The Automatic Millionaire Workbook is the follow up to Personal Finance Guru David Bach’s best-selling the Automatic Millionaire. Both books cover the same material, with the workbook providing exercises to evaluate your financial situation and implement your personal plan.
Bach’s anecdotes about his clients’ success stories are motivating and I agree with his concepts, though I think some are better suited for people who have “settled down”. If you’re like me, moving and changing jobs every couple of years, it’s a bit trickier to put all your bills, savings, and investments on autopilot. What worked one month may not the next.
Bach’s advice can be summed up as: find and eliminate your “latte factor”, pay yourself first, make it automatic, and own your home.
Bach has trademarked the “latte factor”, but economists have been onto this principle for years. Basically, tiny purchases you make everyday, such as coffee, cigarettes, or candy bars, seem diminutive, but over time add up to staggering amounts. Eliminating these daily costs is an important step toward long-term wealth.
Pay yourself first is taking money from every paycheck, for retirement and an emergency fund, before you pay a single bill. Making it automatic is the use of payroll deductions or previously-scheduled electronic bank transfers to save and pay debts before you see a single penny in your checking account. I have been using this for a few months and have already been impressed with how much faster I am paying off my credit card. Though the monthly amount I am paying hasn’t changed, I no longer skimp out on a payment some months because something else came up that I used the money for.
Finally, Bach insists that everybody should own their home. Again, it’s hard to disagree with him here, but for many young professionals home ownership is so far away it’s almost laughable. Certainly it is a good reminder of an important long-term goal.
I would recommend both the Automatic Millionaire Workbook or the Automatic Millionaire for anybody looking for a system to simplify the difficult task of getting out of debt and saving for retirement, with the understanding that the younger you are, the less you may be able to implement right away.