I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
I am guilty of being a passenger on the ride known as personal finance for far too long – even with my Honours degree in Finance. It’s embarrassing.
But we all have to start somewhere. What Ramit has managed to do for me (since reading this book in January) has revolutionized my world and reduced the amount of time that I now put into managing my finances each month. I really wish I had this book when I started my first job 12 years ago.
As most Januaries start out, I made the New Year’s Resolution that 2020 was going to be the year I make proper strides towards financial freedom. To borrow the tagline from my colleague at work, “It’s going to be 20-Plenty!”
I’ve been watching Ramit for a few years now. I initially stumbled upon him in an article about automating your finances on Tim Ferriss’s site. I clicked a link which took me to iwillteachyoutoberich.com (very scammy sounding name I know lol) and immediately found a website that I wanted to emulate. His approach to funnels, emailers, products… everything was geared to make money while giving really valuable advice – this dude was goals for me.
After a few more searches I learnt about his book. When the second edition came out, I watched this 2 hour long interview with Tim Ferris and pulled the trigger immediately after:
It’s not available in bookshops in SA, so I had to get a copy via Amazon. This is the second edition of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, celebrating a 10 year run of helping so many people get control of their finances and live their Rich Life. As Ramit says, “You choose your Rich Life.”
“I Will Teach You to Be Rich is about using money to design your Rich Life”
~ Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to Be Rich
The most pivotal part of the book is how Ramit addresses the BS scripts that we’ve been told by society, our parents etc. regarding money. Those scripts are what holds the majority of people back and you end up feeling guilty that you made some kind of investment mistake or (as is relevant today) you get hit by an unexpected expense and funding pressure that puts you on the back foot when an emergency fund could’ve bailed you out.
I can’t say this enough… I wish I had this book when I started working my first job.
Luckily, if you are like me and personal finance was that irritating thing you put off and gave like 0.000002% of your attention, it’s not too late. What I’ve achieved by reading this book astounded me.
Since January, by following the simple instructions and word-for-word scripts Ramit gives you in I Will Teach You to Be Rich, I have:
- Negotiated a reduced interest rate on the credit cards that I have – handy if you want to pay-off debt fast and all done with 2 emails;
- Used the Debt Avalanche Method to pay off the balances on my retail and credit cards;
- Reduced my car and household insurance by just over R1,000 a month – yes my friends and that was basically a one-week process of negotiating via email and shopping around for a better deal;
- Automated my savings with the “Pay yourself first mindset”;
- Automated every single payment and transfer that wasn’t on debit order;
- Automated my charitable contributions, and most importantly
- Reduced the amount of time I spend on my finances to about 15 minutes a month – 5 minutes to check if everything is still good and 10 minutes of pure gloating
The book has paid for itself so many times over!
One thing is certain, it will take some work from you. Although most of the tasks are pretty simple, there are some difficult topics that you will need to address to unlock the maximum benefit from his teachings. The toughest one, which I’m most grateful that Ramit included his own personal experience, was having the money conversation with your significant other. Those few days spent doing spreadsheets with my girlfriend were HECTIC. But we got through it. Thankfully, I gave her the chapter to read beforehand. Sometimes it’s easier having Ramit land the message than you 🙂
I’ve diarised my annual financial review for December and can’t wait to see how far I’ve come towards living my Rich Life and managing my finances like an Indian – his words, not mine
Format used for review: eBook
Originally Published: 2009 (2nd edition 2019)
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