As many of you have noticed, my book is making its way into stores. Your Money: The Missing Manual is now shipping from Amazon, and should find its way into brick-and-mortar bookstores over the coming month. I’m excited (and scared) to have this let loose upon the world. I’ve done my best to create a book that can help people improve their financial lives, and I know I’ve packed it with great information, but there’s always a part of me that worries that I could have done even better, you know?
Though the book is out now, the “launch” ceremonies aren’t officially underway. My publisher is putting together a PR push for early April, and I’ll start doing more marketing myself in the next week or two. To start, I’ve contributed 5 practical tips for saving money over at O’Reilly Answers. (O’Reilly is my publisher.) Go take a gander — and while you’re there, feel free to leave a comment with your tips for saving.
In non-J.D.-related news, here are some other interesting financial articles I’ve found recently:
I mentioned the new blog Pop Economics about a month ago, but I’m going to mention it again. I like it. A lot. The author tends to stay on the economics side of personal finance (as you might guess from the blog’s title), but his articles are informative and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the recent rant about the problem with gold bugs. I’ve considered writing an article about gold myself, but don’t have the guts. (I’m not a fan of gold as an investment, and I know saying that will make some people cranky.)
Earlier this month, Steve at Brip Blap wrote a post called “How to Make Money on Facebook”. But the post is really about how to lose money in a negotiation. When you’re buying something — especially a house — you put yourself at a disadvantage when you let the other side know how much you want to buy. I learned this lesson the hard way when I bought my Mini Cooper (I gushed about the car to the salesman, who could then get me to pay even more). When you’re negotiating, let the other side do the talking.
In her article about the myth of the $18,000 wedding, Laura Rowley argues that people think they’re supposed to spend that much because they’ve been told that’s how much people spend — even though that might not be the case. While researching my book, I was frustrated to find that a lot of the figures we financial fanatics hold dear are actually based on myth. (For instance: Can anyone show me the purported Dun & Bradstreet study that shows people spend more with credit cards than without?)
How did I miss this when it was first posted at The Consumerist last November? I don’t know, but this is awesome. Here’s a video from a former Bank of America customer-service rep that explains why she was fired: because she stopped denying people who needed help:
If you can’t (or don’t want to) watch the video, The Consumerist has a complete transcript.
Finally, I’ve been very busy for the past few months. Or years. Which may be why Marissa Bracke’s post about why she stopped working with busy people hit home with me. Maybe I need to change my outlook.
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This article is about Spare Change