I Will Teach You to Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works (Second Edition) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
“A unique voice on money, one singularly attuned to...his generation.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
Buy as many lattes as you want. Spend extravagantly on the things you love. Live your rich life instead of tracking every last expense with Ramit Sethi’s simple, powerful, and effective six-week program for gaining control over your finances.
This isn’t typical advice from a money expert. In this completely updated second edition, Ramit teaches you how to choose long-term investments and the right bank accounts. With his characteristic no-BS perspective, he shows how to squeeze every hidden benefit out of your credit cards. Crush debt and student loans. Learn the exact words to negotiate a raise. Set up an automatic payment system and get on with your life. Plus, new material on overcoming psychological barriers, love and money, new investments options, and real audience stories of how applying Ramit’s principles led to a rich life.
“Don’t let the breezy, irreverent style of this book fool you. It contains serious advice on personal-finance decisions, from budgeting and savings to spending and investing.” (Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street)
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 8 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 14, 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #394 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#4 in Economics (Audible Books & Originals)
#6 in Personal Finance (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Economics (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2023
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So this topic isn't new to me.
So when I got this book (I got an advanced copy of it)I was figuring that I would read this book and probably wouldn't learn anything new.
I was thinking "ohhhkaaay...so it's gonna probably talk about how to get out of debt by reducing your spending to almost nothing, eat beans, rice and ramen noodles...cut coupons..and do this for several years then you'll be able to start living your life"
I figured it would be the same old information that I've read in all the other personal finance books....yaaawn!
Boy oh boy...was I ever wrong
I honestly have to say, that this book was the complete opposite of everything I've ever read.
For you parents, it's like having two kids.
You know..your first child is usually calm, relaxed, quiet, well mannered and well behaved.
Then you have child #2...expecting things to be pretty much the same...only to find out your second child is the complete opposite
Child #2 is a wild child. Crazy, loud, eats dirt...touches the bathroom handles in public washrooms and then the next minute has their fingers in their mouth
Well, Ramit's book is like your second child.
It's fun and actually really interesting to read! ( I know...I know..who says that about a dry topic like paying off debt, investing and saving?).
It'll make you laugh in some parts(fo real!).
And...it gets you motivated and makes you want to start taking action as soon as you've finished the chapter
He gives you action steps at the end of each chapter that you can start implementing right away!
And...it's real! He keeps it sooo real that he even talks about his discussion with his wife when bringing up the topic of having a PRENUP!! (ohhhh snaaaapp!! ...bring out the popcorn cuz it's about to go down!!)
Ok...so here's what I really liked about this book and thought was friggin awesome!
[1. Conscious Spending]
Ok...so we've all heard about "having a budget". And when we hear that..we automatically think "cut back on everything. Use water instead of milk in your cereal. Grow your own coffee beans at home in your backyard and make your own coffee to save a couple of dollars a day"...right?
But Ramit goes about this in a TOTALLY different way. And I love his approach to it. It's such a small shift in your mindset, but it has a HUGE impact!!
So basically, he's telling you this. Instead of thinking of your budget as a way to cut back and not enjoy life..think of it like a plan.
It's your plan where you are CONSCIOUSLY choosing how to SPEND your money each month.
But not only that... this is YOUR life! And to live a "rich" and "happy" life - you get to choose to spend on the things that make you happy.
So why not cut back on the things you hate - so that you can spend on the things you love!
As he says in Chapter 4 on Conscious Spending "conscious spending isn’t about cutting your spending on everything. That approach wouldn’t last two days. It is, quite simply, about choosing the things you love enough to spend extravagantly on—and then cutting costs mercilessly on the things you don’t love."
(BOOOM!! MIC DROP!!)
[2. Scripts to use to save you money]
You ever get nervous when calling up a financial company (like your credit cards) and then you don't know what to say.
Maybe you don't know how to negotiate, or you just get nervous and forget what to say.
Well...not to worry.
Ramit gives you WORD FOR WORD scripts that you can use to waive annual fees on your credit cards, and even get fees waived on your bank accounts!
I know...when I read that I was like "hoollld up..wutcha talkin bout Willis!"
I told you that this book was the complete opposite of other personal finance books. What other personal finance book is giving you exact scripts to use on how to call up your credit card and get annual fees waived?!
It's these small details that the average person wants to know cuz let's be real...who likes paying fees? Right?!
[3. Open and Honest]
What I really liked...which I've never seen before....was the willingness to be open and direct with the reader.
Ramit laid all the cards on the table and he mentions
a. the exact credit cards he uses
b. the exact bank accounts he uses
c. the exact online brokerage account he uses
d. the investments he puts his money in
Who else does that?
But not only that....like I said, he GOES THERE and talks about the very very very touchy and sensitive topic of having a prenup.
In Chapter 9 LOVE & MONEY - he talks about how he had this difficult conversation with his wife. He also talks about why he decided to do it and should you sign one or not?
Also in this chapter, he covers difficult topics around money like
a. How to help parents who are in debt
b. Should you tell your parents and friends how much money you have
c. Talking Money with your significant other
d. How to handle money when your spouse makes more than you
e. How to handle planning for a wedding
f. Negotiating your salary at work
and more and more...
I'm telling you...Chapter 9 is where it all goes down!
Just keepin it real with ya...this is the stuff that we REALLY want to know about. This is the real life stuff we deal with on a day to day basis that NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT!!
I mean, sure...we want to know how to pay off debt, invest, etc... But let's be real. That part is boring.
That's like reading the first few chapters of a hot & steamy novel..like 50 shades of gray. It's necessary to build the story, but the REAL juicy stuff happens later on.... and that's the part you want to get to.
We've all had a difficult convo with someone about money (spouse, fiance, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc..)
Don't you wish you knew how to handle it better...well now you will! Now you'll have a plan
[4. He's very specific]
For example, in Chapter 7 he talks about investing. And he recommends setting up your asset allocation using David Swensen's recommendation. Swensen manages Yale's endowment for more than 30 years and has an amazing 13.5% annualized return.
He even gives you the exact percentage's to use
30 percent—Domestic equities
15 percent—Developed-world international equities
5 percent—Emerging-market equities
20 percent—Real estate investment trusts
15 percent—Government bonds
15 percent—Treasury inflation-protected securities
I like this because it takes the guess work out of it for you
Just do exactly what he's laid out - and boom! You've got a successful investing plan in place.
Here are some things that I found different with this book vs other personal finance books
[1. Focus on Big wins, not small wins]
So for example, instead of chasing small percentages by getting introductory rates for high interest savings accounts, focus on your asset allocation and what you're invested in. Your time is much better spent focusing on that, and it will have much bigger returns in the long run
Ramit continues to remind us that it is better to use your time working on things that will have a big impact on your life (i.e. setting up your automated investing) vs spending hours or days looking for the perfect credit card.
[2. Word for Word Scripts]
As I mentioned, he gives you exact scripts you can use to save money and get fees waived
[3. Automating your finances]
Let's be real..who REALLY enjoys paying bills? Who really enjoys reading over investment statements and managing their money? No one!..that's who! Not even Ramit (he even admits this in the book)
Plus - we're all lazy. We don't really want to set aside time to look at our investments. We say we will...but let's be honest..most of us don't.
So in Chapter 5 - he shows you how to automate your finances so that you can get on with your life. He shows you how to setup a system so that your bills get paid automatically and your investment accounts get funded automatically.
And when it's all setup and done...you basically only have to spend 1hr a month looking over your finances, so that you can get on with the more important things in your life
[4. Conversations around money]
He talks about things that others don't talk about...like the judgement you get from friends and family when you spend money on certain things you like...or how we may judge others on things they spend..but we don't know the full context.
Or I'm sure we've all had that one friend who says to you "why do you still have that old iphone? Don't you think it's time to upgrade?"
This was very eye-opening to me and it was great to see someone finally be honest and talk about these things. I have never read a personal finance book that talks about these real life situations this way before
WHAT IS MISSING
Here are some things I found that were missing from the book
[1. Real Estate Investments]
I'm actually kind of surprised that he didn't talk about investing in real estate (residential or commercial)
This is such a hot topic, and there are TONS of Real estate related TV shows now about flipping homes, or agents finding these multi-million dollar homes for their clients.
I think it's a topic that many people are also interested in.
Also, just based on regular "street knowledge"...the average person probably has an easier time understanding real estate and owning property vs understanding how the stock market and index funds work.
They probably feel more comfortable with real estate because it's a physical asset, whereas the stock market may feel like black magic to a lot of people.
He talks about Cryptocurrency, so I thought for sure he'd talk about investing in real estate.
But he didn't
I wish he had touched on Real Estate as an investment and mention at least what percentage of your portfolio should be allocated towards real estate and how to go about investing in it in a strategic, methodical manner. Kind of like how he explained how to invest in the stock market
[2. Saving up and paying cash for your car]
I found it odd that he didn't talk about the option of saving up and paying for a car in cash.
He does talk about how to buy a car, but it involves getting a loan.
Which - I found ironic because Ramit is completely against debt.
So it didn't make sense to me why he is telling us to get a loan for a car
He mentions how to save up for other big ticket items (like your wedding, etc..) but he doesn't give you a plan on how to save up for your car and use cash so that you can avoid getting into debt and getting a car loan.
I'm not sure what the reason is behind this...but this was very surprising to me.
[3. Investing in blue-chip stable companies]
Ramit is against picking and investing in individual stocks. He recommends investing in Index Funds instead. And for the average person, I understand why
And..he explains why in the book (Chapter 7)
But - at the same time, I think there could have been an opportunity to mention in the book how to invest in well known, stable, big name companies that have been around for many decades that produce dividends and can be a good addition to your portfolio
I'm not saying that they should make up the majority of your portfolio, but perhaps a small percentage.
Ramit is very methodical - and I believe he could have given some sound advice on some criteria to look at for blue-chip companies that have been around forever, and would be solid investments.
One company that comes to mind that Warren Buffett publicly admits he likes is Coca-Cola. It's not an exciting company but it has a history of being stable and producing dividends for the investor.
MAIN TAKEAWAY FROM THE BOOK
The main theme of this book is all about living your Rich Life
And of course, living a Rich Life will mean different things for different people.
For one person, that might mean always upgrading their seats on a flight to the seats with extra leg room...for another, that might mean always buying the VIP section tickets at concerts but also that person could care less about eating out at lunch so they always pack their lunch.
In Chapter 9 (A Rich Life) ...Ramit says :
"it’s about not having to think about money all the time and being able to travel and work on the things that interest me."
this pretty much sums it all up right here.
I realized that life is more about enjoying your money, and using it to do the things that bring you joy and make you happy. Whatever those things are for you. You will have to decide.
I already had a mindset of doing the things I enjoy...but this book helped me to get more clarity on exactly how to do that on a daily basis.
This book helped me to have a plan to set aside a specific amount each month towards things I love. And more importantly, how to NOT feel GUILTY about spending on things I enjoy (like upgrading my seats on flights or buying courtside basketball seats) because I am cutting back on things I don't like as much (like paying a cable bill)
WHO SHOULD GET THIS BOOK
This book is for the person who
1. hates manually paying their bills each month
2. wants to have simple and easy investments that they actually understand
3. wants to not feel guilty about spending on things they love
4. wants an easy to understand plan on how to pay off debts and still enjoy life (without eating ramen noodles and cutting coupons)
5. wants tips for having real life awkward conversations with friends and family about money
6. wants to enjoy their money and know that in the background their money is growing and they will have enough to retire
7. is tired of the regular boring personal advice that they've read for years and years
Ramit's approach is like that one friend who tells you how it is. They call you out on your B.S. and you appreciate them for it cuz they always keep it real with you and you know that they want nothing but the best for ya.
If you like that quality in people, then you will most definitely enjoy this book!
also...just being honest...I would've given it 4.5 stars, but there was no way to do so. I think 5 stars is for absolute perfection
And since Ramit left out the topic of Real Estate Investing, he didn't discuss the option of saving up and paying cash for a car and I think he could've touched on investing in blue chip stable companies - I would say it's 4.5 stars (in my opinion)
It's still an awesome book and by far the best most COMPLETE book I've read on personal finances because it handles those real life topics around money that happen to all of us, but no one else is talking about.
In less than 3 chapters I have already increased my credit card utilization rate to increase my score, reduce my credit debt by calling them with his internal scripts that I followed, and have opened a high yield savings account that in less than 2 weeks, has earned me more interest on my savings account than my prior account in an entire year. Im beyond shocked and im only on chapter 3 as he lets you learn at your own pace.
The book is designed to be steadfast as a 6 week course, but I really am enjoying reviewing my decisions in the prior challenges he sets for you, and am still excited yet nervous to get into the investment territory for 401k's, IRA's, etc. He keeps is super simply to understand so far and I love that he emphasizes what to do /in order/. He keeps the information direct and honest and what you should do about it.
Overall I havent even finished the book and am already seeing results by doing his recommendations. Online savings accounts, credit card utilization, travel rewards compared to points rewards, investment guidance - overall he covers all the bases regardless of your income/asset/investment levels.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 24, 2023
Top reviews from other countries
This is the updated, UK version of the book, but there are still confusing US related bits coming through (mortgage tax relief anyone). There's also some bits that are questionable - do I really want financial advice from someone who says he took out a pre-nup agreement and thinks more should or suggests that anyone who buys a Ford Focus is basically an idiot (I didn't, so I'm not being bitter and I'm sure he thinks he's funny, he's just not).
There's also great tips on earning more - negotiate harder. Yeah, try that if you're a public service worker or work for any large corporate where your salary increase is signed off by someone you'll never meet.
There's only one person getting rich from this book and it won't be you. Save the money and buy from one of the other authors I mentioned.
Ramit hits it spot on. This is a down to earth ; no BS kinda book, no big fancy terms, no crazy plans or budgeting ... Just basic finance tips that will put your financial life on autopilot mode and quick, simple solutions for retirement and living a "Rich Life" that will work for 90% of people (and is likely already 10x better than whatever you're doing right now). Sounds too good to be true? Read the book, you'll see.
I already shared this book with a few friends and colleagues and will be forcing my younger sisters to read this so that they can start planning their Rich Life asap while still in their 20s. I wish someone had given me this book 10 years ago but as they say ; the best time to start saving was yesterday, the 2nd best time is NOW.
For Canadians ; you can safely replace "401(k)" references with RRSP (RÉER) and "Roth IRA" references with TFSA (CÉLI) in the book and although the accounts are not EXACTLY the same as their American counterpart, big picture wise they serve the same purpose. As for the banks proposed in the books, you can easily find equivalents with a bit of Google searching (try searching for "high interest savings account Canada" for instance).
I brought this on 24th May and completed this on 26th May.
Book is really good about finance.
But the information on this book doesn’t work if you are Indian.
This book is totally written with the view point of USA citizen. Better don’t waste your money if you are from India and Indian. The method used in this book doesn’t work for Indian :( quite disappointed
Fast forward one year and not only has Ramit’s advice made and saved me more than I could possibly imagine, he also offered to guide me and a group of select others through the 2nd edition of IWT.
Ramit looked at my exact numbers, said everything was looking good, and then showed me how and where they could be improved. Specifically Ramit suggested I increased the amount I invest in index funds and letting them compound, as that was the most beneficial piece of advice for my particular scenario (under 25 and able to use time to my advantage). This one simple change is set to make me an extra £162,000 by adding an extra £50 a month into what I currently invest... and that is only going to continue to increase.
Furthermore, Ramit showed the group how financial issues are caused through psychology and emotion rather than being to do with simple mathematics. The power of not waiting for permission and understanding how and why we make our financial decisions (or do not make them) was revolutionary and something that I have not seen discussed in other financial books. In Ramit’s words ‘This is a psychology book wrapped to look about finance’ and he is correct. If you know that you have let certain financial decisions get away from you, Ramit will help you get back on track with specific steps and zero judgement.
Every single person who was in the group was ecstatic with the progress they made in the 4 weeks that we had together and it was very much worth staying up until 3am every Monday in return for a lifetime of financial literacy.
Thank you Ramit, anyone would be a fool to not buy this book.