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Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties Paperback – March 17, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0743264365 ISBN-10: 0743264363 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 3rd edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743264363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743264365
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I just started reading this book.
GET A FINANCIAL LIFE is a great introduction to personal finance matters that we all need to deal with.
The information is this book is beautifully organized and very easy to digest.
Anoop Ghanwani

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Anoop Ghanwani on July 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
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 By Irvin Goodman HALL OF FAME on August 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
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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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Toomanybooks on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
First, I would like to disagree with the two extremely negative commentators that found this book patronizing. Although this book is obviously intended for beginners, I don't think Kobliner intended for anyone to take the beginner level content personally. For example, Kobliner did not insinuate that Gen. X-ers can't use credit cards responsibly. For those who can't, however, or for those who feel overwhelmed with the amount of debt they have taken on, Kobliner provides the financial framework for knowing why you should pay your credit cards as soon as possible. I think that the summary of the book & the cutesy cover should have given these two readers a clue that the book was intended for those with a limited financial background. Lynch would be terribly heavy reading for people unfamiliar with the business world.
That said, I found this book very informative. Obviously, personal finance is a vast subject and so this book serves as a brief overview of such topics as different types of bank accounts, paying your student loans back, saving for retirement, what to look for when renting an apartment, and how to buy a house. I bought this book a couple of months before my dad cut the purse strings and I graduated from college. Although I majored in accounting, I learned mostly theory in school. I found the investing content particularly informative and I opened my IRA ASAP. It is now been a little more than a year and I do think that I have "outgrown" most of the subject matter, but I still use this book for reference. When I buy a house, I will now know about the different types of mortgages and how much I should set aside. Of course, if schools taught personal finance, I wouldn't need this at all.
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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 (