I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works – Ramit Sethi
When it comes to personal finance books, there are so many approaches and opinions that its hard to choose what is legit and what will ruin your retirement. For me, this book was a great beginner to intermediate overview of how to review your finances and take control of them.
As I get older, I’m learning that I don’t have a strong understanding on my own finances. I started searching for a few books that could guide me in the right direction outside of other research and conversations I’ve had over the last few years.
The premise of this book is simple but I do hate the title. It sounds like one of those cheesy infomercials you see at 3:00am after you wake up on the couch. It can be off putting but thankfully the information in the book is much better.
The main theme of this book is to take control of your finances and then make good decisions moving forward, focusing on debt, investing, automation, and guilt-free spending. The book’s format is designed to be a “course” of the things you should do to better understand your own financial situation. It helps you set up a plan for your funds, no matter how much you may make, which is why I enjoyed reading it even though not everything in this book applied to me.
It reviews the ideas of how you don’t have to make a lot of money to be “rich”. What you do have to do is understand your limits and leave room for emergencies and retirement. The book gives you ideas and structures to follow to achieve these things. Want to take a trip next year? Use your plan to adjust your savings so a portion of it goes to that trip. When the trip comes around, you can take it comfortably, knowing that the money you saved is free from other responsibilities.
It’s one of those books though that if you don’t take actions during your reading, it becomes a bit pointless. The way the author writes is in a very positive tone with an “act now or you can only blame yourself” tempo. It struck a chord with me simply because I know what I should be doing but never do it, this book gave me that extra push to actually take action.
Who should read it?
For someone in high school it should be required reading. I’d recommend it to people in college as well. I also think anyone who hasn’t setup a retirement fund or does any investing should give it a read. The motivating terminology and explanations on what to do / not to do is enough information to get someone moving in the right direction.
Those who are already past this point in their financial life can probably pass it. The automation section and ideas provided on the book may still be something new to you, depending on your current strategy. But it still feels like it’s geared towards the younger generation and those with little knowledge on the topic. It’s a good starting point without being too boring.
At 33, the time of finishing this book and post, I think while I am running late, I’m not as bad off as I think I am. The book helped me take action on doing a bit more for my retirement. While we don’t necessarily live check to check at this point in life, it also helped me aim my efforts at the right places moving forward.
I want to travel a lot more than what I’ve done in the last 10 years. Taking money out of savings to do a small trip always feels dirty, like I’m robbing my future self from something better. The ideas in the book show how to spend your money guilt free after you save it. It’s better to take a trip and not have to worry about money than pinch pennies the whole time you’re there. That doesn’t mean the trip has to be extravagant, just managed properly to where it’s not a worrisome trip.
I opened a Roth IRA after reading this book after seeing that my 401k may not be enough in the long run. Instead of stressing about how much I can put in it right now, my goal is simply to put something in it for now and learn about the process. As time progresses, I’m hoping to find ways to add more to it, but for now I’m happy that I opened one and got the process started. It’s something I should have done 5 years ago, but it’s always better late than never.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others who want to start learning about personal finances in the long term. I plan on keeping it as a reference as some of the information will be good to revisit later.