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Books


  • The Happiness of Pursuit (27 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…

  • ‘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…

  • 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…

  • 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)….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • SEP-IRA vs. Self-Employed 401(k) (42 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…

  • Book review: ‘Change Your Life in 7 Days’ (12 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • What Are the Differences Between the Rich and the Poor? (359 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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!…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • There is No Secret: The Myth of the Law of Attraction (340 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Phil Town’s Rule #1 Investing (40 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…