Here's a local TV News segment on a local couple who have learned to live within their means. How?
Driving older, paid-for cars; eating at home; paying off credit cards, and perhaps most important of all: saving money.
Good for them -- exactly the sort of "pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps" recipe I recommend to my clients.
Watch the video for the financial experts -- one of whom cautions that we shouldn't go too far with this sort of thing. (Hah! What nonsense. Take care of your family first; the economy will take care of itself.)
It made me think of a book I listened to a couple years ago entitled, The Millionaire Next Door.
In that book two academics systematically studied the habits of real millionaires around the country and found that by and large, they lived VERY frugal lives -- driving older cars, not borrowing money, saving, and not living ostentatiously. Nelson Bunker Hunt - the silver speculator and billionaire was famous for flying coach (first class was too expensive, he thought). More recently, Warren Buffet is also known for his very frugal lifestyle.
Want to be rich? It's pretty simple. Do as the rich do. Don't borrow money. Don't waste money. Most important of all: save, save, save.
Want to be poor like everyone else? Just keep doing what you're doing.
Kudos to Scott Thompson, the NewsOn6, and of course, the Ball family.