49. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you're in your twenties or early thirties, read this book right now! You will benefit most from Ramit's approach. If you're older, still read it because there is lots of sound financial advice within.
I'm excited to let you know that Ramit Sethi is teaching a free course called Money + Business: Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs starting tomorrow at noon Eastern time, 10/17/12 through 10/19/12. Watch LIVE on Creative Live or during the nightly rewatches for FREE. You can buy downloads of it if you miss it. Bonus of watching live is that you can ask questions via the chat room or twitter.
[10/20/12 Edited to add: So I watched the course (rewatches airing for free this weekend) and I'm less excited now. His teaching style isn't quite for me. A lot of useful info though not as much about freelancers and entrepreneurs as I'd hoped. Your mileage may vary.]
OK, back to the book.
I really like his approach to focus on the big wins. It's not about skipping lattes but rather saving thousands on your car and house, eliminating credit card and bank fees, negotiating for higher starting salaries, and investing early and easily. Also he encourages conscious spending, knowing what you want to spend your money on and setting goals to do so.
Most of the chapters have a series of action steps to do for the week. It's a 6 week program overall.
The edition I read came out in 2009, so things have changed a little since then. I wouldn't get an online savings account with HSBC. Their rates are terrible and they take a day longer than other banks to transfer your money in and out. Emigrant Direct's rates are also low right now.
I really like ING Direct which has savings and checking. It's not the highest interest rate for savings, but the checking is convenient. American Express has an online savings account with the highest interest rate I've seen in quite a while. You can even link it to an ING account if you want.
ING has been bought by Capital One, but won't change its name for a few months yet. If you're interested in opening a fee-free checking account with ING, send me a message with your email and I'll send you a referral. You'll get $50 for opening the account and I'll get $10. Or if you want a savings account with them, let me know and your bonus will be $25 (if you open it with at least $250) while I'll get $10. (Referrals would be awesome but, of course, you can also open accounts with them directly without the sign-on bonus.)
Automating your finances is one of Ramit's key tenets. Some of this doesn't apply as well to people with irregular, unpredictable income like freelancers. I'm hoping he covers some of that during his Creative Live workshop.
The book is easy to read, has a sense of humor, and the advice is straightforward. The goal is implementing the 85% solution: not perfect but you get started which is better than doing nothing. The sooner you start, the better!
Three years ago on TTaT: 38. Grave Peril