The Automatic Millionaire

ISBN: 0385661495
ISBN 13: 9780385661492
By: David Bach

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Reader's Thoughts

Diana Bogan

I guess in principle I agree with the steps in this book. I've cut out all "extras" as in, no dining out, no extracurricular activities for the kids, and the biggest accomplishment NO Credit Card debt. But I don't own a home and I still live dollar to dollar with no hope of "paying myself first" into an early retirement. As a writer and editor based in FL I've never been paid a wage I can live off of let alone save off of - not even a penny's worth of wiggle room. I bought the book years ago, when it came out in Hardcover and Bach was making rounds on Oprah and Today. While I am free of credit cards, I'm still nowhere near becoming an "automatic millionaire." Not that I necessarily strive for millions, but having a savings account might be nice.

Leah Nadeau

Best way to not have to be disciplined and budgeted is to make everything automatic. If it's automatic you don't have to think about it and it's just running in the background. Even saving 5% of your pay will make a huge difference in the end.


I have read this book several times since it was published. I like its simplicity. It is 200 pages, but I took notes on the important principles and I was able to boil everything down onto one page. None of the ideas or concepts are new, but this book does give readers some insights into how one might go about putting these principles into action. This book and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover are probably the best two resources in terms of 1) learning about personal finance and 2) putting a plan in place to address most folks money problems.


Unabashedly basic. You could easily learn this information from some good personal finance blogs. And the tone is overly condescending.

Migelle Dominic

I chose the guidebook, "The Automatic Millionaire: A Pwerful One-Step to Live and Finish Rich" by David Bach, because I'm the type of person that plans ahead for the future. To be able to predict what'll happen and to be independent, supporting myself such as being financially stable. The story includes the Mcintyres, an ordinary looking family that were actually well off into their retirement for a permanent vacation. They benefited from David's lessons to become an automatic millionaire and they are set for life while they are still in their 50's. They are only one of many, and it's many more that were impacted by David Bach to be financial wise, be richer and enjoy life worry-free. "The idea was identical. If we saved a few dollars a day, we could eventually buy our own home." It seems simple enough, but the power to be dedicated and have enough sheer will power to do so challenged me to try it and I'll be looking forward to how much I invested. It's the idea that money we spend on little things like coffee and cigarettes shouldn't be wasted and should rather be saved for a better benefit than taking in dose of essentials every now and then. The words the author used were very demanding, but also encouraging,it wasn't all too confusing and was very straight forward. The words used was leveled for young-adult readers. I would recommend this book to anyone in general, it wouldn't hurt anyone to gain money, depending how much. The point is, with the lessons learned from this book, anyone can become an automatic millionaire.


Great book. Everything he talks about is really common sense. If you just invest 15% (give or take), you'll be well off in your retirement. The key is to automate it, so you don't 'see' how much you're 'losing'. It's very informative too, he gives you actual details on how to do what and where to go for it. I highly recommend this to people of all ages, but especially people in their 20's and 30's.

C.J. Graves

I'd read many other personal finance books before this one. Something you learn after a while is--they all have the same basic information in them.Pay yourself firstLive below your meansSavePut your money in the right investments for your situationyadayadayadaWhat made this book different was the "automatic" concept. Not that other books don't tell you to set up automatic payments as well, it's just not the central concept, and I believe it's a crucial component for people to understand if they want to get ahead without sabatoging themselves. Once you set up an automatic withdrawl from a bank account to be deposited automatically into an investment, well, it's hard to change that. This is a good book for those wanting to learn some simple strategies to guard against the old "money burns a whole in my pocket" excuse. I've given this book as a gift and would recommend it to my friends.

Andy Valen

It couldn't be any easier to save for retirement, or save in general. This truly is a one step why is the book 200 pages? Because one page books don't sell. Read this as your only David Bach book, because his other ones are just rehashing the same thing without the automatic part. The Latte Factor is interesting...if you buy a Latte from starbucks every work day for a year, you should stop. You should invest that money in an account and yield 10% interest on it annually. If you are in your 20's then this should add over a half million to your retirement (if you ignore taxes). But his point was more along the lines of, look - you spend so much moneyon crap you don't need to be spending it on...stop wasting it and start investing it.


I'm a bit of a personal finance nerd, and I love budgeting, being frugal, and paying off debt. I tackled my consumer debt after returning home from a teaching job in Japan, and in about 2 1/2 years paid off about $20K thanks to Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. Between those two, I had all the motivation/information I needed and diligently dug myself out of my B.S. money ways while working full time and going to grad school full time (for free, thanks to my employer- hence the full time work thing).This long winded introduction had a point... oh, yes. So I saw this book on my mentor teacher's shelves, and my other mentor teacher uses it for her LA IV class, and I decided to check it out to compare to other finance books I had read. All in all, I think it's a solid book. The "automatic" in the title doesn't refer to the timeline of achieving millionaire status, but rather the method of becoming a millionaire by automating all of one's bills so that one doesn't miss the money being diverted into retirement accounts and savings funds and debt payoff. I fully agree with this principle, because humans are in general terrible at wishy washy things like "Motivation" and "Willpower". I believe these are myths. Accept that you don't have the wherewithal to diligently get money and give away 1/3 of it every month to boring adult things like 401K's and credit card payoffs, and just make it automatic so you never see it/never miss it. If people only followed this one bit of advice and were complete nincompoops with investing I think it would serve them well.Did I learn anything new? No, but nothing in personal finance is truly new and groundbreaking- we all know we should avoid debt, save for retirement, and not fritter away our money on credit card fees and interest, but most people still do it. So there needs to be 31 flavors of personal finance information out there so that people can find what makes them sit up and finally pay attention to basic adult skills of financial responsibility. I think this book would be a great starting point that is more nuanced than Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and less New Age-y than "Your Money or Your Life". It's straightforward, easy to read, detailed without getting dense, and makes something very overwhelming seem manageable.

Raphael Aquino

Ended up almost regreting I read this book. The first few things in this book as a lot of people have said on here are good. Pay yourself first and do everything you can to get out of debt. After that the book just seems to go on and on about the same pay yourelf first theme. I'm not blaming the book or saying that the author was wrong but, I wonder how many people bought a home a few years ago after reading this book and now regret that they did? 401K's are looking more and more like social security every day and I guess "do everything slowy step by step until the day you retire" is a good commen sense tip but, the age to retire might continue to rise and this book doesn't factor in the cost of living for some people in certain parts of the country. I have a rule and it's "whatever you see the majority doing when it comes to how they spend or invest their money, it's probably best to do the opposite. This book seems to tell everyone that everything is fine when you put your money all in the same pot. It'll just be waiting for you when everything is said and done.


Fast read on finances, but really the same message drilled in over and over: automate your finances. Automate your retirement, automate your credit card payments, automate your tithing (I have to admit I didn't finish the last chapter). It's a no-brainer book nowadays. Who doesn't automate these? Really helpful chart though that I did print out on how starting saving earlier can not only make you more via compound interest, but it involves less principle paid in. This information doesn't help me now, but it's good for me to show visuals to my kids. I'd love to start them off on the right financial footing, and it seems investing their teenaged-year-jobs wages is one of the most prominent methods to secure this.

Molly Murphy

Put financial savings as a priority. This book was a great motivator and teaches you strategies to find money to save and how to put it on autopilot.


Basic information about money presented through some of the most contrived stories I've ever heard. I won't say that the information is wrong, but it isn't really groundbreaking either. The book might be aimed more at people who really are clueless about finances, because most of this is already in practice for me. Maybe I'm just ahead of the curve.

Dora McFadden

This was a good book but honestly its a lot of common sense. The reality to being a good saver is to use good judgement. But the author does make some good points about how in the long run when you buy your daily cup of coffee from any place $2 a day over decades adds up fast and you could have saved yourself a couple hundred grand. When you think of the little things at that perspective you think twice about "the latte factor". He has good points on investing in your 401K and IRAs. Plus the concept of paying yourself first. Its something that after the first read I think you can skim over every three to five years to "refresh" your goals and get yourself back on tract.


A very easy quick read with large type. The few ideas in it are very good, pay yourself first, eliminate debt, buy a house, automate everything, the Latte Factor to help people budget, setting up an emergency, and giving charity. There is also a fair amount of information on how to get started in these ideas, but overall this book could have been condensed considerably. I think I would like to automate more than I currently do, and it has inspired me to track my spending to see where I could save more, if I’m spending too much on certain things I don’t really need. The house chapter is very worthwhile, but doesn’t apply to me now, and for now I consider my parents to be my emergency fund. I do like the chapter encouraging charity which I would like to further do. I don’t think there is enough solid information about how to allocate your assets, but this is more of a starter book to get you headed in the right way rather than a finance book.

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