A fascinating insight into the life of America’s most frugal families. The most wealthy family are the ones with the tightest budget.
Steve and Annette Economides were called “America’s Cheapest Family” since 1982. Don’t get me wrong here. The Economides family from Arizona did not scrounge through the garbage bins of America to earn that title. It’s actually the opposite of that. They earned titles like “The Frugals” and “America’s Cheapest Family” for thriving on a very tight budget. “Now how tight?”, you might ask.
The Economides could feed their family of seven at an average of $350 a month where most similar sized family would spend about $2000 to do the same thing. Now you might think that the Economides family must be eating really low quality food here. Well, you are wrong again. The Economides family in fact eats very nutritious meals and mind you, their children are stylish and wears brand-name clothes as well. The Economides family recently launched their latest book titled “Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half — With America’s Cheapest Family”.
So How Did they Do All That?
Planning-When Steve and Annette got married during the recession many years back, they both shared similar goals in life. They wanted to maintain a debt free home and planned never to indulge in extravagance spending. Both Steve and Annette would sit down in the dining room table to plan and maximize food coupons before they go grocery shopping every month.
Being Frugal-Now the whole Economides family are experts at stretching the dollar. Their daughter Becky, 26 never spends more than $10 on a pair of jeans. She could never understand why her friends would spend $200 for a pair of jeans at the shopping mall. The Economides family go shopping for clothes at thrift stores which give them the best bargains.
The Reward- All these cost cutting measures allowed the Economides to pay cash for their late-model cars, pay off their first home in just nine years and raise five healthy and happy children without ever going into debt.
That’s what the self-made millionaires of America are already doing all these years.
A 20-year research done by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William Danko, Ph.D revealed that the majority of self- made American millionaires have:
- only one spouse in their lifetime.
- They share similar goals with their spouse throughout their lives.
- Normally one spouse or both husband and wife would plan their spending budget every month so that they could live below their means.
- Most self-made millionaires live in the middle class and lower middle class neighbourhoods.
- All these these planning and budgeting would allow them to continually invest their remaining cash on stocks and bonds or on other investment opportunities.
Their long term investments would finally pay off one day making them among the wealthiest in America. If you compare the habits of “America’s Cheapest Family” with the self-made millionaires of America carefully, you will begin to see a really interesting pattern. Mere coincidence or is this truly the path of success you’ve been looking for?
Sharif Ishnin is a writer and miniature painter from Singapore.
Published in: Homemaking