No home debt, no credit card debt, cars both paid for and haven't bought a car on time in 30 years. We bought the house on a 15 year mortgage and paid it off in 12 and haven't looked back.
you CAN do it. You just have to live like those millionaires a few others have described -- never buy new cars, use a timex watch, eschew frivolities (except Leicas) and never waste money on cable TV or "smart" phones that cost you $150 a month.
oh yeah, and I'm a journalist, and my wife, when I married her, was a welfare mother.
If I wanted to invest my money I certainly wouldn't buy photographic equipment with it.
That's a great story about your Uncle! What an amazing gentleman. Just FYI he *can* get film for his polaroid land camera unless it's one of the very old ones that takes roll film. Fuji makes the pull-apart film and the Impossible project makes the pop out (integrated?) film. It's folks like your Uncle is what makes me so angry when politicians say that they "didn't build that" or want to raise taxes on them.
9 __ 9
One becomes wealthy by investing his money, but not on Leicas or any such thing.
Pretend you're poorer than you are, save your money, then invest it. Don't do anything stupid, like buying a new car with a loan. Never borrow a nickle for anything other than a home. You will end up wealthy.
In the past I've posted links to different pages of Dave Ramsey's website because he teaches a pattern of behavior that will enevitably result in you dying quite wealthy and provide a solid financial base for your children, and maybe even your grandchildren. People may be turned off by his emphasis on Christianity. Having grown up in a god-fearing home, but being extremely backslid, I am completely comfortable around those people. While he claims to be teaching Christian principles of personal finance, it's really more Old Testament Isrealite - how the Jews survived thousands of years in a hostile environment. I am enthusiastic about him because my wife (who can squeeze a nickel until the indian is riding that buffalo) and I operated his plan for years before he did. We learned it from our parents. It works. I stumbled on his radio show one day and heard a man telling people to live the way we lived, a way we had been ridiculed for. Funny, but nobody ridicules any more us as we close in on a million dollar net worth.
Income isn't what makes people wealthy as much as outgo keeps them from saving money. We tend to keep up with the Jonses. As an ancient Jones, I try to make that easy, but people persist in wasting money on large screen TVs, cell phones with cameras and GPS, video games, dinners out, and other money sponges. Most of these don't enhance the quality of life, but they do keep us from really living. Henry Thoreau may have overdone the basic lifestyle at Walden Pond, but it certainly beat going into debt for unnecessary baggage. Many Americans learned how to make do with nearly nothing in the 1930s. It was a tough time, but it made tough people who could teach their descendants much.