Look rich – die broke

While driving through Tampa, Florida recently I saw a cool car accessories shop – obviously a place to trick out your car – with this sign out front:

“Rent your wheels and tires here.”

Now I know we have places to rent furniture, clothes and appliances.  But I always suspect that these businesses are preying on poor people – or at least people who don’t plan very well.  So here we go – if you can’t afford new 22” rims with low profile tires why should you be deprived of looking super cool anyway.  Just rent them.  Who cares if you’ll pay six times what the tires are worth in the course of a year?  You can look slick tonight – it’s the American way.

This is an example of what Thomas Stanley talks about in his latest book – Stop Acting Rich.  I’ve highly recommended his previous books – The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. In this newest one he reveals the surprising practices of the really rich. They eat at modest restaurants, buy modest cars, and live in modest houses. The average dinner cost for the truly rich is $19.59 and very few ever spend over $10 on a bottle of wine. Guess who’s flashing the $250 bottles and putting $300 dinners on their American Express – yep, it’s the pretenders – those who want to impress others.

It’s pretty eye-opening to realize how much marketing is directed at those who want to “act rich.” This book may help you see real wealth in new ways. Bring rich doesn’t mean you have to waste money.

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13 Responses to “Look rich – die broke”

  1. Terry Says:

    I have long known personally the frugality of wealthy people. I used to deliver pizzas, in both wealthy and poor neighborhoods.

    The wealthy people didn’t tip drivers, and neither did the poor; tipping drivers was largely a middle class practice. I once delivered a pizza to a wealthy governor (R); his wife paid with no tip and a joint-account exact-amount check. (In retrospect, I should have kept the check and framed it.) Several times I delivered pizzas to a state representative (D) who paid with no tip and exact cash.

    As a group, doctors and lawyers were just about as stingy as politicians.

  2. Andy Traub Says:

    Worst of all Dan those who try to “act rich” aren’t being grateful for the obvious blessings they DO have already. I struggle all the time to just BE GRATEFUL for the stuff I do have instead of wanting the next thing. I appreciate this reminder for myself…and Thanks for you comment Terry. It reminds me that I need to tip well 🙂

  3. Dan Pedersen Says:

    A couple of other good books on this subject are ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of The Rich’, by Robert Kiyosaki. He talks about how the middle class and poor buy things like big houses and nice cars and consider them “assets”, when in reality they are “liabilities”.

    I have a short article on by blog about the connection between marketing and the spiritual world if you have a few minutes visit:


  4. Kay Says:

    I believe this was covered when I was trained to be a waitress as a teen: “rich people do not dress up or flashy when they eat out” so it is important to be nice to every customer if you expect to get a tip and/or repeat business.

    I don’t think this is covered in training staff for retail stores and boutiques though. I’ve noticed myself if you dress up to go shopping, you are treated better than a casually dressed shopper.

  5. Archie Winningham Says:

    Dan, You been listening to Dave Ramsey again? Hehe! I have nothing to add to this blog post. You already nailed it all!!!

    “48 Days Advisory Team”, at your service.

  6. Why spending today costs more than you think… - Friday's Financial News! - Love More. Live Better. A Southern Couple's Guide to Successful Living Says:

    […] of our website for more info on Dan Miller) for an interesting article.  Today’s article, Look rich-die broke was inspired by a sign in front of a car accessories shop in Florida that read: “Rent your […]

  7. Tony Hollowell Says:

    I love Dr. Stanley’s concept of PAW’s: “Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth”, which is determined by evaluating the ratio of yearly income to net worth. It’s simply a way to measure how you are (or are not) living below your means. My goal: become a Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth! And I don’t think renting rims for my 93 Ford Taurus is going to lead me to that goal.

  8. FinancialBondage Says:

    it gets my crawl when people don’t tip or don’t tip well. especially people who are able too. If you can’t afford to leave a decent tip, stay home. If service is good, I tip well. If it was excellent I tip better. If money is tight, I don’t go out. When I have money for the food and a good tip, then I go out.

    We have a pastor in our family that won’t tip over 10%. Why? He says he won’t give someone more than they give God. That is sad coming from a pastor. Not a very good witness to Christ.

  9. Pat Says:

    About tipping: I believe very strongly in living below my means no matter what, and I practice it. God bless my mother for teaching me that by her example! I don’t have much opportunity to tip, because I almost never eat or drink anything out, but I agree with FB that tipping is a type of giving that is Godly, and the few opportunities I do have, I do so. And you can give even further with a smile and some encouraging words. My father in law is very good about both things, and it’s one of the things I admire in him.

  10. Linda Says:

    You are right! I live in the Tampa area and drive by that sign on occasion. You are especially right on the mindset of the “wannabe” rich! After returning from Dave’s April 2001 training session for debt counseling, I started to help folks set up a budget and tackle their debts. I have actually seen people forced into bankruptcy because they bought junk on credit (doll collections!) or new furniture or a snazzy looking vehicle that soon broke down. Those who are fiscally conservative do have modest expenses and thus keep and save more of their money. Thanks for a great newsletter each week! I look forward to the common sense articles and occasional humorous stories. Linda

  11. Celeste Says:

    So true, my mother married a man who lived in a starter home, drove a taurus and only ate at Burger King. After they married she learned he was a multimillionaire. He worked as a forest ranger, lived a modest life, gave generously to several Christian schools and his church. Unfortunately he died of diseases related to his diet. He left my mom with more mney than she could ever go through. He followed the Millionaire next door philosophy. We are thankful our mother is well provided for but sad he did not see the value of his only true asset, his physical body.

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