I’ve been a big fan of the site I Will Teach You To Be Rich since 2006, although I’ve not quite been in Ramit’s target demographic for a while. Still, when I was approached to do a review of his site on this blog, I thought it worthwhile since I think I have many readers who’d enjoy his no-nonsense style and benefit from his advice.
It’s also be a nice change of pace from the last couple posts I wrote on special situations investing which, although they’re related to value investing and are real experiments I’m currently partaking in, I do admit are somewhat obscure for the average reader.
First, to be completely clear and open, Ramit is in no way compensating me for this reviewI wouldn’t be reviewing his site if I didn’t think it was a high-quality, valuable resource that my readers would benefit from (and believe me, I probably get many requests to do these kinds of reviews than you think.)
What Ramit does particularly well is target new or recent grads and provide them concrete advice on taking financial responsibility. His site is chock full of stuff about the psychology of money, something that, sadly, even many American Ivy League college grads fail to grasp despite having had supposedly the best education in the world. And if you click on that link, you’ll get what I mean about Ramit’s no-nonsense attitude :)
Even if you’re not quite a new or recent grad, he has practical suggestions on how to lower your finances and be more thrifty (including a section on automate your personal finances), lessons that apply not only to decreasing your bills but that help you build skills at work. Case in point: his post on How to Negotiate. I’ve done this successfully myself several times to lower my Comcast bill and once to waive a late fee on a credit card, but I’ve come to realize this is not common practice, even among people with more experience and years.
We’re simply not taught to pick up the phone and negotiate with our utility companies, our banks, at the store, or with our bosses. But why not? I’m not saying you need to be a pain in the arse all the time and quibble over every cent, but having the confidence to pick up the phone and save $50 a month or hold a negotiation session with your manager can make a huge difference to your pocketbook.
Because I work in and have covered several topics on working in corporate America on this site, I think the links on that page would be of particular use to many Experiments in Finance readers. For example, here’s a link to an inteview Ramit did with the New York Times on whether or not to reveal your salary history during a job interview process.
So, take a look at his site and see if you don’t find something useful to pick up there. Enjoy!