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Books


  • The Happiness of Pursuit (28 comments)

    This article is by staff writer April Dykman. Historically, personal development has been a big part of Get Rich Slowly. Back in 2012, founder J.D. wrote, “I’m a firm believer in personal development. Self-improvement is part of living a rich life. In fact, when I started this blog … the self-improvement category was one of the first I implemented.” But not so long ago, I’d never read a self-help or personal development book. In fact, I…

  • ‘When She Makes More’: 10 rules for breadwinning women (144 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s recently launched the Get Rich Slowly course, a year-long guide on how to master your money. A few years ago, my little brother moved his family to Seattle. His wife had received a promotion and an opportunity to work at her company’s flagship location. The offer was too good to refuse. There was just one problem: They moved before Tony…

  • Get Rich Slowly: The Course (27 comments)

    This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money. Here it is, 2:22 on a Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been up for more than 48 hours straight with only brief naps snatched here and there. I’m exhausted — but I’m happy. What’s the deal? Am I a proud new papa? Well, as most of you are aware by now, I am a…

  • Talking with Gretchen Rubin about money and happiness (23 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money, where he recently wrote about how to be happy. As part of the Get Rich Slowly course (out this Tuesday!), I interviewed 18 of my favorite financial experts (and non-financial experts). Combined, these interviews comprise over eight hours of audio and more than 200 pages of written transcripts, all of which…

  • My year-long quest to create a guide to mastering money (25 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money, where he recently wrote about how to be happy. “How would you like to write an Unconventional Guide?” my friend Chris Guillebeau asked me last spring. As long-time readers know, I’ve joined Chris to travel across the U.S. by train, travel across Norway by train, and produce the first three editions…

  • The power of profit margin (40 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. J.D.’s non-financial writing can be found at More Than Money, where he recently wrote about how to be happy. After six months of work, my guide about becoming the Chief Financial Officer of your own life is ready for launch! Be Your Own CFO will be released on April 22. Over the next couple of weeks at Get Rich Slowly, I’ll…

  • Financing your bucket list (39 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mitch Anthony. Mitch is a sought-after financial services consultant, popular speaker, and host of The Daily Dose radio program. His RetireMentors column appears regularly on CBS marketwatch.com. Mitch earned Financial Planning Magazine’s “Mover & Shaker” award for his pioneering retirement and financial planning work. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and The New York Times. His book Storyselling for Financial Advisors was acclaimed…

  • Book review: “Personal Finance for Dummies, 5th Edition” (18 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books and tools out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. My recent reviews include “FlexScore, Part I (The Book)” by Jeff Burrow, CFP, and Jason Gordo, AIF as well…

  • How I built an income safety net (53 comments)

    This guest article was written by Kimberly Palmer. Kimberly is the author of the new book “The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life,” and senior money editor for U.S. News & World Report. In addition, she is the creator of Palmer’s Planners, a line of digital financial guides on Etsy. A month after my daughter was born four years ago, as the fog of newborn sleep deprivation was at its…

  • Review: FlexScore, Part I (The Book) (10 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books and tools out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. My recent reviews include “The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read” and “Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your…

  • Book Review: “Soldier of Finance” (13 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. My recent reviews include “The Money Book for the Young Fabulous and Broke” and “The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read.”…

  • What Are the Best Financial Accounts and Tools Available? (49 comments)

    Note: This article is from J.D. Roth, who founded Get Rich Slowly in 2006. After a year off, J.D. is once again writing here at GRS. His non-financial writing can still be found at More Than Money. As a personal-finance blogger, it’s my responsibility to keep up-to-date on the latest in the financial industry. Whose advice is worth heeding? (And whose advice sucks?) What are the current tax rates? Where’s the best place to save…

  • Book Review: ‘The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read’ (18 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. My recent reviews include “More Money, Please: The Financial Secrets You Never Learned in School” and “The Money Book for the…

  • Book Review: ‘The Money Book for the Young Fabulous & Broke’ (47 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. My recent reviews include “Change Your Life in 7 Days” and “More Money, Please: The Financial Secrets You Never Learned in…

  • Book Review: ‘More Money, Please’ (14 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. In the past, I have reviewed “All Your Worth,” “Debt is Slavery,” and “Change Your Life in 7 Days.” This week,…

  • SEP-IRA vs. Self-Employed 401(k) (43 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Kristin Wong. A couple of months have passed since my 30th birthday, and that means getting started on some of my money resolutions for the year. One of those resolutions was choosing an additional savings plan for retirement. Currently, I have an IRA that I’m planning on — and getting close to — maxing out for the year. Last time I wrote about my financial goals, I planned to save…

  • Book review: ‘Change Your Life in 7 Days’ (13 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. So for the foreseeable future, I will be reviewing one PF-related book per month. My first review was of “All Your…

  • Book review: ‘Debt is Slavery’ (46 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. So for the foreseeable future, I will be reviewing one PF-related book per month. My first review was of “All Your…

  • Career strategies of high earners (36 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Kristin Wong. I mentioned in my last post that I read Barbara Stanny’s “Secrets of Six-Figure Women.” Stanny interviewed 150 women who earn more than $100,000 annually and sought to find what traits, experiences and motivators they shared in common. Unlike most books, this one didn’t take me three months to finish. It’s a fast read, and I think that has a lot to do with how relatable it is. I’m not saying I…

  • 9 traits of underearners (75 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Kristin Wong. I just read Barbara Stanny’s “Secrets of Six-Figure Women.” I was happy to find that I share similar traits to the 150 women she interviewed. But there was a section that stood out to me, mostly because I didn’t expect it to stand out to me. We previously reviewed Stanny’s book “Overcoming Underearing.” Guest reviewer Jeremy M. wrote: “[Stanny] learned that the big difference between highly successful…

  • Invest like Warren Buffett… but not really (35 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. If you want people to read your investing-related post or book, you’ll increase your chances by mentioning Warren Buffett in your title. After all, I just did it — and it might be why you chose to read this. Every financial media company does it, including…

  • Review: ‘All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan’ (44 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Honey Smith. There are many personal finance books out there, useful to people in all stages of personal finance. I have a lot to learn before reaching financial independence, and the editorial elves thought it would be useful if I shared some of what I learn with you. So for the foreseeable future, I will be reviewing one PF-related book per month. I won’t necessarily be reviewing the latest bestsellers in…

  • I’m off to grow a giant pumpkin! (30 comments)

    This post is from staff writer El Nerdo. I love my job, but my job doesn’t pay so well. For a while I attempted to cope with this problem by means of personal finance. However, while thinking and writing about personal finance, I have realized (for a while now) that I need to make more money. And while personal finance is more of a subset of home economics, earning more is all about business and entrepreneurship,…

  • 5 debt lessons from ‘Braveheart’ (20 comments)

    This guest post is by Ben Edwards of MoneySmartlife.com. His book “Debt Heroes,” which chronicles the stories of 21 people who got out of debt, was published in December. Get Rich Slowly readers may download a free copy of the book from Sunday, March 24, through Thursday, March 28 on Amazon.com. Ask anyone struggling to pay off big loans whether debt is oppressive and their answer will likely be yes. As you may know, debt…

  • Investing in your investing education: A resource list (23 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Lisa Aberle. Investing isn’t new to me. I opened my first CD in high school back in the good old days of 5 percent interest, and I started contributing to my 401(k) as soon as I was eligible (at age 21). I did everything right according to the articles I read. I: Contributed enough to get the maximum employer match Saved/invested around 10 percent of my income Opened up…

  • Mike Michalowicz, ex-Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (20 comments)

    I’ve been meaning to write about Mike Michalowicz for a while now. Last October, in a comment to an article about generalization vs. specialization, I sided with specialists and promised reader Rya that I’d soon be discussing GIANT PUMPKINS! Why? Because at the time, I was reading Mike’s newest book, “The Pumpkin Plan.” However, life is full of detours, so I am finally writing about it months later… except that I won’t be writing about…

  • Lessons on money and relationships, from fiction (29 comments)

    Saturday night — Sunday morning, really — I stayed up almost all night reading, in one mad dash, Gone Girl. I slunk through half the day like I had a hangover, kicking myself, trying to figure out why I liked it so much when I didn’t actually like it. I had to just press on through and get to the very last page, even though I didn’t believe any of the characters could exist in…

  • Reader Stories: My strange love of stocks or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Buffett (36 comments)

    This Reader Story comes from Rick Lee. Rick commented on William Cowie’s post about investing, and several readers wanted to hear his story. So we reached out to him and asked if he’d tell us how he became a successful investor. Rick is a 40-something husband, father, retired chartered accountant, blackjack card counter, entrepreneur, aspiring chef, musician, and lover of travel, food and wine. Want submit your own Reader Story? Here’s how. At the end…

  • Why we buy: The science of shopping (42 comments)

    This is a guest post from J.D. Roth. J.D. founded Get Rich Slowly and now writes at More Than Money. Ready or not, the holidays are here and the shopping season is upon us. Although I wish I could convince you not to shop during November and December — I’m a fan of Buy Nothing Day myself — I realize I’m in the minority. It’s Black Friday. It’s Christmas. People are going to shop. If…

  • When you just can’t get the important stuff done (38 comments)

    This is a post from staff writer Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. This post is not for those of you who have focused minds and empty “to do” lists. Nay, not for those rarefied people who go to bed knowing that they got just about…

  • Review: How I Make Money Blogging (140 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Frugal Cool blog for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Let me say that initially I was skeptical about both the size and cost of How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog. The $27 freight seemed a bit steep for a 32-page e-book. Then I opened the PDF and began…

  • One Lesson From a Financial Whiz Kid (103 comments)

    When Zac Bissonnette writes about how savvy he was about money in high school, I know his unusually precocious wisdom is not a put-on. I knew him back then. And, with his new book, How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents, I think you should listen to him. Even though, admittedly, he only has one lesson to teach you. I Knew Him When Zac was one of the first writers I contracted…

  • The Real Secret to Making Money by Following Your Passion (47 comments)

    This is a guest post from Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, available from Amazon.com or your favorite local bookstore. You can also read his free blog at ChrisGuillebeau.com. Guillebeau is a long-time reader and supporter of GRS and one of J.D.’s good friends. You’ve probably heard the line about following your passion to the bank. Just do something you love and cash in…right? As an astute reader of Get Rich Slowly, chances are…

  • Book Review: The $100 Startup (30 comments)

    This post is by staff writer April Dykman. In March I attended the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas, and I had a chance to meet a few online personalities face-to-face, like former GRS staff writer Adam Baker of the Man vs. Debt blog. I also attended a session called The $100 Startup, a book reading led by Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity. Long-time readers know that J.D. and Chris are good friends,…

  • The Best Books About Money (69 comments)

    In my mind, I write about personal finance books all the time. I certainly read them all the time, and I talk about them with the people I know. But the reality is that I haven’t reviewed many books at Get Rich Slowly during the past couple of years. As a result, I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails asking for book recommendations. Last weekend, I sat down to organize my office. As part of…

  • What Are the Differences Between the Rich and the Poor? (361 comments)

    Disclaimer: I realize this topic stirs strong emotions, but I think it’s both interesting and important. Besides, if any group is capable of having a deep discussion about it, it’s Get Rich Slowly readers. You folks are both civil and intelligent. Long ago, when this site was young, I reviewed Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. Eker believes that we each possess a “financial blueprint”, an internal script that dictates how we…

  • Overcoming Uncertainty (43 comments)

    I met an old friend for lunch the other day. Andrew and I have known each other since the first day of first grade — way back in 1975. “You know,” he said as we slurped down Asian noodles, “when I first reconnected with you fifteen years ago, you were pretty much the same guy you were in high school. Even five years ago, you were still that same J.D. But now you’re different —…

  • Logic and Emotion: Why Smart Money Management Isn’t Just About Math (86 comments)

    This is a guest post by former GRS staff writer Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt. This week, registration opens for You vs. Debt, Baker’s six-week online class with daily videos, challenges, and accountability forums to empower your battle against debt. Eighteen months ago, I read Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. This book changed my life. Switch explores the difference between the life changes we eagerly embrace and…

  • Playing to Your Strengths (52 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and raising children at Childwild.com. Shortly after finishing college, a friend of mine was fired from his first job. He kept showing up to work late — sometimes hours late. He was charming and smart and reasonably good at his work, but his employer just couldn’t rely on him to be at his desk on time, so they let him go….

  • Book Review: Early Retirement Extreme (212 comments)

    For over five years now, I’ve spent most of my waking hours reading and writing about money. I’ve learned a lot. Using this knowledge, I’ve been able to get out of debt, build savings, and even begin pursuing my passions. What’s next? As time passes, I find myself thinking more about financial independence and early retirement. No surprise then that over the last couple of months I’ve been obsessed with Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement…

  • American Cookery: Magazine Ads from 1939 (26 comments)

    My wife knows me pretty well. At a recent garage sale, Kris picked up the November 1939 issue of American Cookery magazine. She wanted it for the recipes. But after she was finished, she handed it off to me. “You’ll want to look at the ads,” she said. She was right. Fun trivia: American Cookery magazine was originally called The Boston Cooking-School Magazine. The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book was first published in 1896 and written…

  • Living Below Your Means Is Like Saving for Retirement Twice (80 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He also has a newly reinvigorated blog, and you can have your day interrupted once or twice by his Twittering. Robert contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Hello, GRSers. Today, let’s revisit something I tacked on to the end of my…

  • Consumer Reports Auto Issue: Best and Worst Cars for 2011 (61 comments)

    It’s that time of year again! The annual auto issue of Consumer Reports landed in my mailbox yesterday, and I spent some time browsing its pages. I’m not nearly as interested in car info as I used to be; I’ve had my beloved Mini Cooper for two years now, and am quite pleased with it. Still, I know that many folks are in the market for a new car, and I think Consumer Reports is…

  • Book Review: Living the Savvy Life (30 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Last year I wrote about the stereotypes perpetuated by many personal finance books written for women, especially that women like to “shop till they drop.” As I mentioned in the article, a Consumer Expenditure Survey showed that women and men spend the same amount of money, just on different items. Women spend more on clothing and men spend more on restaurants, gadgets, and transportation. Also, a Stanford…

  • An Interview with Thomas Stanley, Co-Author of “The Millionaire Next Door” (73 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. A while back, I mentioned the book The Millionaire Next Door to one of my colleagues at The Motley Fool. “That book changed my life,” she gushed. For some people, it really can be…

  • Studs Terkel’s Working (22 comments)

    A couple of weeks ago, I shared an instructional video from 1948 called

  • Review: The Money Book For Freelancers (24 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. It took me a long time to get through The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed. That’s not usually high praise for a book, but in this case I mean it to be. It took me a long time to read because it was so darn useful. I had to…

  • Nine Lessons in Wealth-Building from The Millionaire Next Door (98 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Want to become a millionaire? Then perhaps you should start by studying the behaviors of people who have done it. But don’t worry – you don’t need to stop the next Mercedes you see…

  • The Tiger Mother and You: Are We Preparing Our Kids for a Better Financial Future? (120 comments)

    This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Those of you who are parents — and those of you who came from them — may have already read the Wall Street Journal article by Amy Chua (which is an excerpt from her…

  • Finding Financial Benchmarks and Milestones (115 comments)

    In last Wednesday’s link round-up, I pointed to an article over at Gen-Y Wealth in which RJ has listed 20 financial milestones you should reach in your twenties. “I like this list,” I wrote, “and I’d actually love to see similar lists for different age ranges. People could use it as a sort of road map to where they ought to be.” What sorts of milestones were on the list? Things like: Pay off your…

  • Reader Story: First Generation White Collar (43 comments)

    This guest post from L. Marie Joseph, the Money Monk, is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Marie is the author of the new book, First Generation White Collar. My story is like most others: Girl…

  • How to Build Your Own Personal-Finance Manual (27 comments)

    When I started writing Your Money: The Missing Manual, I had problems finding a focus. I couldn’t figure out who my intended audience was. To get over this hump, I eventually hit upon a cunning plan: I would write the personal-finance book that I wish I’d had back when I started my personal-finance journey. I’d pack the book full of the info I’ve found most useful over the past five years, and include links to…

  • Are E-Books Cost Effective? The Pros and Cons of E-Books (143 comments)

    Yesterday, Google opened its ebookstore for business. The search giant joins Apple and Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) in a fast-growing field. Electronic books will never completely replace paper books, but they’re going to make up a sizable portion — and maybe even the majority — of the market sooner than you think. Naturally, more and more GRS readers are moving to e-books. In fact, I’ve had a couple of people ask me about them…

  • Best Books on Investing: My Favorite Investing Authors (24 comments)

    Best Books on Investing: My Favorite Investing Authors This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. A few weeks back, J.D. listed his favorite finance books (and encouraged readers to suggest their own). It’s a fine list, full of money-saving, debt-defying, financial-liberating…

  • Earning Extra Income with a (Small) Blog (44 comments)

    This is a guest post from Mike Piper, a long-time GRS reader and the author of Oblivious Investor, where he blogs about such thrilling topics as Roth IRA rules and 401k rollovers. Blogging is often touted as a means to earn some extra income. But many people believe that you need tens of thousands of people reading your blog everyday before you can make any real money from it. I can tell you from experience:…

  • Ask the Readers: What Are Your Favorite Finance Books? (92 comments)

    Well, Book Week has come to a close at Get Rich Slowly, and while it was an interesting experiment, it’s not likely to happen again any time soon. For one thing, I learned that doing book reviews takes more work than doing regular posts. To do a review, you have to read the book (sometimes twice), decide how it’s relevant to readers, and then write a normal article. And while an occasional book review is…

  • Book Review: The Skinny on Real-Estate Investing (21 comments)

    Book Week at Get Rich Slowly comes to a close today. Well, I guess tomorrow’s Ask the Readers is about books, but this is the final review. I’ve saved the best for last. Over the past year, I’ve had a chance to read several titles in the “Skinny On” book series. And although I’ve only mentioned them in passing here at GRS, I love these books. Today I want to tell you about them. The…

  • Book Review: Banker to the Poor (40 comments)

    This post, from GRS staff writer April Dykman, is part of Book Week at Get Rich Slowly. When J.D. announced that this week would be Book Week at GRS, I was excited about a set deadline for tackling a book from my ever-growing reading list. Since micro-finance and micro-credit have been of interest to me for the past four years or so, I decided to read Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and The Battle Against…

  • Book Review: How to Debt-Proof Your Marriage (37 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. This post is part of Book Week at Get Rich Slowly. Since my twin victories of paying off our last credit card and funding a summer of travel, my husband has begun to show interest in personal finance. It’s not that he wasn’t supportive of my efforts before — he just preferred…

  • Book Review: The Simple Dollar (86 comments)

    My colleague Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar may have started his blog six months after I did, but he’s ahead of me in books. He published his first, 365 Ways to Live Cheap! [my review], at the end of 2008, and his second, The Simple Dollar, was released this summer. I’m a huge fan of The Simple Dollar (it’s the only personal-finance blog I read regularly besides my own), and I count Hamm as…

  • Book Review: The Art of Non-Conformity (52 comments)

    In June 2008, a Get Rich Slowly reader dropped me a line to see if I’d like to have lunch. “My name is Chris,” he said. “My wife Jolie and I will be visiting Portland next week. Do you have time to meet?” “Sure,” I replied. I was just beginning to meet colleagues and readers for lunch, a habit that has since become the best part of this job. “Let’s meet at my favorite Thai…

  • Book Week at Get Rich Slowly (31 comments)

    I’m exhausted, and I’ve barely lifted a finger all weekend. I spent the long holiday reading. First, I consumed the nearly 1000 pages of Lonesome Dove (which is our book group selection this month). I did nothing on Saturday but read about the adventures of Gus and Call, the blue pigs, and the cowboys. In fact, I stayed up past midnight reading that book; it’s been a l-o-n-g time since I found a book that…

  • Book Review: Mind Over Money (20 comments)

    “Financial success is more about mastering the mental game of money than about understanding the numbers.” That’s the first tenet of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy. That math of personal finance is simple; it’s controlling your habits and emotions that’s difficult. In Mind Over Money, the father-son team of Ted and Brad Klontz provide a thorough discussion of the psychology of personal finance. They argue that our relationships with money are complex and not wholly…

  • From Blog to Book: Why I Wrote Your Money: The Missing Manual (17 comments)

    Earlier today, Trent at The Simple Dollar explored the question, “Why would a blogger write a personal-finance book?” Trent does a good job of covering some of the reasons a blogger might write a book: to reach a different audience, to expand on topics, and so on. I agree with him. I especially agree that writing a book is no way to get rich — slowly or otherwise. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say…

  • Surprising Secrets of the Cheapskates Next Door (98 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jeff Yeager, author of the newly-published The Cheapskate Next Door. Yeager calls himself the Ultimate Cheapskate — and his wife agrees. Yeager is also a contributor at Wise Bread and on the Early Retirement forums. “Sure, we could afford to spend more, but why would we? It wouldn’t make us any happier.” — Those are the words I’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years traveling the country to hear. It’s…

  • Your Money: The Missing Manual — Now Available for Kindle! (16 comments)

    Just a quick note from the book front. Many of you have asked for a Kindle edition of Your Money: The Missing Manual. While that wasn’t originally part of the publisher’s plans, they’ve decided that there was enough demand to take that step. To summarize, here are all of the different ways you can pick up a copy of Your Money: The Missing Manual: Print edition via Amazon for $14.95 (where there are used copies…

  • Your Money: The Missing Manual, News and Reviews (37 comments)

    Your Money: The Missing Manual went to a second printing while I was in Alaska. Not bad for a book that’s only been out for a couple of months! The book has been doing especially well at Amazon, where it’s consistently been in the top 5,000 in sales, and has even creeped into the top 500. (I consider this very good for a personal-finance manual.) For a brief time, it was even outselling books like…

  • Let’s All Find Awesome Jobs (32 comments)

    In one recent interview, a reporter made a comment about my book reviews. “I read several of them, and they all seem to be positive,” she said. “Do you like every book you read?” No, of course not. In fact, my friends would tell you that I’m generally pretty critical of the stuff I read. However, I don’t see the point of reviewing books I hate. Better to ignore them and focus only on the…

  • Your Money: The Missing Manual — On Sale Now! (68 comments)

    Things may seem calm and quiet on the surface of the blog, but behind the scenes here at Get Rich Slowly, everything’s a whirlwind. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but blogging doesn’t scale. That is, one man (or woman) can handle a small blog with a few hundred readers, but the bigger a site grows, the more demands there are on your time. Even though I’m using more and more help lately,…

  • Book Review: The Other 8 Hours (75 comments)

    Before I started Get Rich Slowly, I was a slacker. I’d get up in the morning and drive to a job I hated where I gave almost no effort. When I came home in the evening, I’d fritter away my time: I watched TV, played Magic: The Gathering, and — most of all — whiled away the hours with World of Warcraft or other computer games. As I started my financial turnaround, I made a…

  • 2010 Consumer Action Handbook and Unautomate Your Finances (14 comments)

    Last autumn, I shared a list of essential personal-finance e-books. These books covered a variety of topics, and many of them were free. Today I want to draw your attention to two new e-books that you may want to consider. Consumer Action Handbook First up is the 2010 edition of the Consumer Action Handbook. I’ve mentioned this book before, and I’ll mention it in the future. This book is from the Federal Citizen Information Center,…

  • Book Review: The Happiness Project (47 comments)

    One of my core beliefs is this: It’s more important to be happy than it is to be rich. My personal experience bears this out (though I’m fortunate to be both), as do the anecdotes I receive from GRS readers. In fact, of all my fourteen philosophies, this one is most important. It’s so important that I chose to open Your Money: The Missing Manual with a chapter on happiness. No surprise then that for…

  • Money Without Matrimony (42 comments)

    When you get married, figuring out the financial implications can be a challenge. Do you merge your money completely? Do you keep some or all of the accounts separate? And who takes care of which household financial chores? As difficult as marriage and money can be, things are even tougher for unmarried couples, both gay and straight. There are all sorts of legal, financial, and emotional issues, and it’s difficult for these folks to get…

  • Your Money: The Missing Manual — Table of Contents (53 comments)

    I’m super excited — and more than a little bit scared. My book project is beginning to seem very very real. My publisher just finished laying out the manuscript yesterday, and this morning I received a printout of Your Money: The Missing Manual in its current state. For some reason, seeing the book laid out makes the project more tangible than it has been before. There’s just something about holding this pile of words that’s…

  • A Sneak Peek at Your Money: The Missing Manual (114 comments)

    I did it! I finally finished the manuscript for Your Money: The Missing Manual; I e-mailed the last chapter to my editor at 9:10 this morning. This book was a lot of work. I started writing it on 23 September 2009 at 12:27 p.m. Over the next 115 days, I gained fifteen pounds. (I actually gained eighteen, but I’ve lost three since the start of the year.) The final manuscript contains 125,244 words and 269…

  • New Job, New You (41 comments)

    I spent 17 years working at a job I hated, afraid to pursue my passions. I’ve spent the past two years doing something I love, and the difference in my attitude is like night and day. Some folks take the position that a job is just a job, that it’s not meant to be enjoyed, but merely to provide an income. I’m not one of these people. Neither is Alexandra Levit. In her new book,…

  • You Can Negotiate Anything (45 comments)

    In May, I wrote about how to negotiate your salary. I argued that following the advice in Jack Chapman’s Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute is one of the best ways to improve your financial well-being. I still believe it. If you’re looking for work or looking for a raise, you should absolutely read his book. But negotiation is a skill you can use in other parts of your life, too. In…

  • The Paradox of Choice and the Dangers of Perfection (81 comments)

    As important as I believe National Save for Retirement Week is, I have to confess that after four days (five, if you count Sunday), I’m bored of it. My short attention span has dwindled. (Imagine the difficulties I’m having as I try to concentrate on writing a book for three months solid!) Instead, I want to shift gears for a moment and talk about a subject with immediate real-life implications: the dangers of perfection. Good…

  • Munny Journey: A Journal for Your Child’s Financial Development (16 comments)

    I have some financial blind spots. For one thing, Kris and I do not have children. It’s difficult for me to write about the concerns of parents. So when the publisher sent me a copy of Munny Journey, “a keepsake journal for baby’s first money”, I recruited a new mother to help me evaluate the book. Here are Chrystal’s thoughts about this unique publication. This article is part of National Save for Retirement Week. At…

  • Crush It! and The Best Books on Boosting Your Income (28 comments)

    Yesterday, I argued that the most effective path to financial success is to boost your income. Frugality is an important part of personal finance, and you will eventually meet your goals if you simply cut your spending, but it might take you a very long time. Maybe even decades. To super-charge your savings, I believe you should look for ways to increase your income. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to give advice about increasing income…

  • Happier (79 comments)

    “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle For a long time, I was unhappy. I used to think that this was because of my overwhelming debt. I believed that if I were debt-free, happiness would come to me. It didn’t. After I paid off my consumer debt, I was still unhappy. “Maybe it’s my job,” I thought. I’d always hated working for the…

  • Essential Personal Finance E-Books (19 comments)

    A few days ago, I released The Get Rich Slowly Guide to Roth IRAs as a free e-book. Readers who are interested in opening a retirement account can download this short book — which draws from a series of articles I wrote two years ago — and use it as a reference as they work through the process. Though this is my first e-book (it won’t be my last), there are a variety of other…

  • Free eBook! The Get Rich Slowly Guide to Roth IRAs (27 comments)

    In early 2008, I put together an e-book. I collected my series of articles about the virtues of the Roth IRA, cleaned them up, added new information, and drafted a 30-page document to serve as a sort of introduction to this important retirement plan. The great folks at Web Warrior Tools took my work and made a polished e-book. For the past 18 months, it’s been available for $7 from their website. But this information…

  • The 1-2-3 Money Plan (36 comments)

    For years, people who know me well have been encouraging me to read Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. “You’ll love it,” they’d tell me. “A lot of it is about comic books.” My friends were right: I’m the target audience for this book. Here it is late Wednesday night, and I’ve spent the past few hours unable to put it down. I had to finish. But Kavalier & Clay isn’t the…

  • The Quiet Millionaire (48 comments)

    Despite what you see in the media, financial success generally doesn’t come with a lot of glitz. The wealthiest people I know are the ones you’d least expect. They’ve built their wealth slowly — and quietly. Certified financial planner Brett Wilder has observed the same thing, and has written about the phenomenon in his book, The Quiet Millionaire. Along the way, he shares real-life examples of quiet millionaires. These are the same sorts of people…

  • Failing Forward: Transforming Mistakes into Success (22 comments)

    Sometimes the best personal finance books aren’t about personal finance. In June 2006, for example, I shared a brief review of Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Ostensibly this book is about creativity and overcoming procrastination, but I found its lessons valuable for pursuing my financial goals. Last year I read Mastery by George Leonard. On the surface, this book has nothing to do with money, yet it’s one of the best books about money…

  • Escape from Cubicle Nation (35 comments)

    Last Friday, I attended a workshop put on by Pamela Slim, who writes about entrepreneurship at Escape from Cubicle Nation. Before this meeting, I didn’t know much about Slim or her message, but her work came highly recommended from my friend, Chris Guillebeau. “Pam is the real deal,” he told me. “Her book is what a lot other books have tried to be.” Based on this recommendation, I drove to hear Slim speak. I was…

  • 25 Essential Books About Money: Financial Wisdom from Your Public Library (49 comments)

    Last week, Jonathan B. sent me the following e-mail: Maybe I’m just not seeing it, but is there a way for you to put up a consolidated list of your favorite personal finance books? This can include ones you found entertaining, made the biggest impact on your personal finance goals, etc. I shared a list of my favorite money books once before, but that was over two years ago. I’ve read dozens of books since…

  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (19 comments)

    I read a lot of personal finance books. Most possess a certain sameness. They offer good advice, yes, but there’s nothing special about them. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to two specific types of financial books: narratives and histories. If a book can combine both of these elements, it’s a good bet I’m going to like it. Between 10 June 1922 and 26 May 1923, The Saturday Evening Post published a series of twelve articles…

  • How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on With Your Life (235 comments)

    This is a guest post rom Bill Schultheis, author of The New Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get On With Your Life. Schultheis is an investment advisor in Kirkland, Washington. To learn more, visit his website. What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago everyone was chasing the next hot stock. Equity markets were generating double digit annual returns and dot-com companies were doubling overnight. Greed was widespread in…

  • Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute (55 comments)

    Most personal-finance blogs write about cutting expenses. But you can obtain powerful results by looking beyond frugality, by boosting your earning power. One of the best ways to increase your income is at the source: during salary negotiations, either when you land a job or during a performance review. This can be scary. For many people, salary negotiations are an awkward thing. I was discussing this subject recently with my friend Michael, who runs the…

  • Ask the Readers: How to Save Money on Books? (127 comments)

    Most of the questions I receive from readers are about their specific financial situations. But occasionally somebody writes with something a little different. Yesterday, for example, Joshua wrote to ask my advice on shopping for books. He wants to know how to find personal finance books for cheap. He writes: I’m big book fan, mostly financial, entrepreneur, leadership, personal development, etc. Sometimes I buy books off Amazon, but I visit the local library first to…

  • Fail-Safe Investing? Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio (64 comments)

    “The first rule of investing is don’t lose money; the second rule is don’t forget rule number one.” — Warren Buffett At the end of March, I asked you what topics you’d like to see covered during Financial Literacy Month. I received many great suggestions, and will continue to fulfill requests not just in April, but for months to come. One comment especially caught my eye. Kenneth F. LaVoie III wrote: Never again will I…

  • Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (31 comments)

    We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric lately about how this is the worst economy since the Great Depression. Maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t, but even if it were, what would it mean? I have no frame of reference for these sorts of claims. They smack of hyperbole, but I can’t be sure. In my lifetime, the closest I’ve come to experiencing anything like the Depression was during the recession of the early 1980s,…

  • How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously (50 comments)

    Once or twice a year, my wife and I spend a Saturday combing the local thrift stores looking for bargains. Kris is mainly after clothes. I target books — especially personal-finance books. On one recent trip, I picked up a two-dollar copy of How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously, a 1988 book from Jerrrold Mundis. How to Get Out of Debt is built on the principles of Debtors…

  • Book Review: I Will Teach You to Be Rich (40 comments)

    Today I am reviewing a new book written by a colleague. As you read this review, please remember that I am friends with author. For comparison, you can see my reviews of two other books by friends here and here. I’m often asked to recommend personal-finance books for young adults. I’ve read a few (and have more in my to-read stack), but there are only two that I promote in my presentations to students: Debt…

  • Continuous Service? Dumb Moves from Smart Money (314 comments)

    As part of my ongoing effort to bring you interesting and informative personal-finance information, I subscribe to several magazines, including Smart Money. Smart Money isn’t my favorite money magazine, but it has some useful articles. In 2005, I paid $20 to subscribe to Smart Money for two years. In 2007, I paid $20 to subscribe for another two years. Today I received my latest issue, which included this wrap-around “cover” announcing that “as part of…

  • Stand Up to the IRS: Free Guide to Tax Audits (and More!) (5 comments)

    After yesterday’s post about taxes, author Fred Daily wrote to point out a free tax resource that he’s posted online. Daily is a tax attorney, and a long-time subscriber to this site. He’s also the author of Stand Up to the IRS and Tax Savvy for Small Business. In an interesting move, Daily has placed the entire content of Stand Up to the IRS online for free. This isn’t a general-interest tax publication — it’s…

  • The Consumer Reports Auto Issue: Best and Worst 2009 Cars (44 comments)

    The Consumer Reports annual auto issue was parked in my mailbox on Monday. As in past years (2007, 2008), I spent the afternoon leafing through it. This year, I think I managed to avoid the new-car itch. I’m not fond of my 2000 Ford Focus, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to drive it until it dies. Here are the Consumer Reports top-rated vehicles in ten categories (with previous years’ top…

  • Magazines (and Websites) About Homesteading and Self-Sufficiency (107 comments)

    When I was a boy, my father used to buy Mother Earth News from the grocery store. The magazine was filled with stories about self-sufficient country living, the sort of thing my dad aspired to. I’d read the magazine after he was finished, but never really understood the appeal of building your own greenhouse or raising goats. Now, as an adult, it makes a little more sense. Kris and I are not radically self-sufficient, but…

  • Book Review: Overcoming Underearning (15 comments)

    This is a guest post from Jeremy M, who writes about experiencing a full life at Lucid Living. When I asked GRS readers recently which books they’d like to see revieweed here, Overcoming Underearning was near the top of the list. Jeremy volunteered to review it, so I sent him a copy! Barbara Stanny’s Overcoming Underearning is not what I expected it to be. When I read the title, I expected a book about how…

  • Riches — Or Just a Competence? (20 comments)

    Melissa wrote recently to point me to a story at the fantastic Modern Mechanix blog (a blog I might write if I didn’t write GRS). From the June 1917 issue of Illustrated World comes a true tale of getting rich — slowly. Although this work is now Public Domain, I wrote to ask permission to make use of the scans. Charlie, who runs Modern Mechanix, graciously agreed. I want to be clear that he did…

  • Books with True-Life Stories about Frugality (43 comments)

    In the olden days — before I wrote this blog full time — I was a regular at the wonderful AskMetafilter, a collaborative site for answering reader questions. I don’t have as much time to hang out there anymore, as evidenced by the fact that it took a reader to point me to yesterday’s question about frugality books. Catch wrote: I’d like to read some good books, preferably autobiographical, about managing a household in hard…

  • Confessions of a Butcher: Eating Steak on a Hamburger Budget (39 comments)

    Every week, I receive a couple of books in the mail from authors and publishers. (This week there were six!) They’re hoping that I’ll find time to review their work at Get Rich Slowly. I do my best, but it’s impossible to read everything. When John Smith offered to send me his book, Confessions of a Butcher, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve read a few niche books like this, and they’re usually uninspiring. As a…

  • Career Renegade: Make a Living Doing What You Love (18 comments)

    “You don’t have to be world-class great to make a great living doing what you love,” Jonathan Fields writes in Career Renegade, “if you are willing to step outside the box, approach your passion differently, find innovative ways to mine that passion for money, and work like crazy to make it happen.” In Career Renegade, Fields draws upon his own experience, as well as that of others, to provide a blueprint for those willing to…

  • How to Be the Family CFO (12 comments)

    This is a guest post from Kelly Whalen, a mostly stay-at-home mom who writes about personal finance at The Centsible Life. As acting chief financial officer of my family, Kim Snider’s How to Be the Family CFO provided me with an education I wish I had received 15 years ago! The book is easily digestible, with five sections, and most chapters easily read in 5-10 minute bites. This proves to be the best way to…

  • Which America? The Possibilities of American Thrift (36 comments)

    As National Thrift Week winds down, I’m pleased to offer (by permission) a short essay from author David Blankenhorn. This is taken from the end of his 2008 book, Thrift: A Cyclopedia, published by Templeton Press. (Read more about the book here.) I’ve altered formatting slightly to make it more readable in blog format. Emphasis is mine. I want to conclude this book by asking you to reflect briefly on this 1957 observation on successful…

  • Happy 303rd Birthday, Benjamin Franklin! (26 comments)

    Today is the first day of National Thrift Week. It’s also the 303rd anniversary of the birth of America’s first — and best — personal-finance writer. Benjamin Franklin was born on this day in 1706. Franklin was an amazing man, a polymath, and a great advocate of industry and frugality. “Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich,” he wrote in 1768, more elegantly expressing my own notion that to gain wealth you must…

  • Interview: The Motley Fool’s David Gardner Talks About Stock-Market Investing (19 comments)

    Earlier today, I reviewed the new book from The Motley Fool, Million Dollar Portfolio. I had the pleasure to interview author David Gardner at the end of December. This post contains excerpts from that interview. The complete interview will be included as part of the hypothetical future Get Rich Slowly podcast. J.D. Earlier this year, you met with Stephen Popick, a government economist who writes for Get Rich Slowly. During the first part of your…

  • Million Dollar Portfolio: The Motley Fool Guide to Stock-Market Investing (46 comments)

    “People want to make money fast, but it doesn’t happen that way.” — Warren Buffett Over Christmas, I read Roger Lowenstein’s fantastic biography of Warren Buffett, one of my financial heroes. Because I currently prefer to invest through index funds, it was fascinating to read how Buffett has been able to make billions by purchasing individual stocks. Next, I picked up the new book from David and Tom Gardner: The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio….

  • Free Downloadable Suze Orman Book from Oprah (22 comments)

    Here’s a quick reminder that Suze Orman will be on The Oprah Winfrey Show this afternoon to discuss jumpstarting your personal finances in 2009. Serena wrote to let me know that until next Thursday (15 January 2009), you can download Suze Orman’s new book free from Oprah’s web site. Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan features 200 pages devoted to topics like credit, retirement investing, spending, real estate, and “protecting yourself”. This is a real book,…

  • Book Review: 365 Ways to Live Cheap! (28 comments)

    Today I am reviewing new books written by two colleagues: Trent from The Simple Dollar and Leo from Zen Habits. As you read these reviews, please remember that I am friends with both authors. Mary Hunt bills herself as America’s favorite cheapskate. In 2005, she published a little volume entitled Everyday Cheapskate’s Greatest Tips, which contained “500 simple strategies for smart living”. Hunt’s book didn’t offer any sort of narrative or broad overview of money…

  • Book Review: The Power of Less (31 comments)

    Today I am reviewing new books written by two colleagues: Trent from The Simple Dollar and Leo from Zen Habits. As you read these reviews, please remember that I am friends with both authors. Zen Habits is one of my favorite weblogs. For the past two years, Leo Babauta’s exploration of productivity and simple living has helped me make the most of my time. (Plus sometimes, like yesterday, he just hits it out of the…

  • In Defense of Buying Books (108 comments)

    J.D. is on vacation. This is a guest post from Ann Zerkle, a Get Rich Slowly lurker, and the founder of Heroes of Capitalism. I know J.D. has posted many times about how going to the library saves money, but I personally love to buy books. Even after reading the arguments about saving money over the year, going to the library and everything else, I still think buying some books is good for me. This…

  • Reader Survey: Which Personal-Finance Books Should I Review? (86 comments)

    My personal-finance library is growing at an alarming rate. Authors and publishers send me preview copies of their works. I pick up cheap copies of old books at thrift stores. And, it’s true, Get Rich Slowly (the company) actually buys new books about personal finance and success. As a result, I have a stack of unread books, and not enough time to read them all. Worse, I can’t decide which to read first. I thought…

  • Book Review: Work the System (9 comments)

    J.D. is on vacation. This is a guest post from Winston, the Get Rich Slowly “intern”. Sam Carpenter has written an intriguing book about how his approach to owning and managing his telecommunications company in Central Oregon has changed dramatically to positively impact his life, both in immeasurable and measurable ways. Work The System: The Simple Mechanics of Working Less and Making More takes the reader through the first 15 years of Carpenter’s chaotic and…

  • Yes, You Can Achieve Financial Independence (33 comments)

    In the midst of our rush to earn money, our scramble to save for retirement, our focus on frugality, it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing this. What is the goal? What is it we’re trying to accomplish by getting rich slowly? For me — and for many others — the answer is Financial Independence. Your Money or Your Life defines Financial Independence as “having an income sufficient for your basic needs and…

  • Bull Moves in Bear Markets (55 comments)

    In high school, I once dated a girl whose father believed the world was doomed to nuclear destruction. While his family lived in a trailer house (as did mine), this man spent a lot of time and money building a bomb shelter in the back yard. He stocked up on food supplies. He warned anyone who would listen about the coming armageddon. He cited many reasons — Biblical, historical, political — that a fiery death…

  • What’s in the Ideal Personal Finance Book? (98 comments)

    After months on the back-burner, I’ve begun to think about a potential Get Rich Slowly book again. The main problem is that there are already hundreds of personal finance books already on the shelves. How would mine be any different? Why would you (or your Aunt Josephine) pick up Get Rich Slowly: The Book and what would she get out of it? I know what I like in a personal finance book, and I know…

  • The Balanced Money Formula (86 comments)

    Building a budget is one of the basic tasks of personal finance. But not everyone can keep a budget. As much as I’d like to, I don’t feel comfortable with detailed planning. I continue to use a spending plan as a rough guide to my future, but a traditional budget just doesn’t work for me. Last night I stumbled across the Balanced Money Formula proposed by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi in their excellent book,…

  • Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (30 comments)

    I am sick. Rather than take a day off — heaven forbid! — I’ve pieced together an old 3-part post from the GRS archives. These stories originally appeared on 18 May 2006. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping might be more aptly titled How We Sell: The Science of Marketing. I hoped the book would explore the complex urges that lead us to buy, but instead it seems to be targeted at store owners…

  • How to Compute Your REAL Hourly Wage (39 comments)

    Like many Get Rich Slowly readers, I credit Your Money or Your Life with changing the way I approach my personal finances. This book transformed my relationship with money, and helped me to understand that by spending beyond my means, I was sacrificing a secure future for today’s passing pleasures. One of the book’s key insights is that time really is money. Or, approaching it from the other direction, money is time. The authors write:…

  • Which Personal-Finance Magazine is Best? (70 comments)

    Beth wrote recently looking for help: I’m a public library worker, and my library needs personal finance advice! We feel strongly that we need to keep a personal finance magazine in circulation, but the ones we’ve subscribed to in the past have been met with the deafening silence of complete disinterest. We’ve had Money for a year with no checkouts; before that, we had Fortune for two years with no checkouts. We’re thinking about replacing…

  • The Myth of Multitasking: How Doing It All Gets Nothing Done (62 comments)

    Multitasking has killed my productivity. At this moment, on this computer, I have: Five open browser windows with a total of 59 open tabs (in Safari) 79 open text documents (in BBEdit) — I am not joking 14 open images (in Photoshop) 55 unread messages in my mailbox (and 48 additional unread Get Rich Slowly comments) Three open chat sessions Seven open word processing documents (in Microsoft Word) And ten other open applications That’s 227…

  • Die Broke: Spend ’til the End (28 comments)

    Smart personal finance is all about balance. You work while you’re young to provide for the day when you may not be able (or willing) to work any longer. If you don’t save enough, you may find yourself unable to lead the life you want in retirement. But if you save too much when you’re young, you risk sacrificing years of youth and vigor for an uncertain future. In a worst case scenario, you may…

  • Back to Basics: A Guide to Traditional Skills (39 comments)

    Based on reader suggestions, Kris and I made a trip to Costco on Friday to buy bulk yeast and a fifty-pound bag of bread flour. (We’re serious about this whole home-made bread thing.) While I waited for Kris to pick up some other groceries, I leafed through Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills edited by Abigail R. Gehring. “Wow,” I thought. “I am the target audience for this book.” I bought it….

  • The Four Pillars on Index Funds (20 comments)

    This morning I reviewed the highly-regarded The Four Pillars of Investing, in which author William Bernstein makes the case for diversification and investing in index funds. At the end of chapter three (“The Market is Smarter Than You Are”), he summarizes his arguments (which I’ve reformatted to be more readable in this context): Obviously, a concentrated portfolio maximizes your chance of a superb result. Unfortunately, at the same time, it also maximizes your chance of…

  • The Four Pillars of Investing (15 comments)

    For the past year, I’ve been looking for a book to recommend for novice investors, a book that would offer sensible advice without becoming too technical. I believe I’ve finally found that book. In The Four Pillars of Investing, William Bernstein describes how to build a winning investment portfolio. He doesn’t focus on the details — he tries to explain fundamental concepts so that readers will be able to make smart investment decisions on their…

  • 50 Prosperity Classics in a Nutshell (12 comments)

    Earlier today I shared my review of 50 Prosperity Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon. The author selected fifty important prosperity books and summarized them in just a few pages. For each book, he also provided a one-sentence capsule summary. I think these one-sentence summaries are clever, so I contacted Butler-Bowdon for permission to reprint them, which he kindly granted. I’ve reproduced them below, grouping them into the book’s four broad categories. For additional information, I’ve linked…

  • Book Review: 50 Prosperity Classics (8 comments)

    Two years ago I wrote a rave review of 50 Success Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon. Its concept was simple: Butler-Bowdon selected fifty important books from success literature. He summarized each in only a few pages, distilling its key points. He also provided biographical information on the authors, and attempted to explain why each book was relevant in a Big Picture sort of way. Over the past few years, Butler-Bowdon has written several similar books:     …

  • Tim Ferriss on the Power of Personal Entrepreneurship (16 comments)

    I write a lot about saving money. Like many of you, I’ve found frugality an excellent way to widen the gap between what I earn and what I spend. Frugality helped me get out of debt, increase my monthly cash flow, and ultimately begin to build savings. Thrift is a key component to personal finance. But to be successful, to build wealth, you must also increase your income. You might do this by changing careers,…

  • How to Take a Mini-Retirement: Tips and Tricks from Timothy Ferriss (56 comments)

    In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss proposes that we shift our focus from end-of-life “macro” retirements to more frequent mini-retirements, which might be spaced throughout a working career. Though similar to a vacation or a sabbatical, mini-retirements differ in some key ways: A sabbatical is a one-time event. Mini-retirements are meant to recur throughout a lifetime. A vacation is short, and often involves a tourist lifestyle with little immersion in a new way…

  • 2008 Consumer Action Handbook (11 comments)

    Every year, Kris and I place an order with the Federal Citizen Information Center in Pueblo, Colorado. The FCIC is a small department in the United States government with a mission to distribute free and low-cost Federal consumer publications. In other words, it’s a government office that offers lots of free (and cheap) pamphlets about all sorts of cool stuff. Many of these publications are freely availabe online in electronic format. Here are just a…

  • Using Mini-Retirements to Get More Out of Life: An Interview with Timothy Ferriss (45 comments)

    On a cool Thursday morning last July, I woke early to walk into the hills outside Wells in Somerset County, England. After three-quarters of an hour, I reached a point with a broad vista of the surrounding countryside. I leaned against a fence post and took in the view — I could have sworn I was looking at Hobbiton. After a few minutes of silent contemplation, I walked back to town. I took a brief…

  • Robert Kiyosaki: Increase Your Financial IQ (69 comments)

    The problem with the standard financial advice is that it’s bad advice. You’ve been told to work hard, save money, get out of debt, live below your means, and invest in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds. But this advice is obsolete — so argues Robert Kiyosaki in his new book, Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ. Increase Your Financial IQ is the latest installment in Kiyosaki’s tremendously popular “Rich Dad” series of books. These…

  • Book Review: Investing 101 (9 comments)

    Soon after I started this site two years ago, Bloomberg Press sent me several books to review. I thumbed through them, but then put them on my shelf and forgot about them. Recently, while researching diversification, I pulled down one of these forgotten volumes, Kathy Kristof’s Investing 101. I started reading the diversification chapter, then read another. Before I knew it, I’d read the entire book. It’s a solid introduction to investing. The mental game…

  • Get Rich Slowly! (52 comments)

    Today is the second anniversary of Get Rich Slowly. In celebration, I’m reprinting this revised version of the article that started it all, a l-o-n-g post from my personal blog dated 26 April 2005. One year later — on 15 April 2006 — this site was born. Today’s entry is long and boring — it’s all about the keys to wealth, prosperity, and happiness. Over the past few months, I’ve read over a dozen books…

  • The Bountiful Container: Gardening in Small Spaces (25 comments)

    This is a guest post from my wife. I’ve been gardening for almost fifteen years. I started with flowers, added herbs and vegetables, then a few fruits, then a lot more. I’ve gardened in plots and pots and raised beds. I’ve drooled over bedding plants, spent too much on whatever was my obsession-of-the-moment (bulbs! daylilies! gooseberries! ornamental grasses!), and have certainly read my fair share of plant books and magazines. By this time, I’m somewhat…

  • The Individual Investor’s Guide to the Top Mutual Funds (19 comments)

    Because I thought it would be a great source of material for Get Rich Slowly, last fall I enrolled in a lifetime membership to the American Association of Individual Investors. AAII is a non-profit founded in 1978 to provide individual investors — people like you and me — with tools and knowledge to better approach the stock market. I’ve been receiving the monthly publications for a while now, but haven’t had a chance to give…

  • Luck Is No Accident: 10 Ways to Get More out of Work and Life (44 comments)

    Some people are luckier than others. How many of you believe this? Why do you believe it? Are you one of the lucky ones? Or does luck seem to pass you by? And just what is luck, anyhow? According to John D. Krumboltz and Al S. Levin, there’s no such thing as luck. In fact, they shirk the use of the word in their book Luck Is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in…

  • One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (25 comments)

    Don recently pointed me to an NPR piece about a new children’s book that explores the concepts of microlending and entrepreneurship. Katie Smith Milway’s One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference tells the story of Kojo, a young boy from Ghana in West Africa. He borrows a little money to buy a single hen. With the eggs she lays, he buys more hens. And more hens. As his farm grows, Kojo is…

  • Lessons from Literature: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (60 comments)

    This is the first of an irregular series. I love to read, especially the classics. From time-to-time I’ll share nuggets of personal finance advice I find buried in the pages of the past. This month, our book group is reading Betty Smith’s 1943 classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The book describes what it’s like to live in poverty, and how that mindset affects a person’s choices. I love it. In the following excerpt, it’s…

  • Uncommon Lifestyles and the Truth About the 4-Hour Workweek: An Interview with Tim Ferriss (41 comments)

    One of the fundamental premises of the Get Rich Slowly philosophy is that by making sacrifices and smart moves now, you can create a better life in the future. It’s a philosophy of deferred gratification. But what if you don’t want to wait to enjoy life’s rewards? What if you want to take advantage of opportunities while you’re still young? Is there a way to do this while still maintaining a smart approach to money?…

  • Book Review: Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover (149 comments)

    Dave Ramsey changed my life. In the fall of 2004, I had over $35,000 in consumer debt. I was making a solid middle-class salary, but I lived paycheck-to-paycheck. My money habits were terrible. When I looked into the future, all I saw were years of toil to pay for the things I’d already purchased. Then a friend loaned me a copy of The Total Money Makeover, a book by some guy I’d never heard of…

  • The Kitchen-Table Investor: Wealth-Building Strategies for Working Families (25 comments)

    As you might expect, most of my personal investments are safely tucked away in index funds, those mutual funds designed to track the performance of a particular stock market index. This is a smart way for the average investor to achieve solid growth over the long-term. However, I continue to hold about 5% of my investment capital in reserve as “mad money”. While the rest of my investments are conservative, I use this money to…

  • Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids (14 comments)

    During my family’s Christmas celebration, I learned a little more about my oldest nephews. I don’t see them often, so it’s hard to know what interests them. This year, I learned that six-year-old Alex likes art. You can bet I’ll be encouraging this productive hobby — the only other two things I know he likes are dinosaurs and video games. I was also pleased to learn that his older brother, Michael, likes money. “I have…

  • The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Contest Winners (12 comments)

    When Jeff Yeager and I devised the Ultimate Cheapskate’s Book Contest, we hoped that Get Rich Slowly readers would have fun with it. But your responses exceeded our wildest dreams. The contributions have been fantastic. There are currently 220 stories, with more coming all the time. Some offer clever ways to save money; others are hilarious testaments to the thin green line between frugal and cheap. With so many excellent choices, it was difficult to…

  • The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Book Contest (253 comments)

    Let’s have a little fun. On Sunday, I reviewed Jeff Yeager’s new book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Guide to True Riches. Yeager has graciously offered to give away three copies to Get Rich Slowly readers. Rather than just do a random drawing, I thought it would be fun to share stories of extraordinary cheapness. It’s the Ultimate Cheapskate’s book contest! Here’s how it works: By tomorrow night, leave a comment on this entry with a true…

  • The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Guide to True Riches (24 comments)

    Jeff Yeager calls himself the Ultimate Cheapskate. He’s serious about saving money. He’s the sort of guy who soft-boils his morning eggs by putting them in the dishwasher while it runs. In a package he sent me recently, he included his business card, which is simply a rubber stamp printed on a piece of a brown paper bag. His wife calls him the cheapest man in America, and he’s proud of it. The road map…

  • The Four Things Children Really Want for Christmas (53 comments)

    Kris and I have been reading Unplug the Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. This book urges readers to escape the commercialism of the holiday season, to make it a “joyful, stress-free” time for the family. In a chapter entitled “The Four Things Children Really Want for Christmas”, the authors write: One concern voiced by most parents is that of shielding their children from the excesses of holiday commercialism. While adults can…

  • The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success (18 comments)

    In 1973, Burton Malkiel published A Random Walk Down Wall Street, in which he argued that a blindfolded monkey could pick stocks as well as a professional investor. Though I bought a copy of Random Walk for $3.99 at the local Goodwill last year, I haven’t read it. It looks dense. I know it’s written for the layman, but it still seems rather academic. In 2003, Malkiel published The Random Walk Guide to Investing, “a…

  • The Prosperous Peasant: Five Secrets of Fortune and Fulfillment (116 comments)

    One night each month, I meet at a local restaurant with a group of friends. We are the Woodstock Writers Guild. Mostly we eat, drink, and chat, but we also take turns sharing the stuff we’ve written: fantasy novels, horror stories, and even some literary fiction. Though most of us are only aspiring amateurs, we do have one real writer in the group. Mark has published two novels: The Green Age of Asher Witherow and…

  • Ask the Readers: Personal Finance Books as Gifts? (74 comments)

    I’ve deftly managed to avoid Christmas hype so far in 2007, but that ends this weekend. We’ll pick a tree on Saturday. On Sunday I’ll start my (virtual) shopping. My family exchanges $5 gifts, and it’s always fun trying to see how far I can stretch that five bucks. (Hint: summer garage sales can yield terrific deals.) This year I’m hunting for on-line bargains. GRS readers are beginning to buzz about the season, too. In…

  • Book Review: All Your Worth (39 comments)

    Three years ago, I decided to get out of debt. I hit the books, reading one personal finance title after another, searching for answers. Two books — Your Money or Your Life and The Total Money Makeover — were perfect for my situation. They gave me the tools I needed to tackle my problems. Now I’ve found a third book that would have been useful at the start of my journey to financial freedom. All…

  • My Millionaire Schemes (46 comments)

    I made a rare trip to Powell’s City of Books yesterday. This used to be one of my favorite hang-outs, but as I’ve learned to love frugality and to hate clutter, my book spending has plummeted. As a result, I spend much less time in book stores. I use the public library instead. Still, sometimes I allow myself to buy new books. Yesterday I picked up a stack of personal finance titles to review during…

  • Brief Thoughts on Modern Entertainment (30 comments)

    Over the past week, readers have sent me a lot of comments and questions related to a trio of products: the Amazon Kindle, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, and the Wii Virtual Console. Though none of these is itself worth writing about, taken as a whole they make an interesting combination. They represent part of a paradigm shift, a move toward on-demand digital entertainment. Amazon Kindle Earlier today, Jeff Bezos announced the Amazon Kindle, the latest…

  • The Incredible Secret Money Machine (24 comments)

    In 1978, Don Lancaster — a computer and electronics geek — published a book called The Incredible Secret Money Machine. Though the title smacks of get-rich-quick schemes, The Incredible Secret Money Machine is really about starting and running a small business. To Lancaster, a “money machine” is any venture that generates “nickels”. Nickels are small streams of revenue from individual customers. If your goal is simply to earn a comfortable income for yourself by doing…

  • Zen to Done: The SIMPLE Productivity System (27 comments)

    Deep in my heart I want to be organized. Somehow, though, what’s on the inside never manifests itself on the outside. My office is filled with stacks of personal finance books, money magazines, and scribbled notes. My e-mail box is packed with questions from GRS readers, guest posts, and correspondence from friends — sometimes I have time to read this stuff and reply to it, but mostly I don’t. For years, I’ve been searching for…

  • Book Review: The Automatic Millionaire (59 comments)

    David Bach is perhaps best known for coining the term the latte factor, a phrase that has almost become a joke in personal finance circles. That’s too bad, really, because Bach has some good ideas. And the latte factor is a marvelous concept, applicable to many people who casually spend their future a few dollars at a time. Bach’s most popular book is The Automatic Millionaire. I’ve referred to it often, but never reviewed it…

  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (30 comments)

    “Poverty does not belong in a civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum,” writes Muhammad Yunus near the end of Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. “I want to see a world free from poverty.” If anyone else made such a pronouncement, you might be justified in dismissing it as idle fantasy. But after reading 250 pages describing Yunus’ thirty-year micro-lending project, the reader knows that he…

  • Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People (7 comments)

    This guest post is from Suzanne S. Jane Bryant Quinn has been a personal finance writer for decades. She currently writes for Newsweek and Good Housekeeping. She also wrote a doorstopper of a personal finance tome called Making the Most of Your Money. That book was just too intimidating for me. I dipped into some chapters but really didn’t do it justice. Plus, it is now a little outdated in some areas since it was…

  • The Green Issue: Kiplinger’s Tackles the Environment (9 comments)

    I get a lot of requests to write about “green” personal finance. I intend to cover the subject during next month’s Blog Action Day, but if you’re looking for tips before then, be sure to check out the current issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The October 2007 edition arrived in my mailbox over the weekend, and it’s devoted exclusively to environmentally-friendly choices, with articles about: Carbon offsets — What are they? How do they work?…

  • Live Simple: A Free eBook About Simplifying Your Life (30 comments)

    Earlier today I reviewed Duane Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity. I was not impressed. I had hoped it would provide more actionable suggestions and less philosophy. Fortunately, I’ve found the sort of book I wanted, and it’s available for free on the web. John December has published a hypertext ebook entitled Live Simple: Radical Tactics to Reduce the Clutter, Complexity, and Costs of Your Life. This book isn’t about ideas — it’s about real things you can…

  • Book Review: Voluntary Simplicity (26 comments)

    For years, one of my goals has been to achieve a “pastoral lifestyle”. This amuses my friends, but it’s true. By “pastoral lifestyle” I mean that I want to create for myself a life that flows at a slower pace, a life removed from the concerns of the day-to-day world. What I hope to achieve is often called “voluntary simplicity”, and there’s a whole movement devoted to the concept. Duane Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity is a…

  • Young Money, the Personal Finance Magazine for College Students (17 comments)

    Todd Romer, excecutive director of Young Money magazine, recently sent me a couple of copies for review. Romer writes: Young Money is published bi-monthly and is the only national money magazine for the college market. Our editorial objective is to inspire, inform and motivate today’s young adults to begin managing their money at an early age.   We have increased our distribution now to nearly 140 schools. I didn’t expect much from the magazine, but I’ll…

  • Words of Wisdom from the Frugal Zealot (11 comments)

    Today at Zen Habits, Leo reviewed “the cheapskate’s Bible,” Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I love this book — it’s one of my favorite inspirations for money-saving ideas. Leo also pointed to a 1990 article from Dacyczyn that describes how she made the leap to frugality, and how it helped her to achieve her dreams: I am a compulsive tightwad. People who know me believe that I worry too much about money, that I…

  • How to Read a Personal Finance Book (20 comments)

    I read a lot of personal finance books. I do this because I learn best by reading, and because I like to review the available literature for readers of this site. When I recommend a book, it’s because I think there’s something valuable there, maybe not for everybody, but for most people. Books are only valuable, though, if you are willing to do your part. Be an active reader You, as the reader, must be…

  • Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek (59 comments)

    When I picked up The 4-Hour Workweek, I was worried it was some sort of “get rich quick” book. The first few pages didn’t do much to change my mind. The author, Timothy Ferriss, makes a lot of bold claims, such as: “How do you create a hands-off business that generates $80,000 per month with no management? It’s all here.” But something happened during the first few chapters. When I read a book, I use…

  • Are Personal Finance Magazines Worth the Cost? (42 comments)

    Readers sometimes ask me, “Which personal finance magazine do you recommend?” This isn’t an easy question to answer. None of the Big Three — Money, Smart Money, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance — are exceptional, though each is good in its own way. Which is best for you depends on your financial objectives. Here are my impressions after subscribing to each for the past year. Money ($10/year) The most popular personal finance magazine in the U.S. —…

  • Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes (and How to Correct Them) (21 comments)

    Money is more about mind than it is about math — that’s one of the key tenets of this site. People make financial decisions based not on mathematical ideals, but on emotion. There’s actually a branch of economics called behavioral finance devoted exclusively to this phenomenon, exploring the interplay between economic theory and psychological reality. On a recent train ride across Ireland, I read a book on behavioral economics called Why Smart People Make Big…

  • Malcolm Gladwell on The Power of Marketing (28 comments)

    In February I wrote about the insidious power of marketing. “We can try not to be swayed by advertising and marketing,” I said. “But no matter what we do, we are all affected by attempts to manipulate our subconscious. Even when we believe we are immune to manipulation, we are not.” At that time, I e-mailed Malcolm Gladwell for permission to post an excerpt from his best-selling Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (published…

  • Book Review: Debt is Slavery (43 comments)

    While on vacation I found time to read five personal finance books, each of which was good in its own way. Rather than swamp you with book reviews, I’m going to space them out over the next few weeks. Here’s the first. One of my goals for the next two years is to write a book about personal finance. I want it to be a practical volume filled with great tips, while also exploring the…

  • Get Rich Quack: David Schirmer of The Secret (37 comments)

    In my review of The Secret, I complained about the get rich quick mentality the book espouses. I was particularly cranky at the financial “advice” to visualize checks coming in the mail. That tip came from David Schirmer, an Australian financial “expert”. Here’s the complete passage from The Secret: When I first understood The Secret, every day I would get a bunch of bills in the mail. I thought, “How do I turn this around?”…

  • Why Frugality is an Important Part of Personal Finance (41 comments)

    I began reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette last week. “This is pretty good,” I told Kris. “It’s like a frugality weblog from before there were weblogs.” The Tightwad Gazette was a newsletter published during the early 1990s by Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced “decision”). Eventually the back issues were collected into a series of books, which were in turn collected as The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Dacyczyn wrote articles like: Used Shoes: Are they Good or Bad? Budget…

  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (9 comments)

    Here is a guest-post from RH Bee of Finance for Fun. In the forums, RH asked: “How come I rarely come across posts that have to do with the ecology in the personal finance blogs I read? I mean they talk about growing their own food, and spending less on doodads, but none of them mention that this is a way to save the planet.” My response was: “Write something and I’ll post it!” So…

  • There is No Secret: The Myth of the Law of Attraction (343 comments)

    This review was written several weeks ago, but I shelved it for fear of making anyone cranky. Things have changed. The Law of Attraction cultists are out in force, and they’re gunking up my site with comment spam. Now I’m having my say — I’m fighting back. The Secret is a best-selling motivational book (and DVD) published last fall. I didn’t hear about it for a long time because I live in an intentional media…

  • Book Review: Time is Money (4 comments)

    One of the most puzzling things about money is knowing where to begin. You get out of college and suddenly find yourself in the real world, with a job, with rent, with student loans, and wonder how you’re going to make ends meet, let alone save for retirement. Retirement seems so far away. It’s easy to just forget about it. Ignoring retirement could be one of the biggest financial mistakes you’ll ever make. Compound returns…

  • Free Book Chapter: ‘Money Day’ (3 comments)

    Last December, Ramit at I Will Teach You to Be Rich produced an eBook called Ramit’s 2007 Guide to Kicking Ass. The book features guest posts from a couple other bloggers, including JLP of All Financial Matters. I contributed an article entitled “Money Day”, in which I encourage readers to take one day off from life to get all of their finances squared away. Ramit has just released this as a free sample chapter, which…

  • Book Review: Acres of Diamonds (2 comments)

    One recurring theme of personal finance books is that it’s easier to accumulate wealth by working for yourself than by working for others. Many have heard this maxim, but few have heeded it. Some want to, but don’t know how to begin. A century ago, Russell Conwell was famous for his traveling lecture in which he encouraged listeners to find the “acres of diamonds” in their own backyards. Conwell was born in Massachusetts in 1843….

  • Best Comments on My Personal Finance Library (9 comments)

    The list of 25 great personal finance books that I have on my own bookshelves made it to the front page of Digg on Thursday. Because two other articles were picked up by major sites on the same day, Get Rich Slowly experienced record traffic. (Nearly 25,000 visitors, though it’s hard to be sure because Sitemeter decided to take a vacation that morning and hasn’t returned since.) What’s notable, though, is that the Digg thread…

  • Building a Personal Finance Library: 25 of the Best Books About Money (161 comments)

    I frequently get e-mail from people seeking book recommendations. Most messages are like the one Cody sent yesterday: “What is the first book that I should read that tells me how to invest?” These are easy to answer. In January, Bobby asked a broader question: I was wondering if you have a list of PF books that you have in your personal library. I use the library frequently and am very interested in furthering my…

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (23 comments)

    There’s a famous story of a young woman who dined with William Gladstone one evening, and with Benjamin Disraeli the next. (Gladstone and Disraeli were prominent British statesmen of the nineteenth century. They were bitter rivals.) Asked her impression of these two powerful men, the young woman replied, “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr….

  • Book Review: The Consumer Trap (8 comments)

    Last spring I reviewed Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, a book that explores what motivates us to purchase products, and explains how businesses sell to us. Today guest-author Paul Bausch looks at a similar book, The Consumer Trap: Big Business Marketing in American Life. We are continually bombarded with advertising, but as savvy web folk we like to think we’re immune to the effects of marketing. We use our rational mind to weigh…

  • 10 Ways to Save Money on Books (76 comments)

    I used to spend thousands of dollars a year on books, most of which I never read. Recently I’ve begun to trim my book spending. I spent nearly $3000 on books in 2003, but that number dropped to $700 last year. How did I do it? Through self-discipline and some commonsense tricks. Avoid new releases New releases sell at a premium. Sometimes you can get them cheap at Costco or Amazon. It’s best to avoid…

  • Money-Making Hobbies (from 1938) (21 comments)

    Note: For a modern look at this topic, check out six tips for money-making hobbies. What would Get Rich Slowly have been like if it were produced seventy years ago? Maybe something like this. (Or maybe not.) All text and illustrations from Money-Making Hobbies by A. Frederick Collins, published 1938 by D. Appleton-Century Company. I am not making this up. Enjoy! A Word to You It is my private opinion publicly expressed that there is…

  • Book Review: Quarterlife Crisis (13 comments)

    When I recently mentioned my interest in the book Quarterlife Crisis, GRS-reader Laura volunteered to review it. She didn’t find it as useful as she had hoped. I’ve just finished Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties by Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner.  Let me be clear: I am not the right audience for this book.  I am 33, married with a young child, and have been out of college and active…

  • What’s Up 2007: 365 Days of Skywatching (1 comment)

    In September, I wrote about getting started with naked-eye astronomy, a fantastic cheap hobby. I mentioned a free eBook containing things to see on every night of the year. The new edition, What’s Up 2007: 365 Days of Skywatching, is now available — it’s still free, and it’s still great. It’s especially nice for dark and stormy nights like this. It rans often in the Pacific Northwest, but even when I can’t see the sky…

  • Book Review: The Millionaire Next Door (37 comments)

    Some personal finance books promise to show the reader how to become a millionaire. The Millionaire Next Door (by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko) is different. It is built on years of research, on a body of statistics and case studies. It doesn’t make hollow promises. Instead, it profiles people who have already become millionaires. This is a subtle but important difference. Many people who earn high incomes are not rich, the authors…

  • Ramit’s Guide to Kicking Ass (4 comments)

    Ramit of I Will Teach You to Be Rich has just published his first ebook: Ramit’s 2007 Guide to Kicking Ass. This little gem features six original essays from Ramit and four from guest authors. (I contributed a piece called “Money Day”, of which I’m rather proud.) The book’s contents include: Who Has the Most Frugal Family? — Crazy stories of extreme frugality. The Key to Running a Great Project — It’s all about momentum….

  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (72 comments)

    Initially, T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth seems cast from the same mold as Loral Langemeier’s The Millionaire Maker (my review): full of vague promises, unsupported claims, and thinly-veiled sales pitches for products and seminars. It’s true that Eker is guilty of some of these faults. But ultimately I could not help but like the book once I stopped thinking of it as a personal finance guide…

  • Getting Things Done: How to Take Control of Life (48 comments)

    Taking control of your finances is easier when the rest of your life is in order. If your mind is swamped with worries about work, or home improvement projects, or obligations to friends and family, personal finance can become a low priority. You have other Stuff to worry about. David Allen’s Getting Things Done provides a system for tackling all of the Stuff in your life. I’ve avoided mentioning Getting Things Done before today. But…

  • How to Manage a Windfall Successfully (20 comments)

    This entry is part of JLP’s October project — a month-long, cross-blog review of the book The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. Some of what follows is taken directly from the book. You have won $50,000! So, what do you do now? Every day I give advice on following the slow, sure path to wealth. But what happens if you do manage to get rich quickly? What happens if you win the lottery, or hit the…

  • Are You Normal About Money? (13 comments)

    How much do families spend on food? How much has the average person saved for retirement? Do others balance their checkbooks every month? Every week? Every day? When shopping for homes, how much time do people take? I recently spent $4 on a book that answers these questions and others like them. Are You Normal About Money? by Bernice Kanner purports to offer a statistical representation of the financial lives of normal Americans. While I…

  • Book Review: The Millionaire Maker (22 comments)

    Loral Langemeier claims that she can turn anyone into a millionaire. In her recent book The Millionaire Maker, she writes: You can give me someone who’s severely in debt, you can give me a single mom on a low income, you can even give me a guy who’s living a big lifestyle on fumes. I can take all of them and make them millionaires. The Millionaire Maker attempts to codify Langemeier’s “proprietary Wealth Cycle Process”….

  • The American Frugal Housewife (4 comments)

    What can a housewife writing in 1832 teach us about frugality and thrift? Plenty, it turns out. In my recent interview on the Money Blogger Podcast, I mentioned a two-hundred-year-old book called The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Francis Child. This book is in the public domain and freely available via Project Gutenberg. GRS-reader Tracy pointed me to The American Frugal Housewife in July, and I’ve been reading snatches of it ever since. Americans…

  • Ten Secrets of Success (6 comments)

    This is a guest post from Aaron Muderick. He sent this is two months ago. “Wait a few days until I write about entrepreneurship as a viable personal finance strategy,” I told him. Somehow a few days stretched into a few weeks. But I’m here to make amends at last! I like reading self help/advice books that are dated by a few decades. It helps to put them in perspective and it separates the wheat…

  • Survey: The Best Personal Finance Books? (50 comments)

    I’ll be leaving for vacation shortly. Look for some great guest posts from Get Rich Slowly readers over the next week. Before I go, I’d like to take a quick survey. What is the best personal finance book you’ve ever read? Why did you like it? What set it apart from other books? Is there one piece of advice from the book that sticks with you? (You might also share the books you don’t like…

  • Frugality in Practice: Building a Cheap Personal Finance Library (14 comments)

    My wife and I went thrift-store shopping last weekend. She was looking for shoes. I was looking for personal finance books. I found several: The Millionaire Next Door ($3.99) The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need ($2.99) A Random Walk Down Wall Street ($3.99) The Richest Man in Babylon ($2.99) Because I received 15% off the entire order, these four books cost me just $11.87. I passed up several other good choices — $12 seemed…

  • 50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom for Work and Life (3 comments)

    I don’t often feel compelled to recommend a book before I’m even a quarter of the way through it, but for 50 Success Classics, I’ll make an exception. I’m an avid audiobook listener. I commute half-an-hour each way, which gives me five hours of “reading” time each week. In the past, I’ve stuck to classics and to nautical fiction (I’m a huge Patrick O’Brian fan), but recently I decided to check Audible‘s stock of self-development…

  • Phil Town’s Rule #1 Investing (41 comments)

    Rule #1 by Phil Town is not a general personal finance book, and it’s not a book for beginning investors — it turns a lot of conventional investment wisdom on its ear. The book explores a philosophy ascribed to Columbia University’s Benjamin Graham (author of The Intelligent Investor), and popularized by Graham’s student, Warren Buffet (perhaps the most successful investor of all time). What is The Rule? “There are only two rules of investing: Rule…

  • Get Rich Slowly in the Wall Street Journal (11 comments)

    Jason Leow has written an article for the Wall Street Journal about how to find worthwhile personal finance books (registration required — the article is on page B1 of the 24 June 2006 issue). This weblog is featured in the story. Leow writes: The universe of personal-finance books is exploding. Many of them offer dated advice in plodding prose, so now a mini-industry has evolved to help sort through which are worth reading, which merit…

  • The War of Art: How to Defeat Procrastination (0 comment)

    Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art isn’t just a book about defeating procrastination — it’s a book about defeating all the things that prevent us from fulfilling our dreams: procrastination, fear, rationalization, self-doubt. Pressfield calls these dream-killers Resistance. Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever…

  • How I Choose Personal Finance Books (4 comments)

    For years, as I struggled with debt and reckless spending, the only personal finance books that appealed to me were those promising quick riches. A few Christmases ago, after listening to my financial woes, a friend mailed me a copy of Your Money or Your Life. I flipped through it half-heartedly, and then put it on the shelf. It sat there for two years before my debt burden became so overwhelming that I pulled it…

  • Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy (10 comments)

    Don’t judge a book by its cover. Most especially, don’t judge a personal finance book by its cover. Books promising quick riches and sure-fire investment schemes are generally filled with impractical gimmicks, or lead the reader into the land of financial risk, where fortunes are lost more often than they’re made. Sometimes it’s the most unassuming of books that offers the best advice, that can actively help you on your quest to get rich slowly….

  • Live Simple – Tactics to Improve Your Life (0 comment)

    Are you facing the need or desire to simplify your life? You might be newly laid off, retired, or a student, homemaker, or entrepreneur who has to make do with less. This ebook can help you restructure your life.— from Live Simple John December took a year off from life to write a book that he describes as “my Walden“, a book about living simply, about learning to make do with less. Live Simple: Radical…

  • The Wealthy Barber (16 comments)

    When I picked up The Wealthy Barber from the public library, I figured it must be good: the book was well-worn, the cover bent, pages dog-eared, passages highlighted, whole sections annotated in pencil and pen. Only the best personal finance books receive this sort of treatment. I’m pleased to report that The Wealthy Barber is a good read — author David Chilton offers an excellent introduction to personal finance. The Wealthy Barber‘s gimmick is that…

  • More Lessons from ‘Why We Buy’ (3 comments)

    As promised, here are some final thoughts on Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. In my previous entry about using this book to learn to spend less, I discussed how the more time a person spends in a store, the more money he’s likely to spend. Remembering that, check out the following stats: Here’s the actual breakdown of average shopping time from a study we performed at once branch a national housewares…

  • How to Spend Less – Lessons From ‘Why We Buy’ (13 comments)

    Do you want to spend less at the store? In Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, author Paco Underhill gives some indirect insights into how consumers can win the retail battle. Here are some easy changes you can make to help reduce your spending: Spend less time in stores. Underhill writes, “The amount of time a shopper spends in a store (assuming he or she is shopping, not waiting in line) is perhaps the…

  • Book Review — Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (3 comments)

    Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping might be more aptly titled How We Sell: The Science of Marketing. I hoped the book would explore the complex urges that lead us to buy, but instead it seemed to be targeted at store owners who want to improve their sales. Admittedly, these are two sides of the same coin — author Paco Underhill touches on the psychological aspects of shopping as he discusses how retailers can…

  • YMOYL 2006 Review (5 comments)

    This is a guest post by Cat Connor. Every year I try to review the steps in Your Money or Your Life to see how we’re doing.  It’s been about two years since my last review, but much to my delight, I found we are following most of the steps well, and I just needed to update some numbers. Step 1: Making Peace With The Past A: Determine your total lifetime earnings The book was…

  • Start Late, Finish Rich (5 comments)

    Just finished David Bach’s Start Late, Finish Rich. At 42, I thought it would be a good intro to Bach’s many treatises on personal finance. I’ll come right out and say I highly recommend this book. It was full of great information, and took an optimistic, yet realistic tone. I’ll try to touch on some key points. Yes, because you started late, you are going to have to work twice as hard to put away…