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The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart Paperback – May 16, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

100% Practical, 100% Specific Financial Advice Everyone Can Use: Exactly What to Do and Exactly How to Do It "Greg Karp makes managing your money as easy as 1-2-3. He offers sensible, time-tested advice to help you make smart decisions and get your finances on track."--Liz Pulliam Weston, "The most-read personal finance columnist on the Internet" (Nielsen//NetRatings), author of "Easy Money", "Your Credit Score", and "Deal with Your Debt" "I love this book. Greg's simple strategies push you to be smart with your dough and act right away."--Clark Howard, "The Clark Howard Show" "Within one hour of picking up "The 1-2-3 Money Plan", I already had a list of easy next steps to save on several of our household expenses."--Stephanie Nelson, founder of CouponMom.com "Greg Karp really knows his stuff, and he lays it out in plain language that will help anyone save money and get financially fit."--Jeff Yeager, author of "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches" "The money you spend on this book should easily be recouped by the time you're only several pages into it!"--Russell Wild, financial advisor, author of "Exchange-Traded Funds for Dummies"", ""Bond Investing for Dummies"", and ""Index Investing for Dummies" "Greg Karp is a lifesaver for people worried about stretching their dollars in a tough economy. He's no Scrooge. Rather, he nudges you into sound decisions and smart spending."--Gail MarksJarvis, "Chicago Tribune "personal finance columnist, author of "Saving for Retirement Without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery" "Today everyone is looking for a quick answer to their financial problems. In "The 1-2-3 Money Plan", Greg Karp has created an excellent resource. It's well organized and full of great ideas. But, most importantly, it's written in a language that the average consumer can understand and apply. Many people will thank Greg for helping them survive financially tough times."--Gary Foreman, editor "The DollarStretcher" Web site, stretcher.com "Greg Karp tells it like it is, with the specificity and candor busy people need. I am saving money already."--Jean Chatzky, author of "The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times", blogging at jeanchatzky.com Today, frugal is the name of the game. But you don't have to take a vow of poverty: You just have to be smarter about how you spend, save, and invest. Sound hard? Not anymore. In "The 1-2-3 Money Plan", top personal finance columnist Greg Karp offers 100% practical, 100% specific financial advice everyone can use...organized into simple three-step plans that tell you exactly what to do and how and where to do it! Discover how to save money by putting your bills on autopilot...which specific brand names to buy in everything from index funds to cellphones...how to improve your credit rating...how to get the right insurance, without wasting money on unnecessary coverage...easier ways to save for college and plan for retirement...and a whole lot more. Finally: simple, reliable financial advice you can act on, from an award-winning expert you can trust!
  • Don't be paralyzed by perfection: Be good enough
    Better a good decision now than a perfect decision someday
  • Just set it and forget it
    Make the financial decisions you only need to make once and can then ignore for years
  • Stop wasting money on things you don't care about
    Plug wasteful spending leaks, so you can redirect cash to things you truly care about
  • Easy step-by-step techniques and specific recommendations
    What to buy, in everything from mutual funds to cellphone service

About the Author

Gregory Karp is an author and journalist of 20 years. His national newspaper column, “Spending Smart,” is published in papers that together have millions of readers. The weekly column appears in the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, Allentown Morning Call, and others. The column has three times won a Best Column Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

 

He is also author of Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want.

 

Greg’s advice on spending money smarter has appeared in national magazines, such as Newsweek and SmartMoney; television broadcasts, such as WCBS in New York, WSB in Atlanta, and WPVI in Philadelphia, and literally dozens of newspapers nationwide, from the Los Angeles Times to Newsday in New York.

 

He maintains a Web site at www.gregkarp.com and blog at SpendingSmart.net. Greg lives near Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137141734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137141739
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,720,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ever think winning the lottery would solve all your problems? Actually, Mr. Karp tells us spending is more important than earning (or winning, in this case), which explains why most lottery winners end up broke. He tells us to spend our money on things that rise in value, like our homes, businesses, mutual funds, etc. As it turns out, most consumer purchases lose value quickly. Take the purchase of a new car, for instance. On the average, a new car depreciates 30% the first year. If you buy a $30,000 car and sell it after a year, that's a loss of $9,000.00.

The Get FIT chapter tells us how to save money in Food, Insurance and Telephone expenses. The FIT category consumes $14,000.00 per year of the average American family's budget. That's a chunk, isn't it? This chapter is packed with solid, easy-to-make changes which should result in savings of thousands of dollars in these three categories alone. Here are just a few of the many suggestions:

FOOD
*Shop the sales - stock up when things are on sale. You will save about 20% of your annual food spending. At the average family food expense of $7,000.00 per year, you will save $1400.00 per year.
*Try supermarket store brands.
*Redeem coupons.
*Reduce meals out.
*Make your own freezer meals. There are some great books to help you with this, including mine . . . Lunch Buddies: Buddy Up for a Better Diet.

INSURANCE
*Raise deductibles.
*Say no to extended warranties.
*Say no to identity theft insurance.

TELEPHONE
*Cancel your traditional landline phone service.
*Research, review and re-evaluate your cell phone, computer and television packages.

If you're like me, you probably can't account for how your money gets spent. Well, guess what?
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Format: Paperback
Reading and applying the common sense advice in this book will save a person at least a small fortune over their lifetime. This is so well written that it's almost impossible not to understand its many practical, common sense lessons.
The book is divided into three major sections "Spending Smart Today," "Spending Smart Yesterday" and "Spending Smart Tomorrow." "Spending Smart" today is talking about current everyday expenses. "Spending Smart Yesterday" is about paying off debt for purchases made in the past. "Spending smart tomorrow" is about saving and investing for future spending. It's about overcoming the human hardwired instinct to consume immediately. It's as simple as one, two, three. And everyone can count to at least three. Therefore anyone should be able to apply at least some of this information to making his or her own lives easier and much, much less stressful. It also tells its readers how to become solvent instead of being broke all the time. It's the kind of advice that your grandparents provided if they had lived through the Great Depression. "Waste not, want not." "Don't buy it if you don't have the money to pay for it." There is no free lunch."
The author uses the metaphor of a Global Positioning System navigator for this book. This book is a GPS system for "smart spending" and avoiding "dumb spending." He points out that most people simply want to be told what to do and then they make up their own minds about whether to do it or not, but mostly they just do it. Therefore much of the advice in this book doesn't examine every piece of advice from a dozen different angles, the author just points to a time-honored and proven piece of advice and says, "Do this, and everything will be fine and you will be happy.
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Format: Paperback
You're not going to find anything new here that you haven't heard or read before but the simplicity (easy as 1-2-3) of this book can help to reinforce your need to save money wisely, spend money wisely and invest money wisely. This isn't the best book that I've ever read on personal finance but it's easy to read, informative, and might just help with your wealth building. Just remember that reading alone won't help you achieve your goals. You'll have to plan your future with realistic and measureable goals. This book is great for the beginning steps of wanting a debt-free life. Invest in yourself before you invest in other vehicles. Stop dreaming and start doing!!!
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Format: Paperback
I'll boil down the essence of Mr. Karp's book with a personal example: I love a certain brand of "fruit and nut" bars. (I won't plug the name here.) They're incredibly tasty and packed with nutrition, but they're wickedly expensive - $1.69 each at my local grocery store. Now, your typical save-money guru would say, "Do you really need that fruit and nut bar each day? Stop wasting your money." Not Mr. Karp. He would say, "If that fruit and nut bar is important to you, buy it, but find a way to buy it for less." Alas, using the online shopping techniques in his book, I found those same fruit and nut bars for $1.49 each in bulk. If I eat one a day - and I usually do - I'll save $73 a year. That ain't nuttin'. (My apologies for the bad pun.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Awesome, easy to read, easy to understand information you can put to use immediateley. I've already saved $ in the last 2 weeks by applying one or two of the simple suggestions. First example: I lowered my cellphone bill from $80 a month to $20 based on the author's recommendation. And I now have a better featured phone too!

If only one idea appeals to you, you're already ahead. Bet you'll find many things to like. Highly recommended!
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