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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting a losing battle with your budget? Arm yourself with The 1-2-3 Money Plan by Gregory Karp!
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...
Published on June 18, 2009 by Lynette R. Fleming

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Financial Advice Newbies Only!
I am no financial whiz, but I watch a few personal finance shows and read money-saving advice articles in any magazine I can get my hands on, and this book did not cover anything that I had not already learned there. Perhaps the title should have given it away, but this really is the "1,2,3," or " A,B,C" book of financial advice in that it is just the basics...
Published on January 9, 2010 by Miss Jennifer R. Scott


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fighting a losing battle with your budget? Arm yourself with The 1-2-3 Money Plan by Gregory Karp!, June 18, 2009
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (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? I found out from Mr. Karp that there are websites making that an easy task, like Mint.com which automatically imports your transactions from banks, credit cards, and investment companies. It even suggests vendors that can save you money.

This review covers just the tip of the iceberg of Mr. Karp's money-saving strategies to get your financial wellness back on track. The 1-2-3 Money Plan includes everything from warranties to websites, online shopping to security, food to phones, and more. If you implement just a few of the strategies in Mr. Karp's book, your initial investment will be returned many times over. So read this book now and reap the rewards as you maneuver your Battleship "Budget" through the rough financial seas. Ahoy, mate!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be Required Reading in High School, June 18, 2009
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (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." He then points out that not all the advice in this book is original; it's simply what has worked for most people on the planet who try it.
The author gives plenty of straight talk on the subject of debt and overspending. He warns against all those expenses people set up to be automatic, but which can build up sight unseen, like extra minutes on a cell phone, an unused monthly gym membership, and interest on credit cards. At the same time the author points out the dangers of leaving these meters running and building up costs, he talks about the ways to set up automatic savings and investment plans. Having automatic paycheck deductions made each month for an IRA, 401K or other pension plan, for future college costs, for any kind of savings or mortgage payment in fact are good things because most people don't miss the money if they don't see it. And, as Mr. Karp points out, once good spending habits and automatic savings plans are set up, they are automatic and don't need constant attention as they work their own kind of scientific magic.
This is an excellent book for understanding how spending works for or against you. Every page is packed with helpful advice about any facet of our economic life. It introduces comparison-shopping as the key to controlling all expenses and warns against the overuse of credit cards. If a person can't pay off the balance on their credit card each and every month, they are spending too much and should call a halt to that "dumb spending." The author emphasizes the increasing importance of maintaining a good credit rating. Since the
book is just off the press, some of the changes that will follow this current serious recession are also discussed in detail with possible paths through the economic quicksand pointed out.
It has excellent advice about all phases of our economic life including the importance of wills and insurance and how to get the best deals on those items. I loved the advice about buying cars that don't depreciate by 50% the minute the buyer drives off the car lot. It sounded like the exact words my Father gave me years ago because over a lifetime, most people spend more on their automobiles than they do their homes. If everyone in the nation followed this advice, it would be a much happier and wealthier place. And it's a page-turner too. It's excellent advice!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative - Easy to Read, October 12, 2009
By 
RAYT721 (Cleveland, Ohio) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Financial Advice Newbies Only!, January 9, 2010
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (Paperback)
I am no financial whiz, but I watch a few personal finance shows and read money-saving advice articles in any magazine I can get my hands on, and this book did not cover anything that I had not already learned there. Perhaps the title should have given it away, but this really is the "1,2,3," or " A,B,C" book of financial advice in that it is just the basics. "Introducing" readers to saving for an emergency, using online coupon codes, or finding ways to save money like drinking water instead of soda at restaurants is nothing new ... most of us have heard all of that a hundred times, I'm afraid. I did not take much away from this book except an additional way to stop unwanted junk mail that I was not aware of. It was quite dull and the author used boring examples from his life (e.g. 'my wife and I rented a season of "The Shield"!') . It seemed to me as if it was a way to fill the word count he needed to meet. Not exactly what I was hoping for from a financial "advice" book since I didn't gain much advisement and the author simply rehashes other people's advice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That ain't nuttin', June 19, 2009
By 
C. Johnson (Princeton, N.J.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information, June 14, 2009
By 
Tina "Tina" (Montreal, Quebec) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (Paperback)
With the economic situation being the way it is and in an attempt to save as much money as possible and play "catch up" for spending foolishly for a long time, I jumped on the opportunity of reading the 1-2-3 Money Plan.

While I have to admit that there are no major, shattering revelations and ideas in this book, I still found it to be a very practical and informative book to read.

For one thing, I believe it does not hurt to hear some of this information over and over again. I specifically liked the parts of the book in which the author encourages us to "think, think" before buying anything. I have found that the more people tell me this, the more I find myself doing it, even despite my first instinct to spend, spend, spend.

I also like that this book is set up in easy to follow steps and that the author pretty well spells them out very clearly for us.

I also appreciate that this book is written for the average person - and not filled with financial terms that we need a dictionnary to figure out.

My particular favorite was about the shopping of store brands - vs name brands. I have found that, in my case, I have managed to save quite a lot of $$$ doing this for the most part and its validating to read about this in the book.

I encourage people to read this book and to make some notes for future spending -
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful book with lots of good tips, June 20, 2014
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This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (Paperback)
After reading tons of books on being green and frugal, I rarely find a book that adds anything new and exciting. I usually end up paperbackswapping, donating, or re-selling most of my recent purchases instead of adding them to my collection. However, that was not the case with this book. It had something new to offer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Resource & Research, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart (Paperback)
Excellent buy and excellent shipping. I would recommend this book to anyone studying finances or wanting to build up their personal financial knowledge.

Shalom...MinDee
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Practical Advice", May 14, 2014
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I recommend that everyone who struggles with saving, investing or paying off debt read this book. This book simply guides you through the basics step by step. Greg tells you exactly what to do with your money which is great for many of us who are stuck in debt and bad spending habits.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good advice, October 30, 2013
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Good book with alot of good advice. I have taken some of that advice and implemented it, and am doing well from those decisions. Like all money books, you have to decide what's right for you, but this book had alot of good ideas/thoughts.
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The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart
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