So, when I asked you guys on Instagram stories what content requests you had for 2020–the OVERWHELMING majority of you asked for Personal Finance related topics more than ANY other lifestyle topic!! (Outside style and capsule wardrobes of course.) 😂
This came at a good time, because, I too, was in the camp of “I don’t do finance stuff” for most of my life. If you’re in the same boat––the #1 tip I can give you is to start by reading ONE book.
I’ll get into that in a second, but let me preface this post by saying, I am NOT a Finance person. (And hopefully this goes without saying, but I am not qualified to give financial advice nor would I ever attempt to.)
I thought about majoring in business in college (because marketing sounded fun) and dropped out of “Business 101” because it was “too much math”. (Turns out, Journalism was a much better fit! 😂) There is not one part of my brain that is good with numbers. I went to math tutoring three nights a week in high school and still scraped by with C’s. Okay, you get it, I HATE MATH.
I am also an Ennegram 7, so on a broader level, let’s call a spade a spade––I’m really bad at doing anything that isn’t FUN and requires structure.
Therefore, I am the very kind of person that needs the most help when it comes to finances.
Thankfully, I married a man who works in finance, knows what’s up when it comes to money, and he convinced me that I was too smart to get away with not caring. And he was right. So I hope I can be that person for you.
As an incredibly independent person (to a fault, some could argue), why was this the only area I was willing to blindly throw the reigns to my husband? Personal finance, it turns out, is the #1 area that we often try and turn a blind eye to as women, but it’s the absolute WORST area to choose to relinquish control. I’m sorry, but we micromanage what brand of tomato paste our husband needs to buy at the grocery store, yet we choose to put the blinders on when it comes to our ENTIRE livelihood!? Not acceptable!
Luckily, Neal didn’t give me a choice. A couple years ago, when he decided that it was time to start working with a financial advisor, he dragged me to our first meeting and told me that it was important and that I needed to care. (Neal works in the industry, so we went with an advisor he already had a great relationship with and who had also become a trusted friend.)
NOTE: I’ll be interviewing our advisor all about the topic in another post, per your request, but depending on what stage of life you’re in, it’s likely that you may not need one at all, and definitely shouldn’t need one if you’re just getting started or just have basic investing needs. The most important thing is to get started. More on that below.
Eventually, I stopped letting my insecurities get the best of me and realized I COULD understand what Dan, our advisor was talking about. We made a plan that felt attainable for us. When he explained how much our investments could grow over time, I was really shocked at the number! “Wait, investing THIS every year will lead to THIS in 30 years?!?!”
Which leads me to the topic of THIS post…
Around this same time, I listened to a podcast interview with finance expert Ramit Sethi on one of my favorite podcasts–Smart Passive Income. (Ramit has been called a “wealth wizard” by Forbes and the “new guru on the block” by Fortune).
I had actually listened to interviews with him before, and I had even purchased his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich, but because reading about finance never really excited me, you can imagine what happened––it sat on my bookshelf and I barely cracked it.
After the podcast episode, I decided to buy the audiobook version of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, because he’s SO engaging to listen to and I love his “call you on your BS, no sugar-coating-straight to the point” personality, and guess what?
I LOVED IT.
I loved listening to it! It made the topics of budgeting and finance INTERESTING, conversational, and easy to understand! It was truly the BEST explanation of how to set yourself up for financial success that I’ve ever come across.
I’ve shared the book on my IG stories a couple times, and received one response from a reader that really summed up my thoughts:
“Just saw your story in IWTYTBR and wanted to let you know that after you posted about it a while ago, I listened to the audiobook and asked for the hard copy for Christmas so I could use it as a reference. It was HUGELY helpful in developing my financial literacy and super approachable so I didn’t feel hugely overwhelmed. I’ve recommended it to many others since then because it was THAT good. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this recommendation!”
I’d also like to point out that the title, honestly, is misleading. It sounds like a get rich quick scheme or something. It’s not at all.
The point of the book is to help you get your finances in order to allow you to live YOUR definition of “a rich life”– whether that means you just want to keep living the life you have and pay off your debt quickly––you want to buy a beautiful house in and have 2.5 kids and be able to send them to a good college–or that you want to have enough money to travel a lot––that you want to buy a lake house your whole family can enjoy–you want to buy a motor home for your parents so they can live their retirement dreams on the road–that you want to be able to retire by age 40 so you can pursue a second career as an acrobat. LITERALLY, whatever that means for you, he outlines how you can get there.
I love that he walks you through, without any fluff, how to get your finances together in 6 weeks or less, and how to come up with a plan that works best for you, without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. Meaning, you don’t have to forgo your morning latte, give up travel, or eating at your favorite restaurants in order to set yourself up for financial success. He focuses on “big wins” that make a big difference in your savings and investing. Not little nickel and dime suggestions that will make you feel like saving sucks and won’t even add up to much in the long run.
Here’s a quick summary of what I Will Teach You To Be Rich covers:
- How to pay off your student loans or credit card debt faster than you thought, saving you thousands of dollars
- Which bank accounts that will save you stupid fees and earn you interest
- How things like a 401K, Roth IRA, etc work. How much to put in them vs. your bank savings account. And how to set them up and forget it
- How to make MORE money no matter what your career (plus tips on exactly how to go about asking for a raise)
- Scripts to talk your bank out of late fees, to lower your cable bill
- How to create a savings plan that works for you, in a way that doesn’t make you feel deprived
- How to plan ahead and the easiest way to save for big life expenses like a wedding, car, kids, a house, or more