A basic manual for money management
“Your Money: The Missing Manual” doesn’t tout itself by promising to share the latest “secrets” to wealth or handing readers the golden keys to trends in amassing great riches in the shortest amount of time possible.Instead, it takes the slow-and-steady – and proven – approach. Author J.D. Roth garnered his wisdom through experience: He found himself deeply in debt, so he started reading every bit of information he could find on money management. The result: a comprehensive book filled with practical advice.The manual mostly covers basic information and skills, which a surprising portion of Americans seem to have missed (such as not overspending). But it also delves deeper into not-so-intuitive aspects, such as how credit scores are determined and estate planning.From the beginning, the author’s tone is sensible and centered upon what’s truly important. Chapter one reminds readers that they don’t really want to be rich; they want to be happy. It places the financial information that follows into perspective. It also spends enough time on “the fulfillment curve,” which shows that once people meet their basic needs and comforts and move into the realm of luxuries, there’s a point in which too much stuff equates to stress and misery. To that end, Roth asserts that most people treasure memories (with family and friends) rather than over-accumulated stuff, and in fact, at some point “stuff” costs time and money in terms of maintaining it and storing it.The bulk of the book reviews such essential topics as creating and sticking to a budget (including a balanced money formula and the 60 percent solution, which commits 60 percent of income to essential expenses, 10 percent goes toward play and 30 percent, toward savings). It also focuses on reducing debt, living frugally (and liking it), banking, purchasing large items wisely, investing, insurance, retirement and more.One of the most useful elements of the book involves the frequent sprinkling of websites, from those that offer volunteer vacations (like wwoof.org and workaway.info), to prices on dealer invoices for cars (Edmunds.com or autobytel.com). In fact, the additional website listings provide a fast and easy way to research any financial topic about which you’d like to learn more.
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