Full disclosure. I read this book for an online book club and as a result I tried to finish the book. If it wasn’t for the book club, I never would have attempted to finish this book. About halfway through the book I started to skim. And then I gave up because I realized that I wasn’t going to take an ounce of advice from this book.
What’s new? Nothing. Nothing is different or fancy or shiny or exciting. The title is catchy but if you already have a budget or read a finance book or listen to creditable sources on podcasts, then you aren’t going to learn anything new here. Ramit explains optimizing credit cards, using a high yield savings account, getting ready to invest (but not really investing), and building a conscious spending budget.
First off, not everyone can use credit cards responsibly. That’s why Americans have BILLIONS of DOLLARS of credit card debt.
“The fact that U.S. consumers owe almost $900 billion in credit card debt may not be shocking, but $900 billion is an enormous amount of debt, especially when you consider that not everyone in the country has a credit card account. The average credit card balance is more likely in the range of $6,000 to $8,000.”Cardrates
Second, a high yield savings account aren’t exactly the money makers they once were in the past. I recently closed mine because it made no sense to keep it there. Sure you can earn a little bit more than a traditional savings account but the high yield savings account isn’t a total game changer. I do agree with Ramit about finding a bank and managing your finances in order to avoid paying bank fees.
Which brings me to the point that Ramit states that creating a budget is “the sort of worthless advice that personal finance pundits feel good prescribing, yet when real people read about making a budget, their eyes glaze over.” People’s eyes glaze over because they don’t have a budget and didn’t realize how much money they spent on things. Sorry Ramit, I was starting to get on your train when you mentioned balancing debt pay off and investing and then I jumped right off after that comment.
Ramit’s advice is to build a “Conscious Spending” plan. Within that plan, Ramit suggests putting 50-60% towards fixed costs like rent, utilities, debt, 10% towards investments, 5-10% towards savings goals, and 20-35% towards guilt-free spending money. Ok Ramit. How on earth is someone with say $150,000 of debt going to become debt free and retired before 65 on your plan? Do you have any success stories??? Nope, didn’t see a single one.
All I found were some cool sound bites that made it look like Ramit creating something show stopping and by following his plan you will be RICH. No dude. You’re going to continue to stay in a perpetual cycle of paying of debt until you are old.
From Chapter 6 on, I realized that I wasn’t going to take an ounce of advice from Ramit so I closed up the book and gave it 1 stars.
Did you read this book? Get anything out of it???