When I was in my early 20’s and had a fuller head of hair I came across a great book that helped shape the trajectory of my personal finances. In my opinion the title is a little funny, but the book is amazing. The Automatic Millionaire, by David Back, was first published in 2004. It’s a quick read, and I think I picked it up in the San Diego Airport while waiting for a flight home to see my parents.
The book tells a story of an average couple, and the plan they made to pay themselves first. It emphasizes the importance of saving, investing, and being smart with money. The book talks about the Latte Factor, and what saving that $5.00 a day on coffee could turn into down the road. At the same time I read the book I remember being in one of my MBA classes talking about Starbucks Coffee. Did people buy their coffee for the coffee or the experience? That was the question. A side question to that debate was the following… How much did each of you spend on that Starbucks cup before you came to class? $4.00? $5.50? At that time I had never purchase a cup of coffee in my life, but $5.00 a day on coffee adds up. That’s $25.00 a week. That $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year. That’s a lot of money!
Back to real estate… The book tells the story of a couple who purchased a their first home. It was a stretch. Many of their friends thought they were nuts. Long story short, that first home purchase helped set this couple up for the rest of their lives. It can feel like a stretch for sure. At the end of the day it’s worth it if you buy your home right.
I highly encourage you to read this book. I’ll happily send you a copy. Just ask!