Living Rich by MM Ford

Key Takeaways

The best house is one in a safe community of interesting people who care for one another + you get can get to work safely on a bike in 15 minutes.

The best way to find “wealth” is to find the feelings of wealth (and the ways to create them) rather than actually chasing money…. “I find peace by slowing down. I find a feeling of safety by spending less than I can afford. I feel enriched by choosing experiences that add to my life”

Never work like you don’t like your work. Work hard. Work like it matters.

Part one: Material Things

– the best things in life are affordable (diminishing returns to luxury goods)

– apply a cost of use mentality

Part two: Housing

– owning is not always a better option

– the financial value of a house is greatly effected by how long you use it (why? Most home improvements have negative ROI + social costs of moving + house specific optimization like furniture that doesn’t resell/travel to new home)

– it is VERY worthwhile to find an ideal community and buy a house there (vs buying a house and then trying to make a community).

-Bigger and newer are the values of a poor-minded person

-The kitchen is one of the rooms where you spend a lot of time together. Make it warm/accommodating.

– Spend a few hours with a lighting expert.

– Instead of hiring a designer/decorator to do your house; have them do a small room (bedroom/bathroom). Use your learnings to do the next room on your own.

-You get back $57 on every remodeling dollar you spend (on avg)


Drink house wine at a restaurant

– Eat healthy (mostly obvious info)

On being wealthy

Chase the feelings of wealthy living more than wealth itself.

Make the time you spend “richer”

For each choice: does this enhance or diminish my chances of being rich?


On family/relationships

Do an extended family reuinion

Travel enriches friendships

On work

Sometimes work is fun and sometimes it is miserable.

Remember that the fun travel soon becomes a bore/chore. The exciting new things loses novelty.

Working on projects you value is the most important factor.

Never work like you don’t like your work. Work hard. Work like it matters.

A key to being happy at work is finding pleasure outside of work.

On free time

There are only kinds of free time activities: those that give you energy, those that are neutral, those that take energy from you.

If you are choosing a neutral/negative choice, at least have the courage to call it neutral/negative.

Do not drink to make other people more interesting. Find more interesting people.

It is often harder to choose positive choices; for books, movies, music … have a list of positive options to choose from.

“Pearls don’t lay on the seashore, you have to dive for them”

Titanic won 11 Academy Awards, but it was junk food. Be very careful about how you build your lists and how you get your referrals from.

There is a junk food equivalent of movies, of music, of books.

Reading is a great way to overcome stress.


Read to children at the dinner table.

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