The Best Financial Advice I Ever Received

In my post about the world’s ugliest sofa contest, I got a few comments asking why I didn’t just buy a new sofa instead of entering a contest to win one. After all, the cost of a new sofa wouldn’t make much of a dent in the blog’s income.

To answer that question I need to share with you the best piece of financial advice I ever got.

It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep

It really doesn’t matter how much money you make. What matter is how much you get to keep at the end of the day. There are tons of people who make a lot of money and spend every cent they make and more. They drive all the fancy cars, go to the fancy clubs and live a “millionaire’s lifestyle”, only they’re not millionaires. In Miami, they’re known as $30,000 millionaires. They make $30K a year but live like they make a million.

Thanks to low-cost leasing and zero down financing, anyone with even a modest income can project the image of a millionaire. The only problem is, the debt will eventually catch up to them and that’s when it’ll all come crashing down. This was what caused the US financial meltdown. Too many people were spending more than they make and leveraging their debts to the hilt.

The funny thing is, that millionaire’s lifestyle they’re trying to project is false. Most millionaires don’t drive fancy cars or live in upper class gated communities. They’re more likely to live in a middle class neighborhood and drive a domestic sedan. Since the average millionaire’s lifestyle is modest, they get to keep a lot more of what they make and that’s the key to real wealth.

By investing most of my blog income into various investments instead of using it to buy a new sofa, my investment income is starting to approach my blog income. Best of all, investment income is 100% passive and I love passive income. My goal is to have my investments become the biggest income source and to do that requires that I dump huge amounts of cash into it every month. Therefore, you’ll see me enter a contest to win a sofa before spending the money to buy one.

You Can Be Broke At Any Level

Just because someone makes a lot of money doesn’t mean he’s rich. There are tons of broke “rich” people. I’m not shock one bit that four out of the six Real Housewives of Orange County had their houses foreclosed on. They were all trying to live lifestyles that were well beyond their means and the gated community they lived in encourages this “keeping up with the Jones” mentality.

Most people who live in gated communities are not millionaires. The house is mortgaged to the max and the cars are all leased. They have no real assets and can’t do any investing because they spend every dollar they make buying depreciating toys to keep up with the couple next door who is trying to keep up with them. If the economy takes a downturn or something happens to their jobs, they’re toasted. And guess what? That’s exactly what happened.

After the massive bank bailout, the New York Times ran an article on how it was impossible for bankers to live on only $500,000 per year. This was the amount President Obama set as the top pay for banking executives whose firms accept government bailout money. Some of the costs of being a top-level New York banker include:

  • Private school: $32,000 a year per student
  • Mortgage: $96,000 a year
  • Co-op maintenance fee: $96,000 a year.
  • Nanny: $45,000 a year.
  • Taxes: $207,000

We’re already over $500K (assuming two kids in private school) and we haven’t included the other essentials like the summer home, car and driver, club memberships, personal trainer, personal assistant, wife’s clothing allowance (that’s going to cost!), dining out and food. Don’t be too impressed by someone just because he makes a lot of money. You can be broke at any level.

My advice: Don’t try to live the millionaire’s lifestyle. Live the Dot Com Lifestyle instead.

141 thoughts on “The Best Financial Advice I Ever Received”

  1. Refreshingly wonderful and simple advice. Modesty.
    Thank you.

    1. It’s hard to believe that the maintenance on a co-op in NYC is as much as the friggin mortgage, and a $96k mortgage at that.

    2. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy your anti-modesty sometimes:

      “John Chow, a damn fine person, friend of the community, Ultimate Fighting Championship contestant, member of the Save the Whales Foundation, the man who controls the black market on baby seal pelts and member of the “probably yo’ daddy” foundation”

      By the way, when did you meet my mama?

    3. David Ng says:

      Living a modest life is something better than living an extravagant one. At least you don’t have to worry about going bankrupt or worse people trying to kidnap you with a huge ransom in mind knowing you are well off.

      1. dotCOMreport says:

        Too true David! And this is one trait I have found consistent with those I’ve come across in Asia. You have extremely wealthy people and they live extremely modest lives. Definitely worth emulating.

        Thanks for these words of wisdom John.

    4. ikki says:

      simple but nice and useful advice

    5. This is so true! Keeping up with the Joneses will never get you anywhere. But I really like watching the Real Housewives. I’ve been watching the new Miami episodes and they are really good.

  2. Best post of the year. I totally agree with you. It’s all about investing into assets to ensure a lifetime of stable income… those are the smart people.

    I also get flack for driving a 2008 Honda CR-V… but I love it and don’t need anything else. I don’t need a 5000 square foot house or a golden toilet…

    Great stuff.

    1. John Chow says:

      “Best post of the year.”

      Considering it’s the start of the year, that’s not saying much. LOL 😀

      1. Hey John,

        Great advice about the importance of what you keep being much higher than what you make. I’ve gotten that advice too some years ago and it has helped a lot to pay attention to it.

        As for the best post of the year you are right asbout the yeasr not being more than a month old and therefore not a big reason to be impressed. But it may remain the best post of the year in the financial category.

        People keep talking and getting impressed by high incomes and want to make more money all the time. Whoever talks about the spending side and living within their means and investing before spending on unnecessary things?

        To find this kind of info on your blog is priceless.

      2. Haha – true, true. Either way good stuff. 😉

        1. ikki says:

          im agree, very good stuff

    2. John Rampton says:

      I totally agree. I switched from my BMW to a Focus to invest more money and I get made fun of all the time… I’m no Jonathan Volk but I do have a goal this year to make 20K/month! Almost there!

    3. Darren Rowse says:

      lol – we drive the same car! Actually ours might have been a 2007!

      1. Nice! Good car! 😉

    4. Kirk Taylor says:

      It is a fantastic post… one of the best I’ve read on a blog. Too bad he’s talking about me. I’m the guy that’s broke and driving a Ferrari, but I’ve got special circumstance.

      I paid cash for the Ferrari, but i used the title to secure a loan for a business that went under…. Should have never done that!

      1. ikki says:

        sure, very good post

  3. PPC Ian says:

    Amazing post! This is one of the best posts I have read on John Chow and I couldn’t agree more. It’s all about what you keep. I had no idea you were such a big investor and the fact that your investment income is approaching your blog income is truly amazing. I’d be super curious to learn more about your investment strategy in future blog posts. Thanks for sharing John, this is very consistent with my personal strategy and is amazingly motivating. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂
    All the best,

    1. John Chow says:

      You can credit the investing for the future thing to my wife. Whenever I feel the need to buy a Ferrari, she’s always there to keep me straight. 🙂

      1. That’s a wife’s job to keep their husbands away from luxury car dealerships.
        Ian you know that! 😉

        1. Yea, but what if you can afford one of those luxury cars?

      2. You’ve been good, have a cookie! (the ferrari)

  4. Jimvesting says:

    Haha loving the Wall Street plug Mr. Chow

    1. Did John mention any specific investments or Wall Street?

      1. John Chow says:

        I think he was referring to how much Wall Street bankers get paid.

        1. Jimvesting says:

          Right. Solid post by the way, it’s about time someone put wealth in relative terms.

  5. Ethan says:

    Usually your posts are useless rehashed crap but you finally wrote something really good.


    1. Ethan,

      Why do you read useless rehashed crap? Is that your hobby? I’d be interested to see what you write if anything besides trying to devalue the work of others.

      It would be a lot more tasteful to keep the crap talk to yourself. That way your comment about liking this particular post would have some value.

      1. Jimvesting says:

        Aren’t you technically doing the same thing to Ethan in this comment?

        1. Maybe in your eyes I am. Or it could be as lot more likely a cheap shot from you.

          I am inviting Ethan to comment further. If he thinks that John usually writes crap then he must read what John writes regularly.

          My question why he does it is legitimate isn’t it? Who in their right mind reads what he considers crap on as regular basis?

          I also said that I’d be interested in what Ethan writes himself. Maybe he’s an unusually talented guy.

          Coming to John’s blog and telling him that his posts are usually useless rehashed crap is not very tasteful.

          How was what I wrote the same thing?

          Use your brain a bit more.

      2. PPC Ian says:

        Most of the posts I read on John Chow are very informative. I don’t really think any of them are crap. This one, however, stands out from the rest. It’s a real gem.

    2. Fairooz says:

      Ethan, You didnt realize that actually you are the one posting rehashed crap! 😀

      If you find JohnChow’s blog as such a crap, Let’s see yours so that we can learn how to post some good crap 😛


      1. Hey Fairooz,

        Ethan, if he has a blog doesn’t have the guts to show it. More likely he has nothing though.

        But he has a defender in Jimvesting it seems.

  6. Singlesnet says:

    Good Post John!

    I have been following this method for a few years now too

  7. Rob Merlino says:

    John you are spot on! I have made my fair share of dough over the years, but I live in a fairly modest home, drive a 10 year old car (a convertible!) and don’t try to keep up with the Jones’. I live the same as I have for the past 15 years, through peaks and valleys of income. The only people I need to impress are my wife and children. People who go into debt to project an affluent lifestyle are morons.

    Congrats on your investment success. There’s nothing like a good nest egg to help you sleep at night!

  8. Right on the moneeyyy! Great Post

  9. Great post.

    It also reminds me of Mark Zuckerberg. He pretty much lives a laid back lifestyle & some people think he should be buying a mansion, have numerous cars, etc. Those are the type of people that let the money run through their hands like water & end up filing for bankruptcy soon after.

  10. Best post ever, right to the point! Investing your money into your biz and other passive incomes is the most important thing you can do.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      It’s all about passive income. 🙂

  11. Mika says:

    Thanks, very good post. It’s my strategy : i work in some company – salary i’ll invest in websites (i’m building two portals), affiliate marketing and blog. I work at books and i learn new things (mainly languages). When i’ll be self-supporting, i’ll quit the job and do only this what is my passion. I’m 23. Is it good strategy ?

    I’m sorry for off topic, but i don’t have someone to ask

    1. John Chow says:

      Sounds like a good strategy to me!

    2. Todd says:

      Hi Mika,

      Just reading your post and wanted to chime in. GREAT strat! Keep learning about everything. I started reading John’s Blog a year a ago. I still have my day job and have been studying like nuts:) Excited about a new site I am launching on February 28th. I will not be promoting it here. Not the venue. Learn what you can and stick too. I am not confident that the site I launch this month will be a success however I am having a blast putting it together. Having fun is important. Stay focused try and fail, learn and continue on. It is inevitable that you succeed.

      1. Mika says:

        Thanks guys, my motivation increase right now !

  12. John Rampton says:

    Great post, I totally agree with you. Live like no other so that you can live like no other. At the same time, I think spending money on same things is good!

  13. filmindir says:

    very nice post, thank you my friend…

  14. GTA 5 says:

    Hi John! Thanks a lot for sharing this great advice, it will help a lot to pay attention to it!

  15. Manspaugh says:

    As Dave Ramsey always says, “You have to live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.”

    Everybody else wants to live like they’re millionaires, when you could live now like you’re poor so later you can live like a millionaire! No wonder everybody’s in debt.

    Great post John!

  16. I totally agree with this post! I do decently well (not rich by any means) but I could afford a nicer vehicle. Instead, I drive a 2001 ford contour. It’s all I need. It has everything I really want in a vehicle. It drives well, has a heater and AC, and a radio. That’s about all I would use a car for anyhow.

    I’ve had people ask me, if you could drive anything you wanted, what would you drive? I just say I would save the money and spend it elsewhere instead of a ridiculous vehicle that is going to be worth near nothing in 10 years anyway.

  17. Craig White says:

    On Point! John,
    Low key, low budget, low profile, = Big Bank Account.
    The Bank officials had to justify everyone else’s loans so they could still get their’s.

    Great Post,

  18. Love the Dot Com lifestyle.

    1. Im going to live the Pho style from now on.

      1. Yea, but then you gotta eat large chunks of fatty pork. I’d rather eat healthy!

  19. Dan Lew says:

    I used to know guys that had $100k credit cards and maxed out on all this and was living on the edge, this happens far too much in the make the impression world, this is why I am happy with my current situation as well, I own my house and car is fully paid off, don’t have a flash car, but am not living beyond my means, I think long term, not short term. I can travel and work from home comfortably and do the things most people dream of.

    1. proper financial planning and not showing off is the vital thing.

      Earning is not a big thing but saving those earnings is tough thing when so many new gadgets and awesome club luxurious facilities are there.

      1. I look at it like this, if you can pay cash for it and don’t have debt, go for it!

  20. Jack says:

    Yes, the dot com lifestyle is the best!

    1. dot com lifestyle also helps you to earn more.

      So this one is the best by far.

  21. John says:

    Yes…. but…. come on John! We’re talking about a sofa here, not a new SUV or a vacation to Fiji islands. Anyone can afford buying a new sofa, let alone John Chow himself.

    1. John Chow says:

      It’s not so much the cost of the item that is important, it’s the mentality. You may see it as just a $500 sofa. I see it as 1.5 shares of Apple that I would need to give up.

      1. You have evolved as a businessmen John.

        And im liking it. I will be following your foot steps from now on

  22. Sue McDonald says:

    Hi John
    There is a lot of truth in this blog. The problem is probably everywhere in western society. Unlike the previous generations, who saved their money, we are now in the grip of “I want it now” and these people overextend themselves and find themselves facing bankruptcy.
    One of the greatest debt here in Australia is that of the credit card. People have more than one and use one to pay off the other. You see young people on TV stating that their credit card debt ranges anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 and have they got any assets to show for that – no or very few. It has been spent on having a good time. This is a great blog and I hope a lot of people take notice and learn from it.

  23. Todd says:

    Well said John.

  24. Donny Gamble says:

    This was a pretty good post John. I see that you are switching up your style a bit by using your creative juices

  25. Rich Kent says:

    Great post John. I used to live in Orange County and pretty much everyone who lives there is trying to live the millionaire lifestyle you speak of. Driving fancy (leased) cars, living in giant (mortgaged to the hilt) homes. Acting wealthy – and yet they’re all maxed out and broke. Most of the giant homes have empty rooms because people can’t even afford furniture!

    I finally got smart and decided that life isn’t for me. Moved out of California, Traded in my BMW for a Honda and have been much happier ever since!

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Wow! Rich, that’s a great story. Thanks for sharing. Very big decision that sounds like it really paid off for you!

  26. Russ Fye says:

    Great advice Mr. Chow! I love your blog…keep up the good work; I hope you win the couch!


  27. Excellent and sound financial advice there John. I work on blogging on these same principles on my blog all the time. 30K a Year Milionaires, man that would make a good t-shirt.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  28. W. K. Hayes says:

    The advice given here is right on the money. Having made friends with plenty of real millionaires, I have learned that simplicty is the best way to ensure having money today and tomorrow. Folks that worry about living beyond their means are now the ones having to learn how to live like poor people. As always, Mister Chow, your advice is impeccable and timeless.

    W. K. Hayes

  29. Great, great post! I made a lot of mistakes when I was in college. I was putting everything on credit. When I bought my first car, my credit line blew up. Clothes, nights out, food, and whatever else all went on credit. You name it, I did it. That definitely caught up to me, and let’s just say that I DON’T live like that anymore.

    Now, I’m finally tackling my debt. I don’t drive anything fancy (my car is 7 years old), but it’s all paid for. I’ll take no car payment than waste money to lease a Benz anyday! Someday, I’ll be able to buy that Benz in cash though 🙂

  30. James Clark says:

    Great post John. Warren Buffett is the best example of what you said. He still lives in his humble house in Omaha he bought in 1958.

  31. sud.l says:

    i think becoming a millionaire require a solid foundation.
    it is not an instant mindset.
    that’s the reason why so many real millionaires
    can maintain their lifestyle for long time
    when others can’t keep it beyond one year or two
    first club able to control their lifestyle
    while the second league is under control by their lifestyle

    whatever the sofa you’ll to get, gimme a picture of it. LoL


    how can you control your infolinks’ bubbles limited 2 pieces only?
    mine is more than 10 pieces. a thing that i do not like much.
    any advice?

    1. John Chow says:

      You can adjust the number of links that shows in your infolinks control panel.

      1. sud.l says:

        thank for the advice! – really appreciated!


  32. Such good advice, John! This one will stick in my memory.

  33. Kerwin says:

    Hiya John,

    Thanks for this post.
    Good stuff. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it, I say.
    I take the bus everywhere in my town, it saves me a ton of money, so I totally get it. I got my couch used from a friend who was throwing it out :-). It is now tattered, so I think I’ll enter that contest; watch out John :-).

    PS: There is a broken link from this blog post in the first paragraph. you link to:
    instead of:

    1. John Chow says:

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ve corrected the link.

    2. Fairooz says:

      i don’t find any difference in both of the links you provided! 🙁

  34. Ricky says:

    I knew there was a reason I follow your teaching because your are spot on. Now days people only think of themselves and how they measure up to the world view of what a millionaire should live like. It’s about freedom of lifestyle not keeping up with the Jones’.

  35. Dino Vedo says:

    Well I dont agree with having a lot of money and driving a crappy car, but I do I agree with investing in your business, thats a must.

    But if your rich I would rather not waste my time in doing contests and the likes, and would definitely live in a much better house and drive a expensive car, but thats just me 😉

  36. Great post John… I have a similar strategy. My websites are the cash machines that produce the cash flow. 10% of the monthly income is taken off before any bills are paid. Half of this 10% is invested in low risk investments and the other half in higher risk investments, like options. I learned this from Tony Robbins.

    I then pay the business and personal expenses from the 90% that is left over and usually there is some change, which tops up the higher risk investments.

    My Wife complains because she is the one who wants all the bling. She reckons I squeek when I walk because I am so tight. 🙂 We came from Zimbabwe to Australia so I have that “pay cash” mentality. She reckons I need more of an abundance mentality…

    I would also rather buy good quality shares like Apple, than pay off a car loan… But I suppose there should be a line in the sand somewhere that says okay you’ve got to this point, now go and buy that luxury car… I don’t know if I could bring myself to do it though!

    Ian McConnell
    Western Australia

  37. Darren Rowse says:

    One of the best things you’ve written John.

    Financial stability has more to do with what you spend than what you earn.

    I’ve had people over the years ask me why I don’t drive a better car, living in a better suburb, wear better brands etc too – but I guess ultimately for me it’s about living within my means – which for me means not only spending less than I earn but also about thinking about the future and using what we don’t spend in a way to produce income.

    Of course you can take this principle to the extreme where you never spend any of your money on nice things and live like a scrooge – for me it’s about balancing things. We try to enjoy life by taking some good holidays, eating out in a nice place from time to time etc without going over the top.

    Of course not everyone has the luxury of being able to earn enough to invest – but many people could certainly cut down spending.

    1. Hey Darren,

      I like your approach. There’s no point in being a scrooge but driving a decent reliable car to me is not that much different from driving a ferrari. Staying in a nice clean hotel room is not that much different to staying in a luxury suite.

      I’ve tried it and while it’s fun to use the most expensive things it’s not THAT much more fun.

      I think that most people are more worried about appearances than about what makes the most sense.

      I sometimes marvel at how people who have so much more money than me are even more frugal.

      I highly respect it.

    2. Living within your means, or below your means is really the way to do it. Then when you have a nice pay day on some project or have an affiliate marketing campaign that really makes bank, you can donate to a worthy charity and then treat yourself.

  38. Keith says:

    You are so correct, and it is making me take advantage of your offer of free blog. Thanks John!

  39. Peter says:

    Great post, I couldn’t agree more. Why spend a bunch of money on things you don’t need, just to impress people that you’ll probably never see again and don’t even know!

    Thomas J. Stanley’s book, the Millionaire next door talks a lot about the mindset that millionaires have, and it’s surprising just how frugal true millionaires really are. They live in an average $300,000 home, they drive a Ford pickup and enjoy eating out at a local joint, not a fancy restaurant. True, there are some of what he calls the “glittering rich” who truly do have the nicest of everything, but they’re the minority. Most millionaires live below their income, invest, save and give more than most people do. They don’t live to impress, they live to enjoy the things they enjoy -and they are also generous to a fault.

    Glad to know you’re living the lifestyle of a true millionaire!

  40. Andrew says:

    This is most certainly true. I know people who earn less than I do, yet they have a desire to have all the latest technological equipment including the latest iPhone, and iPad, and all those pieces of technology that are nice to have, but not necessarily a need to have.

    That is how I decide what I purchase, I put it into one of two groups, Needs and Wants. If it is something I desire, but won’t actually need to live, it fits into the wants category, and I will only purchase it once my Needs column is empty, and I have excess cash.

  41. Cheryl Jones says:


    That was very well written about living within your means.

    I had no idea of those costs as I don’t live that lifestyle. It’s amazing someone could not make it on $500K per year, but I can see why.

    While we’re talking about that, Obama couldn’t either. His trip to India alone cost quite a bit more, as did Michelle’s trip to Spain.

    “After the massive bank bailout, the New York Times ran an article on how it was impossible for bankers to live on only $500,000 per year. This was the amount President Obama set as the top pay for banking executives whose firms accept government bailout money.”

    Is it a case of the pot calling the kettle black?


  42. Flip says:

    Great post! I like your quote “It’s not how much you make but how much you keep!” There are so many people out there who make loads of money and are in a huge amount of debt because they still spend more than they earn. A lot of people are living beyond their means these days.

  43. I loved reading this post of John.

    Now i know why im not happy with my life. Im making good money but im spending all of it and that’s where im wrong.

    Im going to do exactly like you

    Wish me luck

  44. Derek says:

    Great post John,

    I couldn’t agree more… save, save, save.


  45. Juan says:

    I love this post, VERY Humbling to anyone with the wrong ideas about living.

    It really doesn’t matter how much money you make.

    No matter how much money you make, you will never become rich or wealth unless you learn and understand pure knowledge and wisdom. Money is power that people in THIS world use to get by. Most people in THIS world are powerless so they use the power of money to persuade and get by in life.

    I personally, am truly enlightened. meaning I can see what many can not see.
    I see the light there for is enlightenment .

    Be Blessed Everyone!

  46. I really liked the article, it resembles what happened to me some time ago. I used to be a $30k Millionaire and got stock in debt pretty fast. I’m still paying off some of it 🙁

  47. Great article John! I also agree with Darrens comment regarding balance.

  48. Well, I have never been that lofty with my finances in that I needed personal trainers, maids, etc. Could not even afford a personal trainer, which I probably need – lol.

    I understand how people get caught up in “the keeping up with the Jones” mentality when they are making a good chunk of cash. But, as mentioned, most are living “leveraged lives”. That party ended in 08 and most people are still suffering from the hangover.

    I know of a particular individual (as most people probably do these days) who lost just about everything. Bought a second house and mortgage. All terrain vehicles and whatever he could – or could not afford – with his well paying job. Between him and his wife, I think their combined high salary was about 280,000 dollars. Leveraged to the hilt.

    Well, he lost his job. His mortgage payments were unsustainable. Then, they foreclosed on both his houses and took away all of his toys. He is doing better now and just got another job but not at the salary anywhere near what he use to make. But, the lesson was learned, albeit an expensive one. You just can’t be reckless with your spending. Very simply, live within your means.

    This post reminds me a bit of the book “The Millionaire Next Door” By Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko – The Surpising Secrets Of America’s Wealthy”.

    From the book ….

    “In the course of our investigations, we discovered seven common denominators among those who successfully build wealth.. The Seven Factors….

    1) They live well below their means..

    2) The allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conducive to building wealth.

    3) They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status..

    4) Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care..

    5) Their adult children are economically self-sufficient..

    6) The are proficient in targeting market opportunities..

    7) They chose the right occupation..

    Nuff said….

    Robert C – The Wholesale List Guy

  49. Carlos says:

    Great post John. Most people at school always wondered why I worked full time, and balanced a full time schedule. They asked why I didn’t load up with loans, and have fun while in school. Like you I was more worried about walking out debt free, and investing some of it. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  50. Delphinoy says:

    TIP: Just make sure that your income is always higher than your expenses.

  51. fas says:

    Agreed investments are important but if you dont spend on what you like, whats the use of all that money?

  52. Sylvan says:

    Hello John;
    Excellent Post, We all need to hear messages like this one. Let’s not forget to tithe our income. tithing and giving should be done cheerfully and not under compulsion. It’s a matter of the heart.!
    Thank Again John.

    Blessings to Your Family & Yourself

  53. Hey John, that is a great principle with regards to money, eh. Making money is not that important compared to keeping money. Definitely, a very good advice to be frugal and not be in debt. Thank you much.

  54. Fairooz says:

    Wow! John,
    Another amazing post, as usual. Loved it!

  55. AM says:

    Hey John,
    i like your concept of passive income and this post is exaclty about that. I already read some of the concepts in your ebook,Dotcomlifestye.

    1. Fairooz says:

      I Definitely agree with you friend!

  56. ZPTsotetsi says:

    WoW, great post John. what you talking about is true. this is what happens to most of us, we are living a life that is more than our income.

    1. Fairooz says:

      Yes, You are absolutely correct! 🙂

  57. Togrul says:

    Great post John,

    you are reading my mind as I’ve always been quite strict on such things.
    I agree too that this is one of the best articles on your blog.


    P.S. BTW, I had to scroll a long way down till I got to my spot on the comments. I like how people reacted to this post though 🙂

  58. That is sound advice and quite important as well, I guess it is the easy access to finance and that fact that most of it happens with such ease and making people uncomfortable, that it really doesn’t bothers people, till they fail to make payments and have to deal with collection agents.

  59. Leigh says:

    Not to knock your article…. but you spent close to $500 on a rice cooker a while back.
    I think you can afford a couch:)

    But the advice is good.

    We have a web business and didn’t keep any of the cash in the past and we learned this lesson the hard way. You need a crow bar to get money out of our hands now. Keep most of your money honey!!! It is hard to do but it can be done.

    BUT, only if you are actually making money. There are people out there that can’t keep the extra income because they struggle to make money for food. My heart goes out to these people because times are only getting tougher on the poor. Especially women and children.

    I hope you are remembering to give to charity as well in your budget.
    To whom much is given, much is required.

    God Bless,

  60. Harry says:

    Substance of this post is sound advice. If you live like a millionaire, even as a millionaire it’s probably going to be unfulfilling and make a dent in ur account balance.

    However this “The only problem is, the debt will eventually catch up to them and that’s when it’ll all come crashing down. This was what caused the US financial meltdown. Too many people were spending more than they make and leveraging their debts to the hilt.” is slightly wrong.

    The US meltdown was (in part) caused by the banks failing to verify people’s income on their loans. The banks have been around a long time and they know that it’s the difference between almost 0% chance of default instead of 50%+ chance. Those loans then went through the credit rating agencies and were stamped AAA, claiming they were almost 0% chance of default. Those loans were then sold onto other institutions as AAA grade loans, the banks then took out shorts (bets) that the people they sold them to would lose share value. Science fiction?

  61. Dan Iuculano says:


    Your recent post on “Best Financial Advice” is the corner stone to my financial practice as Certified Financial Planner. Having been in practice since 1983 I can tell you from experience that most consumers spend far more than they should on “personal stuff”.
    Your possessions will control your life , your ability in the future will depend on what you buy today and will greatly impact your retirement years.

  62. Best blog post I’ve read in the last 12 month.
    Could you give an indication in what things you invest?

  63. Ros says:

    I agree entirely with John. I also think that many of the “nouveau riche” spend their money to show off which is a sure indication of low self-esteem and so it follows that, if the money disappears, they will feel empty and insecure. You have to pity them really! By the way, I got 2 free perfect leather sofas recently, just because I was someone’s friend. Bargain!

  64. boy i must say that title of this post is killer.

    Any one would like to open at least to read it.

    1. Theresa says:

      Crack me up ZK that’s exactly my thought – who could pass up a title like that?!

      And then to learn that oh boo-hoo someone can’t make it on a half million dollars a year. My heart bleeds for them… not!

      Live in the ‘burbs and take the train, pay your employees more, and start hiring! Now that would be a wise investment.

      As for your advice John, I totally agree! Limit or eliminate debt (no I’m not selling anything LOL), have liquidity, and put some away for that “old age rainy day.”

      (Oh btw, came via Twitter)

  65. Dimitris says:

    Damn investing…
    People are getting more sceptical everyday here about that part of money making. Especially here in the small Greek market that is easy to manipulate by international and local giant trusts and the ingoing crisis.
    Maybe with some appropriate knowledge about options and so on things might get a but more solid but stil…
    Anyway, I find that real estate can be a much more solid investment, at least for those who are not in the upper layers of investing in terms of available capital.
    Even a morgage is a kind of investment if it is made on a solid and logical basis (not buying the biggest house you can temporarily afford).
    There is however an upper limit to that too. The state can become routhless with taxation. I guess it is also a matter of the local market and situation as well.

  66. Hi John; “rather be a pauper and live like a king,than be a king and live a pauper”. Guess its a matter of choice and on what people subscribe to. Like politics, once grand lifestyle gets into one’s system , it sticks and real hard to kick off. Personally, I choose being a King and remaining a king up to the end. I like your style and philosophy,John ! More power to you !

  67. The best advice I got: Spend less than you make. You would never get into debt.

  68. Kirk Taylor says:

    While I know some of you are serous about what you say, many of you have never had enough income to know how to be a broke millionaire and given the chance, would end up being what you criticize others for being.

    I admire the fact that John and Darren live the lives they claim to live, I’m sure there are others, but most of you are going to make me puke with all the BS comments that are flying around.

    You don’t get people to read your stuff when you constantly agree with others. Be real, and you’ll get people interested in what you have to say!

  69. A very fine advice. One can not be perfect at everything. You had glitches in the financial field, and someone gave you the best point there.

  70. I have a friend whose father is in the three figure millionaire club.. He started and was CEO of a large business through the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and is now retired. He once said to me: “I spent my entire life working 18 hour days, spending all my time to make money. Now I spend all my money trying to make time”

  71. Amazing article John! I really enjoyed, i´ve read the Robert Kiyosaki´s books and what you say it´s true!

    Thanks a lot!

  72. Alex says:

    this is the first post I am reading on your blog and I am impressed. This is something my father told me since I was 7 years old, but I am understanding it just right now (I am 21 now). My neighbours are buying every week some new stuff like designer clothes, but I know they are really broke and cannot afford it. One should better be happy with things he is already owning than buying stuff one does not really need. Why should I invest in a new playstation if this investment will distract me from my online business work? It is better to buy quality food or to reinvest money to passive income sources than to spend all the money on fu**in luxury, youre right man!

    Excuse me for bad english,
    All my best from Germany

  73. Fred Tracy says:

    This is profound. I watched the dot com lifestyle video and almost cried. That’s awesome.

  74. papabear says:

    How to apply for a Nanny job in New York? They made more money that I… LOL! Nice post John!

  75. Helen says:

    Hi John,

    What a great reminder for those $30K millionaires. I am sure there are a lot peope who live beyond they mean everyway. There is my question I post on the wall to remind everyone walk through the door. ” Where Does Your Money Go?” It ‘s not about how much you make, it’s what you do with it that counts.
    I never make big money in my life, I live comfortablely because my mom have shown us when I was very young age. She used to go to wholesale to buy grocery and household items. Every penny counted, they do grow over period of time……….

    Thank again for the great reminder…….

    Gong Xi Fa Cai


  76. This is so true, and not only in the US. Those who show off the most are never the true millionaires. Which makes us think if Kiyosaki actually has that much money, being a Porsche collector and all.

  77. xueyunfeng says:

    This is so true, and not only in the US.

  78. Energia says:


    This is the most easy tip you could give to your readers.

    You teach how to make money online and people work hard to try to follow what you say and may be with low progress and a few result in short term. But in the other hand if all of us just follow what you wrote here we can start “making” money imediatelly.

    Great Post!

  79. Wasim Ismail says:

    Thanks for the advice, dot com life style is definitely the one, its more about freedom, you can have all the money in the world, but no freedom, so you cant enjoy it, on the other hand, you can work all your life, and not have enough money. You need to be content with what you have, and enjoy every day the way you want.

  80. Great advice! Just catching up. I know a lady that in her 80s drives a VW Golf, shovels her walks, cleans her own modest $250,000 home and is worth several millions. She picks up a penny when she sees it and believes that for every luxury she enjoys she should give something to the poor. She does so happily…Good advice from smart people….

  81. ikki says:

    you are right

  82. Jacky says:

    Good Article! My own philosophy is “Save like an Asian, Innovate like an American…” – I think being brought up myself in a middle class home helps…with more conservative spending habits ends up helping you out in the long run… all we need is someone like that running the Fed, and we’re set =)

  83. Thanks for sharing – such simple, but very true advice! I have seen one too many a “wealthy” person end up with absolutely nothing by doing exactly what you’ve mentioned here – spending more than they were earning… so important to think long-term, rather than the short-term pleasure or “image” that too often takes over people today.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  84. Very good points. But why be a millionaire if you don’t spend it?

  85. This is a hot topic that concerns young people and as well as people over the age of 40. You NEED a budget! Every business or individual needs a budget. Hire an accounter if possible. Your expenses are huge because you make a lot of money but if you don’t manage them well, you won’t get to keep a single cent at the end of the year.

  86. Your preaching to the choir, I used to make $140,000 a year and didn’t have 2 nickles to rub together. I make half of that now but have 90% more cash on hand to do whatever I want. Remember, there are no winners in the race to impress people, only broke stressed out wanna- bees.

    1. yes that was the main message behind his post. It doesn’t mean you are rich that you spend your money well. It’s all about spending it well.

  87. Neon SRT4 says:

    This is the best financial advice i have ever seen. Thanks for the Post.

  88. This is Excellent Post. Looks Like, you have received an excellent advice.

  89. Design Flyer says:

    Living life in a dot com style gives you peace of mind and I think its far better..

  90. i will share this information on my website. good post.

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