Be a True Austrian Whiz Kid

By: Julian Hassan

Here are some average Americans who became millionaires by planning for their retirement. Anyone can have a fulfilling life working behind the scenes while saving through thrift and a grasp of sound economics. Thrift is the virtue of being prudent and economical about money, which was a social asset in the era of the American founding, unlike the social disapproval that thrift-stores or a discount lifestyle often attract today. What do all these millionaires have in common?

  • They keep a budget every month and stick to the budget.
  • Use cash or debit instead of credit.
  • Get out of student debt as soon as possible by saving.
  • Buy used cars without costly payments. They pay in cash and trade-in when they can afford to pay the difference in cash.
  • Stay in smaller homes and forsake the “bigger, better” mentality. They pay for the house in cash or get a good mortgage by putting 20% down in cash.
  • Contribute to their retirement accounts the maximum amount allowed each year by skimping on movies, restaurants, travel, and other costly forms of recreation.
  • Realize that small sacrifices now allow them to live exceptionally later.
  • Give generously to others since they are unburdened by debt.

Feel like you have to work on Wall Street in order to become wealthy in your lifetime? Think again. While student loans are an albatross around the necks of millenials, our current economic situation doesn’t have to define us like Marx thought. You can work behind the scenes, in a classroom, a small business, or a non-profit, pro-liberty group in Washington.

Keynes may have smeared super savers as greedy hoarders who hurt the economy, but Austrian economics tells us that the only way to create wealth and help our society progress is to save responsibly for the future, take risks and invest in future production.

Notice that CNN lists a government worker as one of the thrifty, millionaire savers. No one has to live like any of these people or aim to become a millionaire, but don’t be the libertarian who can’t save. Our ideas already place us closer on the track towards happiness and well-being, but integrity goes a long way in keeping us motivated throughout our lives and careers.

It’s a struggle and it’s not easy, but I’m going to try to save more next month. Paid internships provide modest means, but they allow us to build useful work skills and good money habits. Or if you’re working an unpaid internship with a liberty friendly organization or congressman, you can jumpstart your savings by applying for our internship grants, which help offset the outrageous cost of living in the Washington D.C. area. Saving is the true indication of real wealth, not spending. Be a true Austrian whiz kid. Save.