“I'll confess, after the first chapter, I didn't think I was going to like this book. After all, these men seem so in love with money that I wouldn't be surprised if they had an oil portrait of Scrooge on their office wall. Actually, it would probably be a cheap reproduction, not an oil original.
But the farther I got into the book, the more practical suggestions surfaced that did more than make sense. They actually got me thinking about how I would want to live out the habits of using money wisely for the sake of my children. Because seriously, being a millionaire is not one of my life goals. I tend to have a perspective on money that leads me to try to use and save and give my money lifelong — not just wait until I'm retired to use it. And if you drink the Stanley & Danko koolaid (and love it), you may find yourself saving and saving your entire life, and then giving most of it away to avoid taxes — never really using it at all. Which is fine, I guess, just different.
Though I'd part ways with their money-grubbing hearts, I found myself greatly admiring the principles and stories that the authors shared. They're one of the reasons this book has sold so well, and has been so valuable to so many people. Here are some of the best, in a nutshell:
Affluent vs. Wealthy — There's a huge difference between making a lot of money and having a lot of money (or wealth). Many people seem to have a lot of money because they make so much. These are the people we normally think of as millionaires. But if you're affluent and you spend tons of money, you're not wealthy at all. The American lifestyle says that success is spending a lot of money. Are you going to buy into that definition of success? I'd recommend that you reconsider who it is you're trying to impress.
Prodigious Accumulators — Most millionaires are not millionaires because they were given a lot of money. They're wealthy because they lived below their means and were able to save and even invest the money they saved. It's very possible for someone to be a prodigious accumulator of wealth and have far more net worth than their neighbor who makes two or three times as much as they do. Don't even think about living beyond your means. If at all possible, live well below your means, no matter how much money you're making.
Economic Outpatient Care — Affluent parents who give a lot of money to their kids think they're helping them out. Wrong answer. In almost every case, they're actually handicapping their children from ever succeeding financially. Children who receive substantial gifts from their parents almost always adjust their lifestyles so they have to keep receiving gifts in order to stay afloat. Stanley & Danko call this Economic Outpatient Care. Don't do it. Don't give your children fish when you can teach them how to fish.
Buy Wisely — Most actual millionaires don't buy a lot of expensive things because many expensive things don't have a lot of actual value. For instance, the average millionaire has probably never bought a new car in his or her life, and definitely not a foreign luxury car. After all, cars lose a huge portion of their value in the first 2 or 3 years. So why not just wait for someone else to lose all that value, and then buy a fairly new car from them? There are exceptions, to be sure, but for the most part, why not actually think about each purchase you make and buy things that have actual value for you?
Offense & Defense — Sure, it's a fact that most millionaires end up making a lot of money. Secret: it's not the professions you'd think. Most millionaires are small business owners, in a broad range of industries that are not necessarily glamorous. The lifestyles of stereotypically "rich" professions (doctor, lawyer, etc) are so demanding that most people in these professions find it difficult to save much money at all. In other words, there are many people who make a lot of money from their job — they play good offense. But their spending habits are terrible, or at least driven by what everyone expects of them — they stink at defense. The key to being responsible with money is to play as good an offense as you can, but then to play excellent defense. And in every case, both husband and wife need to excel at playing defense.
I would strongly recommend this book to you, no matter what financial bracket you're in. These principles are vital skills to being financial responsibility, whether you're earning $20,000 a year or $800,000. And if you're not motivated enough to be a wise steward for your own good and God's glory, just think about your children. Are you really interested in damaging the way they approach life because of your example to them?”