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How to Ruin Your Financial Life Hardcover – March 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Ben Stein has written "How To Ruin Your Financial Life" in a gently humorous way that lets us see most clearly the foolishness of the decisions we excuse ourselves in making. By writing the book as 55 financial principles you can follow to ensure complete and utter ruin, it is easier for us to recognize ourselves as having done far too many of these idiotic things. I call them idiotic because you will find yourself saying, "What kind of idiot would do THAT!" and then you will remember that it was you (me). So, the learning will begin and things will get better when you do the opposite of everything in the book.
For those that don't get it, the Afterword sets out the fundamental principles in a positive way.
One of the problems with reading little books is that you can dash through them quickly. Don't! Spend time thinking about each of these principles. Better you should take one a day and really ponder it than try to swallow everything Mr. Stein is offering in one sitting. Getting control of your money is too important to leave to happenstance.
Thanks, Mr. Stein!
I've read most of his books, and enjoyed them all. This one is the second of three "tongue in cheek" volumes that I've had the pleasure to read. It's funny and quick to read, and makes some terrific points about flawed, short-sighted attitudes that I see all around me: "I'm always going to have money. Good things will always happen to me" (magical thinking). If you've ever heard or seen Ben, at times you can imagine his voice narrating a passage - and I would actually chuckle out loud at those times.
(BTW, if an audio version of this book is ever made, Ben Stein must be the narrator.)
Yes, the slim volume DRIPS with sarcasm, as was intended, but all of the points that are made in a series of very-short chapters (that flow from each other in logical fashion) are filled with solid money management information (if you would do the REVERSE, so as not to "ruin" your financial life!) - and the book should be required reading for every teenager and young adult. In fact, plenty of adults could benefit, as well, now that I think about it. It's rare that an educational volume is so funny (or that a humorous book is so educational!) The author is well-versed in the subject of finances and, in this book, manages to break the topic down into manageable and understandable elements so that the rest of us may also GET A CLUE.
I originally bought the book for my 19-year-old son but then realized that the young single mothers at my workplace were struggling with most of the issues presented in the book, and needed it more than my son, so I merely left the book in the breakroom when I had finished reading it. It was "borrowed" by someone before the day was over! I hope it keeps circulating.
Thanks, Ben, for another WINNER.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A different take on the usual approach to being wise with one's money, Ben Stein is entertaining as usual.Published 10 months ago by Dr. Kristi S. Fowler
I had a good time reading this book. It brought back memories from my past and when I too was living like a broke person.Published 19 months ago by Michael Mota
I could see some relatives and friends must have already bought this book and thought it was serious and not humor.Published 22 months ago by C,k
Each chapter in the book is a couple of sarcastic lines. The sarcasm is great, i just expected more of a "book" with "chapters" of hilarity. Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by 1goodgranny
Valuable information from a different stance. There is advice given here I wish mom and dad had given me. If they had I would have to be working this late in life.Published on November 29, 2013 by Greg Sitek
I thought the book was simplistic and lacking insight. I feel Mr Stein has much more to offer than is represented here.Published on November 22, 2013 by C. Saunders
A very sarcastic way of looking at your financial life. If you know what to do to improve your financial life, but have not put that knowledge to work, this book will point some... Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by potterta
This is before how to "Really" ruin your life in 2012. I liked it a lot but it was a bit dated compared to the latest edition. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by JS