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October 13 2005
Dear David,

I just wanted to say thank you!! About two years ago I sat down and read "Automatic Millionaire" and it has dramatically changed my outlook on my financial life. Until I read your book, I had never actually sat down and worked out my expenses. You see, I lived in a bit of denial. In retrospect, I realize this was my parents' approach to their finances and I see how they struggle now in what should be their golden retirement years.

Seeing my expenses and my debts laid out on paper made me face some hard facts about my financial situation, my irresponsible spending habits, and what I wanted out of life.

The first thing I did was commit to paying down my Visa debt. I realized that I had consistently been carrying between $3,000-$5,000 on my card for more than 5 years, and on top of that, I was consistently carrying a $3,500 sum on my Line of Credit! (The same Line of Credit I had used to pay down my Visa debt, which went right back up within that year). When it sunk in that my debts were feeding the bank's bottom line, first I got angry, then I took action.

Now, I try not to buy anything unless it's with cash or unless I know I can pay it off by the end of the month. I think this has been the toughest adjustment. Your book gave me hope, a sense of optimism, and the determination to stick with it. Instead of feeling that debt is something that we just have to live with, I have started thinking, "No way. Not me!" Then I made it my goal to go into a home purchase debt-free.

So, two years later, I am almost debt-free, I am saving 12% of my income toward my retirement, and I have just made an appointment with a real estate agent.

Even though I am only 34, I wish I had picked up a book like yours 10 years ago. However, it is never too late and I am going to convince my sister and my brother to read your books. You are awesome!!

Thanks so much for following your dream. You have found your calling.

Take care,

- Gloria K.

October 13 2005
While I was growing up money was a very private subject and I never really learned how to make money work right. I would spend it in the most worst ways and I have tried to buy finance books but, I not only would get confused but could not choose which path was right for me. UNTIL... I check out your book on how to finish rich and it opened my eyes in so many ways. I now have quit smoking! and am using that money for retirement!! For once I am excited about planning my retirement... THANKS SOOO MUCH!!!!!!

- Heather M.

October 7 2005
After reading this book, I ripped through my monthly expenses and cut almost $800. The biggest find was our cell phone bill. Our company, Cingular, lets you "roll over" any unused minutes from one month to the next. I realized I had almost 10,000 of these unused minutes but was still buying 3000 more a month. I lowered our plan to their minimum, added mobile to mobile so that my husband and I can talk to each other and anyone who also has Cingular (which is everyone on our staff) for free and our bill dropped almost $400 a month. 7 months later, I still haven't used up these "wasted" minutes.

- Gina J.

October 7 2005
Hi David! Thanks so much for your great books, Start Late, Finish Rich and the Finish Rich Workbook. For the first time in my adult life I know where every important document is, we are now paying ourselves first (10 months) and love watching our accounts grow. We have a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind about money and our future.

We closed ten accounts, over some objections. Interestingly, our fourteen year old cat, Mazel Tov, is now receiving credit card offers. He just got one today from Sony Visa, 0% intro APR for 15 months. That one beat his Chase Master Card offer from two weeks ago. Do you think he should apply, or should we just get him a PetSmart card?

Thanks for all you do. Love your newsletter and visit your website often.

- Linda C.

October 7 2005
Dear Mr. Bach,

Thank you for showing the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Before reading your book, my wife and I were not saving any money. We would use credit cards all the time, and made the minimum payments each month. Since reading your book The Automatic Millionaire, we have paid off our credit card debt, increased my 401K contribution to 10%, opened an IRA account for my wife's retirement, and opened a money market account. I did all of this within 2 weeks of reading your book.

Thank you again for all of your financial wisdom. I feel we are on our way to being Automatic Millionaires.


- Jeffrey M.

September 30 2005
Dear David,
Thank you so much for writing "Start Late...". My husband and I are in mid 30s and had no saving or positive checking account for decade. I bought your book for my husband on last Valentine's day and we both learned so much. Quick and simple steps brought us to a higher place and it CAN be done!

Ever since my husband and I were college kids, we had had very hard time keeping up with finance. We hardly had financial support from our parents in college days and often couldn't pay rent, gas, telephone and electric bills that by the time we got married, we were broker than broke. After we got married, I became pregnant and for 8 years, I stayed home for our little children even though my husband was making barely enough. But we didn't want someone else to raise our children and wanted to build a solid foundation for them at the beginning of their lives. Financial difficulty came second on our list. But it was so hard we had countless sleepless nights and weeks worrying about where the money would come for the next bills.

Now, both of our children are full time in school so that I viciously started to look for jobs. Sadly, my town has very minimal jobs available that I received many declined calls for jobs. My husband and I finally swallowed our pride and went to welfare for finance support. It was gut wrenching to use food stamp card at the store. But it was also a blessing. My husband and I realized that if we can swallow our pride for this humiliation, we can certainly keep tight budget and make payment plan with utility companies so that we can catch up with all our late bills. It has been over a year since we started our "reality budget". Today, we not only have extra money in our account AFTER paying bills, but also we are proudly off from the welfare program! I also started to work full time, by blessing. I work during the day and my husband work at night so that one parent can be reached in case of emergency for our children. It is hard to spend any quality time with my husband lately but we are eager to build solid financial status for our children today. We certainly don't want to go back to the "worrying nights".

We recently bought a brand new minivan! For 14 years we are together, we never had a brand new car!! It was always 5-10 years old cars that brought more bills to keep fixing them. Our latest car had no heat and an old starter that didn't always work. Now, our children are very proud of our new minivan! They went through so much also..

It is very simple but also very important to keep up with the budget and cut meaningless spending, writing down every transaction we made with checks, debit and Visa so that we know exactly where we stand. It has been a very very long road to reach stable financial status but now we are HERE!

I want to share our story with those who are going through rough times like we had. I want them to know that light is there. If we can make it, so can they. It might seem very dark to even think starting new lifestyle but day by day, you would see the diffence you would make and by a year, you would be dancing. Don't give up hope and dreams. We reached it after 14 years! I wish you all the support and good health. Thank you.

- Susie B.

September 23 2005
Dear David,

I am from Singapore and just read your book on Smart Couples Finish Rich. The book confirmed what I had implemented over the last 18 months. Today, I have the option to retire young now at 45 years but will continue my job as a hobby. When I am not stressed, in fact I perform better than previously and look forward to life.

There should be a law that makes your book a compulsory one for 16 years old students - a pity that some people will not know how to plan for a balanced life. You are a great person. I have deep respect for you as my mentor. Warmest regards and best health.

- Rick C.

September 23 2005
It would take all day to explain everything I've done to improve my financial situation in just a matter of weeks, just from the motivation and new knowledge I got from this book. I just turned 22 and I'm a brand new mom, living in my own (nice, big) apartment, working full time, and I've learned so much about how to save money and maximize my earnings.

I've always thought of myself as a big saver (always having money in my checking account since my very first paycheck), but after I read this book I realized I was doing everything wrong! My $3,000 in savings had been sitting in a CHECKING account for the last six years earning NO interest! And I never realized it before. I fixed that pretty quick, shopping for the highest interest rate around and finally putting my money to work. My awesome new money market account is also automated; it takes 10% of each paycheck every pay period, and I'm already thinking of increasing it to 15% since I don't feel any pinch. I don't have to do anything but watch it grow and earn some fat interest. I love the "automatic" concept! I decided my new savings nest was going to be my down payment on my first home (and my daughter's!) in five years. And I'm going to be SURE to make those bi-weekly payments instead of monthly.

My Latte Factor came to be $3.51, which is $108.81 a month! And it was ALL wasted on fast food and snacks. I nearly had a heart attack when I took 3 random bank statements and calculated that I was spending an average of $150 a month on fast food- and I didn't even count dining out. It took a few weeks but I made small steps and finally cut out the fast food, completely. For my health AND my wallet. And the strange, but best, part is, it seems like I'm saving more than $150 a month, a LOT more. It really is about how much you spend, not how much you earn. I love how this book doesn't want you to go out and earn more, all it focuses on is maximizing what you already have.

What I love the most is the chart on page 48 (The Automatic Millionaire), that shows how much less you can invest, and how much more you can end up with, if you start at the age of 20 vs. 40. Given my age, this example is very exciting.

To sum it all up, since studying this book in the past MONTH and putting it into practice religiously, my checking account is worth $1,000 more, I have $1,000 more in savings, and the knowledge I have is priceless. Now I know what I'm doing with my money.

My money works for ME now.

- Kristina C.

September 23 2005
A few months ago I was talking to a friend about how I wanted to get a good control on my money. He recommended that I vist your site and open a money-market account. I followed his advice (and your book's advice) and now I've started to accumulate enough to be able to open up an online trading account and invest in index funds or stocks. Even though I'm going through college right now, I know that the earlier I start to save and get a firm control on my finances the better-off I'll be in the future. If I can learn to save while going through college, I can definitely learn to save after I'm done with college. I've been quite motivated by the material in your book The Automatic Millionaire that I even added an emphasis in Personal Financial Planning onto my accounting degree, so I'll be able to one day help my friends and family to be more financially secure. In addition, my parents have now read your Start Late, Finish Rich book and are changing a few ways that they look at money. Thank you for breaking down the money concept so simply and making it understandable for every level. It really has made a remarkable difference in my life.

- Jeremy H.

September 23 2005
Thank you for your book The Automatic Millionaire. I'm currently paying off my debt and working on my savings and investment Plans. Now I'm teaching my kids the value of money. Thank you thank you.

- Buyisile N.

August 26 2005
Just wanted yo to know, I bought David's book "Start Late, Finish Rich" Monday. I just called my creditcard company and got my interest rate lowered by 10%. I can't wait to keep reading and learning. My wife and I will be following the ideas in the book. Thanks...

- John W.

August 26 2005

I recently took your CD course "The Automatic Milliionaire Homestudy Program" & it was the best financial course I've ever done.

The exercises were clear & easy to follow. I'm making great progress & am paying off all debt.


- Moussa A.

August 22 2005
Dear David,

Thanks so much for doing the coaching program. It was well worth what I spent for it (funny how that which costs something motivates us to get the most out of it). The education alone has been worth it. I knew I had a retirement plan with TIAA-CREF. What I learned was that I was contributing 4% of my gross income to the plan, and the university was contributing 8%. I have increased my contribution to 6% and will continue to "inch it up" to 12% as my debt is reduced. I did cash in an old whole life policy and used the cash value to reduce my debt by $5000 (of course, I made certain I was adequately insured before taking this step). And I am transferring the balance from a 13.9% card to a fixed offer of 4.9% (which I pay online and will watch diligently to avoid a late payment). I am having my insurance agent check on moving my homeowners insurance to the same company that has my auto insurance. Some off my friends have saved as much as 40% on rates by making this change. And I have implemented what I refer to as the NBC policy for my purse (Nothing But Cash). I had a bad habit of writing checks and not keeping up with my balance. Having to go home to get a checkbook will help me avoid frivolous spending. Not to mention needless overdraft charges. This also means the credit card stays at home. Between my latte factor (eating out, impulse buying--$250-$300 a month) and a significant raise, I know I have what I need to be successful.

The most important thing I've gained is getting rid of the fear about money (fear of balancing the checkbook, fear of opening the credit card statements, etc.). Fear has been replaced by knowledge, and that is empowering. Instead of just drifting along, I am now being deliberate about finances. I now know where I want to go financially, the steps I need to take to get there, and that I have everything I need to be able to succeed. The truth does set you free.

Thank you!

- Cheryl L.

August 22 2005
Hello David,
I just wanted to share a little success with you. I don't have a huge story to tell, but it is progress in my life. I started reading your book just yesterday and today I went to look at my credit cards. I owe a good 5,000 and I'm only 22. I got sucked in to the retail credit cards along with my bank charging me tons of overdraft fees. I saw on my statement, that on just one credit card I have been paying a 29.9% APR. How ridiculous! So I am switching over to another card to have a very low APR. I also called my cell phone company and dropped my rate plan. It should save me a good $15.00 a month. I'm so happy to have picked up this book.

Thank you,

- Lindsey A.

August 22 2005
I'm an associate in a supermarket so I don't make a lot of money. When I work a full day I get two breaks and an hour lunch. This is a great opportunity for the store to make back some of my paycheck! We have a great coffee machine in the bakery department that for $.75 will brew by the cup. A doughnut, candy bar, or "nutrition bar", tacks on another $.50 to a $1.00. I tried to keep lunch below $5.00 at the store or from McDonald's across the parking lot. It was costing me $9.25 a day for 3 coffees, 2 snacks and a lunch. Multiply that by 5 and that's $46.25 a week of truly wasted money. I now spend a fraction of that by buying a jar of instant coffee, a snack in bulk and keeping it in my locker. I also bring my lunch to work. As a result I've increased my 401K, my automated savings at ING, and pay more than the minimum on my credit cards. As an added benefit I eat better and instead of scurrying around the store buying junk I have more time to read a book from the thrift store or library.

- Mary K.

August 22 2005
David: I recently attended a "First Time Homebuyers" seminar in our community, and one of the speakers there held up your book and highly recommended it. I leafed through it briefly after the seminar and liked how quick and easy it read (I had years ago purchased "Personal Finance for Dummies" and couldn't understand it -- I'm sure you know how that made me feel!). I bought your book on a Thursday night and immediately started reading it. I got far enough into it that night to go into my Administrator at work Friday morning to see how much I was contributing to my 401K plan (I knew I was, I just didn't know how much - how can that be?). Come to find out I was only contributing $100 a month -- woefully inadequate, so I immediately increased it to $500 (after doing my latte factor the night before I knew I could afford this). My next step is to buy a condo this next year. I previously was going to wait until I got all my credit cards paid off - which realistically could be a year or two down the road. Now I'm going to see about buying a home while still paying off the cards.

The main thing I got from your book was that before I was scared of my future so I just "looked the other way" and didn't deal with it. You made it okay to have started late (I'm 40), but get busy, which I'm doing and now I'm actually excited about my financial future. Thank you again, David. What you are doing for the world must be very rewarding.

P.S. My next step at work is to become a "great employee." You got me thinking I'm definitely a "good employee" but could be doing better. I'll keep you advised if I get that raise I'm going to go for in the next 6 months!!

- Patti S.

August 22 2005
I took the 7 day latte factor challenge. I too did not think I had any money to "pay myself" with. My lattes were costing me enough to buy a new coffee maker every week...need I say more?

Thanks for everything.

- Jeff L.

August 22 2005

My wife is an avid Oprah fan, she made me watch it with her one day when you were on. That night I ordered your book the Automatic Millionaire online. I gave it to her to read first. She set it down I picked it up and finished it. David that book changed both of our lives. When I graduated from high school I got my first credit card. Soon after that I got my second, and third. I took a great summer vacation that year and maxed out all three cards. When I met my wife I told her we couldn't get married until I paid off my debt, she asked how much I had. I told her $26,000, she should have RUN but she didn't. She helped me work on it and using your system we have cut that debt. I will be turning 30 in December, she will be 26 in September. We are out of debt except a house payment and car payment. We don't carry any credit card debt, and my credit score is rising. With my company matching 120% of the first 6% of contributions to my 401(k) I'm putting in 10% so I'm getting roughly 17% or $8000.00 per year. She is putting 10% into her 401(k) as well. We are well on our way to being Automatic Millionaires! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

- Jeff & Dori A.

August 22 2005
Hi David

I have a girlfriend who is financially astute and who frequently encouraged me to read your books. I should mention that I am 37, have one child and own a small bungalow with my husband in Ottawa, Canada. Because my girlfriend has no children, I was skeptical that your books could have any impact on someone carrying a mortgage, paying for childcare, groceries, heat, hydro, gymnastics etc. and carrying credit card debt over $6000.00 In addition, I work for a major airline in Canada and last year we renegotiated our labour contracts which resulted in significant pay concessions. Well, one day as I was strolling through the airport on my way to a flight and wondering how I was going to stretch my shrinking paycheck, your book "Start Late, Finish Rich" stopped me in my tracks. The title really spoke to me because at this point, I felt like my financial clock was ticking...

Let me share with you how my life has changed since reading your book in May 2005, approximately two months ago.

Reading your book inspired me to go and at least speak to my mortage broker. I didn't expect anything from this visit. I thought Elaine would tell me that our credit rating was abysmal and our dreams of owning income properties were just that, dreams.

That conversation with Elaine proved to be a pivotal moment in our lives. We renegotiated our current mortgage at a lower interest rate, in the process we payed off our credit card balances and pulled equity out of our home. With this equity, we were able to finance the purchase of the income property we thought we'd never own!!! Incredibly, this entire process took less than two months.

Even though we had the financing in place, we still were not sure we'd find a suitable income property. In July, a traditionally "hot" real estate month, we found a house up the street from us within our budget.

I must say that I am still in shock over the events of this summer. Your book gave me the courage to do what I thought was impossible. I still can't believe we doubled our asset base in less than two months.

When I recount my story to other flight attendants, they too, are skeptical. I tell them I've been there but keep an open mind. After reading your book, there is no going back.


- Gratia G.

August 22 2005
Dear Mr.Bach,
I just wanted to write you a note and say thank you for your wonderful book, "Start Late, Finish Rich". I'm probably not the typical reader of this book: I'm only 20 years old. I'm working toward a career in financial planning, so I read everything I can get my hands on about personal finance in hopes that I can gain more knowledge that will help me help people. This book really inspired ME though. I got married at 18 and my husband (who is 24) and I bought a house a year ago. Nothing fancy, just a cute little 3-bedroom. It isn't easy to see all your friends going out to movies and eating out all the time while your extra money goes to a mortgage payment, saving, and paying off debt. I was ready to be done with the house and just sell it, after all, who could blame me? No one expects you to own a house at 20. After reading your book, however, I realized that I was actually really blessed to be where I am. Sure, I may have to give up a few trips to the movies, but my husband and I are building equity towards our future instead of throwing away money on rent and "lattes". No matter what age you are, its always more popular to spend than to save; thanks for the reminder that wise financial decisions now will be worth it in the long run!

- Diana S.

August 22 2005
Mr. Bach- I am SO very excited and enthusiastic about my new journey to financial freedom. Thanks SO much to you and for Oprah for having you on her show.

I have several pieces of advice for saving money if I may share.

I didn't think I had a "Latte Factor" but it just dawned on me that I did. I was making excuses and justifying as to why it was OK for me to continue to use my credit card for wants vs. needs based purchases. I am done with excuses. The fact is DAVID helped me realize I NEEDED to STOP! I cannot afford to keep that behavior up any longer. Thanks to you again for opening my eyes to the TRUTH about DEBT and TAKING ACTION!

2nd- Commuting to work is a HUGE cash savings for me. If this is a viable option for any of you I highly recommend it. Portland is known for it's great transportation system. Look into it and see what you could save on the HIGH prices of gas. Plus, think about car pooling and mapping out errands so they are in the same area of town. Conserve energy and the environment!

David Bach mentions eBay as a way to earn extra money also recycling cans & bottles can give you extra change to save.

David's website is a big resource of information as well! Awesome job.

I am extremely motivated to take this journey. I am just getting started. It is going to take TONS of discipline. Almost like a diet but it should be a life style change! A different way of thinking.
Good luck to us all. And HUUGE thanks to this smart man David Bach. Hip Hip hurray!

- Nicole L.

August 12 2005
Wow!! I read The Automatic Millionaire one year ago while on vacation & thought WOW, it's not hopeless! You see, we had no savings at all, I only contributed 2% into my 401k at work (my employer matches dollar for dollar up to 6%) and we lived check to check. We had 12k in credit card debt, as well as loans. One week ago, I heard my husband having a discussion with a business associate. His associate saw your Start Late, Finish Rich book on my coffee table & asked him (sarcastically) if it had helped. Proudly, I can say, YES it helped!! We now have 3k in a systematic saver cd as an emergency fund & contribute $50.00 monthly. I started an ing acct & have $50.00 deposited monthly for a dream basket. I have gradually increased my 401 k contributions to 10%. And our credit card debt is down to 8k!! I have even talked hubby into buying savings bonds!! I tell you it's contagious! My 11yr old son started his own ing account & has $5.00 of his allowance direct deposited each month!!! I cannot believe how much better we all feel!! The only way to describe it is this...FREEDOM!!

- Terri M.

August 12 2005
After reading your book, I can only say one thing to you: Thank you so much! I had a very high interest credit card, 22.9% with about a $1,000 dollar balance. I took your advice and called the company that holds my card. I told them that I had another offer with a lower interest rate if I transferred my balance. With a little confident persuasion, they lowered my interest rate to 10.4%. That saves me more than half. Furthermore, my financial life has completely changed. I now have an IRA and I am working on a small but diversified portfolio. This is all before my 25th birthday. Thank you so much for empowering me to alleviate the stress in my life about my financial future.

- C. D. Arthur

August 5 2005
Hi David:

This email is a long time coming and really I credit reading a few lines from your book (TAM) several years ago and then buying 2 years later to actually where we sit now. To be honest, we have never read thru the entire book...we didn't really need to! We applied the "latte factor" to our lives and then it just snowballed from there. We finally are traveling to the places we wanted always to visit including Paris a few years is my favorite picture from that trip. Since then we have been to Costa Rica and just came back from 19 days in Italy and France (to see Lance ride his final Tour de France!). All this saving I credit to your ideas. Not only have we been able to go on big trips but we are saving 15 percent of our usable income after taxes! That in addition to our regular retirement savings accounts.
Nick & Pam Downs

- Nick Downs

August 5 2005
I read your book "Start Late Finish Rich" in March of this year, when I was on vacation. It opened my eyes and mind to new possibilities. Within weeks I started to look for a condominium to buy. My husband and I had been renting for many years and we have had some big financial setbacks ie, a failed business, and our daughter had some major heart problems that were successfully treated with surgery. We kept renting because we really didn't have the energy to change our situation and we felt depleted. It was just easier after all that we had been through. After reading your book I realized that it would be good for us to buy and that I had excellent credit. Our neighborhood is in a very good location and property values have risen sharply over the years--I know I've watched them. I happened to be looking on the internet and found a condo that needed to be sold quickly. I found out later that the owner was getting a divorce and the unit was being rented but was messy and dirty. It was in very bad condition, cosmetically, nothing had been done to it in 40 years. It had tremendous potential (huge space, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 deeded parking spaces in a covered garage, a washer/dryer in the unit and a good view) and location,location,location. We bought it in 2 days. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing but started feeling better when the home appraisers called us to tell us that we had made a great purchase and they were having a hard time bringing the price down so low to what we purchased it at because then the banks would worry about what may be wrong with the property and wouldn't give us a mortgage. They told us that if we didn't buy it they would. I began breathing easier and I knew that my instincts had been correct after this. We are now in the process of rehabbing it and we know that similar properties are selling for $500,000 more than what we bought it at and that is without parking! We are elated! Your book gave me sound advice and showed me that it's never too late.It also gave me hope. It opened me up to possibilities. I thank you very much for that. I especially loved the examples that you gave. Please continue writing. Good luck to you and your family.

- Ana Gil

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