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Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties [Kindle Edition]

Beth Kobliner Shaw
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.34
You Save: $7.65 (45%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

The bestselling book that the New York Times hailed as “a highly readable and substantial guide to the grown-up realms of money and business,” Get a Financial Life is a must-read for anyone in their twenties and thirties (or beyond) who wants to understand the basics of personal finance.

If you’ve been meaning to get your finances in shape but have no idea where to start, this is your playbook. Get a Financial Life busts open the system, teaching tricks for becoming master of your own money universe. No matter what’s happening in the economy, all the guidance you need is right here. You’ll learn how to:

• Pay off your credit cards and student loans and live debt free
• Start saving, even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck
• Take advantage of the latest tax rules and save a bundle
• Find smart investments while still supporting socially responsible companies
• Come up with a down payment and buy a home, even in a tough economy
• Afford grad school
• Protect yourself from identity theft

And you’ll discover why a 401(k) is your best friend—in boom times and even if the market is tanking.

From tracking your spending to finding deals on insurance to navigating the new world of homebuying, this easy-to-understand, comprehensive guide provides an up-to-date road map of the world of personal finance. Whether you earn $30,000 or $300,000, are single or married, are drowning in debt or just looking for ways to keep your savings secure in uncertain times, you’ll find the answers you need in Get a Financial Life.

“A daring book….A life’s worth of smart financial advice” (Newsweek).

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Those in their twenties and thirties have special financial concerns, including paying off college loans, obtaining credit cards, buying a car, and financing a first house or apartment. Kobliner, a contributing writer for Money magazine, provides some assistance here. She "focuses exclusively on what you need to know now when you're just starting to pay attention to money matters?whether you earn $15,000 or $150,000, whether you're single or married, whether you're financially inclined or financially challenged." Those consulting this book will find useful information and advice, from buying insurance to filing an income tax return. Helpful features include a bibliography of information resources and lists of agencies to contact. This source provides a helpful road map for young people striving for financial security. Recommended for public libraries.?Lucy T. Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, N.Y.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

As one grows older, it becomes increasingly apparent that the oft-repeated admonishment that it is never too early to start saving money is all too true. But the young are often disinclined to think about growing older, and they usually cannot "afford" to start setting money aside. Kobliner, herself a barely thirtysomething who writes for Money magazine, attempts to reach younger readers by speaking their language and tailoring fairly standard financial counsel to the needs and circumstances of those just starting out on their own. Included in her advice on budgeting, credit, banking, investing, retirement planning, home buying, insurance, and taxes are tips on car loans, credit cards, ATMs, bank accounts, mutual funds, retirement savings plans, apartment renting, and paying back student loans. David Rouse

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
I bought an earlier version of this book way back in 1996. I had just gotten my first job and I was looking for information on how to manage money and to find out how much I could "afford" when buying a car and/or other expensive stuff. This book helped with all of that. It helped me understand the basics of personal finance, loans, insurance, 401(k), etc. There's lots of good advice in there, so I'd certainly recommend buying this book. The information is this book is beautifully organized and very easy to digest.
Unfortunately, I haven't learnt a whole lot about personal finance since reading this book. I've read numerous books on personal finance after this one. All of them tend to say more or less the same things as this book, but they haven't said it as well.
Bottomline, if you understand the basics of personal finance (such as the principles of compounding, the importance of investing early in a 401(k), why it's bad to have credit card debt, etc.), you can probably afford to skip this book. Otherwise, it's a must have.
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85 of 94 people found the following review helpful
This updated version of Beth Kobliner's work (5/2000) can help the folks in their 20's and 30's get a handle on their finances. Even with a college education, most students fail to come away with sufficient knowledge on how to manage their dough. This book is an easy read, not filled with useless info. There is special emphasis on paying off college loans, getting credit cards, buying a car, and financing a first house or apartment. Things that you really need to know. The main chapters include: Figuring out Where You Are and Where You Want to Go, Finding the Best Loans and Getting Yourself Out of Hock, How to Get the Most from Your Bank for the Least Amount of Money, All You Really Need to Know About Investing, Living the Good Life in 2030 !!, Getting an Apartment or House of Your Own, What Insurance You Need and Don't, Finding the Right Policies and Forgoing Coverage You Don't Need, Making Your Life Less Taxing. There is info on using the Web to help you save, spend and invest wisely, how to refinance your high-rate debt and avoid hidden fees and traps, taking advantage of the latest tax breaks- including deductions for student loans, and planning your long range savings program. In addition, there are details on car leases, credit reports, mutual funds, and more. A wealth of information available for less than 12 bucks. Highly recommended. A great gift.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-use reference guide January 6, 2002
I bought the original edition of this book after seeing Ms. Kobliner on a morning news program. I was rather uninformed about my finances at that point. I had several thousands of dollars of credit card debt, was about to finish grad school and get married, and didn't have a job waiting. Worried about merging my bad financial life with my future husband's relatively well-organized one, I bought this book.
Together, my husband and I read it and developed a road map for what we thought we needed to accomplish. It gave us the basics to get our financial life on track, including paying off all the credit card debt (we carry none at all), getting a mortgage, buying a new car, and starting retirement plans. Now that we arethinking about insurance, starting a family, planning for college funds, etc., this was the first place I thought to turn for well-seasoned advice.
This book covers a lot of topics in an accessible format, but I acknowledge that for someone who is already aware of their finances and has some knowledge, it may be repetitive. But I always find myself wanting to go back to it when I have questions--so today I'm buying the updated edition, and letting a financially challeneged friend keep the other one.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finances made easier June 20, 2003
By Molly
Finally, a book that doesn't assume your money woes are allowing your heirs to intherit their trust funds with as little tax as possible, finding the best long term care insurance, or how to save money by clipping coupons and doing every house project yourself. (I even read a book on frugality once that suggested getting a goat, because you won't have to mow your lawn anymore and you can have fresh milk everyday)
How about a book for someone who knows that the best time to invest is when you are young, but is intimidated by the purposefully complicated langauge of the financial world? That would be this book. It is written very comprehensively, occasionally so much so that it feels a little "dumbed down", but that is okay.
Get a financial life starts with the basics of the basics. Setting up a checking account and an emergency savings fund, and avoiding bank fees while you do it. I couldn't help but to think, if you are in your thirties and don't have a checking account yet, you need more help than this book could provide...but anyway, this book then goes on to cover credit cards, auto insurance, health insurance, 401k plans vs. IRAs and Roth IRA's, mutual funds. It does it in a way which is not so dry to read that you feel like falling asleep, and not so demanding that you know you will never be able to accomplish your finacial goals without spending your life huddled over a calculator.
I would gladly loan this book to anyone who is going to be on their own for the first time. You HAVE TO know this stuff if you are going to make it in the real world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy if you do not live in the US !
I bought the book to learn the basics of personal finance thinking it would be some kind of general introduction covering many topics. It actually makes for a very good read. Read more
Published 11 days ago by T. Le Bras
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD FOR ALL AGES
A great book for anyone starting their "official adult lives." Makes a fantastic gift for graduates!
Published 12 days ago by Batcee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very handy and well thought out guide.
Published 18 days ago by Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy & read, regardless of age
This book changed my life and outlook on finances. I highly recommend it for people of any age - it's never too late to get a handle on your money!
Published 19 days ago by Mrs. Dana Grizzle
3.0 out of 5 stars Super helpful
I am not a financially minded person, but in an effort to change that and become more responsible I am taking a class. Read more
Published 22 days ago by B.H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference for the Newly Married
Bought this for my son who has recently gotten a new job, a wife, and has a baby on the way. He is thinking about life insurance and buying a house, as well as saving for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great explanation and tips on student debt
I'm forever grateful for this book. It completely changed my life. I learned everything I needed to know about getting my finances in order and found the first uncomplicated... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great service. great book!
Book arrived quickly and is in perfect condition. ALSO - EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. Easy to read and understand, and solid gold financial advise. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, easy to read
I haven't quite finished this book but so far it's a fantastic read. Great, plain language, great insight and good advice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Philip
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
item exactly as described, arrived before expected date.
Published 2 months ago by Amy
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More About the Author

BETH KOBLINER is a personal finance commentator and journalist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Get a Financial Life®: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties. She's currently writing a new book for parents, Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not), to be published by Simon & Schuster.

Earlier this year, Beth was appointed by President Obama to the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, a bipartisan committee dedicated to increasing the financial know-how of kids of all ages and economic backgrounds.

As a member of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability from 2010 to 2013, and chair of the Council's Money as You Grow working group, Beth spearheaded the creation of the national initiative Money as You Grow, which offers families an online, interactive tool to teach kids 20 essential, age-appropriate lessons about money. More than one million people have visited the site since its May 2012 White House launch.

Beth has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, and Reader's Digest; has been a columnist at Money, Glamour, and Redbook magazines; and has regular columns on The Huffington Post (40 million visitors per month) and (10 million subscribers).

As a content advisor for Sesame Workshop's first-ever financial education initiative For Me, for You, for Later, Beth was delighted to offer on-air money advice to Elmo in a program viewed by more than one million families. She has been a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, NBC's Today show, ABC's Good Morning America, and CBS's Early Show, and has been a regular contributor to the national public radio programs The Takeaway and Marketplace, on which she discussed teens and money with her daughter in the "Beth and Becca" segment. Beth appeared several times on Oprah, and was the featured financial correspondent on the PBS program Your Life, Your Money, for which she was also script consultant.

She is a regular lecturer on financial literacy, consumer finance, and related public policy issues at universities including Brown, Harvard, Yale, Howard, MIT, SUNY Westchester Community College, and New Jersey Institute of Technology, at which she spoke with Cory Booker about financial literacy and young people. Beth has also spoken at corporations and conferences including the White House Urban Economic Forum, National Journal LIVE, Campus Progress National Youth Conference, the American Savings Education Council, MTV, PepsiCo, and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Beth has worked extensively with the Federal Trade Commission's "Project Credit Smarts" campus outreach campaign and other organizations to promote credit card awareness. She was a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' National Commission on Retirement Policy, and has testified before a U.S. Senate policy committee on young people's attitudes toward Social Security. She is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the New York Financial Writers' Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Beth is a graduate of Brown University.

Visit Beth at, follow her on Twitter (@BethKobliner) and like her on Facebook (


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