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Personal Finance For Dummies Paperback – November 9, 2009

42 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Making Everything Easier!

Personal Finance for Dummies

6th Edition

Learn to:

  • Assess your financial fitness

  • Save more and spend less

  • Review your credit report and improve your score

  • Make smart investments in any economic environment

Eric Tyson, MBA

Bestselling author, Investing For Dummies

The easy way to achieve your financial goals!

Renowned personal finance expert Eric Tyson combines his time-tested financial advice with updated strategies to give you everything you need to protect your financial future. Inside, you'll get concrete, action-oriented guidance for tracking expenditures, reducing spending, getting out of debt, investing wisely, saving for college and other events, and financially surviving life's unexpected twists and turns.

  • Assessing your fitness and setting goals — improve your financial literacy, measure your financial health, find out where your money goes, and set your monetary goals

  • Saving more, spending less — get practical advice on how to deal with debt, reduce your spending, and tame those daunting taxes

  • Building wealth with wise investing — learn important investment concepts and discover how you can boost your personal wealth with real estate, mutual funds, and everything in between

  • Protecting what you've got — find out how to get insurance coverage for all of your assets at the best price

  • Where to go for more help — get helpful guidance on working with financial planners, on using your personal computer to manage your money, and on seeking (and avoiding) media outlets for the latest in financial news

"Provides tremendous insight and guidance into the world of investing and other money issues."

– PBS Nightly Business Report

"Smart advice?rewards your candor with advice and comfort."

– Newsweek

Open the book and find:

  • Information on understanding and improving your credit score

  • Coverage of new tax law changes

  • Tips on how to budget, trim expenses, and save money

  • Advice on how to plan for the future

  • Tactics to thwart identity theft and fraud

  • What's going on with government assistance programs, Social Security, and Medicare

  • The best ways to reduce and eliminate debt

About the Author

Eric Tyson ( is an internationally acclaimed and bestselling personal finance book author, syndicated columnist, and speaker. He is also the author of the national bestsellers Investing For Dummies and Home Buying For Dummies.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 6 edition (November 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470506938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470506936
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric Tyson is a best-selling personal finance book author and has penned five national best sellers. He is also the only author to have four of his books simultaneously on Business Week's business book bestseller list.

His Personal Finance for Dummies, a Wall Street Journal best-seller, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Business Book of the Year. Eric's syndicated newspaper column is read by millions of readers weekly. He is a former columnist and award-winning journalist for the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle. His website,, rocketed into the top one percent of financial websites within its first year of operation.

Eric's work has been featured and quoted in hundreds of local and national publications and media outlets including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, Money, Worth, Parenting, USA Today and on the NBC Today Show, ABC, Fox News, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, CNN, and on CBS national radio, NPR's Marketplace Money and Bloomberg Business Radio. He's also been a featured speaker at a White House conference on retirement planning.

Tired of working as a management consultant to Fortune 500 financial service firms which more interested in maximizing short-term profits than in providing sound financial products and services, Eric founded in 1990 the nation's first financial counseling firm which works exclusively on an hourly basis. He started his new company with a simple mission: to provide objective, cost-effective personal financial advice, especially to non-wealthy Americans. Through family and friends, Eric had seen many otherwise intelligent people make horrendous mistakes in managing their money, in part, because the failure of our schools and colleges to teach personal finance.

In addition to his counseling work, Eric also hoped to make an impact in the writing and media fields. Much of the personal finance writing and reporting he saw and heard was biased, jargon-laden and, in some cases, filled with bad advice. For example, rather than telling people the hard truth - that one must live within one's means as a prerequisite to building wealth - many publications offer up hyped and unrealistic "get rich without making sacrifices or taking risk" type approaches.

In addition to his writing and counseling, Eric also taught the nation's most highly attended personal financial management course at the University of California. He has spoken at many corporations and non-profits. His educational background includes having earned his bachelor's degree in economics at Yale and an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Eric is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial planner and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David on June 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The Kindle edition is basically an advertisement for the real book. You won't be buying anything more than a glorified sampler. The actual paperback edition looks more comprehensive, while the Kindle edition is over almost as soon as you start reading it and the information contained within is mostly common sense. Pay the extra few dollars for the physical copy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rudy on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whenever I see a book labeled "for DUMMIES" I skip it. After all, I'm not a dummy right? Well, after increasing my income and realizing that my spending is going out of control, I decided to start educate myself about personal finance by buying a series of books about the subject. Among them was this book. I started to read it with disdain, and then something happened...

Within 20 minutes of reading this book, I got results. I knew I had a problem controlling my weekly spending, so I started reading Part II, and they provided a very simple but important tips that I often overlook. So I logged on my bank account online and started to see where some of those charges were coming from. To my surprise some were from services I did not even use or not have to use(ie Rhapsody, Experian, ...). So I started to call each company's costumer service to cancel my account; in the event I did not muse their service over the past few months, I'd ask if I could be refunded for unused services. And guess what? most of them did. Some refunded me full amount and others a percentage of the monthly charge. I invested $11 in this book and already got more back from canceling unused services or products. And I am not done reading the book yet! Looking forward to cultivate a new discipline in my finances.
I would definitely recommend this book as long as you are an action oriented person. It's easy to read, and right to the point.

Rudy T.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Regis Schilken on November 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Why would I pick up a copy of Personal Finance For Dummies? After all, the sound of the word "dummy" reminded me of a wooden-headed creature with a ventriloquist's voice and that could not be me. As I started reading the introduction, the very first line made me feel much better: "If your personal financial knowledge is limited, you're probably not at fault." In my case, that was an accurate statement until I read Personal Finance For Dummies.

First off, the book is written in language any layman can understand. It is not necessary to read every word of every chapter, yet I would advise at least skimming the headings on each page. As a whole, the book shows a reader the effect sound financial planning can have on a lifetime. It shows the importance of diagnosing monetary fitness and then exercising sound financial health practices at a very early age.

One of the most important pieces of advice author Tyson gives is this: Get out the scissors and cut up your credit cards (not debit cards). In an era where overspending with plastic has helped bring the collapse of world markets, it is critical to plan how you will save money for your future - but you must do it now! This is especially important if you tend to be obsessive about using plastic instead of real money.

Saving usually means cutting what you spend. The author suggests not buying costly brand names when others are of equal quality. When possible, buying in bulk at wholesale superstores is a real cost saver unless you're buying perishables.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Lee on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book holds a special place in my heart. It is the book that gave me the knowledge to discover that I was being exploited by a financial planner, and it likely saved me several hundreds of thousands of dollars in future retirement funds by giving me a solid foundation to manage my own investments instead of leaving my money in the hands of some backside clown posing as a financial planner.

There's something in this book for everyone, regardless of financial background. I never had any problems living below my means and not making unnecessary purchases, but I knew absolutely nothing about investing, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. This book goes through all of these topics and more. It is written in an easy to read format and can be finished easily within a weekend.

A great supplement to this book that goes into the investing subject in greater detail is the Bogleheads Guide to Investing:

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have to agree with many of the reviewers who gave this book just a few stars: this book is very basic.

That's why it was so useful to me, a woman in her 20's who is still figuring out the basics of money management. Tyson does kind of skim over each topic, but if you are looking for a broad look at personal finances this is perfect: it serves as an introduction to paying off debt, investing, handling retirement funds. It helped my husband and me figure out which area we need work on (and which topic to buy a more specific book about). I gave it 4 stars because it seemed the author could have given a bit more advice about paying off "good" debt like student loans. Not recommended for the money savvy, but great for all of us financial dummies out there.
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