Debt Finances & Money Frugality Investing

“A Million Bucks by 30” Book Review and GIVEAWAY!

Imagine you look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, just graduated college, and you got a job in the most expensive city in the country. What would you do first?

If your answer is to get an apartment at the top of your budget (if you even have a budget) in a “safe” area of the city, go deep into credit from shopping, and live it up every night in a club, well then you’re nothing like author Alan Corey.

Rather than do all those things, Alan lived in, well, near poverty. He ate Ramen, lived in Spanish Harlem, had a half-dozen roommates (at one time), stayed in a windowless office/bedroom, and got gigs on reality TV shows, but all for a single goal. He wanted to be a millionaire. And guess what. He is a millionaire now. And then he wrote a book about it: “A Million Bucks by 30” (affiliate). A very funny and entertaining book, I might add.

I want to say quickly, though, that this is NOT the same book as “Millionaire by Thirty” (you can see THAT not-nearly-as-good review here). Simply due to their similar names and subject matter, I’m going to do a few comparisons between the two books to illustrate…

Why “A Million Bucks by 30” is a MUST BUY

First, I’ll use the following acronyms for the two books:

AMBB30 = “A Million Bucks by 30”
MBT = “Millionare by Thirty”

So the one main issue I had with MBT was that Douglas Cameron wrote it as a father highlighting his sons’ miraculous path to becoming millionaires, but without many, if any, realistic examples that a “normal” 20-something could use to pattern their own path after. But in AMBB30, Alan lays his entire post-college life out for you to see his methods to saving, investing and earning.

Now not everyone needs to live in poverty to become a millionaire by 30 (or 28 in Alan’s case), but if you’re not making much in your city, but want extra income for investments and savings, then you’ll need to cut out unnecessary expenses. Some of us can’t stand living with another person, or absolutely need a nutritious diet plan, but honestly, rich people don’t become or stay rich by blowing their money (well, unless they are super-rich).

For another comparison, in AMBB30, Alan explains how he arrived at his various decisions about real estate investments, including “lucky circumstances”, so that you can see more about how some of these seemingly amazing deals actually go down. in MBT, however, the examples aren’t very transparent and you, the reader, are often left wanting for much more information. In MBT, Douglas throws around buzz phrases and writes like a late-night infomercial while Alan is blunt, up-front and to-the-point.

Final Recommendation

If you’re in your teens, twenties, thirties or maybe even forties, I highly recommend “A Millions Bucks by 30“. The book is currently selling for only $11.xx on Amazon, which is a good bit less than MBT (but Alan recommends borrowing it from the library, of course). And even if you’re not interested in Alan’s methods (like investing in real estate), the book is at least an entertaining read. In our case, I know Stacie wouldn’t be up for renting out a room or living on Ramen (she IS a dietitian), but just reading the book helps reinforce common frugal practices, networking and basic investment principles.

So consider borrowing or buying the book, but first…

Enter to Win a Copy of “A Million Bucks by 30”

UPDATE: Contest is now closed. Thanks to the 79 people who entered! More giveaways coming soon!

Entering this contest is very simple: Leave a comment on this article by Thursday, July 10th, 2008 at 6pm Eastern.

Come back on Friday to find out if you won. Even better, you can subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter to find out automatically!

Contest Rules

  • I will only ship to the continental U.S. states (sorry Hawaii and Alaska)
  • I will ask for your name and address for shipping, but I promise to destroy the information and never sell/share it
  • Void where prohibited by law
  • You can only enter ONE TIME. If I draw your name and see you’ve entered already, I’ll delete your entry and redraw.

Now comment! This is the most frugal way to get this book. It’s even delivered right to your doorstep!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I am entering my last year of graduate school, which means I have a lot of earning potential but very little hard cash. While in school I have read a ton of different books about money. Yesterday, I read Millionaire by Thirty and was gravely disappointed (I completely agree with your analysis).

    This book was recommended as one that might be more practical. As a twenty-four year old, I am looking for actual plans to create financial wealth for myself and to serve as a source of financial support for my family (especially since my mother is trying to go back to college and my brother is currently in college).

    I appreciate you taking the time to have this contest. I hope to have the honor of being chosen as a winner. Best of luck to everyone on the path to becoming a millionaire.

  • Thanks for having the contest! I won’t be a millionaire by thirty, but maybe by the time that million will be worth what $200k is worth today! 🙂