and high net worth. You could spend all of your high income or you could save a significant portion of a moderate income – which do you think would be better off?

The book spent chapters on affluent families that over-gift to their children financially and, as a side-effect, teach their kids to live outside of their means and put them on a spending treadmill. Along with the topic of inheritance, this was interesting to see the different sides to problems with large estates.

Ultimately, I thought there were too many examples that were used to emphasize the same point. As somebody that was already on-board, it was repetitive with examples that were too conveniently ‘Goofus and Gallant’.

Arby’s Rachel and Reuben

(Sung to X and Y sitting in a tree)

Reuben and Rachel sitting in a tree
Thou-sand Is-land Dr-e-ssing
First comes Rye
Then comes Swiss
Then comes sau-er-kraut in a combo meal

arbys_rachel_reuben

Our local Arby’s had “Reuben and Rachel sitting in a tree” on their sign marquee. We then had to finish the song.

Quotes from Redeployment

redeployment

Redeployment by Phil Klay was a little rough and raw but showed many perspectives for modern veterans. I started reading it, coincidentally, after seeing American Sniper and it held much of the same tone.

Quotes

Pg 11

“We took my combat pay and did a lot of shopping. Which is how America fights back against the terrorists.

Pg 76

Instead I will remember that our HMMWV had 5 PX. That the SITREP was 2 KIA, 3 WIA. That KIA means that they gave everything. That WIA means I didn’t.

Pg 191

“That’s not why I joined the Army,” I said.

“So why did you?”

I laughed. “‘Be All That You Can Be’?” I said. “I don’t know. That was the slogan for me, growing up. And then it was ‘Army of One,’ which I never understood, and then it was ‘Army Strong,’ which is about as good a slogan as ‘Fire Hot’ or ‘Snickers Tasty’ or ‘Herpes Bad.’ A better slogan would be, ‘You Can’t Afford College Without Us.'”

Spinach-Cheesy Calzones

This is a spin on your traditional red sauce and pizza toppings-stuffed calzone. Those are delicious but these Spinach-Cheesy Calzones can hold their own with some greens and cheese. Just in the past few years, I’ve gone from hating spinach to being a fan of wilted spinach.

Serves: 2

1 Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough in a tube
10 ounces fresh spinach, wilted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup shaved parmesan
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wilt the spinach:

Heat olive oil in a skillet at medium-high heat.

Add the spinach to the hot pan and allow the spinach to warm up.

Stir the spinach to keep it from burning and get more of the spinach to the pan’s surface.

Add more olive oil if needed.

When the spinach is shriveled and reduced but still moist, add it to a mixing bowl.

Filling:

To the bowl with the spinach, add 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (mine also had garlic), 1/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Stir the filling mixture up until it is evenly combined.

Assemble:

Grease a cookie sheet and roll out the dough.

Divide the rectangle of dough in half or thirds, depending on servings you want.

Spoon half or a third of the filling mixture onto one half of the divided dough.

Fold the other half of each dough segment over the filling and pinch closed along the edges.

Cut slats or holes in the top of the dough to allow the calzone to vent.

Brush the outside of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano and parsley.

Bake:

Stick the calzone in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the outside is nicely browned.

Enjoy:

Here’s the part where I wish I had remembered to take a picture before eating it up.