The Average Family's Guide to Financial Freedom

The Average Family's Guide to Financial Freedom

Book - 2000
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Bill and Mary Toohey are average middle income people from a small Iowa town. Bill has been employed for 23 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Mary has worked for 20 years as an Office Manager for a small psychological firm. They started saving and investing in 1991 when their net worth was $63,000. Eight years later their net worth was $467,000. In other words, their assets increased by an average of more than $50,000 per year during that period while their income (not counting dividends and capital gains) averaged about $65,000 per year. But it wasn't always easy. They have three children, Colleen (24), Tim (22), and Meghann (14). Tim has been severely disabled since birth and despite the challenges of helping Tim cope with his chronic illnesses, the Toohey family has been able to achieve financial freedom on a modest income. They were able to build a sizable nest egg in eight years while encountering some of life's biggest expenses during the period. They helped to pay for their daughter's college education and wedding, paid cash for a new car, and made several expensive home improvements. Despite those major expenses the Tooheys still managed to save 46% of their gross income and were listed among the "Best Personal Finance Managers in America" in the December 1994 issues of Money magazine. The Tooheys' story, in an article written by Bill, appeared in the April 1997 issue of Money magazine. Mary co-authored an article published in the February 1998 issue of McCall's magazine. In May, 1997 Bill was invited to speak at Money magazine's Elgin Project seminar series. Money magazine "adopted" Elgin, Illinois and brought in speakers with expertise in personal finance. Former President Bush kicked off the event.

How did they do it? How do they think? How do they live? Is it possible to save so much and still have a decent life? Can my family do this? Get the answers to all these questions and more in a book written specifically for families with children who don't earn big bucks.
Publisher: New York : J. Wiley, 2000.
ISBN: 9780471352280
Branch Call Number: 332.024 Too
Characteristics: x, 246 p. : 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Toohey, Mary 1953-


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Nov 30, 2019

I enjoyed this one. This is not a long read - you can finish it from cover to cover in an afternoon. These authors' story is a good example of the benefits that can come from reexamining your priorities and living within your means. What especially struck me was how dynamic these folks are with their money-saving strategies. Though this book is now over 20 years old, I'll likely borrow it again when I need renewed inspiration on the path to financial freedom. I'd recommend this book. Easy four stars.

Jun 13, 2011

A clear and powerful tool for anyone of any income to fully take charge of their personal finances. A must.


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