In Nobody Wants a Million Dollars, Dan Holt poses a theory we don’t often hear from anyone—he doesn’t want a million dollars! Could you guess by the title of the book? When I first read the title, I thought it could be an interesting twist on the normal desire to have buckets of money. After reading the introduction, I quickly realized Holt’s thinking behind his title.
Holt shared a story about a couple who made a direct decision to accumulate $1,000,000 in as soon as possible. When this couple made accumulating a million dollars their primary goal in life, they put other things on hold: home-ownership, the big screen TV, and even a family. Holt makes the point that if you drive hard enough and choose a different lifestyle, any one can accumulate a million dollars. I would totally agree! If you put your mind to it anyone could obtain a million dollars. In this day and age it really isn’t that hard. The question Holt asks is what’s more important. Watching your bank account grow to seven-figures, or living a more comfortable lifestyle with a family and a nice home?
Live within your means – comfortably
Holt quickly starts the book off by sharing some basic concepts of living within your means, but living comfortably. What he means is a lifestyle where you take on the debt of having children and being a home owner. These debts can suck your money dry, but it’s the lifestyle Holt chose for himself and discusses how most people would rather be happy than rich. Now that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t accept a million dollar check, but Holt will not make it a life goal to obtain a million dollars.
I enjoyed the first part of the book with the personal stories and testimonies of how Holt changed some areas in his life where he learned not to lust for a million dollars. There are some basic concepts for setting a budget, getting out of debt, and other financial tools sprinkled throughout the book. I didn’t see much new insight into these areas—especially if you listen to or have read anything by Dave Ramsey, who Holt mentions several times. There are some great stories of investing your money wisely to help for things down there road including college, buying a home, saving for retirement, and a nice section on living in retirement.
My favorite parts about this book were the great stories which really helped drive Holt’s point across. Maybe that’s because I’m a sucker for stories and really get excited when I see other people succeed, but still a great tool! In almost every section, Holt tells a story of how easily you could succeed if you showed some self-control!
Overall, Holt did a great job making some complex topics easy to understand. The stories made the book easy and enjoyable to read, while covering some great topics and helping us understand “money is tool, not a goal.”