They often buy pre-built homes, or foreclosures
Have shoes resoled or repaired
Have furniture re-upholstered
Raise the thermostat setting on the air conditioner during the summer
Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., author of the Millionaire Next Door, has compiled even more interesting insights into the Millionaire Mind that I believe we can all use to become more financially solvent, even if we never make it to millionare land. In my case, every $250 I add to my net worth is another day that I don't have to work for someone else. (note: Not wanting to be subject to a boss' whims seemed to be a big millionaire motivator, as well).
Stanley interviewed 733 millionaires, or those who have a net worth of $1 million or more, and created the Millionaire Mind. The paperback edition is out now, and your local library probably has copies. Amazon's service selling the books used is also good, I've never had a problem getting a good used copy from their associate sellers.
I'm a big fan of Stanley's books because they debunk the debt lifestyle that many pursue to appear affluent. Most millionaires drive American made cars, have nice homes that equate to a percentage of their annual income (average $277,000 or so), have fun but don't spend a fortune doing it. What I learned that we can all use --
Something you can do today -- have a friend watch the energy meter on your home twirl around spening your hard earned cash, while you switch appliances on and off one at a time. I used information from Michael Blue Jay's Saving Electricity Site that I only found because of the Get Rich Slowly blog I follow (thank you J.D.!)
You'll find out what draws the most energy to run. In my case it was the dryer. "Wow!" My friend said, "you ought to be down here seeing this wheel go to town when you turn on your dryer!" Michael estimates about .35 cents per load of clothes, which doesn't sound like much. But I dry clothes several times a week, (at least 5) X 4 weeks per month is an extra $7-$8 per month. But I've saved more than that on recent electric bills, so maybe wattage in my area is more expensive.
Here's how I did it... I installed an Inside Dryer system with a porch line for the sheets. I clip up my clothes most days to a shower curtain rod I installed in my laundry area. And the sheets go on the porch. I live in the south, it doesn't take long to dry the sheets and towels, and best of all -- they smell wonderful!
My most recent energy bill topped out at $110. (Down from $145 the month before). That's $35 I can use to buy stocks these days, so maybe I won't have to work for someone else for the rest of my life. Or...I could use some of it just to go out and have fun, buy a book, a hat, whatever I please. Because I've earned the money, none of this will be on credit, or taking dollars out of the grocery budget, instead.
The Millionaire Mind - I highly recommend this book for reading...or purchasing (from a discount book seller of course!). Sorry Dr. Stanley, I'm sure you understand why...