I am just a regular guy. I was (and am) a developer, systems analyst, development manager, etc. for 40 years. Now I am at the end of my career having a great time as an independent contractor.
Hit $1M about 6 - 7 years ago. Without having read or heard Dave Ramsey we instinctively followed his teachings. Bought a $100K house when my income said I could afford 5 times that much. Still have my 2001 car and when we needed a new one paid cash for a 3 YO econobox that accomplished its objective: getting me to and from the client site.
We always keep appliances until they die. Had 8 YO TVs until last year.
Work hard, eschew debt except mortgage and double pay that (owned 2 houses, paid each off - the first one in 10 yrs, second in 5) and DO WITHOUT. Easy formula.
PS: We travel a lot to Mexico and the Bahamas and the like so it is not like we live in sack cloths!
We were on a good path the first few years. Money in the bank, a modest home, college fund for our first born child, 3 retirement accounts started.
Then came the catastrophic medical debt, years of medical bills, a miscarriage, two rounds of cancer, another child, jobs changes. In short..life.
At one point, we had less than 1k in savings and 30k in medical debt.
It was brutal.
Now we are in a great house in a beautiful neighborhood, 50k in savings, 200k in retirement, one halfway through college and another coming up.
We survived by living lean and mean for years. Shopped good will and salvation army, bought gently used cars and drove them till they dropped, learned how to cut my family’s hair to save money, fixed my own house and roof. Took cheap vacations that included museums and national parks. Found free or inexpensive things for the kids to do.
Lived clean and gave to the church, even when we were struggling.
I will never achieve millionaire status and will never retire, but I am proud of how far we have come given everything life threw our way.
I read the combo of the millionaire next door, and rich dad poor dad, while I was still in college in the early 90’s and it changed my life.
The most important things I learned from them was to UN-LEARN what I thought I “knew” about wealth, who was wealthy, how they got wealthy, how the wealthy lived, ect.
Everything I “thought” I knew, was wrong in that regards.
My kids are going to appreciate being able to go to college without having to even think about student loans.