By Amy He  Mon Apr 22, 2013

Money Challenge Results: Learning From ‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich’

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Last week for our Money Challenge, we chose to read Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” to learn more about personal finance. Today we discuss our key takeaways from the book below.

Katherine: I always steer clear of reading self-improvement books or “how-to”s because I usually think they’re a bunch of hooey. But “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” wasn’t that. The second you start reading, it’s like this easy conversation with a person who is ridiculously funny and sharp.

These are some highlights:

  • His language. Starting off a finance book with the sentence, “I’ve always wondered why so many people get fat after college.” Instantaneously, I like this guy. You keep reading and you see the parallels fall into place, between weight and financial debt. With both topics, Sethi says the world loves to debate minutiae, the tiny details of it, every last tip and “to do” and “not to do,” but when it comes down to it, it doesn’t actually make a difference.
  • The sense that he gets it. He knows what the problems are. With subheadings like, “Why is managing money so hard?” he discusses things like the lack of financial training in our education system, our accusations that credit card companies and banks are out to profit off of us (which he agrees with), and where we could possibly get an extra $100 per month (he says it can be an amount that fits your income), and pinpoints the media as a huge source of misguidance. He makes sure to address the fact that saving and investing money has nothing to do with your income level.
  • His approach: this book is about small steps — reducing the minutiae, reducing the overwhelming choices and options. He wants us to know enough to start doing something with the money we have and grow it. He acknowledges what is holding us back  and with that acknowledgment and points out that it’s easy to overcome. And his book does that for us.

Amy: This is the actually first personal finance book I’ve ever read, and working at MyBankTracker is also my first general introduction to personal finance, so I’m still in a wide-eyed state towards how to manage my money.

A lot of the advice from Sethi was invaluable and I think it’s important that he comes from a psychology background to tackle issues of money from a psychological standpoint. I do think that a lot of America’s money problems are mentally rooted — how we process the way money affects our lives. Using the goal of living a “full life” is an incredibly important motivator in being able to manage money well. (Continued on page 2)

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