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The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  16,125 ratings  ·  857 reviews
What’s the secret to becoming a millionaire?

For years people have asked David Bach, the national bestselling author of Smart Women Finish Rich, Smart Couples Finish Rich, and The Finish Rich Workbook, what’s the real secret to getting rich? What’s the one thing I need to do?

Now, in The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach is sharing that secret.

The Automatic Millionaire start
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Crown Business (first published December 12th 2003)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  16,125 ratings  ·  857 reviews

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Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Jul 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I would recommend this book to the complete novice, if you want to learn some very simple things that you can do to help you secure your retirement then read this book. If however, you want to really understanding investing, and finance this probably isn't the best book.

The book has a few good tips that work for everyone:

1: Pay yourself first (A common recommendation)
2: Pay your mortgage bi-weekly (could reduce it by 5-10 years)
3: Put away 10% of your money
4: Tithe
5: Always save some, even if yo
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Although the writing is repetitive and long winded, the message is clear and incredibly sensible: automate your savings at 10% or more, automate your debt reduction, automate your giving, don’t buy on credit, don’t rent. Automatic millions are doable, but there’s no such thing as a “get rich quick” scheme.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read one of David Bach's books back when I was starting my first job and it was helpful. This one, as far as I can remember, has the same type of information - good basics if you are not saving at all now or are in debt, but nothing much beyond that.

It was also written before the housing market crash, so I rolled my eyes a lot hearing about how you have to buy a house now or you'll never be rich, foreclosure is so rare, it's so easy to buy a house, check out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac... I li
Feb 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sasha by: Katrina
This is a difficult book to rate. Informationally, it should get a 5. For ease of understanding, it should get a 5. But as a "good read," well, much of the first half read like an annoying infomercial and that really bugged. I also don't like phrases like "get rich."

So, it's weird that I read this book. I did so at the suggestion of a friend, otherwise I never would have given it a thought. (Thank you, Katrina!) I began skeptically, but this ended up being the very book I needed to read, for me
Echo Haapala
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring & Interesting

I would give this book a percentage of my savings but sorry David, I have to pay myself first. ☺ This book was truly inspiring and such an easy read. If you're like me, new to the world of finance, it can be intimidating and frightening. David has written a fantastic book and provides a valuable blueprint to make anyone, yes - ANYONE, a millionaire. While reading this book, I did not feel as though there were any gimmicks or get rich quick schemes. There was only value adv
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Despite being completely focused on the Amercan financial market and retirement plans (or countries similar to it such as Canada), this book offers a practical philosophy that you may be able to use in your own country as well.
Considering the practicality as well as the short length of the book, I totally recommend reading it.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
For someone who is wanting to know finances 101 in a palatable and realistic way, you really can't beat Auto Millionaire! Now I'm off to read Robbin's Money, Master The Game and then some Suze Orman. FYI - Bach has some fabulous videos on Youtube... ...more
John Nustad
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a beginner-intermediate level personal finance book. Taking it into that context it is a great book to read and a philosophy I followed before reading it. Recommended for those learning about managing money. ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I encountered two new ideas in this book:

1. Make your (good) financial decisions automatic
2. If you have a mortgage, pay it down twice a month rather than once a month.

I wholeheartedly agree with #1.
Idea #2 is a fantastic idea if you "own" a home, which the author endorses; but even at the time of the book's publication, this was not great financial advice (it's not bad advice either, but the problem is David Bach insists that owning a home will put you on the road to riches, and renting will no
Jeanette Kim
Aug 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
The main point of this entire book in one sentence, so don't bother reading it: Use recurring paycheck deposits and deductions.

This is probably a good read if you're utterly clueless but astute enough to understand basic personal finance. Fortunately I'm both very astute and not utterly clueless (e.g. I'm aware that holding cc debt is ill advised, but this book spends a lot of time on cc debt). The book also mentions checks a lot so the perceived barrier to automated/scheduled payments is a bit
Nathan Guevara
Better for Americans.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a departure from my usual reading, we are approaching an age where we really need to get our ducks in a row with our retirement savings. 

I have heard great things about Bach's book and thought I would spend a day reading this to make sure we were on the right path with our savings. 

This book tells the story of a couple, that David was providing financial consulting to, and their journey to becoming millionaires. David is completely astounded that they have saved this much becaus
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
The premise of this whole book is that if you do anything with money, throw out the concept of a budget and automate everything you do with money. Safe idea?

He explains everything in a very young-adult reader fashion by creating little snippets of conversations with people from either interviews or classes he taught and framing it in a way that sounds funny and easy at the same time. I think the idea of a budget or some finance manager is still important for tracking expenses and following up on
Tim Minge
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I like the main premise of the book, making your investing automatic to pay yourself first. I disagree with the "no budget" philosophy. His argument is that they are boring, stifling, and don't work. Inn experience they are what keep you from going into debt.

I am not sure how automatically saving and investing is going to keep you from wasteful spending of the rest of your money without having a written budget and sticking to it.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Some good advice for anyone new to personal finance, but spoiled by endless repetition and outdated information. The audiobook kicks off with useful tips for viewing the 'Portable Document Format' resource files on your 'PDA' device. ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essentially: pay yourself i.e. save and invest first by using automatic payments. The rest of the book is savings math, success stories and summary information about IRAs and other types of investments.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
And very useful, fairly short finance book. Definitely recommended, will only take a few hours to read but gives some solid points and strong ideas
Heather Hay
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The statement on page 80 sums up the author's philosophy, "-you need to have a system that doesn't depend on your following a budget or being disciplined."

This personal finance book is less about shaming you and your irresponsible money habits, and more about how to take an hour or two and straighten out your finances. The book revolves an example of one main family who exemplifies the topics of each chapter. (It's refreshing after reading a Dave Ramsey book with hundred's of letters from famili
Marvin Musfiq
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Its a very good book to know the secret of automatic money making. Young generation who has low personal financial literacy should read this book. I am sure this book will not gonna disappoint you.
Kellie Schull
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Simple easy to read with straightforward concepts. I have applied many of these myself and working on doing more as a couple. I also learned about a new method for charity giving that I plan to look into further. Great advice for anyone looking for an easy solution to save more and retire sooner!
Kien Nguyen
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting stories. Practical method and calculation.

Practical advices and tools to use.

Again, what readers need to remember is saving their money. And hide it from yourself.
Batool Altaher
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Not a bad book. The only thing that I have against it is that it's so repetitive (especially for the first 3/9 chapters). It will give you a few tips on how to save your money automatically so that it's easier for you to retire early with no/minimum debt. I will also say that this book is more targeted towards Americans because it has a lot of tips and resources for the U.S. financial system. ...more
Sarah Kurth
Nov 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is perfect for people who have a stable living-wage job, no pregnancies or kids or familial caretaking duties, employer-provided health insurance, no expensive health conditions, and who can buy a house in the same area as the aforementioned job.

Not helpful for anyone who experiences or has experienced unexpected injuries/health conditions, systemic oppression, or residual economic penalties for being a woman or person of color, or simply does not magically have a job that pays a real
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finance, non-fiction
I guess this might be a good place to start if you know nothing about finances at all. However other books do it better. I like the idea of paying yourself first - I think I just like Ramit Sethi's approach a bit better, where you pay yourself first but have a "conscious spending plan" instead of focusing on "The Latte Factor."
(I think it is important to monitor the small stuff and make sure the spending doesn't get out of hand, but I don't make it my primary saving strategy.)

I also flat-out dis
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book, especially if you are young and just starting out. It however doesn't really introduce any new ideas to people who have read any of the traditional financial books. The concepts in this book are very simple, and if you do them you will have financial independence, it really is that simple yet the vast majority of people don't do them and he gives a variety of reasons people give so I won't reiterate. Thankfully I was taught many of these ideas when I was about 18 and pu ...more
Michele Fortier
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This isn't my usual reading fodder (no fantasy or magic or teens falling in love), but it was a really interesting and insightful book. Ignoring the title (which sounds scam-y), this book is actually an excellent resource and breakdown of a really simple and common-sense way to save more money and be more efficient with bills, debt, savings, etc. The author talks about setting up direct deposits for 401ks and savings accounts (as well as investing savings to build interest, etc) and planning for ...more
Nico Robin
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the author's book many years ago and remembered the Latte Factor. This book is more straightforward and simple. It doesn't talk budgets, instead it talks about ways to automate savings so that you don't have to think too hard or make choices. I liked this approach much better.

Much of the advice is not so different from other books. However, it is simplified and spends more time discussing why the approach works than how to make choices. The point is that you don't have to make a lot of d
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd time both Aaron and I have read #theautomaticmillionaire. This is the updated copy. The title doesn't refer to a 'get rich quick scheme.' It refers to automating your bills, paying yourself first and how to have a safe and secure retirement with proper planning. Although I am a Dave Ramsey lover I feel like David Bach relates best to those who don't have lots of debt and are looking more towards planning for the future. Thankfully we are debt free but it comes with major sacrific ...more
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