Millionaires Next Door Live Below Their Means

My wife’s read all of Thomas J. Stanley’s works and I’ve been following his daughter’s work at DataPoints.  As you’d imagine, their project brings a data-driven approach to wealth creation using various tools and analytics. A recent blog post caught my attention because it described the key traits of “wealth accumulators.”

  • Spending less than they earned
  • Having a long-term outlook on their financial future
  • Maintaining sound financial records
  • Keeping up with financial markets
  • Saving regardless of income level

We’ve gotten much better at all those behaviors and it really started when we began to track our spending. Once you’ve got a grasp of what’s out-of-whack, it’s a lot easier to cut back. Eating out is usually a good one to identify. Take those expenses and set a budget. We use Mint for all of that and it’s become addictive! Once you have enough data stored, your trends emerge and then setting budgets are simple because the tool helps you see what you’ve spent so you can adjust accordingly.

The Chinese Lead On Climate?

This seems pretty accurate. Sad!

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Things Aren’t Always Rosy In Cities

We hear a lot about cities and how much they contribute to GDP and innovation but there’s more to it than just business serendipity and hangouts for the Creative Class. Derek Thompson wrote a good piece on what’s happening in New York and what it says about larger trends.

“Urban planners and economists focused on creativity and networks have been singing the praises of the city-living since the Great Recession (or, perhaps, since forever). But local housing policy, limited family finances, and American geographical abundance—not to mention the pro-rural laws of U.S. representative government—are powerful centrifugal forces that push Americans ever-outward into suburbs with lawns, trucks, and cul de sacs. The last decade was a dream. It’s 2006, again.”

Testing Out The Nissan LEAF

One of our cars is crawling along these days and though we we’re not excited about buying another vehicle, we are excited about what type of vehicle it will be. Yes, you guessed it, an electric!  After years of researching, a few drives here and there, and much advocacy, we’re planning to dive in head first.

Since we haven’t bought a car in years, there’s a lot of ground to cover. And adding in the electric vehicle (EV) component arguably compounds the legwork required to make sure we getting a good deal and minimizing obsolescence.  The search got underway in Albany, NY when I drove a Nissan Leaf.  In short, I was really impressed with how it handled. It felt like a solid car without all the noise and rumbling of a combustible engine — something you have to experience to appreciate.  We’ve been looking for a used one in Upstate NY but not seeing too much inventory.  I’ll have more updates soon.