Money is such a taboo topic. People rarely talk about it, and when they do, it’s usually to complain about how little they have or how much things cost. It’s rare to have money linked with positivity. It’s more common to hear that “money is the root of all evil,” or that people who have money are “filthy rich.”
My own outlook is pretty simple – I don’t see money as good or evil. It’s a necessary thing, a vehicle for creating experiences. I like to travel and eat good food, and money helps me do those things. Plus, it provides for my basic needs – housing, transportation, meals, etc.
When I was 26, I started working at a local credit union. Prior to that I just had a basic understanding of finances. I know how to balance a checkbook (not needed much anymore), obtain student financing, and had a simple savings and checking account. I also had a 401(k) from a former employer but didn’t quite understand how it worked or how vital it was.
Over the last four years, I built a true understanding of what it meanso maximize your cash, plan for retirement, and finance practically anything – from a 3-year vehicle lease to a 30-year mortgage. Most adults aren’t so lucky; you won’t learn this stuff in school (unless you major in accounting/finance).
Title: I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Author: Ramit Sethi
Rating: A Must Read
Page Count: 342
I stumbled upon Ramit Sethi’s book while doing research for an ebook the credit union produced. He was dubbed “The New Finance Guru” by FORTUNE, and I’d have to agree. I Will Teach You To Be Rich will teach you everything you didn’t know about getting out of debt, paying for expenses, saving for retirement, and so much more.
After reading this book (and leaving my job at the credit union), I moved my 401(k) over to an IRA and immediately invested in a target date fund. This type of account automatically invests in moderately risk asset allocations that become more conservative as you approach your retirement date. That might sound intimidating now, but Sethi does an excellent job of explaining all the intricacies of saving and retirement – even showing his readers what types of accounts he has.
You’ll also find information on choosing the right bank accounts, how to use your credit cards the right way to maximize their benefits, and even how to negotiate a raise at work. The structure is a 6-week program to overhaul your finances, but depending on your unique situation, it could take longer or shorter.
I found the book to be very transparent and easy to understand. It would make a fantastic gift to anyone – especially graduating high school seniors. I know this is one book I wish I had when I was 18. It’s well worth the read and refresher, so I’d recommend keeping one for yourself on your own reference shelf.
Think of your best friend explaining a tough topic, and breaking it down so you just get it. That’s what Ramit Sethi does in I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Even if you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll walk away with a ton of knowledge you’ll want to share. Grab a copy for you, your bff, and that soon-to-be high school graduate you know.