Today is my birthday — will you do me a favor?

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I turn 28 today.

I know I shouldn’t ask for birthday gifts, but I couldn’t resist.

Will you share one specific thing that I Will Teach You To Be Rich has helped you to do? Maybe it was paying off your debt, or earning more money, or automating your finances. Maybe it was handling money better with your partner. Or maybe something totally unrelated to money.

Just leave a comment on this post (RSS readers click here) or upload a video on youtube and tag it “iwillteachyoutoberich.”

The more specific, the better. Share a story. Share specific, concrete #s. Tell me what it meant to you.

This will be the best birthday gift ever.

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537 Comments

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  1. Sathish Paul Leo Link to this comment

    Hey Ramit,

    You taught me to
    1) Negotiate to lower my cable bills
    2) Negotiate a lower credit card rate – just by asking them
    3) Open sub savings accounts in ING Direct – now I have automatic payment plans setup for savings, emergency fund and for unforeseen maintenance (stupid mistakes)
    4) All these put together have helped me repay my credit card debt of 12k

    Thanks for all the tips, info and suggestions. Hope you have a happy, memorable, fun-filled RICH birthday !!!!

    Cheers,
    Paul

  2. I bought your book as I wanted to get my finances in order. I don’t have any debt but I wasn’t putting into a pension plan nor was I being smart about savings.

    After reading your book, I’ve now signed up for my company pension plan (target lifestyle funds too!) and am on my way to automate my savings.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants and happy birthday!

    John K
    London, UK

  3. Happy birthday!!

    IWTYTBR helped me automate everything (I’m SUCH a Type A so it made me inordinately happy to automate it all) such that I’m no longer juggling *all* my income/expenses in my mind, but only the disposable income part. That is, the part that’s leftover after 401(k), various savings, and all bills/groceries/miscellaneous expenses. For me, that’s about $600 a month, and it’s pretty easy to mentally keep track of about how much I’ve spent of that in a month (plus, I can check my credit card statement any time). So money has become pretty much stress-free for me.

    I used to feel guilty and anxious every time I spent money on *anything* — even groceries! I just didn’t know where it was all going. I’ve never had any kind of debt, luckily — not even student loans — and I’ve always lived within my income. But I wasn’t saving as much as I wanted and I was always under this cloud of anxiety that something was slipping away. That feeling is completely gone now.

    So, thanks, and once again, happy birthday!

  4. I am only 1 year older than you, besides our modest home, we have no other debt and never had. We have a decent savings account and thought we were doing well. In fact, many things you would say we were already doing. What I have learned from you is to get my “rough” areas under control by doing cash only for those certain items (out to eat / entertainment). I feel that we have more freedom, no guilt, and we live within the budget sometimes with extra to spare for the next month. Thanks for your help and hope your day is wonderful!

  5. Following your advices, I contacted my bank last month to negotiate my internet banking fees. Nothing big, $3.5 a month, but still. I had never really negotiated anything that “official” before, so I was willing to give it a try, quite anxious I must admit. Not only did they suppress my fee entirely, but they actually saw that I had been paying the wrong amount for 5 years, so they gave me five years of free internet banking (until 2015)! $42 per year * 5=$210 that will go in my savings account instead.
    I will definitely negotiate any fee from now on after this initial success!

  6. Happy B’day .
    Ways IWTYTBR has helped me

    - I got the bank charges reversed 3 times
    - Closed a high expense savings account and opened a on-line low expense one
    - Stop Chasing Stocks use Mutual Funds instead (It gives me peace of mind and also as its Automated , i do not miss investing in month thinking market is too high or too low )

  7. Partly due to iwtytbr I set up a whole bunch of different short term savings accounts and automated as much as I could of my month-to-month economy. Works a treat.

    Next up is index funds and bonds.

  8. You have taught me how to use a high-yielding savings account (opened an ING account!) to make the most of my over-payed salary and gave me the confidence that I can succeed yearly in reaching the max-Roth-IRA contribution limit. Thank you!

  9. You taught me how to really negotiate. I used to get really angry at customer service when they didn’t give me what I want,and in return I got nothing from them, but now I know how to negotiate and ask for things instead of just giving in or not knowing how to get what I want from them.

  10. Happy Birthday man!

    Your book has been a huge help in finally giving me a systematic way to handle my assets. I was doing a couple of things already, but since finishing your book I have now:

    1. set up “sub-savings” accounts for specific savings goals
    2. established a Roth IRA (lifecycle fund) and set a savings goal to fully fund it to cap each year
    3. gotten married debt free (including the honeymoon!)
    4. organized my new household finances around the same principles with my wonderful wife, who recommended the book to me

    I can’t tell you how cathartic it has been to just let go of that gnawing uncertainty when making any money decisions. All it took was someone repeating back to me what I already kind of knew in a clear and structured way.

    Thanks for everything. Party on!

  11. Happy Birthday

    I learned to budget using buckets each month. Very useful and simple solution. Works great

    Thanks

  12. Happy Birthday!

    You have helped us save over $250 a year on our internet bill, just by calling and asking for better rates.

    You have helped us save over $540 a year on our cell phone bill by helping us to realize that we don’t need all that extra stuff on there because that’s not our priority and we didn’t really want it anyway.

    We saved almost $100 one month just by calling our credit company out on charges that we didn’t agree with, and they reversed them.

    We negotiated a lower rate on our credit card and got them to add a wicked rewards program that will pay the credit card fee and then some and make our cost zero.

    In the last year, we have paid off approximately $10,000 in debt on pretty modest incomes without feeling like we are sacrificing, and while continuing to save.

    We’ve also both found new jobs or received promotions and added $20,000 to our income in the last year.

    Thank you! And enjoy your day! :)

  13. You taught me how to setup savings accounts in ING Direct. I have about ten now. I’m the only person within my group of friends (I’m 23) who already has $1000 saved for a wedding, even when I’m not planning on getting married for 5+ years. I also put aside money every month for unknown occurrences. In the last year I’ve been in two minor car accidents. Having the money available to handle repairs without going through insurance has been very nice.

  14. Rather than pursue frugality in every single aspect of life, learn what is personally important and do not hesitate to spend money in those areas. For unimportant areas, cut spending mercilessly.

  15. Hi Ramit, you taught me to negotiate a lower Internet (cable) bill… I called the bastards up and threatened to cancel and bam! 30% off for a year!!

    Also many other things like automating finances and the importance of short and long term savings.

    Thanks Ramit and Happy Birthday!!

  16. The most beneficial thing IWTYTBR has taught me is how to automate finances and create budgets. Without this knowledge, I’d probably be constantly worried about spending money. Guilt-Free spending is key!

  17. Your site has helped me earn some extra money as well as learn about new techniques for the future, specifically the stuff about going into a niche and getting into your clients heads. Tried earn1k and didn’t fit my style but I am a fan of your earning money posts. Keep it going and enjoy your birthday!

  18. I have always had great control over my finances, used online banks for years etc, but the automation portion of your book was very helpful and took me to the next level.

    Happy birthday!

  19. In 2007 I read your post about weddings. I had no prospects of getting married but I knew that one day I would a big Asian wedding with 500 people. (I have a big family and don’t have a choice about wedding size.)
    I took your advice and started savings plan in an ING Account. Three years later I am engaged and am so thankful I started that bank account. It was the best advice ever!

  20. Understand the psychology of potential customers.

  21. I Will Teach You To Be Rich has taught me how to automate my finances which is my biggest problem – that and overdraft fees from being stupid with money. At age 21 when I got married I had two car loans, four credit cards and some medical bills in collections. Then at the tail end of the housing bubble I added a mortgage for a $45,000 starter home (at the time I was only making $28,000 annually).

    Thanks to the blog and the book I now only have 2 credit card accounts to pay off, a new credit card on the way with small enough limit to allow me to automate my finances but not large enough to get into serious debt again, and the ability to sleep again at night. I also starting doing freelance web development to make extra money to pay off debt quicker and setup a Roth IRA that I fund in addition to the 401(k) that my employer provides. Finally, I went back to college at the age of 25 to finish my business degree.

    Would I say that finding this blog and buying the book was life changing? Well… duh. Would I recommend this blog and book to others? Daily. Will I be rich? Eventually.

    Happy Birthday Mr. Sethi!

  22. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    Conscious spending & A La Carte Method – I’ve cancelled a number of subscriptions that I wasn’t using… and feel less guilty about spending money on things I care about

  23. You have taught me how to automate my finances and it is the best thing I’ve ever done! Happy birthday!

  24. Happy Birthday, Buddy!

    IWTYTBR the book was awesome. I have a finance background already, so the most valuable thing that it gave me was the confidence to go and put yourself out there as an entrepreneur. We’re the same age, and to see someone (you) being so real and so honest in his teachings is a huge breath of fresh air. It’s nice to see a young guy doing so well, and having the stones to put himself out there in such a competitive field.

  25. I forget exactly how long it’s been since I started following your stuff, but I’m at an age now where a number of good friends are settling down and getting married and talking a lot about the costs involved. One friend in particular is getting married this fall and while his costs are coming in relatively low (about $17K vs. the $28K you cite – that figure doesn’t include the ring, though), I know he’s getting stressed about cost overruns.

    Thanks to the steps I’ve taken in the time that I’ve been into your stuff, I’m well on my way to having plenty set aside for when the time comes. Knowing that the stress my buddy is going through won’t be there (or at least not in the same magnitude) for me is invaluable.

    Happy birthday, man.

  26. I was able to negotiate out of a $30+ bank overdraft fee with your script! I also have set up my student loan payments to be sent every two weeks (with a little overpayment, even!), and I’ve set up named savings accounts: new car and emergency fund. Up next, wedding and house accounts…!

  27. Your book taught me that “buying a house is an investment” is not a smart statement. Yes, you will likely make money over the long run but you will make more investing in mutual funds instead. I have since held off buying a house for at least a few more years when I have a larger down payment.

    I also saved on a bank fee by asking 4 times if they would reconsider erasing the fee. My conversation was very close to the way your script was written, I will continue to use this technique.

    There are so many other things, not to mention many laughs when reading your book.

    Happy Birthday Ramit and thanks for your financial and entreprenuership advice

  28. Ramit; Happy Birthday! I have your book, and give or recommend it to all of my young friends. The book and the website taught me to think more carefully about how I spend each dollar, and I’ve learned to live on a lot less income so I can go back to school and finish my degree. I’m doing that now, and will finish and become a teacher. Maybe I can use your book as a text book! Thanks again and happy birthday!

  29. IWTYTBR taught me :

    1) how to set up a savings infrastructure and how EASY automated saving was. I don’t have to worry about whether I will run out of money.

    2) Concept of hedging your funds. I have a home expenses hedge account so that I put in the same amount of money in an account for the home expenses like rent, utilities and I don’t need to be worried about the winter heating bill hitting the roof because I have money in that account to account for the differences.

    3) Taught me and my fiance to save together and get talking about money matters – something we’d never done before. We are now hoping to pay for most of the fixed costs of our big fat Indian wedding :)

  30. Happy birthday!

    Your book taught me to be realistic and pay attention to what I was spending on every month, which led to me fully-automating my finances. This ‘auto-pilot’ allows me to focus on the things that really interest me — so thanks for that.

  31. And .. Oh .. Happy Birthday Ramit!

  32. Happy Birthday Ramit. The automation flow chart is definitely my favorite idea you’ve shared with us. Not sure it’s saved me any dollars, but it’s definitely freed up some time I used to spend paying bills and messing around with Quicken.

  33. Hello. I am a blogger from Brazil and I am turning 28 today too. What a coincidence!

  34. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You’ve taught me:

    1) How to negotiate for a larger salary at my new job (and get some extra perks thrown in!)
    2) How to automate my finances. I use ING and have a couple of subaccounts, the “Best That Could Happen fund,” the”car insurance fund,” the “renters insurance fund,” the “electronics toy fund,” and the “Damn You Debt fund.” That’s what they are all named. Because of your automation advice I’ve paid off more than 4k in debt this year SO FAR on a salary of 47k.
    3)Most importantly you’ve given me the confidence, that at any salary, I can make the changes necessary to become rich.

    Happy Birthday.

  35. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    Since I started following your advice 18 months ago I’ve accomplished:
    1. Gone from no emergency fund to a fully funded, six-month cushion.
    2. Opened a high interest savings account at ING and automated monthly transfers to my various sub-accounts.
    3. Paid off $5k of my wife’s CC debt and almost half of her student loans.
    4. Paid for our wedding & honeymoon in cash, and just this month booked another trip to the Caribbean, also paid in cash.
    5. Maxed out retirement contributions to my IRA.
    6. Stopped worrying about money!

    Hope you have a great birthday!
    -Mike

  36. Happy birthday Ramit! I’m 24 and I’ll give you three of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from you.

    I’ve learned how to automate my finances so I’ll never miss payments. This alone has made me feel a LOT less stressed when it comes to money. Now that I’ve gotten good at seeing how it works, I have it set up specially in YNAB-style: automatically working with LAST MONTH’S income!

    I’ve learned about all sorts of accounts (ING Direct, Schwab, Roth IRA, 401(k), etc) and how when they’re all running together they become my vehicle to become rich. And they’re all easily overseen by Mint.

    Last, but definitely not least, I learned not to debate minutae, especially with your weight lifting story you have in the archives somewhere.

    Thanks Ramit!

  37. Happy Birthday Ramit!!!! You’ve helped me so much.

    When I started my first job after college I was making pretty good money, and the only thing I knew how to do is spend money, and save money. I wasn’t sure what I should be saving or what I should be spending…then I thought about fancy investing..etc.

    I searched google for personal finance sites, signed up for a few, but yours seemed to suck me in. I’d read it all the time just to gain knowledge, and when you bought your book…that’s when I decided to really get my system set up. Here’s how you helped:

    -Confidence with being frugal and not keeping up with the joneses
    -Channeling spending to things that I really enjoy and ***k the rest
    -Realize how much money I really do make
    -Get an awesome credit card that works for me
    -Build a spending plan that shows me where all my finances are going
    -How simple and not sexy investing can be
    -Getting rid of bank fees, and opening a savings account with sub accounts
    -Saving up for a motorcycle without going in debt (was my dream of owning one since a little kid)

    Lots of things, but most of all, you taught me to be rich :D

  38. You’ve taught me how to divvy up my assets into international stocks, domestic stocks, and bonds (asset allocation), and your insistence on target-date funds has made me realize I need to regularly rebalance.

  39. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    Reading your book and following your site has taught me:

    1. The importance of a retirement account. For me specifically, a Roth IRA and a 401K.

    2. Automated, high interest savings account. I have a little over 3 months worth of emergency funds.

    3. Track my spending with Mint.com.

    Have a great day. You’ve worked hard. Now play hard.

  40. Elizabeth Hernandez Link to this comment

    Your book made me realize how much I can do to with my finances in order to save more money and to become financially responsible. I also bought a copy of your book for my little sister and she has finally automated her finances. Thanks Ramit and Happy birthday!!!

  41. Hey Ramit,
    your book and your site have taught me to do the following more rigorously:

    1. Automate savings – I now have 3 subaccounts besides my main savings account on ING for investments, travel and hobbies.
    2. The importance of setting aside money for savings/investments and being able to spend the rest without guilt.
    3. Automate credit card payments so I will never have to pay late fees again.

    Happy birthday!!! Hope you have a fabulous day!

  42. I am a new reader of your blog, and had instantly added it to my other blog reads after my first visit.

    Your site helped me automate my spending and setup subaccounts in my ING account.

    The second thing that i Haven;t done yet is to pay closer attention to my asset allocation for retirement accounts. I don’t know if I want to use lifecycle funds so I’m trying to find sometype of EXCEL format asset allocation file that will help me keep my allocation in check.

    Thanks

  43. Ha! That is an amazing picture!

    Well, first off, you got me to start saving automatically. I know have about 5K in savings without even thinking about it. Kinda wish I could automate a helluva lot more in my life than just money.

    -Dan

  44. Happy Birthday Ramit !

    You helped me to :
    1) Negotiate an 100 €/month increase after tax while starting my new job + negotiate commission with a HUGE potential (one sale = half of my annual fixed income before taxes).
    2) Negotiate at anything when traveling (and so avoid me to stay blocked 2 days in Abidjan Airport).
    3) Create my own Conscious Spending Plan and stop spending more than I earn. I know save and/or invest at least 20% of my after taxes income each month.
    4) Pay off my debts
    5) Look after best financial products here in Belgium. I just take your book and find similarities with Belgian banks and accounts.
    6) Speak about money with my girlfriend.
    7) Most important : enjoy my life without worrying about money.

    Thank you so much,
    Maxime
    PS : You are born 3 years before me, day for day. That’s coincidence

  45. Wow – what an amazing photo :) happy birthday.

  46. Hey Ramit,

    You taught me:
    1. To automate my finances.
    2. To invest aggressively while I’m young so I don’t have to when I’m old.
    3. How to spend on the things that matter and axe the things that don’t.
    4. How to use savings appropriately (for medium term purchases)

    I just railed out one of my coworkers and forced him to start reading your book. He started work with me about a year ago, and still hadn’t opened his 401k. He lost $2000 of free company money because he couldn’t use 15 minutes to get started. I’m trying to fix him.

  47. I love your piece of wisdom that there’s a limit to how much you can save but no limit to what you can earn. It’s helped me justify my ambivalence about not spending money and given me motivation to try to earn more through freelancing.

  48. Your book and blog helped me start to get my life back on track. I thought I was just bad with money when it turns out I was just dumb about it. Now I am saving automatically and paying my bills on time all the time. Climbing out of debt is still a process that I am going through but you made me realize that saving $2 on a coffee isn’t going to help me. So I’ve been trying to grow my freelance business and learning as much as I can about how and why people get into debt.

    Thanks Ramit. I wish I had read your book in High School.

  49. Ramit,

    Janam Din ki badhai! (And how fitting that the Website where I found how to say “Happy Birthday” in Hindi has an ING Direct banner across the top.)

    Since reading your book a few months ago I’ve automated my finances and now mechanically save $491/month in personal savings, $50/month for Christmas, and another $20/month for my son’s college (to be increased over time). That’s $1,683 in just three months. I’ve also maximized the employer & personal contributions in my employer’s retirement plan and started finding ways to make extra money on the side. What’s more, I’ve been able to help a friend get his financial life into better shape, and that feels really good!

    Thank you, kind sir. (Sip Darjeeling tea.)

  50. Happy birthday Ramit!

    You taught me the difference between various types of retirement accounts and the pros/cons of each. Before reading your book, all I knew was that I should be saving for retirement. After reading the book, I understood how that can actually be done.

  51. You helped me learn how to negotiate with the bank to get rid of overdraft fees, which I have since adapted to all customer service calls in order to bend them to my will and get things done in my favor.

    Automating my finances was the best thing I ever did for my finances, and I’ve even started a sub-savings account for retirement. Thanks!

  52. Hi Ramit!

    You’ve showed me how to:

    1. Negotiate a new lease on my apartment, saving $200/mo for 12 months. This post, http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/what-im-reading-automation-big-savings-saving-on-rent/

    2. Negotiate my cable bill, saving $10/mo for 6 months. Only took 5 min on the phone.

    3. Armed me with knowledge on how to start my consulting business with your Earn1K course. It took 3 months, but I finally landed my first client.

    PS. I read your book at the bookstore, took notes, and put it back. Don’t hate me!

    Have a great day!

  53. Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for helping me keep my cable bill as low as possible every 6 months.
    Thanks for teaching me how to effectively pay off my student loans.
    Thanks for teaching me how to enjoy life and not worry about money.
    Automate to dominate!!!!

  54. Read the blog, bought the book, read the book, automated my finances.

    The stress of money has gone away knowing that I don’t have to remember to pay this bill or that bill, it’s all looked after.

    You have inspired me to research further into wealth management.

    Happy Birthday Ramit!

  55. Happy Birthday!

    So I’m a HUGE fan of your book. I let my girlfriend borrow it, because I wasn’t sure how interested she would be in her money (even though everyone should be). Anyhow, after trying to get it back, multiple times, I just bought a new one. Well, that turned into a gift for my sister and I’m on to my third copy. Your book and website have given me the confidence to make everything automatic and just check up on it every once in a while. With this confidence, I know what I can and cannot spend and have removed a ton of anxiety from my life. This has allowed me to focus on family and friends. By writing it in a younger voice (not less mature, just less stuff), you have captured my interest and those around me.

    Have a great birthday,
    Chris

  56. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You have helped so much over the past year. I participated in both the IWTU2BR bootcamp last fall and the Earn1K program. With the E1K program alone I have already covered the costs of both programs – THANKS! Like many others I have my financial situation automated through ING and Schwab.

    If I had to pick the two most important pieces of advice you have given would be to not (1) Don’t Ask Dumb Questions! and (2) Invest In Yourself DAILY!

    Thanks again and Happy Birthday.

  57. Jeff Wenzinger Link to this comment

    1) Not put up with stupid people/banks.
    2) automate my finances
    3) free my mind from worrying about finances

    Thank you Ramit. Happy Birthday!

    nycjeff

  58. You indirectly helped teach me that reading a blog is more than reading an article, and that every person, great or small, lives under the same constraints that I do.

    Thank you. It has helped out.

  59. Happy Birthday Ramit.

    You taught me how to be frugal and be aware of where all the spendings go.

    After reading your blog for a month, I’ve finally opened up a credit card that works for me. I imagine I will save $200 just on credit card bills this year.

    Your article about $100,000/year income friend who is broke relates to me (though I only make just a bit over half of that). I used to drive an Audi A4 before and I spend a lot of money just to have it, but because I crashed and totaled my car, I’ve been commuting by bus for about 3 weeks now but my mentality is that I don’t mind it because I am being frugal and I’m also saving money that way. Public transit may smell a little and sometimes uncomfortable, but I can save money. I will eventually buy a car again, but I’ve also learned to negotiate on my next car and most likely, I’ll buy a used one and that’ll probably save me $10,000-15,000 since I’ll likely buy another Audi again. Or I’ll buy a new one and keep it for 10+ years.

    I’m also going to open a savings account soon and also going to start putting money in the (Roth IRA), we call them Tax Free Savings Account in Canada so I am a whole lot more aware of where my money is vs. my friends.

    Thanks for your tips. I’m planning to buy your book soon too.

    Vancouver, BC
    Canada

  60. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    I have learned a lot from watching how you operate your blog. Top things:
    1. How to be persistent
    2. How to dream big but take manageable steps to get there.
    3. How to build a community.

    Thank you for being so interesting and fun to watch!

    Penelope

  61. Ramit,

    When I came across your blog I was in a bad spot. I had $5k in cc debt (on 29.99% APR cards), almost zero automation, was paying $500+ per year in late fees and finance charges and had no real plans whatsoever for making a change.

    Within a few days of finding your blog and tearing through your book (on kindle for iphone, which was strange but immediately gratifying) I had already made changes that set me up to save many many thousands of dollars.

    Since then I’ve purchased each and every one of your products (minus consulting time… yikes!) and every single one has provided me the means of recouping at LEAST 10x the value I’ve paid for it.

    People think I’m a bit nutty for having 5 copies of your book at my house now but they stop laughing when they ask for advice and I flip your book open to the appropriate chapter.

    My roommates still think Earn1K is weird but they don’t seem to equate it with the money I’m making in my freelance work. That, they seem to think, is just “lucky and awesome.” It’s certainly awesome – but it wasn’t luck.

    I’d like to quote the first email I ever wrote to you because it still applies more than ever:

    “Thank you Ramit Sethi, and thank you to your Indian father and to your damn fine explanations of precisely how idiotic we all are.

    Thank you for showing people how personal finance is just a very slow MMO that you play on the interwebs where step 3 really is “profit.’”

    Keep up the wonderful work, and have a FANTASTIC birthday!

  62. Hello Ramit,

    I appreciate the good financial advice you provide and your unique style. Although the greatest value so far I have gotten from you is the inspiration and example that if you give away a lot and be very persistent in your efforts, you will be greatly rewarded.

    Happy birthday!

  63. Happy Birthday!

    You taught me not to invest in individual stocks, but to consider Index Funds, which I knew nothing about prior to finding your blog.

  64. I’ve been reading your blog for several years, starting when I was in college and was interested in PF but didn’t have much of an income. Now I’m in my first real job and my whole financial life is set up according to your advice: I’ve automated my savings; set up ING sub-accounts for wedding, irregular expenses, travel, etc; developed a conscious spending plan; and started to pay attention to asset allocation. I don’t have a ton of money but I’m in control of my finances that that makes me feel rich!

    My boyfriend has started reading IWTYTBR too and we are always telling each other “well Ramit says…” Thanks and happy birthday!

  65. Ramit,
    You taught me how to automate my finances, and to think about my purchases beforehand in case they were unnecessary. Happy Birthday!
    Tracey

  66. 1. Open ING Direct account and automate deposits
    2. Sub-accounts for specific goals
    3. Open a Roth IRA and automate deposits.
    4. Buy low-cost index funds and diversify asset classes.
    5. Move from $1500/mo rent to $1200/mo rent to now $700/mo rent!
    6. Cut costs on things I don’t care about (car, new clothes, decorative apartment crap).
    7. Spend like mad on stuff I love (travel, golf)
    8. Open Charles Schwab interest checking account
    9. Pay off $12K in student loan debt in 18 months rather than 10 years.
    10. Get a side hustle to earn extra income ($3000 in 18 months so far….not a fortune but a nice bonus)
    11. Turn off the heat/AC and learn to deal with slightly higher/lower apartment temperatures.
    12. Re-evaluate insurance companies every 6 months to get best rates.
    13. Auto bill-pay

    Seriously, thank you dude. Sorry I’m late but happy belated birthday. Been reading since July 2008. Hope you continue to dominate and kick ass.

    Joe

  67. You have helped me practice negotiation. I emailed you a year ago and said, “I just sold a car, and I let the guy totally out negotiated me. I didn’t get a bad deal, but I could have gotten better.”

    You told me some of the mistakes I made. I looked over them.

    I went to buy a used car this year for work. I made sure I was prepared, had all the knowledge and leverage, and haggled him down about from $4500 to $2500 (for a 2003 mercury sable). He even drove the car to me to have me check it out and inspected by a mechanic. That was a big win. I’ve had the car now for almost 10 months now and it works like champ :)

    Now I keep trying to sell things I don’t use just to “practice” (i.e., old crappy camera, ti calculators, I even sold a pair of 2 year old sandals I never wore…) There’s always a buyer :)

  68. I learned to focus on making more rather than pinching pennies. And great salary negotiation tips.

    You’re only 28?

  69. Ramit, Happy Birthday!

    The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I cannot save what I don’t have and the best thing I can do for my finances is go make more money! Along that same thread, you taught me that how to step out of my comfort zone and find new ways to make money.

    You also taught me that it’s OK to say no and how to negotiate. The story of your dad and the car mats really changed my thinking on how I deal with companies and accepting what I’m told. This was huge for us recently. My family decided to rent a new apartment. We had specifics we wanted and the apartment listed matched them all. We were unable to see the apartment prior to move in because it was still occupied, but shown a similar one that met our standards. On move in day we found out that the apartment didn’t have one major feature that it listed. My husband and I told the company this was unacceptable and they were able to move us to an apartment that was better (had a few more amenities we didn’t need but are nice) for the same price. The apartment we now live in should have gone for an additional $50 a month.

  70. Love the book. I constantly reference it.

    It prompted me to:
    1) Open online checking & savings account
    2) Better understand conscious spending, automation (will start when I receive my paycheck)
    3) Set up a Roth IRA and invest in target/life-cycle/’set it and forget it’ funds

  71. Ramit Happy Birthday!
    You have taught me how to master the art of automating my finances…I’m newly married, both of us are done with College & are now debt free, we both have our IRA’s and our 401k’s going….Got to confess though I learned it all by reading your book in Barne’s and Noble for free and through your blog…But today I’m going to buy the book for my brother who desperately needs it, think of it as a my birthday present to you….thanks again

  72. Ramit – happy birthday man. Your blog helped me to:

    1) Automate my finances – When I was working the corporate job, I set up the 401k match, automatically deposited savings into a no-frills Emigrant Direct account, automatically deposited rent/utility money into a separate account that I never touched, and deposited the rest into my checking account as free spending. This way, my budget was always automatically balanced – I only ended up seeing a small percentage of my paycheck at the end of the week, but I spent it freely knowing that my short-term savings, short-term bills and long-term retirement savings were taken care of.

    2) Remove personal barriers – two of your earlier posts about removing personal barriers and how nothing will ever be easier to do than RIGHT NOW helped motivate me to leave my job and work for myself as a freelance web designer and developer. So far, it’s worked out very well. Success is all about just showing up and giving it a shot. 99% of people will psyche themselves out of pursuing their dreams by coming up with excuses – but there will always be a million reasons not to do something. You just have to do it.

    3) Ignore tiny, meaningless optimizations in favor of big wins – I don’t fret endlessly about avoiding small purchases like coffees, clothing, etc. If I really want it, I just buy it. Instead, I focus my energy on maintaining a fundamentally frugal lifestyle, landing big freelance projects with ONLY well-paying, worthwhile clients and making sure my long-term finances are in order. I figure – if that’s all taken care of, then the coffee is just fine.

    This applies not only to personal finance, but to life in general – obsessively calorie counting doesn’t matter if you’re not hitting the gym HARD and REGULARLY. Analyzing every line of your code to make sure it’s “elegant” and efficient doesn’t matter if it doesn’t do something REALLY VALUABLE. And fretting and analyzing every text message and conversation with the opposite sex doesn’t matter if you’re not having fun with someone you like.

    Thanks man. Hope you enjoy the day.

  73. The biggest you have taught me, is that personal finance is 95% psychological. The tactics are pretty simple, it’s more about getting over the mental barriers we place on ourselves.

  74. Owen Onderdonk Link to this comment

    1. I got rid of Wachovia and set up a sweet Schwab Checking account and INGdirect savings account (with a savings goal for Vanguard Roth IRA).

    2. I decided to invest my excess low-interest student loan money for income while I’m still a student.

    3. I am now able to productively discuss finances with my SO (she loves reading and the book really helped open her up to discussion).

    4. Led me to discover earn1k and beyond1k, which looks like it will be an incredibly helpful resource. (I just began it but it already has me taking more action).

    • Owen Onderdonk Link to this comment

      Also, the psychological aspect like RJ says. That is probably the MOST important of all!

  75. Ramit,

    You helped me to automate my money flow. Prior to reading IWTYTBR, my head was constantly spinning, worrying about timing bills with paydays, making sure there was enough for when I went on vacation, etc.

    Now, whatever is left in my checking account is all I can operate on until the next payday, meanwhile, ALL my bills automatically withdraw what they need, and the automated suck-outs that take place after I get paid leave me with a crystal-clear idea of how much money I really have at any given time. I went from working an hour a day on finances and bills to an hour a MONTH, and that’s generous.

    Thanks again, and happy birthday! Tear sh*t up!
    -Troy

  76. The great potential value of coupons.

  77. Started a roth ira which is now my main retirement account.
    Got my girlfriend a 10k higher salary with negotiating.
    Setup an automatic saving and investing system.

  78. Hey Ramit,
    Happy Birthday first of all.
    I enjoy your vids and blog and information
    I think you are spot on.
    What I learned from you is not so much about your topic but about
    your media savvy.
    I love the way you work your brand and refuse to come away from it.
    I love that you polarize people without apology because you know who your audience is.
    I love that you work the books/blog/online classes in sync with your publicity.
    I learn from all of these.

    I know you were looking for something different, but I just want you to know
    I learn a lot from you and you remind me to stay focused.

    And yes, this is a pitch to get you as a guest on the show.

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://www.wrightplacetv.com
    office: (909-635-2040)

  79. Thou shalt think first spend second.
    I wish the Father’s blessings upon your life.

  80. Happy birthday, Ramit.
    You taught me about being mindful of my finances and be aware of my spending.
    Well done.

  81. …write better introductory e-mails. happy b-day.

  82. I opened up a ShareBuilder account and automatically put $1500 each month into 9 different well diversified index funds. I don’t care what the market does, I just sit back and relax.

  83. Kristina Desmond Link to this comment

    Taught me that it’s okay to spend money on stuff I care about and not feel guilty as long as I save on everything else. Also kept the blog and therefore personal finance in general in my face so I don’t forget to save. (And I paid off my car)

  84. I opened an ING Savings account and have set up auto-withdrawls from my checking account timed after I get my paycheck; it’s allowed me to save up for a trip to Europe! Also, I feel a lot more comfortable talking to my friends, family and boyfriend about money – I used to think it was in poor taste, but now I realize I was just intimidated by what I didn’t know. So, thank you and Happy Birthday!

  85. 1. Don’t get caught up in the fake financial security that college seems to offer. – you didn’t necessarily state this, but I realized that’s what I was doing.
    2. Negotiate!

    Thank you!

    Happy 28th birthday!!!

  86. First off, Happy Birthday!
    IWTYTBR has helped me demystify my previous understanding of money. I never paid attention to my money habits and as a result I ended up with money problems that I should not have had. My attitude was narcissistic in a way that I thought my Sugar Honey Iced Tea didn’t stink. Thanks to your expert tutelage I am not afraid of money any longer. I am maturing in my understanding of money as a result of your website and book. I am slowly but surely recovering from bad decisions and extremely optimistic about my financial future. I have come to revere your lessons. Many Thanks.

  87. Ramit,
    You helped me find a new vision.Thanks
    -Tushar.

  88. Among other things, you helped me renegotiate my cable/phone/internet bill to save $80/month. Come to think of it, I didn’t even renegotiate much–I called, explained a counter-offer I received in the mail, and they dropped my rate to match. Totally worth 10 minutes on the phone!

  89. You reminded me that talking about money can not only be fun, but sassy and sarcastic, too! (You slapped a whole new meaning on the term “Funny money.”)

    You were a big inspiration to me when I started my own money blog.

    And you taught me about the natural haggling superpower that all Indian people have. Who knew???

  90. Happy birthday Ramit! You’ve taught me to automate my payments by keeping things streamlined. Now I only do my bills 2x / month instead of every week. (I know…I have to work it down to 1x/month…baby steps!)

  91. Don’t spend less than you earn, earn more than you spend. Enough said :-)

  92. Ramit-

    You inspired me to get moving on a couple of retirement funds and gave me a ton of great ways to automate them.

    Happy birthday!

    Tom

  93. It has inspired me to become better with my finances.

  94. Helped me with knowing the steps to set up my Roth IRA with Charles Schwab. Excellent book!

  95. Ramit,
    Happy Bday. The day I read your free chapter, I called the bank and lowered my credit card 5%. I then called my satellite radio company and dropped my cost over 50% per month. My next purchase was your book.

    Thanks for the great advice.

  96. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    Your book has taught me how to negotiate like an Indian!!!
    Now I am wealthier for it.
    Thanks again and best of luck to you.

  97. The site has helped me form a better relationship with money. I automated my finances based on your suggestions and now I know where the money is going and don’t have to stress out about bills getting paid. After reading some of your scripts, I had the confidence to call my cell phone company and get what I wanted out of my plan without a price increase. I plan to try it out again now that my husband and I are on the same cell phone plan and want to add a home phone.

  98. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    I’m in my 4th year of medical school and i haven’t yet started on my financial excursion. However, your book has definitely made me feel a lot more confident with what to do with the money that i’ll be receiving in the near future during my residency. Just by knowing this information, I know that i’m way ahead of other people my age (24) and I can’t wait to get started. Thanks for your contribution, its truly appreciated bud.

    Hirsh

  99. By the way, today it’s my birthday too! :D
    Though not everything you say applies to my country, Brazil (such as credit card rules and credit score) I’ve been a lot more careful when spending money.
    Thank you.

  100. I’m currently 23 and graduated college last year and knew next to nothing about personal finance. You helped me:

    1) Pay off $3000 of credit card debt.
    2) Transfer my checking into a high-interest online checking account.
    3) Set up my Roth IRA
    4) You’ve helped me so much, that I’ve passed your book onto 3+ friends that have been helped in the same ways I have.

    Thanks again & happy birthday!

  101. You convinced me to move my money to a credit union (this was way before the moveyourmoney over at HuffPo, btw). You also helped me be more confident about asking for better rates on services – this is something I would have been mortified to do in the past, I’m a nice, polite girl from the midwest after all. :-)

  102. Learn how to use my credit cards, and start investing early!

  103. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I’ve only been reading IWTYTBR for about a year but in that time I’ve learned:

    - How to negotiate my recurring monthly bills down and find ways to get better rates
    - Learned to work on my financial rough spots and tackle my debt – over 35k gone in the last year and a half in thanks part to your site
    - Retirement savings and planning – rebalanced and better leveraged my accounts with your tips and suggestions
    - Open a high interest savings account and save automatically every week by having it direct draft from my checking
    - On that note – automated my finances in general

    Thanks so much for all the great free resources you provide us! I am turning 31 this year and am amazed how much you’ve accomplished in only 28 years.

  104. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I already had an ING account, but I opened a checking account there and a few more savings accounts for specific expenses. I also negotiated with my cable company for better rates on both TV and internet. There are other things I’ve done as well, but those are the ones that come to mind straight away.

    Cheers!

  105. Ramit,

    Through your book and blog (addictive). I am completely in control of my finances. You have inspired me to start a business, write a book and do some consulting on the side.

    Thank You!

  106. IWTYTBR blog taught me about using bank accounts features as a tools to help manage my income; about how to save money regularly and about the idea of subaccounts; about what no fee index funds are and how to use them; and about how to stand up for my rights as a consumer. In financial situations, I frequently consider WWRD — What would Ramit Do? Happy Birthday!

  107. I wrote a guest post for you and it increased my newsletter readers by 20%.

  108. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I would have to say that the best tip that you have given me is on automation of payments. I had used this to a certain extent prior to your advice, but I now use it far more. It has not always worked out every month, but I think that it really has been a timesaver overall. Being able to think less about finances is definitely a plus for me. I’ll leave that up to guys like you who love this stuff. :)

    Keep up with the good work!

  109. Alicia Chatman Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for all your tips. You helped prompt me to be more involved in working with my partner on finances. Turns out my husband wasn’t signed up for his matching 401k plan! He is now. Also we are working much more closely on our finances. That has been helpful and stress reducing.
    Thanks, and again, Happy 28th!

  110. Happy birthday Ramit!

    In addition to sub-accounts in ING, I got $1400 from ING’s refer-a-friend program by posting my Orange Key on craigslist.
    Earn1K made me realize how many opportunities I have to earn extra cash, so I am doing something easy (house-sitting) while pursuing my goal side business.
    Beyond1K hooked me up with some great motivated people; we’ve grown our group since the beginning and each week we make progress on our goals and keep each other accountable.

  111. Happy Birthday Ramit!!!! I hope it’s great.

    I’m glad I picked up your book. You helped me finally follow through in opening a Roth IRA and doing something I hadn’t thought about, opening an online high-interest savings account!

    Thanks!

  112. Your book opened my eyes to the fact that so many investments fail to beat, or even match, the general flow of the market. I had NEVER heard of target investment funds until I read your book! And now I’ve shifted my IRA into using one of Vanguard’s target retirement funds, and I couldn’t be happier.

    Thanks for the useful, and layman-friendly, information!

  113. I talked my credit card co. out of a $39 late fee–it was the 1st time I had been late in
    the 6 years I have had the card.

    I talked Sprint down from $90/mo to $50/mo for EVERYTHING

    Happy Birthday

  114. You helped me convince my wife that we should pay off our credit cards before we make any new major household purchases (she is furniture crazy). After three months we are over halfway there.

  115. Happy Birthday!

    A little over a year ago, your site spurred me on to look for some recurring discounts, and I ended up with two:

    1) Saved $8 per month on cable/internet package
    2) Refinanced my mortgage, saving over $100 per month with no closing costs of any kind — all I had to do was sign the papers and send them back, postage-paid.

    Thanks!

  116. You helped me convince my wife that we should pay off our credit cards before we make any new major household purchases (she is furniture crazy). After three months we are over halfway there.

    Thanks and Happy B-day

  117. You helped me:

    1) Automate my finances
    2) Set up savings accounts for things I really want (Travel, Down Payment, Guitar) and therefore save BEFORE I spend, vs the other way around.
    3) CONSCIOUSLY spend my pre-budgeted amounts
    4) Get a new credit card, keep it in check, and use its benefits to my advantage
    5) Set up a Roth IRA (I was previously shoveling all my savings into my 401(k) alone)
    6) Care about my future!

    Thanks Ramit, and Happy Birthday dude…
    Sav

  118. Happy Birthday!

    You motivated me to find out my credit score. Then you helped me get a credit card to improve that credit score. You also inspired me to earn extra income by actively pursuing freelance work (giving salsa lessons earned me $150 last month) and selling some books online ($200 total).

    Thanks!

    Joy

  119. Happy b’day!

    You taught me how to automate my money and I am eternally grateful.

  120. Hi
    It helped me negotiate better with the Credit Card companies.

    Have a great day!

  121. Happy birthday! I’m a June baby, too.

    Setting up ING sub-accounts and automating money to go in each every month was the most useful thing I’ve learned from IWTYTBR. I’ve got a much clearer picture now of how my savings is allocated, rather than having it in one account called “Savings.” It’s a huge motivator to look at my account and see progress toward my Australia trip!

  122. Hey Ramit,

    Happy freakin’ Birthday!
    You helped me:
    1. Automate my finances (LOVE your highlight colored book binder, btdubs.)
    2. Find out what it takes to actually start freelancing (I haven’t
    3. You helped me understand people a lot more, and where to find your target market and getting into customers heads, which helps SO much in other areas of my life. I’m in a youth council at Stanford U and also I’m a knives salesman (Cutco 4 Life) and I was able to help determine when and where to find the people who want the stuff, whether it was outreaching or buying some knives.

    Honestly, I can’t freakin’ thank you enough. You’re awesome, and when I become super rich, I’m taking you out to an expensive dinner man date, just keep your feet away from mine, no footsies. :)

    Cheers,
    Patrick

  123. Happy birthday Ramit!

    You gave me the kick in the rear to finally open myself a Roth IRA. By the time I turn 20 next month, I’ll have over $3,000 put away for retirement, despite only holding low paying student jobs.

  124. Ramit,

    I learned from you to automate my finances, especially my savings, and now I’m both more financially stable and less stressed about it. Thanks, and happy birthday!

  125. Happy Birthday!

    Your website has helped me automate my finances, especially in setting aside money for specific goals. I’ve tripled my monthly contribution to my wedding savings account (fairly painlessly), and have the money routed straight from my primary checking account. I’ll be able to reach my savings goal within two years!

  126. With your help I got off my butt and:

    (1) lowered my cable/internet bill from $140 to $85
    (2) automated my student loan and CC payments (HUGE relief!)
    (3) started sub-savings accounts for a house, car, and wedding

  127. Happy Birthday!

    1. Automate my savings, probably $6,500
    2. Negotiating my bills $2,000
    3. Paying myself first (401k, old IRA rollover, etc…) $2,000
    4. Side Income: $1,200

    Wow… Never really added it up, that’s almost $12,000. Next time you are in Chicago, it looks like I owe you a latte! :)

  128. Ramit,

    Two of your lessons stand out a lot for me:

    1. Your 30 days of saving made me realize that although I’m crazy frugal and set on most things… I could go a little further. It was great!

    2. Your posts about asking for a raise / salary negotiations drove me to ask for a raise / promotion at work. I did not get it immediately, but in asking well in advance (six months before our annual raise) I got myself on the radar for more responsibility, projects, etc. As a result- in addition to the standard annual raise we all got I received a $1000 bonus (I was the only one in my group to receive one). I firmly believe I would not have received this had I not had the confidence to confront my manager and ask what it would take. Thanks for making me realize there is nothing wrong with asking, and following through!

  129. Hello Ramit,

    Reading your book gave me lot of insight into the things I was already working on (automating savings, negotiating bills, etc…) – only to make it work better for me.

    1. I especially liked your tip on hedging – for me its a ground breaking – earth shattering idea for saving :)
    Have saved atleast 300$ in ING for gas prices.

    2. I learnt on how to have sub-savings a/c for charity, auto-loan, vacation, business, and investing.

    3. I am also a big fan of target date mutual funds and will be maxing out first on employer match 401k, then Roth IRA and then on Roth 401K (I know I will be higher tax bracket when I am older).

    4. I always like to know how people think when they are older and what their priorities would be, your survey nailed it.

    Happy birthday… tum jiyo hazaro saal !!!

    Thanks for your tips

  130. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You taught me a lot of things including:

    1. Awareness of my own personal finance
    2. Creative saving tactics(30 day challenge!)
    3. Automation of my accounts

    Thanks for your insight and hope you have a great one

    Albert

  131. Many Happy Returns of the Day!

  132. Jonathan Charlton Link to this comment

    Your book gave me the kick in the pants I needed to make me actually do something. I’d read a lot and knew I should have a retirement account, but your repeated insistence that I take action finally pushed me over the edge. I opened a Roth IRA and told ING Direct to take money out of my bank account every month until I reach the minimum to buy into a lifecycle fund. I’m more than halfway there, I don’t even notice the money being deducted every month. I feel great, I’m doing a smart thing for my future, and it takes no effort at all.

  133. Happy Birthday. The most important thing i learned is to consider making more money instead of trying to cut two dollars from a phone bill. I sold a ton of crap I no longer want and can use it to buy things that I now value more. You really put my spending in perspective.
    I also automated all my accounts which has really put me in check.
    Also your suze orman videos were hilarious.

  134. Happy B’day Ramit! May God Bless you with Health, Weatlh and long life.
    I learnt how to automate monthly bills, how to save on your bank account expenses & how to bargain with people to save some money. Thanks a lot for teaching me all that.

  135. Happy Birthday ya hairy mug! Ive learned automation for the most part, the rest i was already doing. Youve fine tuned me. Ready for a new book!

  136. Happy birthday.

    After reading your book I pulled all my money out of Wells Fargo and got a Schwab checking account and American Express personal savings accounts. My new checking account has a higher interest rate than my old savings account. I setting up all my retirement accounts and I am automating everything. It is a little complicated for me because I am a small business owner and have a small share in another company, but once I finish everything will be on auto-pilot and I won’t have to ever think about it again.

    Thanks.

  137. IWTU2BR has helped me dig myself and my fiance out of credit card debt and purchase our first home. It has also helped me understand my finances better. I am the one in charge of the household bills and I feel after reading the book I have control over my finances when before I just felt lost. I tell everyone I know about IWTU2BR and it is funny how my friends like to say “Oh, I have so much debt, I am broke all the time” and when I explain some of the tools IWTU2BR has given me, they say “Oh, that is such a great idea and it seems so easy” then next time we hang out and I ask if they started doing what we talked about and they are in exactly the same place…

  138. In 2007 during my lecture at Stanford you were in the audience and asked me if I had to do it all over again would I make different decisions on getting my books published. I replied the whole industry is in flux and it needs to be reinvented (or something of that nature.) I think you carved out a pretty good path for reinvention. In terms of your work, you have helped my son and nephew. I bought them both copies of your book upon their graduation from college last year. Both have opened accounts and are putting away substantial amounts of their paychecks automatically. They both have followed your advice about credit cards. Also, my son who is 22 is saving to buy a home because it would cost less than rent. I know I was not doing or thinking these things in my 20′s! Your work is great! I remain a fan!

  139. Happy happy birthday Ramit!

    I’ve been following your blog for about 2yrs now and I bought your book. I’ve set up my budget and automated my finances. I’ve set up an ING savings account and have managed to save up for quite a few things I never thought I’d be able to save enough money for. I also like that I have guilt free spending money.

    So thanks!! Have a great day!

  140. Online bill pay changed my life.

  141. Ramit, Felicitations on your magnificent birthday!

    First thing that comes to mind in the gratitude department: you have given me the greatest belly laughs. Your take on human nature makes it a pleasure to be pinched.

    2nd, you got me into conversations with my kids about money that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. They love you, too!

  142. Hey, Ramit,

    I just graduated college and got my first professional job. I’ve been in it for 6 months now.

    There’s a workshop I attended as an undergrad which did amazing things for me, and I’d been looking for a way to pay that back – or pay it forward – for a long time. When I got my job, I looked at my finances and decided to start putting money away for a scholarship. I’ve got a ING savings account set up for it, and I’m channeling in money from my paychecks every month. I don’t touch it, I don’t see it, and I haven’t missed the money yet.

    At the moment I’m putting $150/month in, and I should crest $1000 in August. The scholarship I’m planning is going to be $1000, with its first disbursal being in June of 2011, and then once a year after that. The extra money is going to be there as security, so I can keep offering the scholarship even if I have a hard year, jobwise.

    I’m paying off some credit card bills too, at the moment, but I’ve got that all automated so I’m not missing that money, either. My hope is that when those are paid off in full, I can put the money I’d ordinarily be using to pay off credit cards toward the scholarship and still not miss it. The total cost of the workshop is $3200, and some day I want to offer a full scholarship every year – and I believe I can do it, complete with savings in the bank to buffer a year or two.

    None of the inspiration, planning or execution would have come together without your book and blog. Basically, man, you rock.

  143. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    The first thing you helped me understand was automating finances. Once I accepted the fact that my budget did work and I was living inside its parameters, I could then automate my unchanging monthly expenses like insurance payments, debt payments without the irrational fear of something going wrong. Not only did this free my mind from having to remember to make the payment, my bank likes to reward automatic payments with lower payments. It may only be a few bucks here and there, but free money AND not having to think about it? Win.

  144. Index funds – over $5k up already.
    Staying on top of the 401k
    Automated savings with ING sub-accounts, emergency funds.
    Effective email marketing ;)

    Happy Birthday

  145. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    Thanks to you I learned to track where all my money was going during the month and to maintain a budget (the template I downloaded from your blog). I learned to have savings subaccounts and to automatically save each month – doing this for 2 years allowed me (and my husband) to save $20K to buy a condo in my home country (in 2007) and 3 years later I saved $50K to get our condo in the Bay Area (and still go on vacation each year). I have learned a lot from you and I’m really grateful you gave most of this information for free (I did get your book and was a member of the Scrooge Strategy :)
    I hope you have a beautiful day!

  146. Hi Ramit,
    Loved your book and I am working on getting into an Roth IRA. However, your post yesterday about making more money was great. However, I need to start my own business and just cant come up with a profitable idea. I have a degree but not one that will be marketable to make any xtra money. I love animals but dog walking and housing isnt going to make any money. Come to Sacramento and give a seminar, “How to find your niche in the business world”.

  147. I have learnt that I need to be ready to commit to changing my life before I start because if I don’t, my attempts to fix my finances will not work.

  148. Happy birthday! Thanks to you, I have a better budgeting system that’s much easier to follow, my finances are automated, I’ve saved money by canceling subscriptions I didn’t need, and I’ve created sub-savings accounts. And while I haven’t joined Earn 1K, I’ve been reading the free lessons and have a better idea of how to succeed as a freelancer.

  149. Happy Birthday!

    Essentially a complete review and comprehensive summation of many finance tips and insights. Numerous I was familiar with. Some I had fully utilized for a while. Since I am on a self-funded sabbatical. When returning to work, I will be putting in place many techniques thru mine and yours, very critical prism.

    Buona Fortuna Mille Anni!
    Giuseppe

  150. I saved $105 by the time I finished reading the first chapter of your book (used the first script with my bank about some overdraft fees).

    I also use that same script when calling other organizations that I have accounts with. Are there any competitions to see who has used a specific script to save more money? I think I could contend.

    Mike

    PS – Pants under the toga? Weak sauce, duder.

  151. Your book helped me to negotiate a 10% increase from my initial salary offer, in addition to automating my financial obligations and generic everyday purchases from Alice.com , saving even more time for the important things in life.

  152. Happy Birthday. You helped me understand:
    - $10 is worth $10, whether it’s over a base price of $10 item or over $10,000 loan.
    - Be persistent in self owned business. I have reignited my marketing (sort of) of my HOA services and it’s paying off, so big THANKS!

    Vipin

  153. To be frank, not much on the finance side, or on the work hard side, since I’m not actually in the US and some of the rules doesn’t apply (besides, we also have our own finance guru, that focus on local aspect of things). Besides, not to spill the bean – to take child labour as an example, it’s not about how much you save (how much can you?) or how hard you work (how harder can you work?) sometimes Deus Ex just got to happen. I have to thank Prof Richard Wiseman ‘The Luck Factor’ for that. Still, you does teach me the psychology bit of things, so I thank you for that.

  154. Chris Rajapakse Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit
    This is a sujestion to the Risky people. You want save money Save it in another country like London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Bombay anywhere. your transfer money with online financial services like Remit2home, Western Union or Moneygram. Since it is in another country you would not be tempted to withdraw or use it for impulse buying. I think this is legal.

  155. From IWTYTBR:

    - Got a bank to refund an overdrawn fee ($35 saved)
    - Argued the point with a phone company and had them cancel an account with $0 penalty ($400 saved)
    - Pushed the phone company when they needed to change my plan – instead of accepting $8 more expensive new plan, ended up with $6 cheaper plan = $14/mth = $168/yr
    - Realised that people are much more cutthroat and less awkward when it comes to spending money and saving money with/against large companies. Now I never settle or accept. Always question!

    Thanks Ramit.

  156. I bought a lot of personal finance books before yours- but I could never get through any of them. I really wanted to learn more about handling finances, but just couldn’t stomach the others… Your book changed everything for me. It was so easy to read and understand, funny at times, easy to apply to my personal situation, and motivating. My credit score has improved by over 100 points, and is now really good. I have a much better grasp on my money, where it is, what it’s up to, etc… I have six savings accounts accruing at ing. I have negotiated with creditors successfully. I bought a car, which always seemed scary to me, but it worked out great. I am pre-approved for a mortgage and am shopping for a house. Thank you so much & have a great birthday!

  157. Rajesh Medampudi Link to this comment

    Ramit,

    I received a very important lesson from you. and your strategy of i will teach you to be rich..

    1. make everything work for you (Money, contacts, banks and others)as defined in the process of automation. Never let anything go stagnant.

    2. Get out of your comfort zone with subtle changes in the work process, this indicates real growth towards the right direction.

    And last but not the least…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMIT…. Your Birthday was never published anywhere online… i had to search a lot to get it….

  158. I just bought your book a couple of days ago (great read!). I recently graduated and start my first full time job tomorrow. I wanted to make sure I was starting off on the right foot financially and your book helped quite a bit. It made me open a high interest savings account so I can start saving for an emergency fund, and really helped me get to know the difference between retirement accounts. Once I get my direct deposit set up, I plan to automate everything. Probably the biggest thing that helped was your answer on whether to pay off student loans or invest, because I had been wondering that for awhile.

    Happy Birthday!

  159. Happy Birthday!
    You taught me to be aware and on top of my finances .You taught me that small things matter in a big way over time

  160. Your book was the first time I ever started thinking about finances and it spurred a great interest in me towards money management. I opened up an account at mint.com, I got the Schwab debit card, and I started monitoring how much I spend.
    Nice photo btw.
    Happy birthday!

  161. Helping me automate my finances. Still have a ways to go. I’ve been writing checks for 50 years. I would have had no idea of the possibilities before reading your book and blog. Also learned how to get rewards cards based on the money diaries.

  162. Happiest of Birthdays! You are the best!

    Here is how you have helped me:
    1. I’ve automated all my finances.
    This has helped a ton because we have two houses, two 529s, lots of retirements stuff, general saving, etc. I have tons of sub-accounts with automatic payments. It has helped a TON.
    2. I’m GOING to negotiate my cable bill down.
    3. I feel so much more confident going into the future, financially.

    THANK YOU!

  163. Hey Ramit, my (Turkish) wife and I live in Turkey and I work from home for a US-based company. Your book has helped me and my wife greatly to set up a financial system for our family that helps us communicate clearly about where our money is going, what our goals are, and what changes need to be made on a month to month basis. We fight about money a lot less since reading your book, and have passed on the principles to other young couples.

    Frankly, we’re in the US for the summer, staying with my folks in the US. I don’t think we’d have had the tools to save up for this trip if we hadn’t read your book. Thanks for everything!

  164. I have finally kicked my bad habits!!
    I used to get a starbucks latte before work every morning, and it was costing me around $3/day: that’s $60 a month!!~%!
    Since reading IWTYTBR, I decided not to just throw that money away. I quit cold turkey! Now I’m keeping that $60 in my checking account where it’s actually *earning* 0.02% APY.
    My performance reports at work have been slipping a little though, now that I’m a zombie for most of the day. Oh well. Werk sux neway.
    :)

  165. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    Things I learnt from you through your book

    1) Having a Credit Card is not that bad. You just need to use it responsibly

    2) Automating your finances can be good

    3) Having targeted fund accounts help a lot.

    4) To Negotiate like a Indian :)

    Have a nice day

    Sunil

  166. You hit me with a shocker: I spend my time reading and thinking about fancy investment strategies but rarely somehow “have the time” to take action, AND, moreover, what I really need to do are simple basic actions. Making sure my cash is earning most it can. Etc.

  167. Happy Birthday, Ramit.

    I love your book. Here are a couple of ways it’s helped me:
    1. It brought my attention to many places where I was needlessly paying fees. Like the annual fees on my credit card and the monthly fees on my checking account (which I had been unconsciously paying for over 10 years!). That’s a savings of over $200 per year right there.

    2. It got me off of my duff to invest the money that’s been sitting in cash collecting dust in my Roth IRA, and to open a Roth IRA for my husband.

    It also changed some of my habits; now I’m not shy about asking for extra services or for asking for the occasional late fee to be wiped clean.

  168. Happy birthday, Ramit! Amazing what you’ve accomplished in your 28 years.

    Thanks to your blog, IWillTeachYouToBeRich, and book by the same title, and your Earn1k course, I have…
    1.) Automated my finances by automatically transferring money for my retirement and other savings each month
    2.) Opened an ING account where I created sub-accounts and a checking account that has helped me track my savings and greatly increased my access to ATMs (hooray for free withdrawals at 7-11s)
    3.) Opened a Roth IRA, max it out every year, and so far save over $21,000 in my Roth IRA
    4.) Saved over $7,000 in other retirement accounts (457, 403b)
    5.) Understand freelance business on a deeper level, applying it other aspects of my career and life. Same goes with psychology.
    6.) So far earned $760 through my freelance business

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

    Frank

  169. Happy Birthday, Ramit.

    I read your book in a day and immediately started taking control of my personal finances.

    Here is what I’ve learned:

    - Automating my finances which paved the way for paying bills on time, high credit score, and more money to splurge.

    - Negotiating credit card interest rates: I went from 27% to 6% with one 20-minute phone call

    - Investing smart: I have a Vanguard Roth IRA, 4 ING savings accounts, and I contribute to my 401k at least the max of what my company contributes.

    - Salary Raise — I changed jobs and used a counter offer from previous job to finally accept a 10% raise with my new job.

    - I have two checking accounts both of which I signed up for b/c of your book: ING direct and charles schwab.

    - In general, I learned to be conscious of my personal finances by making a spending plan and monitoring my finances.

    -

  170. Clement Ongera Link to this comment

    Jambo from Nairobi, Kenya(East Africa)
    Ramit, Happy Birthday. May you live to celebrate many more.

    Most of the stuff you blog about may not really work in Kenya, but I’ve learnt how to manage my cash through budgeting, setting financial goals and find new ways and ideas to make money.

    Many Thanks. Stay blessed.

  171. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You taught me:
    1. The importance of a Roth IRA and I am now an official investor
    2. How to create a budget and I now put $550/month towards my savings goals
    3. Why I shouldn’t be rushing to buy a house.

  172. think. It’s made me truly think and consider what I had always accepted as traditional wisdom regarding wealth. And, one of these days, I’m gonna automate those finances dang it!!

  173. Hey Ramit, happy birthday! Hope it’s a great one.

    Since reading your book I’ve applied your scripts and suggestions many times. Here’s my latest experience of saving money with a phone call.

    7 months ago I moved, and opened a new account for cable internet service with an introductory rate of $19.99 per month. Last week I got my bill for month 7, and the rate had gone up to $42.95. I called Comcast and spoke with a customer service rep about the rates.

    It took 24 minutes and some persistence, but in the end the rep granted me a “customer loyalty credit” of $15 per month for 6 months. That’s a savings of $90 for 24 minutes of my time. Not bad at all.

    Thanks for all the practical insights you provide!

  174. Hi Ramit! Happy birthday!
    You’ve helped me talk to my fiance about figuring out how we will approach our finances. Now we are actively planning for our future instead of just winging it.
    I’ve also opened a handful of ING sub-savings accounts, which have given me a lot of peace of mind.
    Thank you!

  175. Schwab investor’s checking account. I love it

  176. Hey Ramit,

    Your financial guidance has helped me learn how to save my money. One major aspect I learnt from you was the credit card information that no one really pays attention to you. Thanks a lot.

    Happy Birthday!

    Vivek Jacob

  177. I took my tiny, terribly invested $3,300 IRA with more than 2% fees (which I opened 6 years ago) and transferred it… I setup 4 new accounts at Vanguard. Roth-IRA’s for myself and my husband, and a Solo Roth 401-K because both my husband and I are self employed. Then after automating my savings on a percentage basis (because my income is so variable), I put another $37,000 into my retirement. Within 14 months.

    In short, I went from $3,300 terribly invested dollars, to over $40,000 in low-fee index funds, and it’s all in Roth accounts. To top that- I just took one of my ING sub-accounts, and cashed it in for a beautiful Kawasaki Vulcan Classic. My Dad said I should have put the money into retirement. I laughed. I’m 28.

  178. Christine Pierce Link to this comment

    Hello,
    You had actually emailed me about this probably last year, but if you forgot, here’s the short version:
    I read the first part of the book, was inspired to get my credit report and work on it a bit. I saw that it was decent but that i could do a few things to improve it. Mortgage rates were really low so I looked into refinancing. I got my score up to where I didn’t have to pay the extra bonus government fees, as well as the best rate. I opted for the 15 year mortgage because with my low balance, it wasn’t going to be much more per month. In the end, because I went from a rate of over 7% down to 4.75 %, I refi’d for 15 years with a LOWER payment than I had before. I will end up saving about $64,000, which was well worth the cost of the book, (wink!)
    Thanks again,
    Christine

  179. Your book, the blog, and Scrooge Strategy had helped me manage my finances better. Specifically;
    1. I reduced my debt from 22000$ in March 2009 to 11000$ in July 2010.
    2. I have $3000 invested in no load mutual funds using systematic investment plan till date. Invest around 300$ every month. All automated.
    3. Saved up 2000$ for a Europe trip last year using ING direct sub account.
    4. Had built up an emergency fund of around $5000 but had to use it for emergency medical expenses for my dad and brother. Working on getting it back now.
    5. All my payments are automated. I have a conscious spending plan :-)
    6. Have not paid ATM fees for past year since i have a HSBC payment account which has 3 ATM withdrawals every month.

    Thanks for all the advice. Happy Birthday!
    Venkat

  180. Ramit, happy birthday!

    I will be 28 in October. Since reading your book last year:
    - I went from no savings to $7000+ across several ING subaccounts.
    - All of my finances are automated.
    - I opened up a Roth IRA and fully funded it for 2009.
    - I started 2 websites and got customers. Third one launches in a few weeks!
    - I saved enough to travel this year – I leave tomorrow for Berlin for 10 days!

    Thank you for everything and enjoy you day!

  181. Ramit:

    Happy Birthday, but Dude, easy on the toga.

    I have enjoyed your book and your blog. While I haven’t seen any ideas that I would consider new, I have enjoyed the columns and advice because they have validated what I have been doing all along.

    It is good to see that I have been following the correct path and that it is validated by someone other than myself.

    A wish for a long and prosperous life!

  182. Happy B-Day, Ramit -

    Your book IWTYTBR convinced me to pay myself first. I now have an automated process to force savings, without me having to lift a finger. I also started using more automation of e-Bills because there are so many things that are wastes of my valuable time. Time is money!!!

  183. Hi Ramit!

    Thanks to you I got a savings account, automated monthly “paying myself,” and allocated my savings into buckets for different categories, e.g. taxes. I also automated several of my bills. I’m still a work in progress, but thanks a lot and happy birthday!

  184. It’s been super slow-going, but you’ve inspired me to actually delve into my talents and try to develop them into a potentially money-making venture. The word “potentially” is key here, because I haven’t been worried so much about making money as I have been about simply honing in on a goal and tackling it, rather than living complacently in the comfortable, safe life that I’ve been hiding in so far. I’ve set up a challenge and will be blogging about it to hold myself accountable, and who knows where the chips will fall… I will certainly learn a lot about my capabilities and hopefully be able to see with my own eyes that things are less impossible when you actually friggin’ do them in lieu of sitting on your ass and doing nothing.

  185. David Gonzalez Link to this comment

    Biggest thing I learned from your book was the automating of my finances. It’s been great knowing I’m saving, investing, and getting all my bills paid with little to no effort. It gives you peace knowing that. And your advice to just start a Roth IRA and other savings accounts is huge too because it was always something I said I would do, just never got around to it. Now I have it and it’s being funded, it’s amazing. Thanks a ton! Happy Birthday!

  186. Ramit,
    Your book didnt really teach me anything new because I have been into minutiae for many years. It however is an awesome book that will be passed on to any of my friends who ask me for financial advice/help. Happy birthday, we’re almost the same age!

  187. I finally took the time to setup a Roth IRA (using a target index fund), and now I have it automatically withdraw from a supplemental savings account that I fill up to the max as quickly as possible at the beginning of the year. That way my retirement investment is handled automatically without any worry from me.

  188. 1.) Started a Roth IRA at 19 years old back in December, initial deposit of $5000, now investing $100/month
    2.) Automated my finances using Mint.com, paying off my credit card bills in full each and every month, no need to worry about getting into debt
    3.) Opened sub-accounts at ING Direct geared towards specific savings goals (Vacation, Car, Emergency, etc)

  189. Hi Ramit!

    Thanks to your book, i understood the importance of having a good credit history. I’m a high school student and having the advantage to read your book, i believe that i’ll be rich one day. I also learned how to negotiate credit fees waiver with the bank. Thank you so much!

    Happy Birthday to You :D

  190. Automating your finances is what I picked up from your blog and book and have been practicing over a year now and have to admit it has not done miracles “yet” but I can definitely say that the overall portfolio is so much healthier now than a year back. And I am pretty sure things are going to be green down the lane now.

  191. Happy birthday!

    I’m a 27 year old, who was generally thrifty, but had blind spots as far as saving and spending habits. Because of your blog, I…

    * Started automating bill payments.

    * Added targeted accounts with automated saving plans to my ING, for:
    – TRAVEL – something I love, but wasn’t letting myself “waste” money on.
    – WEDDING – even though I DON’T want to get married!
    – HOUSE DOWN PAYMENT – even though I’m happy as a renter and DON’T anticipate owning a house!

    * Realized that it’s okay to spend money when it’s meaningful to me, provided I consciously choose where to save and where to spend.

    While I haven’t yet needed any of the targeted accounts, I love knowing that I’m saving smartly for something that may surprise me in the future, and that if I do maintain my current opinions, then I’ll have extra money for retirement! :)

    It’s also nice to let go of the guilt when I want to spend for something pricey but special. My pre-Ramit attitude was that _any_ spending was bad, so if I wanted something, I’d feel guilty while buying it. Now I enjoy spending where I want to spend, and saving on things that don’t matter to me. Both give me a rush! :)

    Thank you!

  192. Ramit,

    The thing of getting recurring bills processed onto a credit card and then having only one bill to grapple with each month is great!

    The trick is to keep on top of all expenditures, cash/debit or credit, which I do with PocketMoney on my iPod Touch.

    I’ve been tempted to upgrade to the new iPhone from my Treo since I have passed the contract threshold, but instead am taking your advice to wear it out instead of just succumbing to consumer madness.

    Thanks for some good advice. Soon as I can find work again, I will sign up for your paid courses. I’ll bet they’re worth it.

    Dan

  193. The value of automating my finances. It makes saving/investing/managing my money so much easier. Also makes ‘discretionary spending’ more care and guilt free.

  194. I just recently heard about your book which I am planning to buy. What I have done already to help with finances is pay bills online, automatic deposit of my paycheck which I then go directly to my online accounts and “pay myself first” then and after dividing amoungst the accounts end up with $160.00 in cash which I call my “fun money” This has to last two weeks!! So when my kids say “can we go for ice cream?” and I only have $3.00 I either say no or go to the grocery store and buy a gallon that is on sale for less than $3.00. I am a single mom and have two children. I have no debt accept my home and I usually pay my credit card off within a month or two. We go on great trips (cruised to Mexico earlier this month) I have 10,000 in savings and planning on buying a new car next year and plan to pay mostly cash for it. I find being in control of my finances so empowering. I can’t wait to read your book and find out about other ideas on saving that I have never thought about!!
    Thanks and Happy Birthday!!!

  195. Happy Birthday! As a grandmother-aged person, my gift to you is that I have given away 2 copies of your book (so far) to people just starting out in the work world. Hopefully they will read them! and practice your ideas from the get-go,

  196. 1. Starting thinking about my money
    2. Automatisating my bills, my savings and investment (differents moves for each category)
    3. Starting economising for my wedding
    4. Thinking in terms of CEO model and not just cut the costs

  197. Just got a promotion which I was expecting. I immediately increased my 401K contribution to the amount of my increase. You can’t miss it if you never see it.

  198. Happy Birthday!

    As a long-time reader, I’ve always appreciated your understanding that rich != money in the bank, but is really about being able to do what you want and not feel guilty about it. Relatedly, your advice to cut spending on things you don’t care about and spend shamelessly on those you do is spot on – it’s resulted in me setting up a lovely life, with a few (relatively high) expenses, and little of the crap most people waste money on.

    Also, your Earn1K course totally changed the way I’m thinking about a project I’ve been working on for years, by bringing the focus to what the user will specifically gain from my work.

    So, thanks!

  199. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    From reading your book I found ING Direct and absolutely love it. The sub-savings accounts makes a huge difference in how I manage my money.

    A few months ago I made a mistake and got charged an overdraft fee on my checking account. I was going to let it slide but instead I flipped open your book and called up the bank. I couldn’t believe it when the conversation went exactly as you described. They refunded me the fee and I was all set. Knowledge is power and your book has given me so much.

    Thanks Ramit!

  200. Hello Ramit,
    1: I used to feel guilty asking credit card companies to reverse late fees and finance charges, after reading your posts, I do not feel guilty anymore. I always asked for the reversal but now I do it guilt free.
    2: Staying organized to avoid financial troubles is the key, know how much you have…
    3: Your discussion helped me realize that I am not alone in this.

    Happy Birthday!
    Shahida

  201. Because of IWTYTBR, I’ve automated my finances as much as possible, I pay myself first when a paycheck comes in, I’ve created Emergency Fund and Travel Fund sub accounts at ING Direct, and because of all this, I don’t obsess over a mountain of bills all month, I don’t feel guilty that I’m not saving, and I have an overpriced caramel latte now and again without the yuppie pangs. And I keep my Netflix subscription because I LOVE IT. The emotional and psychological benefits of these simple steps have proven priceless.

    In the meantime, I’ve recently taken a new job in my chosen field and am making $10K more than I was at this time last year. And I still haven’t given up on the idea of a second income from freelance work.

    Because of all these things, I’m set to pay off my credit card (which at its worst was almost $5,000, and even that doesn’t factor in the pay it down-charge some more-pay it down rollercoaster) by August. After that I’ll focus on the car note. After that, I’ll focus on saving more for the day I finally decide to settle in one place. Or maybe I’ll just travel forever.

    The beauty is that I will have the option.

  202. I teach Personal Finance at a local college, and your book is supplemental reading. One of my assignments is to have students browse your website for hints that are useful to them. They never fail to be amazed and impressed.

  203. Ramit, I bought your book to get my personal finances in order. I’m not in credit card debt but have student loans, and wasn’t doing much particularly for savings. Because of your advice, I have:
    1 – opened an ING Orange Savings acct & set up sub-accounts to save for specific goals (wedding (with no groom yet, but as you said, 28k is the average and I need some time to build that up!), travel, MBA)
    2 – negotated out of an accidental late payment on a credit card ($40)
    3 – confirmed or set up automatic payments for my credit cards & bills so I wouldn’t miss any payments, ever
    4 – decided on the things I want to spend on and the things I want to save on (I love your concept of how extravagent spending differs per person, and how we should set ourselves up to spend and save based on the importance of the item/goal)

    So thank you! and happy birthday :) I’m turning 28 in October – your success has been an inspiration for me, as much as your advice (book & blog) have been helpful!

    • ah, I forgot to mention that I’m now using Mint.com much more actively — I had an account prior to getting your book, but didn’t check in on it much.

  204. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I’m still waiting for a few more big wins to be finalized before I email you with more details but so far:

    I’ve automated my finances last fall and save an average of $350 per month. I am spending consciously, and indulging guilt free!

    Earn1K is the highest quality and most effective course I’ve ever taken (and I have two degrees and 7 1/2 years of post-secondary training). To date, I’ve made $2500, signed another $500 contract last night and have a pending deal expected to pay out an average of $1,200 per month for 4-6 months. I am making money doing what I love and I’m just getting started.

    I am a professional writer and communications designer working with internationally-focused companies and organizations. Niching it down, learning how to ‘get into people’s heads’, and getting out there to talk to potential customers has been invaluable. The resources on engagement and closing the deal have been priceless.

    This week, a local Chamber of Commerce agreed to refer every foreign business inquiry they receive to my business for follow-up…35-50+ qualified leads per month, all my target audience.

    Biggest wins from Earn1K? Understanding how to overcome psychological barriers and knowing what NOT to do. Instead of just being ‘busy’ with things that made me feel like I was building my business, I’m getting a lot more done in much less time. I have my first two clients and soon will be closing a third.

    My birthday is on July 4th…and your course has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself. People are writing me checks. I have one in my wallet right now.

    Happy Birthday and Thank You!

    Sharlotte

  205. Hey there,

    3 Birthday gifts for you–one won’t cover it.

    1) Your advice on subscriptions and taking a realistic look at how much you use them and their value. You were spot-on and it changed my thinking and I called and cancelled the gym membership ($280 a month), and other subscriptions of lesser monthly fees. Your advice helped breatk the belief that “would” use them and the attachment I had to the benefit of the service which I actually wasn’t getting!

    2) I have a 20 year-old daughter and I bought her a copy of your book and we’ve discussed how she needs to start saving for her future wedding, downpayment on a home, etc. This is NOT a conversation I ever had with my parents and I belief by her following your blog and reading your book, she’ll avoid some common mistakes young people make as they are starting out.

    3) While it seems simple, I love your Excel spreadsheet for budgeting/planning. I modified it and use it for business and personal because the two are related re cash flow. By giving away what you use, it really empowered me to have handle on cash flow which has transformed my current financial picture.

    Thank you and Happy B-day.

  206. happy birthday ramit,

    i can’t really bring up real numbers however you _completely_ changed my perspective on finances, investing and saving with all entailing consequences.

    also, i’m considering to start a side-business in photography as soon as my skills are on par – i think i’d never think of that without your influence.

    so, thanks again, your 2-years-older,
    hynek

  207. After reading your book, I was able to fight my way out of over $200 in bank fees, renegotiate my cable costs to half what I had been paying, lower my insurance payment, and probably save over a $1,000 in year one alone. I’ve also shared these tips with my friends and helped them save money (and make me look cooler).

  208. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    Most important things I’ve learned since reading your book etc.:

    1) Taking charge of my finances–took over a couple accounts my parents had started for me, and am now in full control of the investments (some of which needed to be changed).

    2) Automating everything = amazing.

    3) Power of negotiating: when my router recently broke after only a couple months of use, instead of paying to send the router back to the company, I was able to just take it back to where I bought it for a replacement instead.

    4) In the process of asking for a raise!

    Thanks for all of your awesome tips!

  209. hey a vry vry happy birthday to u !!!!

  210. 1. I’ve automated my savings from 25.00 to my reg. savings acct to now 300.00 to my ING acct.
    2. I opened an ING account and have sub savings accounts within that.
    3. got another job for 8 months to help pay off CC.
    4. paid off 6,000 in CC debt in the past 8months and saved 2,000.00!!!
    5. Much more conscious about my money
    6. Made me start thinking about my future, and going into business for myself

  211. Through the Earn 1K emails, I learned how to better manage my side business, The Resume Hero. I now pay closer attention to what our clients are looking for and consider how to deliver a product that meets their needs. Thank you and happy birthday!

  212. Happy Birthday, Ramit!
    I know you want concrete numbers, but for my wife and I our changes needed to start at a very basic level. We’re a couple of right-brained artist types who barely have a clue how to handle money. You helped us change our attitudes and philosophy about money, and that has helped us immensely this year. And your program Earn 1k has helped me in my side/freelance work as well. Though I haven’t finished the program, again the change is more in my attitude. And believe me, that’s no small feat! I am earning much more $$ on the side than I did the last 2 years combined, and that’s only going to improve. Many thanks!

  213. You taught me, at the tender age of 23, to set up a bullet proof financial system and to learn how to quietly laugh at my friends who are clueless about money. I now take a sort of sinister satisfaction in knowing that I will probably have triple the amount in the bank compared to my peer group. In one year, I’ve graduated college, read your book, negotiated my starting salary, and saved over $20K…without even thinking about it! I’ve recommended your book to countless people, in the coming years, it will be very easy to see who followed your advice!
    Thanks Ramit!

  214. Ramit,

    Thanks for all the great reading and relentless bashing to turn tips/ideas/dreams into action. Sustainable action.

    I still feel personal finance is not black and white and there are so many subtleties that make each individual’s needs different to another’s – thus I read some of your suggestions over and over but do not act on them for various reasons: We don’t have cable or a car (nothing to negotiate/save on these), I never carry a balance on my CC, etc… I still haven’t acted on investments because I want to do something creative/productive with them – what can you do with $20-30k that doesn’t involve stuffing it in mutual funds or high yield accounts??

    With that said, by far the most awesome strategy I’ve taken from your book/posts has been the automation of my savings. I still fiddle too much with most of the accounts (ie it goes in automatically but I end up withdrawing some of it manually). But it’s helped me to create a few accounts that NEVER get touched: Charity, Wedding (even though I’m not engaged), and a couple of others. It’s great to know that EVEN if I ruin the rest of my savings strategy and spend a lot of cash, I am still working towards those things.

    Thanks!

  215. I’m fairly new to reading your blog but so far I’ve cut down interest rates and automated my finances. I’m loving it! This has saved me a ton of time each month.

  216. I read your book from cover to cover 3 times! It has really changed my outlook on my finances. I always created a budget since college, I always felt frugal and always have been familiar with all of the things you outlined in your book, but I never really could understand why I was short each month. I finally automated my bills and savings and developed a realistic spending plan that included all of my guilt free spending. I have recommended your book to my family and friends and many of them have also started putting their budget that actually works! Thanks!!! Happy B-day!

  217. Happy Birthday!

    Looking for little ways to save served me best. Pay off the credit card and save $20 a month on interest. Do the paperwork and get my Transit card pre-tax from my paycheck and save $15 a month. Switch cell phone carriers and save $35 a month.

    I also intend to pay my car off (not early, I’m at 0%) and keep driving it for as long as I can (a serious change in car habits for me). For a month or two worth or payments a year, I can do all the preventative maintenance available to me to keep it in good shape and really save some serious money.

    I also use ING (for savings and stock investing) and have a MINT account for tracking.

    Thanks Ramit!

    Joel

  218. Happy Birthday Ramit!!!

    You’ve definitely taught me a lot about conscious spending and you gave me really cool and valuable ideas on how to boost my income with my God-given skills. I’ve paid off my credit card debt and now I’ll be focusing on more automation of my finances.

    Fantastic pic by the way LOL

  219. Your book basically reiterated (albeit in a more humorous and less judgmental way) what my dad’s been telling me for years: Spend on what you love, and cut costs mercilessly on stuff you don’t care about. And because of it… well, now I’m back to living with the parentals, wiping my ass with generic 1-ply, and I haven’t had two matching socks in years… but on the up side, I travel for leisure (sometimes internationally) 3-4 times a year, dine out at amazing restaurants, and because my 2-year-old will probably also go to college on scholarships, he can spend all the money I’ve been socking away for him on travel, or a car…. or beer.

    I guess I just needed to hear it from someone more in tune with my own generation ;)

    Happy birthday, man! Get you something in that pimp cup.

  220. Happy Birthday, Ramit.

    From your book, I learned to judge people by how they eat chicken wings!

  221. Overall, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I’m not going to be ready to make big leaps until I get my finances until control. I can earn extra in addition to my current job but those big leaps aren;t possible until the house is in order.

  222. I was very hesitant at first about buying the book, i must say its one of the best decision i ever made,.

    I have learnt so far the importance of prioritizing your goals and task.

    2.I knew little or nothing on the issue of credit score and optimization you thought me that.

    3.Your book opened my eyes to know investment is not meant only for the rich.

    4. Giving me an open financial understanding of the market, was done by u. opening up the secret of the so called financial advisers and investors is a huge time and money saver.

  223. 1. Automating regular bills
    2. Your book was appealing and readable to me and my 13 year-old son
    3. When it comes to cutting expenses, fight the big battles, not the little ones

    Your jolly, yet ruthless humor is fun and your writing is readable.
    Thank You.

  224. Ramit, your book blew me away. I took Personal Finance in college. In retrospect, the advice was so horrible!

    I devoured your book in two days, and within a week I had fully automated my finances, set up a 401(k), Roth IRA, and savings account, and am on my way to recovering my credit score. Now I have a better system than my parents!

  225. You have helped me…

    1. Going from 0 savings and 0 investments to saving 10% of my income and investing in a lifecycle fund.
    2. Negotiate out of a $35 overdraft fee
    3. Save $70 each year in credit card and bank fees
    4. Save $20 a month on my phone bill
    5. Motivated me to go out and freelance in my spare time. I did not sign up for the earn1k course, but the preview material alone has helped me get a head start. I now have 3 paying clients, and plan on enrolling in the course the next time it is open.

    Happy birthday, and thank you for all of your help!

  226. You at least made me aware of financial responsibility!

  227. Ramit,

    1. You’ve helped me pay off $3,000 in credit card debt (there’s still $10K more)
    2. Open a separate checking account for food (so I don’t spend so much)
    3. Pay for my engagement and wedding off of savings (not credit)
    4. Open 3 more ING savings accounts for different purposes
    5. Open an IRA for my retirement, LifeCycle fund!

    I feel on top of my finances now instead of slowly going insane because of them.

    Thanks Ramit,
    Happy Birthday!
    I hope you have many more revolutions around the sun,
    -Dave

  228. Justin Schmitz Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday Ramit,

    Nothing to important, just that through your book, you have shown me how to be more responsible with saving my hard earned money. I say it’s nothing important because saving shouldn’t be a hassle, it should be easy and it should be fun.

    Thanks!

  229. You’ve helped me realize that concentrating on the minutiae in life won’t get me anywhere. If I really want to get ahead I have to take action on the few things that have the biggest impact in my life, and let go of the rest.

    Happy Birthday Ramit! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  230. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now, but it wasn’t until I bought (and read) your book that I got serious. I began tracking my spending, making sure I was focusing on what brought me joy and I started an emergency fund (or as I call it, my Eep! fund). I hadn’t reached my target sum for Eep! when I ended up on an unexpected sabbatical from work. I was frustrated because it meant I wouldn’t be able to save up to my goal and my helpful friends pointed out that now was the time to *use* the emergency fund. So, because of you I had an emergency fund to use while I was in an emergency.

    Now that I’m happily employed, and in fact making more money than my parents, I’ve got my money automated and I’ll be able to pay off my student loans in 3 years. I’m able to direct my money towards my passions without guilt, and it is in part, all your fault.

    Thanks for all the advice and have a wonderful birthday!

    - Lena

  231. You taught me the Art of Starting and don’t Quitting.
    Happy Birthday
    VF

  232. hi ramit,
    i did like your post about “doing it now”
    i’d like make this habit.

    thanks

  233. Hey Ramit -

    Happy birthday! Enjoy yourself, and please stay safe.

    Your posts have made a HUGE difference for us! Your CEO framework resonated with me and my wife. We focused on the Earning More portion, and we are on track to change our lives in a major way.

    Thank you for challenging my thought process.

    Happy birthday, once again!

    Steve

  234. Happy @#$%ing Birthday you crazy personal finance guru!!

    IWTYTBR has motivated me to:

    open and fund a Roth IRA

    Funnel my idle IRA money into a balanced mutual fund

    Automate my bill paying online (can pay bills by iphone now)

    not to put all my eggs in one basket

    have two safe deposit boxes

    read your excellent book (any brown on my nose?)

    read Tim Ferris – the 4 hour work week (GENIUS)

    open an ING account online

    investigate mint

    follow you on twitter

    buy a Honda Accord

    use Delicious

    open a PB Wiki account (have not used it yet)

    Thank you for sharing all your knowledge online.

    Cancer June 22 – July 22
    For Wednesday, June 30 -Your idea of an ideal relationship involves combining your interests (financial, emotional, familial and otherwise), and then assembling them to come up with one solid, grounded asset that you and your loved ones can all share. Does this mean that you’re meeting new acquaintances who know more about these matters than you? That’s likely, but in the meantime, don’t worry about making decisions. Once you come up with the groundwork, the rest is a snap!

  235. IWT has taught me a lot. I began automating my expenses, I set up a Roth IRA with a target date fund, and I learned some pretty hardcore negotiating tactics.

    I’m a big baseball fan and New Yorker that moved to Pennsylvania about a year and a half ago. They didn’t have the YES Network, the Yankee channel, out here until about two weeks ago. When I heard YES was available, I called the cable company and asked to subscribe to the channel. I was told that it was on the “Sports Tier” which I don’t subscribe to, but could for $6.99 a month. All I had to say “What can you do to get me that package for the lowest possible price?” and the representative added a few discounts so I would get it for NOTHING! Thanks, Ramit!

  236. Hey Ramit,

    You taught me to
    1) Automate my savings using ING to save either to hedge or for inevitable things that are in the future such as getting married
    2) identify guilt as a major motivator
    3) have a mentality of guilt-free spending by identifying priorities and then savagely cutting down of everything else.
    4) next step: to get off my ass and get some sustainable additional income because I care too much about too many things (I’m a college student right now). Also, to get a credit card (*wince* since building credit is one of your soapboxes)

    I love how you focus on big wins, the things that make a big difference. There are plenty of sites that help me with the small stuff (and it’s so individual anyway, it’s still mostly me) but there’s only one site that covers the big wins: you. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Happy Birthday, man.

  237. 1.- To sell things on ebay
    2.- To automate my finances
    3.- To re-negocita almost everything (assurances, cableTV, mobile phones, etc…)
    4.- Strategies to ask for more salary
    5.- How to get into customers mind approach
    6.- The Scrooge Strategy approach
    7.- To know about credit cards perks
    8.- Tu blog es muy bueno amigo!!!! It’s f*** awesome!

    Happy birthday, Ramit!

  238. Ramit,

    You helped me:
    -automate my retirement accounts (including opening a 401(k) and Roth IRA) so that I don’t even miss the 10% of my paycheck that’s automatically transferred
    -pay off my credit cards
    -open an ING savings account that actually earns me money each month

    Happy birthday and thanks again!

  239. I learned to negotiate for the first time. With banks, credit agencies, utility companies and others, and learned how to do so properly (keeping notes of who I talked to, when, what they said, etc). As a result, I got $105 in overdraft charges removed after a wild weekend in Vegas.

    I also learned about automating and tracking my expenses, so I know what I’m spending and make sure its taken out of my money at the beginning of the month, so after about the 10th I know exactly what I have and don’t overspend.

  240. Adam Gustafson Link to this comment

    I’d love to!

    I already do this with all of the resources that inspire/help me (Check out Eckhart Tolle) and I will certainly do it again with your helpful contributions…

    I recently ate all of the meat and chewy end bits of a chicken leg, as my most recent IWTYTBR accomplishment. Thought you’d be proud.

    Ag.

  241. I used automated savings and bucket accounts in ING Direct to save an extra $1K or so over a year. That’s a huge improvement over what I did previously.

  242. Happy Birthday!

    Because of you and your blog I:

    1) Checked my credit score for the first time (I know!)…so far so good, but at least I checked.
    2) Got motivated to freelance — I used to work in publishing and I called up my old company last summer to offer to copy edit for them if they ever needed it. I only made $400 on some random projects they gave me but I earned it reading on the beach! I used it to pay for Christmas presents last year.
    3) Started sub-accounts in ING…I just finished saving up $1000 to start a Roth IRA and it was virtually painless after automating my finances.

  243. Hi Ramit,

    You’re book was a huge wake-up call. You taught me to

    – negotiate rates on my CC (take that Chase!),
    – invest properly (i have a badass Roth IRA now)
    – automate my savings plans I have money going to my Roth and ING account every month
    – Stop worrying about buying those $200 jeans (thanks Giltman.com the greatest website EVER)
    – Oh and finally, laugh at my friends you still s%$t themselves everytime they think about money, bills, etc – fyi, after I laugh I plug your book and blog.

    Thanks,
    Nate

  244. Happy Birthday to you.

    You helped to think about money in a different light.They are just simple tips, but so difficult to fix if I haven’t read your book.

    All the best for your billion dollars
    Cheers
    Mohua

  245. You’ve taught me to negotiate lower credit card APRs just by asking them. Thank you and happy birthday.

  246. Hi Ramit,
    Thank you for writing this book. It upgraded me…in overall understanding of finance and power of 401K, compounding, savings on interest. Some charts were eye openers and acting early and smart can be a lot of savings.

    Overall the tone of your book is very interesting, and it reads – as if you are talking to me, and telling me – don’t do this, or take an action!

    Blended with some finance magazines and after reading Basic Economics along with your book, I feel empowered to make much more informed decisions around finance.

    Thanks again for an awesome book, yet priced very cheap.

  247. Happy Birthday Ramil!!

    I just want to say that your book is taking me on a path to stress-free financial management. I’m still a full time student and am trying to maximize every dollar I get from my part time job.
    So, I switched to a credit union when I realized HSBC was taking $30 in service charges each month (even though I bank online), I’ve automated my monthly bill payments and will soon be able topay off my credit card debt. I’ve opened up a Tax Free Savings Account (Canadian version of Roth IRA) which automatically feeds my investment accounts and also saves for my “around the world” fund!

    Thank you!

    xoxoxo

  248. You made investing not as intimidating by introducing me to lifecycle / target date funds.

    Thanks, and happy birthday!

  249. Hi Your systems have helped me pay off my debt quicker, will be totally debt free within 9months, and automating my finances everthings sound, I know where every penny goes. Great stuff
    Cheers
    Dean Cullum

  250. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    IWTYTBR has got me thinking, more than just about saving on a bill, a meal, a gadget, or a gift. The Conscious Spending Plan idea really helps put everything else into perspective — how do I want to use my money now and in future. Maybe it seems obvious, but it’s important to think about your relationship with money and IWTYTBR encourages you to do that.

  251. Happy Birthday, Ramit!
    Since first reading your book, I have achieved several goals including:
    1) ING Direct savings account that is auto drafted each month (I now have almost $1000 and haven’t even really missed a penny of it)
    2) Automated my monthly bill pay
    3) Taken a vacation by saving my $1 bills (at the end of everyday) for several years–in which I didn’t miss those so much, either

    Thank you for your help!

  252. Happy birthday!
    Reading your blog (and others–I’m not gonna lie), I was able to learn/refine the skills that helped us weather my husband’s unemployment almost completely unscathed. Not only did we *not* dip into our emergency fund at all, we were still able to put money into most of our savings sub-accounts (including that emergency fund) and even continued funding our Roth IRAs (with less money than while we were both employed, but still). And when he was interviewing/being hired for his new job, he was confident enough to negotiate–the salary wasn’t negotiable, as it turned out, but they gave him some awesome benefits and extra vacation time to make up for it.

  253. The one thing that has stuck for me is the concept of looking for dependably repeating revenue. Happily, I was mindful of that idea recently when such an opportunity came my way. No dollars in yet, but easily $1K to $2K when we get rolling. Sweet!

    Have a good one!

  254. What you really taught me, above the numbers and guidelines, is that there are other people in my generation interested in saving money and securing the future. Reading so many books from semi-retired authors started to make me feel like nobody understood the mind set of Gen Y. And your way of not tip-toeing around what you REALLY think is a nice change of pace.

    Happy birthday!

  255. Ramit,

    Happy Birthday! and thanks… your strategy of “big wins” has helped me stop focusing on stupid little saving things that I wasted TONs of time on. 25cent coupons being one. I would rather negotiate a better rate on my mortgage/car loan etc than worry about the quarter I save on a box of cereal.

    Thanks again and keep the good information coming!
    -bryan

  256. happy birthday, man. i’m a better negotiator because of your book. much thanks.

  257. You’ve helped me in several ways:

    * Your reminders to get off my butt and get stuff done that I know I should do are always massively appreciated.
    * You helped me realize that spending on things I enjoy is not a bad thing, as long as I am cutting ruthlessly on things I don’t enjoy.
    * You have helped me save nearly $100 per month by trimming my monthly bills in December 2009
    * My favorite thing you’ve done, though … you pointed out how self-imposed barriers can cause one to avoid doing things. I love the ‘Mom’s Indian food wrapped in plastic’ story and think of it often.

    Happy 28th! Damn if I don’t I feel like an old man now …

    OK, not really! Happy Birthday!


    Jason

  258. hey ramit

    happy bday. i can’t thank you enough for helping me change my mindset about money. before i started taking your course, the murky waters of “finances” or managing money was overwhelming to think about. i didn’t know where to start and wanted to do copious research to make sure i was working with the best options. your advice not only made me realize that doing nothing was the WORST possible decision but that i could confidently handle my finances without too much hassle. the way you break it down, it’s simple, do-able, and most important, i feel encouraged by controlling my accounts and my spending to save for something meaningful. thank you truly truly!
    ishita

  259. Your advice/info helped my fiancee and I get on the same page re: the psychology of saving and other aspects of personal finances.

    Happy Birthday!

  260. Happy b-day, Ramit! Hope you enjoy your day!

    Things i learned from you
    *how to improve my credit:debt ratio, which i then significantly improved
    *how to look for the right credit card & weigh the benefits of each card. For example i now use 1 card for almost all everyday purchases and pay off at the end of the month. It also has a great rewards program and paid for my flight to Chi Town for my cousin’s wedding. I have another card with a much higher limit that only has my monthly gym membership charged each month (and then promptly paid off).
    *how important setting savings goals are (set up an ING account specifically for snowboarding – huge help when the snow falls)
    *i’m 24 – don’t dare invest in insurance at this age. Rather, Index Funds are the way to go (when i’m ready and the money is there)
    *how important an IRA is in addition to my job’s 401K plan, even though i’m only 24 (the earlier you start the better!)

    i’m sure there’s more dude, this is just what i could think of quickly. i bought another copy of your book and gave it to my brother, roommate and gf (we’re all between 23-27) – they’ve all found it very helpful as well! Thanks for keeping things lighthearted too, makes it so much easier to relate too, and stay engaged with your material/content!

    Happy birthday!

  261. I am on financial autopilot. All of my bills are paid by credit card which I then pay off each month. The points I earn on the credit card I apply back as cash against my credit card bill.

  262. Hi Ramit,

    Your book has helped me get back on track and helped me track and manage finances. Your advice on credit cards has helped me get better negotiate interest rates. And oh yeh Mint.com rules! I’ve since passed on information to my friends who have some financial struggles and they’re on there way as well. I originally bought the audiobook, and then I bought the book. Invaluable reference!

  263. Happy Birthday Ramit!!
    I was one of the first to get a copy of your book when it went on sale on Amazon.com. I will forgive you for making me wait ~3 weeks until it was released. This is what I have accomplished since recieving your book:
    1. Paid off more than 25K in credit card debt
    2. Maxed out my 401K contribution
    3. Opened a Traditional IRA for my wife and started making automated monthly contributions.
    4. Opened a Roth IRA for myself and started making automated monthly contributions
    5. Opened personal accounts for my wife and I with automatic deposits to limit spending to the amount in the accounts.
    6. Pay all household expenses with our Signature Visa Credit Card and pay it off at the end of each month. We have accumulated more than 15K award points (but we haven’t used them yet)
    7. We just booked an all inclusive vacation in Jamaica to reward ourselves for doing such a good job… We paid for it in cash!!!!

    I’m sure that there is so much more, but it all started with your book. I still go back to it for reference every now and then. I have strongly recommended your book to everyone I think it would help as it has helped me. This is the least I could do for you.

    Again, Happy Birthday!!!

  264. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    Thank you for your book and continuous emails. You have helped me to understand how to appropriately discuss finances with my fiance as we get ready to start our lives together. Your recommendations have been helpful in some of the most difficult conversations a couple can have. Thanks!

  265. You taught me that any person, particularly one who has never really experienced financial hardship himself, can write a book and get rich. Congrats. This has motivated me to write my own book, but from the perspective of someone who has actually had to work his way out of serious financial hardships. Thanks.

  266. happy birthday ramit!

    you taught me how to automate my finances and to invest in index funds.

    aside from that, your book made me discover that i want to major in finance.

  267. you taught me the basics of how a credit card works… believe it or not I never even knew how it worked and how it could affect your credit score! but thankfully I have a good credit score now, and you also helped me to better manage my money. You also opened the world of stock market investing up to me. much thanks Ramit

  268. Dear Ramit:

    IWTYTBR has shown me that responsible, grown-up money management doesn’t *have* to be a burdensome story of angst and drama.

    I’ve been a reader since 2004 and the very first thing I appreciated about your blog at that time was your voice and its humour ~ you’d say things like, “When my friends tell me they’re doing Stupid Thing X with their money I just want to tear out my eyeballs, set them on fire and lob them at their foolish heads like hand grenades” ( ~ not an exact quote). You were funny without appearing to strive for it; which is, of course, the essence of effective comedy.

    Growing up, money was always a source of drama in our house. Fast forward to 2004: I was coming to grips with some complicated financial issues involving my higher education and the federal tax department. It was a highly stressful, upsetting, drama-filled time. In order to try to regain some sense of control and to educate myself, I looked up and began reading “money blogs” on the Intertubes. Via somebody’s blogroll I came across IWTYTBR. I started reading you regularly.

    Your entries made me laugh, and at the same time illustrated for me how sensible money management like automatic saving, budgeting, and intelligent spending don’t have to be complicated and therefore vodka-irrigated. It can be both simple and effective, IF YOU’LL LET IT.

    Both the laughter and the above-described realization took an incredible weight off my shoulders, helping me get out of my own way and on with the business of setting myself up more financially securely for the future. I started with a clearly-established emergency fund, not just the random amount of money left over in my bank account after paying rent and making a credit card payment.

    Other entries resonated with me as well ~ like the one about your mum making you a week’s worth of food and then your disinclination to eat it because of the barrier posed by the plastic wrap. That particular entry prompted me to examine my own life for ways in which I was letting similar barriers get in my way. (I can’t think of one specific example, but I know I will look at situations through that lens now, where I didn’t before.)

    So what I’ve learned MOST from IWTYTBR is that you can take responsible money management seriously, without taking YOURSELF too seriously. Thanks very much for that valuable, freeing lesson.

    With every good wish for a very happy birthday,

    Miranda

  269. Happy birthday, Ramit! I learned to automate my finances and set up sub-accounts in ING. I also learned a lot about “quality vs. quantity”, and that the best “bang for the buck” isn’t always the option that has the lowest up-front cost.

  270. Ramit, Happy 28th! I remember when I turned 28. I wish I knew them what I know now financially. You taught me how to correctly purchase my next car by using Fighting Chance. Thanks, and keep the advice coming.

  271. Happy Birthday!!

    IWTYTBR has helped me out in numerous ways. The one thing I feel is the best is it gives me “no pressure” way to talk to my friends about personal finances and being responsible. We are all recent college grads, and there are quite a few of them who had no idea how to manage their finances (I don’t know what they learned in school…).

    Your book and blog has given me a great and easy way to discuss personal finances with my friends. It is certainly better than my old way, which was telling them, “You’re an idiot.”

    Thanks, Ramit! Have a good one.

  272. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Firstly, a THANK YOU for being there and being tenacious with your emails and reminders and offering the course. I got your book from the library because you taught me to be cautious with my money. You taught me to:

    -set up sub accounts in ING and I now have an emergency account, and a vacation acct. and general savings. Not great interest but a start. The general acct. will roll over to my IRA before taxes.
    -negotiate with credit cards
    -nudge me to get moving with a blog and a 2nd. career

    Thanks for sharing your story and those of others. Light at the end of the tunnel for me. Keep up the good work.

  273. Happy Birthday Ramit!! So young, you lucky! I read most of your book, and started an ING savings acct for my trip around the world, and even more astounding, opened my own real estate business, which I never intended on doing as i have always been a free spirit! I want my future to be easier than my past, wish me luck! Thanks!

  274. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    Most of all, you’ve helped know that my previous instincts were RIGHT (I have parents who taught me well), but also…

    1. NEGOTIATE. It’s the most powerful personal weapon anyone can have. Got a 15% salary bump. Bought my first home for $18.5K cash (my lawyer was quite impressed with my skills). I even negotiated with the local animal control expert when he came to evict a squirrel from my eaves!

    2. ZERO DEBT and INTEREST-FREE FINANCING. I’ve always been very good about paying off credit cards in full and so can’t even remember ever paying a finance charge. But for those mid-ticket items that could drain your account pretty rapidly, I’ve managed to finance them interest-free for YEARS: kitchen countertops, new flooring, and some truly fine pieces of furniture. It’s all getting paid automatically with zero interest through 2012 (and some items longer than that). My credit card accounts are starting to dry up from lack of use, so I keep only two open now (both without annual fees) for emergencies.

    3. DIVERSIFY INVESTMENTS. While I never amassed a huge 401K sum with my former company, I have taken those now-IRA moneys and put them into a. gold bullion, b. silver bullion, c. a Domestic Index fund, and d. an International Index fund. When the Indexes are down, the bullion is up, and vice versa. I’m about to roll a portion of this into a Roth, but need to examine the tax hit more closely. My current modest freelance earnings make every financial step a careful one!

    4. NEVER BUY ANYTHING YOU DON’T TRULY NEED. That’s right. Simplifying one’s life is psychologically rewarding enough, but the knowledge that your money remains your money will create momentum to keep on that course.

    Wealth is truly a state of mind! Here’s to a rich 29th year ahead of you!

  275. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    I came to your blog hoping to learn something new with regards to handling my finances. I was sad to learn that I have already been practicing your techniques for most of my life, with the exception of online paying and automation. This is only because these services came along later in my life. I am a very young 55. I did, however, fully embrace these options when the world emerged from the dark ages. I have tried to pull many “baby boomer” friends and acquaintances into the 21st century. Many of them kicking and screaming! It is amazing to me that many of them view the computer or smart phone as nuisances rather than the amazing tools that they are. This brings me to the reason I am writing. In this day and age, information technology is second nature to the twenty/thirty something audience that you market to. All of the information that you teach has been around for years. All you have to do is take the time read articles, blogs, web sites and books to get a handle on what one should be doing to succeed. What surprises me is that many young people today don’t equate spend less = save more. Where did this concept get lost in our society? I could sit here and place blame in many places, but won’t. It is refreshing to see someone in your age group tell their peers to wear out their cell phones instead getting the latest and greatest new release every two years. I have been telling my 20 something daughters that for as long as they’ve had cell phones. When I gave that advice, I was not held in as high a regard as you are. I stood my ground, and I have daughters that don’t have college loans to pay back, don’t have credit card debt, and have all that they need in life so far, and are saving for the rest. I think that their future looks brighter compared to others their age. Keep up the good work!

  276. Before I read your site, I was vehemently anti-credit. Now, I am actually working on building good credit– I got one credit card and I use it solely to automate my bills. So you’ve also taught me to automate my finances, which has lowered my stress A LOT.

    I’ve learned so much about the psychology of money, about how to save, about identifying the things that are important to you. I didn’t have any savings before reading your site. Now, I’m picking up jobs to make money on the side, and dumping it all into my growing emergency fund; I also “pay myself first” out of each paycheck into savings. (Only 5% right now, but next on the agenda is a “big win” of increasing earnings!)

    I kept a Money Diary for myself for a month, and the process was a real eye-opener for me; I learned a lot about why I behave like I do with money and was able to start modifying that behavior now that it’s out of the subconscious realm, now that I’m observing it. It also helped me see what I spend on regular-but-not-fixed expenses like groceries and gas, and to create a budget based on that (with a “line item” for irregular but predictable expenses like car repairs).

    I reassessed my monthly expenses and was able to save about $160/month between changing services and also dividing expenses more fairly through the (shared) household.

    I’ve still got a ways to go on this path, but I feel like I’ve got a grip on things as they are right now; I don’t feel so helpless and overwhelmed. I feel confident that I’m moving in the right direction and that my financial picture will only get better from here.

    Happy Birthday and thank you!

  277. you directed me to a high interest savings account, where eventually accumulated about $20k over the course of a few years. part of this was by cutting expenses, getting a roommate.

    i’m more well equipped for the future now and the idea of buying a house is more realistic than it woudl have been.

  278. Ramit,
    Happy Birthday to a fellow Indian!

    What you’ve written reinforces how I live my life in many areas of finance.

    One thing you’ve written – regarding reading blogs and not acting on it — then, what’s the point of it… This sticks with me at heart. I’ve had job changes, travel, and numerous other excuses for holding off on some of the activities such as opening an ING account or creating buckets. I feel like I save a good amount, much of the finances are automated already, and I know how / when to negotiate – I’ve been a salesman and engineer. I read quite a few blogs and I believe my knowledge level is good. Sometimes, there is no action because the knowledge may not be timely to your personal life situation.

    I do enjoy mostly reading your articles and seeing if I can glean anything of added value. I do write an article for my community newsletter here in Chicago. I get some ideas which I then share with the rest — so definitely a feel good story.

    Again, Happy Birthday! If you’re ever in Chicago, shoot me an email, it would be nice meeting you. Whenever I make it to SF area, I have about 20 friends to meet, but again, it would be nice to meet you, too.

    Regards,
    Ketan

  279. Happy Birthday, Ramit! I am 28 as well! One thing you taught me is to always crunch the numbers instead of automatically assuming, for example, that owning beats renting. I’ve since taken to questioning all “conventional” financial wisdom that I come across. It’s easy to just repeat what you hear, but doing the work yourself and seeing how you might be wrong is very rewarding.

  280. Happy B-day Ramit!

    You taught me (and by osmosis, my husband) to automate our accounts and to open an ING account. We’ve been able to save an extra 500 a month through ING even though we’ve been down a salary due to my maternity leave. I didn’t think we’d be able to save more while I’m off, but we did.

    I like how you teach us to make a choice to spend money where it’s important to us. If I like 3.00 lattes, then I can make a choice to buy them and not buy something else. I have reevaluated how I spend my money. Thanks.

  281. I missed probably the biggest thing I learned and started doing, something that is so obvious to me now that I forgot where I even first heard it: automating my finances! I never have to worry about whether I paid this bill or that bill; it’s in a separate account and it takes care of itself!

  282. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    You basically helped me set up my Charles Schwab account, get my IRA automatic, ING Direct set up, start investing in a Life Cycle and focus focus focus off paying my debt before anything else of overspending and investing.

    Because of you Ramit, your video posts and blog posts you made me a believe in myself in taking control of my finances which I have been struggling for a good part of my life.

    So I thank you for that, you are an inspiration to all internet entrepreneurs out there.

    Thanks again for everything!

  283. As a struggling journalist of 22, personal finances are always on my mind. Your book helped me take a step back, get things in order, and breath a sigh of relief.

  284. Introduced me to ING Orange bank and mini savings accounts.

  285. Automated savings

  286. I Will Teach You To Be Rich has helped me to be a little more confident when dealing with businesses on the phone. For years, I had been meaning to get rid of the stupid balance insurance scheme on my credit card, but I had convinced myself that the bank wouldn’t listen to me. IWTYTBR helped me get up the nerve to call my bank and get it done. That’s now $50/month that doesn’t evaporate from my pocket. I’m putting that money toward paying down my balance faster, and it’s already had a noticeable effect on my monthly statements.

    Thanks Ramit!
    Happy Birthday!

  287. Hey Ramit

    Your book taught me a lot about how to manage, automate, invest, and spend my money so that I don’t have to sweat going out or spending as long as I follow a plan. At 25, I don’t worry about my future while still living in the moment. Happy Birthday!

  288. Happy Birthday Ramit!!

    Im 21 but a huge nerd myself but am glad I found this site. Its a gold mine.
    Its help me know that I am managing my money better than 99% of the people who don’t, go after “big wins”, cut costs, optimize spending, earn more, be ruthless about things I don’t care about and negotiate like an indian. Thats why Im not buying a BMW but a Honda Accord. Most important Id rather be rich than sexy and the cost of something is actually what you pay. THANKS!

  289. your writing has helped me to influence and write my book. It also taught me to negotiate better with CC companies and such

    the one thing that i didn’t like too much about the book was, I was expecting it to help me create more wealth without working traditionally for someone else. While reading the book, I was excited to get to the part where you would start to talk about how to create wealth without the help of a traditional job, I know the book wasn’t totally geared towards that but was still looking for it.

    I did enjoy the book but it was a finance book on creating wealth through money not time. (2 ways to create personal wealth-”takes money to make money” and “Time and dedication will create wealth”

  290. Ramit,

    By nearly automating all of my finances, I’ve eliminated more than $6300 of debt in the last 8 months, and saved another $2,000. I did that while getting married, making less than $40k a year, and having a foot injury to pay for. It wouldn’t have happened if everything wasn’t automated. Now I can rest easy, knowing I have plenty of money going into the bank to pay for any emergency that may come my way.

    David

  291. Happy Birthday! Your book and website has helped me with the following: (1) My finances are now automated (although I still need to set up my bills to be paid by a credit card so that I can build up more rewards). (2) I have organized my savings accounts into goals (e.g., emergency fund, new car, etc.). Your ideas about prioritizing what I spend money on has been very helpful. (3) Most importantly, I have really started to make extra money on the side (from multiple sources).

    Thanks for the motivation to take these steps!

  292. Happy Birthday, Ramit! You touch me a bunch. Because of you I

    - Opened a Charles Schwab checking account to rid myself of ATM feeds and start investing in an IRA.
    - Now focus on “big wins” instead of the minutiae.
    - Learned how to negotiate.
    - Spend money on the things I love, and cut brutally on the things I don’t.
    - And more!

    As corny as it sounds, I carry your book with my almost all the time. Not everything is habit yet, so it’s good to refresh myself on some of the strategies you lay out.

  293. Kenneth J. Witham, CPA Link to this comment

    While I am a certified public accountant (CPA), I enjoy reading your blog because it reminds me that I am still in my late twenties and that I don’t have the same amount of funds available to me that many of my clients do. Your blog helps me to stay grounded. I haven’t yet gone through the complete automation process, but have moved in that direction. Overall, I feel that while I may not enact every single thing you teach on this website, I migrate more and more daily to the simplicity of what you are teaching everyone to do. Why is that? Mostly because it really is simple and especially because it works.

    Keep up the good work!

  294. Taught me to automate my savings completely. I was only doing partial automation before, but now it’s all automatic. I also learned about ING’s multiple savings accounts and use them now. I love them! I’m telling everyone about it!

  295. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with everyone.
    I did purchase your book “I will teach you to be rich”.
    I have gone over my budget line by line and that is as far as I have gotten.
    This is NOT a reflection upon you but upon me.

    Best wishes for an even greater year in your life. sg

  296. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    The most important thing I’ve learned from both your book and your website is to lock down my finances and then spend what’s left over, guilt free. I love being able to pay for a meal or tickets or a random purchase with the security of knowing I have money automatically going towards my retirement and savings.

    I make 30k a year, working in politics in a very expensive city, and I’ve been able to save and live comfortably due to your guidance.

    I bought your book three times – the first time, I read it and liked it so much I gave it to a friend, the second time I bought it and accidentally left it outside in a rainstorm, and the third time i bought it and implemented your advice chapter by chapter.

    Thanks so much for your help Ramit, I bet it’s changed a lot of lives!
    JM

  297. You taught me how to automate my finances.

  298. 1. Automate Accounts and use ING to save for things instead of finance them on credit.
    2. Think more about spending. In my case I have learned to buy the higher quality item for the better price. i.e. buy the $40 shirt that fits well and you know you will wear rather than the 3 shirts for $40 that are on sale and will sit in my closet.
    3. Really this site has just been plain insightful to read everyones thoughts and comments, this has helped me change my outlook on many things.

  299. Hey, Toga Birthday Boy! :)

    You helped me set up autofinancing online for all my credit cards (2) and my car payment. Everything now is a cinch where it all gets transferred from checking with the option for me to pay more (like on the car loan) if I so choose.

    Thanks! Have a great birthday!!!!

  300. Happy Birthday Ramit,

    I turned 33 today and wish I had your book when I was 18. I am going to purchase a copy for my girlfriends sister. She is going off to college this fall and reading your book is the best thing she could do to prepare herself. Your book should be required reading for all incoming freshman.

    1. I have learned to automate my savings with ING Direct.
    2. Paid down about $2k in debt have about $7k left.
    3. Increased my FICO score by paying attention to my utilization.
    4. Learned to enjoy life by not stressing over my finances.

  301. Hey Ramit, I’m thinking about foreign transaction fees right now b/c
    I just spent over 1/2 an hour on the phone to Barclay Visa. NEVER Again.
    I charged a business expense to a company out of Canada that ALSO has offices in the USA. They charged me almost 28 bucks claiming “Foreign Transaction Fee”! (Oh yea, happy 28 b-day). I was firm, I was calm, I didn’t even cuss them out. I kept saying “I need to get this fee waived”. I spoke to the manager. Especially since the company also has a US presence! EVEN THEN. ALL EFFORTS WERE FUITLE. The manager asked me what else he could do for me and I said remove this fee. No. He Hung up. I called back and talked to a nice “customer service” guy named Curtis. He told me they COULD NOT WAIVE THE FEE.
    Ramit, I tried. I thought of your page about how you phrase something. I stated what I wanted while still being nice. I NEVER asked “Could they waive it, or was it possible?” I said, “I’m calling to remove this foreign transaction fee”. Of course, it was the principal of the matter, not the 28 bucks. Happy 28. Enjoy!

  302. Happy Birthday Ramit–your emails continually inspire me to get my finances in order!!

  303. Happy birthday to you ,happy birthday to you ,happy birthday to you Ramit,happy birthday to you ,how old are you now ,how old are you now ,how old are now .(o2 ).

    Thank be to our God for you birthday and meny-meny more to come.

    I will teach you to be Rich has make me to be in Heaven on how to Outomat my finances which my biggest problem and how to handle money with my honey wife .well we do not earn more money but the teaching has realy Bless us and this will be pass on to our children.

    Thank you again and meny -meny more birthday to come in Jesus Name.

  304. Derek P. Collins Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday!!

    Your blog and your book have helped us to automate our finances and set up retirement accounts for both my wife and I. Automating our finances in turn has helped us to stay on course with our written financial budget and pay off debt faster than we ever have before.

    I now recommend your book to anyone who seems interested in personal finance and I routinely say that its the book I wish I had when I was 18. I’ve also given your book as a gift to friends and family.

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing your financial wisdom. Enjoy your birthday!

  305. I would first like to say happy birthday. In terms of how IWTYTBR has helped me, it hasn’t yet, at least not monetarily. What it has done though is help me shape my current mentality. I look at money a little differently now, although I am still cheap and/or frugal. In simpler terms, it gave some structure to my mind.
    P.S.
    I also bought your book.

  306. I started reading your blog several years ago… don’t remember exactly when, but it’s a resource I recommend to everyone who even slightly hints that they might need some financial advice.

    Your encouragement has enabled me to:

    1. Start freelance work
    – I got my first contract while in college (I just graduated) at $20/hour, and, upon your further encouragement, increased my rates for each subsequent contract to $30/hr, then $60/hr, and now, my most recent contract, for $80/hr. I imagine I haven’t hit my ceiling yet, and will continue to up my rates till I start finding it hard to land contracts.
    2. Keep on top of my finances
    – I live a wonderfully free life for one who has graduated from college less than a month ago. I got married a year and a half ago, and my wife, who is a PhD student, was surprised by a last minute opportunity to work with some of the top scientists in Materials Engineering at IBM Research. Downside was that it was not a very well paid position. Thanks to our prior efforts in managing our money (thanks in no small way to your book and blog), we were able to drop everything we were doing and move her to NY, buy her a car, and take on an additional monthly rent for her NY apartment while she stayed there: all because we had the flexibility in our financial system to allow such a thing. Remember: I’m still in college at this point in the story! I did not have a full time job, but the money I made from the contracts I mentioned in #1 opened the door to this opportunity for my wife here.
    3. Get a job!
    – Your negotiation videos were a big help in my getting hired. Your videos helped me understand the importance of communication skills during the interview and negotiation processes, and, as a result, I was able to get interviews at Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon.com and a number of lesser known companies, even though my GPA was only a 3.1 from a school that was not an MIT, or Stanford. I talked to the right people directly (rather than going through hiring portals) and convinced them I was worth looking at. (I ended up taking Oracle’s offer, which, thanks to your advice, I negotiated a salary that is already higher than my parents ever made while I was growing up, and this is my first year out of college!)
    4. Be confident about the future
    – I just started my new job at Oracle, and have already maxed out my 401k, made sure I was prepared to open a Roth IRA and opened several Smarty Pig savings accounts for some targeted saving. My wife and I didn’t get to take a honeymoon when we got married, but we will be going this fall to Switzerland and Italy, thanks to setting the savings goal to make it happen.

    I was a scrub before I was introduced to your blog. Really, I was. I played World of Warcraft 40+ hours a week (…hence my lower GPA…) and was content getting some random job when I eventually graduated. Your blog was an integral part of my turn around into the person I am today. I can’t thank you enough.

    • Oh yeah!

      I also married an Indian (though I’m a white american…). Might that be credited to you as well? I don’t know… I don’t know…

  307. Ramit,

    Congratulations on turning 28! This may seem small but I just gained confidence to make chances in my life through your books. Today, I am actually implementing one of your strategies-a no spend day. It is helping me restructure and reset my finances before the 1st. I also opened an IRA at T. Rowe Price. Started my ING direct account that has been opened for over a year now. No, Suzie Orman made me get my act together. It was your direct, 20s friendly lingo that got me to get my stuff together.

    I have even loaned the book out to friends and one of them hasn’t given it back to me yet.

  308. hey ramit
    you helped saved me 6,000 by using your technique to negotiate my wife’s credit card debt from 18,000 to 12,000 it is now paid off, i refinanced at 4.275% and paid off all credit cards
    rich

  309. Ramit-

    I’m starting small. I’ve recently graduated college and spent a while being afraid to look at my credit card score, because I knew I would stress about it. But automating my finances to ensure that I’d be able to cover rent, health insurance, and basic costs of living. After I stopped worrying about the immediate, I worked up the courage to look at the credit score- and it was actually much higher than I thought it would be. So I started up a credit card, and used the knowledge of the credit score to negotiate a lower rate.

  310. Melvin Ramos-Yambó Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit!

    Your book help me to thinking more seriously about my financial future. I negotiated a lower interest to my credit card, from 15% to 10%. Now in every financial decision I apply the WWAID? (What Would An Indian Do?) technique. Also now I’m more interested in the Indian culture and their frugality.

    Happy Birthday to you Holy Master!!! ^_^

  311. What I were doing before IWTYTBR
    1. ING direct account.
    2. Automating payment and savings.
    3. Having an IRA (one for retirement, one for public program to buy an house)

    What I did after discovering IWTYBR
    1. End my cell phone plan to go “À la carte” and subscribe to Skype for long distance call Save around 30$/month.
    2. End many subscription (maybe it’s GRS that inspired me on this one). Saved at least 100$/month (TCable TV, World of Warcraft, others)
    3. Think about creating incomes. Didn’t put much effort though.
    4. Bought your book. It is lost between my cooking books.
    5. Invest into formation or subscription (most are free) related to my profession.
    6. Planned to get rid of big expense like my car (on hold) and co-renting my apartment (finally done). I will save 500$/month with the first and 350$/month with the second.

  312. Happy birthday dude!
    2 years younger than me and already richer!
    You tought me to go ahead: I’m about to start my business! I previously created a bog (not as good as yours of course!) that should lead me in: http://www.faitesdelacom.com
    sorry it’s in French, but I would be delighted to have some tips about how growing my blog’s audience like you managed to grow yours.
    Anyway, best wishes,
    Axel

  313. Happy Birthday Ramit, wishing you more prosperity and slow steady riches. You have taught me how to harness the power of modern technology to tackle my financial life. I read your whole book on my iphone using the kindle app. You showed me the way to use mint.com to track everything and have access to my financial health in an instant. I rarely use cash any more but I am more concious about having an auditable trail to keep my spending in check by using plastic, and of course all my payments are fully automated. You showed me the way to dinkytown.com financial calculators that have helped run different scenarios on paying down my debt, shop for life insurance, savings growth estimator. And oh yeh, showing me that it’s not such a crazy idea to open up a bunch of savings accounts with ING for different things you want to buy and save up for, GENIUS !!! it works.

  314. Happy birthday.

    Your book convinced me to actually open an IRA and apply for a credit card to build up my credit score (which I pay off every month). You also helped in many other smaller ways.

  315. Hi Ramit:
    You confirmed what I started to do 5 years ago. I had $50,000 in debt, now I owe $10,000 and I will cut that by half by the end of the year.
    $5,000 to go by 2011 and I am out of debt and I will live out of debt.

  316. I ACTUALLY went out and set up an IRA and contribute the max every year.

  317. Happy Birthday Ramit! I set up a pension because of your site (two of ‘em actually) and became aware of all the fees I was paying. Thanks for all the advice!

  318. Hi Ramit

    You taught me you are never too old to change your finances. I am a 37 mother of 2 and reading your book made these things happen.

    1. I pay myself FIRST!
    2. Automatic payments keep my family on tack
    3. I am now a kick ass negotiator!

  319. Hi Ramit ,

    Many more happy returns of the day!

    Biggest thing I learned was behavioral psychology. When something is within hand’s reach , it gets done faster. Now , whenever things are pending , I keep them insight so I attend to them promptly.
    Over the year , I ve automated ING savings accounts and negotiated a lower apr. I have more peace of mind and guiltfree spending sessions.

    Have a happy bday
    Yash

  320. Suzanne Wilson Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday!!!
    You taught me to never discuss salary requirements during initial interviews. Very useful information since I’m looking for a job. I will never divuldge this information during an interview. Instead, I will respond as you instructed. Thanks.

  321. Happy Birthday Ramit, hilarious pic!

    1) Automating my finances (both savings and bills)
    2) Introducing me to ING and sub savings accounts, making it much easier to keep track of my savings goals

    • Forgot one:

      3) Don’t click “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” unless I want my inbox flooded by your fans :)

  322. Wow… 28! Happy Birthday!

    You’re a Cancer?! I never would’ve guessed. You’ve got the panache of a Leo.

    ANyway – you’ve taught me tons:

    - How to focus on big wins rather than little savings.
    - You introduced me to ING and I’ve saved $1500 in just over 6 months.
    - You and your team taught me tons in Earn1k – too much to enumerate here.
    - You’ve helped me to ignore fly-by-night financial advice.
    - You’ve helped me learn about tactics for negotiations regarding a new salary or bank fees.
    - You gave me the kick in the butt to transfer an old 401(k) to my IRA.
    - You helped me to automate all my bills after years of *meaning to get to that…

    It’s been incredibly helpful.
    *Happy Birthday*

    TOGA! TOGA! TOGA! ;)
    Rebecca*

  323. Hi Ramit!
    This is my first time visiting your blog so I don’t have a success story just yet, but I did get quite a kick out of the TOGA gear! Happy Birthday! lol

  324. You have taught me how to invoke my inner Indian salesman. You have shown me that every email you send is part advice/content and part sales pitch. I even had to figure out how to get your book for free and I did (legally of course).

    keep selling!

  325. Hey, I always thought I should be setting aside a certain percent each month for savings but I didn’t really know how and didn’t care to take the time to find out, but your post on Tim Ferriss’ site about automating your accounts made me realize how easy it’d be and I now have five sub-savings accounts where I’m saving for my wedding someday, my plans to start skydiving, paying off loans, and even a stupid mistakes account that gets a little bit. I’m still enjoying hanging out with friends just as much, but now instead of taking my leftover money and just buying a movie or game or something at the end of the month and feeling guilty, I’ll already have savings taken care of so I can make anything I do guilt free. Thank you very much for informing me on how easy it is to automate this part of my life, now all I have to do is use you and Tim’s tips and start some kind of business so I can get the rest automated, but thanks again and happy birthday.

  326. Happy Birthday Ramit. Thank you for your help you taught me how to negotiate with cr. Card company, internet, phone company to lower internet rate, etc. now I am the way to open my saving account in ING direct and many more. I just can’t stop e-mail and tell for friend about your book and also e-mail them the link of your web, and every one of them told me how this book and your blog change their everyday life style. Aging thank you and keep up your good work. Wish you all the best in your birth day.

  327. You taught me to prioritize my expenses so that I could spend money on what was most important, and also how to negotiate a higher salary in a job interview without revealing past salary history. Also you taught me to improve my credit score by screwing over the credit card companies and paying automatically my full amount each month.

    Thanks so much for your advice and happy birthday!!!

  328. Happy birthday! I hope it’s a memorable one.

    Over the past two years I’ve been reading it, IWTYTBR has inspired me to do many things (open subaccounts for irregular expenses, choose a Roth IRA not a traditional IRA, not feel bad about spending on the things that make life awesome while cutting costs on the things that don’t). I’ve saved 40% on my car insurance, opened a Roth, minimized my insurance and utility bills and maxed out my retirement accounts.

    The most unique and useful tip I’ve read here is the 10 Year Savings Strategy:
    to save for the things that people 10 years older than me wished they had saved (more) for when they were younger: Weddings, down payments, college funds for the kids, etc. I’ve earmarked 12% of my paycheck towards those, and will increase that when I finally get my act together, join earn1k.com, and start growing my side business.

  329. Hey Ramit,

    Automating finances was great, but not so necessary for me to save more money.

    Switching savings accounts from standard Chase to online ING is making me dollars a day. Thanks so much!

  330. Warmest Birthday Wishes, Ramit!
    Thanks to you…
    1. I automated my bill-paying and transfers.
    2. I now use Yodlee to monitor my spending (pain in the ass to set up but once it’s going, it’s great.)
    3. My fascination for psychology and social psychology have been rekindled.

  331. Ramit,

    Since reading IWTYTBR, I have:
    •Switched banks to increase interest % and reduce fees, hassle, etc.
    •Had uncomfortable conversations with more people regarding money than ever before, and usually negotiated to get exactly what I want
    •Automated my finances so they take <15 min. per month to manage
    •Confused my parents by refusing to turn my money over to Merrill Lynch, while reaping a higher percentage than them at the same time :)
    •Kickstarted my freelance work to earn more cash on the side

  332. Happy Belated Ramit.

    You’ve helped me open up about finances with my ex-girlfriend, now-fiancee. After reading your stuff, we fight 40% less about money and have 80% more discussions about money, thus giving us a 40% higher ROI on our time discussing finances. The present value of our happiness is high with the future value being limitless. Life cycle fun(d) indeed.

    Thank you again; it’s like you’re a cross-breed of Dr. Phil and Maria Bartolomo. Ok, just kidding, Dr. Phil can die and Maria is much hotter.

  333. You actually taught me to spend money, Pretty much the opposite of what most people seemed to have commented on so far.

    You taught me that there are times when making an investment and spending more money for something that will in the long run allow you to be more efficient, and maybe even help you make more money is worth it.

    Happy Birthday!

  334. You movitated me to create my checking linked with brokerage account with Schwab, to enroll in my companies 401k, further cut my spending but to have more to spend on what I love, and to motivate others around me to enhance their financial standing

  335. my initial thought was that i signed up for my company’s IRA program sooner than i probably would have (naturally with some procrastination).

    however, i think the more important point is that your website is one of the first few that actually made me interested in learning again. i started reading it when i finally got my first real job after college and it sort of opened the gates to a bunch of other things on varying topics that i now read regularly. all of which has made me think about my career/life track a lot differently. i think it’s easy to not learn much at all once no one’s testing you on it, but i love feeling like i’m advancing in some way. it’s much better than useless knowledge of office reports. so thanks!

  336. Happy Burfday Ramit.

    This book taught me way more than just to be rich. It taught me to be frugal and how to be a stickler, while all along avoiding the “cheapskate” connotation that people love to throw at you when all you’re really guilty of is having your head on your shoulders.

    The book taught me that you MUST look down the road every once in a while. It’s one of those reads that I will return to every once in a while to know whether I’m still on the right track. It gave me the foundation I’m using to leverage my position to become ruler of the known universe, actually. So, thanks Ramit! Hope your 28th is as awesome as your book!

  337. Hey Ramit,

    I want to thank you for the valuable information you provide on fiscal responsibility and investing. The negotiation scripts were helpful when i needed to lower the interest rates on some credit cards. Surprisingly, the company were willing to work with me and i should be debt free in 2 years. Your advice is beneficial to so many young people around the world.

  338. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    You’ve done a great job inspiring me! I am proud to say that I’m debt free and have been using your book to get my finances in order.

    SO far, I’ve:
    - Automated finances (some were already automated)
    - Negotiated a lower credit card APR
    - Have talked my way out of countless fees – but I have always done that!
    - Realized I needed to dump money into my employer’s 401K matching program – They match 40% on the dollar up to the max amount! Insane! It was like I got a $6,000 raise last year for saving money!
    - Set up sub accounts – the major one being for our wedding coming up in September, which we will get through debt free, and with help from the parents we’ll have a nice nest egg for a down payment on a home.

    Thanks, Ramit!

  339. One thing you taught me is that you are 2 years younger than me. What the heck dude…

  340. Ramit, your book taught me what I needed to know to not blow all the money I got at my nice new job. Using your guides and advice, in a year I was able to learn to drive, buy a car, pay it off, move out, and furnish an apartment, without putting myself in debt.

    Since then, I have continued to follow your advice, never keeping more on my credit card than I could dispose of in a paycheck, Starting a 401k with heavy contributions, set aside emergency and vacation planning funds, and still manage to have enough to enjoy eating out and play videogames regularly.

    Your book could not have been published at a better time in my life, and it made it easy to set up my financial life now that I have upgraded from job to career.

  341. I finally stopped my wild credit card spending, I consolidated the sums and got the APRs down to 0%. I also finally started setting aside money into sub-accounts- I now have an emergency fund, a travel fund (I already have enough for a cheapie vacay!), and most importantly a wedding fund. I’m super pleased to be able to buy my fiancee’s wedding ring with cold, hard cash I actually earned and saved rather than just charging it :)

  342. hi Ramit, happy b.day. automation and fee negotiation scripts were the key learnings for me. also overall i developed interest for money saving/ management blogs as a result of reading your posts, and am now making brave investment decisions that i was afraid of just a year or two ago. thanks!!

  343. You helped me:
    1) Set up a Roth IRA without automatic monthly payments
    2) Gain knowledge about investments
    3) Pay off my debts
    4) Motivated to be more robust about my personal finances
    5) Familiarized with the credit card benefits

    To sum it up, you indeed Taught Me To Be Rich!

    Happy Birthday Ramit!

  344. I will teach you to be rich has taught me to laugh around the subject of money and to look for underlying assumptions and paradigms that I’ve bought into.

  345. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I am so far out of your typical demographic (68 y/o, good looking, damn smart woman!)), but I learned a lot from reading your book and blog. Although I had pretty good control of my financial life, the two areas that had the biggest impact for me were:

    (1) Ignorning the “frugality” mindset, and concentrating on the big wins! One of my biggest wins came from…I kid you not…5 minutes of research on my bank’s website where I found a program that gave me 4% APR on regular savings up to $20,000 and an additional 1% for anything over $20,000 and FDIC insured. (I just keep my “buckets” in a simple Excel spreadsheet and don’t have to worry about multiple CD maturity dates, what the stock market is doing these days, and the piss poor rates everyone else is offering!)

    (2) Completely automating my finances. This became especially important last year as I became the sole caregiver for my 94 y/o Mom during her unexpected terminal illness and death. With all of the other stresses that were going on, I knew I didn’t have to worry about spending and saving, because they were already being taken care of automatically and I could give Mom my entire focus. For that blessing, I can’t thank you enough.

    And remember:

    “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!” ” (Author Unknown)

  346. Wishing you many happy returns of this day.
    You tips helped me negotiate my insurance rates, phones bills and get my finances in order.
    T
    hanks & God Bless!

  347. Wow that’s alot of posts!

    The thing i learned might be a bit different then then what alot of posts of said. I was actually quite in tune with automating my fianances, negotiating tactics and all that jazz. One thing in particular did stand out. I dont recall how or when it came up, but it was regarding an example of an art student paying 40k to go to school in class to learn about European art styles, and you said, maybe the money would be better spent on travelling acrross Europe and making contacts with artists and learnign from them directly.

    Just make san excellent point that while learning how to do something is always good(huge fan of education), but sometimes doing is better then just learning. And that’s a large problem with people. Talking instead of doing…learnign instead of doing. There’s alot to be said about experience in life. Really stood out to me.

    Happy b-day!

  348. Christopher Marczewski Link to this comment

    Hey Ramit!

    The most important lesson I learned from your bestselling book was the myth behind financial gurus (the wine tasting analogy was spot on!). Since reading the book, I plan on shifting my investments over to the Swenson allocation within my Roth IRA account while only allocating 5% of my portfolio elsewhere to what I call “Mad Stocks”. I don’t see this changing in the future either, whether it’s 5 years or 50 years.

    Have a Happy Birthday!

    Chris Marczewski

  349. Of course your articles, book, and Earn1K program have helped me save/make more money. However, the most important thing I’ve gained over the years and figuring out what I actually want or what makes me happy. Its more than just money… as you said its about living a richer life.

    Happy birthday Ramit!

  350. everything — my husband and I didn’t even really know what an IRA was until we read your book — now we’ve got $9000 in a Roth! Thanks!

  351. You helped me teach a friend how to get her financial ass into shape!

  352. Ramit,

    This is what actions I took from studying your methods and what prompted me to Join Earn 1K!

    1) Automated all my accounts and synchronize to reduce administrative tasks. Bank, utilities, credit cards
    2)Developed long term savings strategies for wedding/ home down payments/ education/ and toys via ING accounts
    3)Increased credit score in 70+ points 6 months to 832!
    4)Developed an intellectual framework for strategies around savings and investing. IE First maximizing RRSP’s, Employer 401K, Lifecycle funds.
    5)Engaged my fiance’ in managing restaurant/food budget and actually moving savings into savings account for her as a bonus for strategies. This has resulted in a great fun and planning in creative ways.
    6)I was able to plan and budget for my destination wedding in 1 year.
    7)Started my first client at $80.00 per hour (6 week program) for Filipino stick and knife fighting. 2 more to go!
    8)I no longer STRESS about finances. I only re-evaluate my strategy and adjust accordingly.

    Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  353. 1. negotiate with customer service on the phone to get better deals
    2. automate all accounts
    3. saving strategies (long term on indexes/funds)
    4. Alway know my credit card benefits
    5. Set up an emergency fund – which has now become an opportunity fund!

  354. Happy Birthday!

    Your book has helped me to understand the smart ways to invest in 2010.

  355. Happy Birthday Ramit!!
    I have to say because of you I was able to automate our savings for my husband and I. I set up sub savings accounts through ING and we were able to save up enough money to move from Connecticut to Arizona. Hooray my dream came true thanks in part to you!!

  356. Dear Ramit. I´m 43 years old and trying to get out of debt with your help. Until now your teachings had made the debt shrink so much that I had started to invest too!
    I shrink it to 20% of my monthly income, from almost 70% in less than 18 months, and counting. I put july of 2013 as a limit for being debt free, but I think that I can do better if I go on on this path. So far, the best thing is that I don´t miss anything I cut, I love my job, my husband health has improved and my teenage son has learned a lot about money. Also I had helped a couple of friends that were in trouble. I had never been this happy in my life. Thank you and happy birthday!!!

  357. Hi
    Happy Birthday

    I did pay off my 2 credit cards and I am v. happy because of that.

    thanks for advices :)

    Rafal

  358. I learned everything about retirement accounts and investing from your book. Before I read it, I couldn’t tell a mutual fund from an index fund and didn’t know what a 401(k) is (I’m foreign-born). You had a great writing style that anticipated all my questions!

  359. I liked the article you wrote called “It Never Gets Easier Than Now”. It made me think how lucky we are to be living in today’s world, no matter how crazy it gets.

    Happy birthday!

  360. Happy birthday! Best tip: Craigslist Penis Effect. And not just because I like typing Craigslist Penis Effect (though I really do).

    Anyway I found the Craigslist Penis Effect (ha–there I go again) helpful because half the time I wouldn’t try something because I imagined that there were already a lot of people out there doing whatever I wanted to do. For example, every time I’d tell someone I was studying to be a yoga teacher, 8 outta 10 times they’d say, “There are a LOT of yoga teachers in [my city].” Well, yeah, but maybe I can offer something different. Same thing with writing–I’d be intimidated to go after a project, and then I’d read some bit of craptastic writing and realize that there are some shitty writers out there getting work, so even a half-competent writer would have more success. And imagine what a fully competent writer could do!

    The Craigslist Penis Effect helped me overcome some self-created barriers that used to stop me before I ever got started.

  361. 1) I rented a car w/o getting scammed into buying their insurance
    2) I opened a brokerage account…well a few actually, and chose my favorites (zecco and sharebuilder)
    3) I remain calm when the money in my index funds appear to grow and shrink massively

  362. u’re JUST turning 28?

    OMG u’re so young and yet quite successful already.

    i read ur blog once in a while, n i like the unique ideas / advice u offered, like sample dialogues on how to negotiate for a better salary, or some feature stories from other bloggers. and also the article from the guy who worked for u (i forgot his name) on how to get a dream job by doing free work. the articles featured in your blog are always fresh & something i haven’t heard already.

  363. Ramit,
    Your book stimulated me to better automate and organize my finances using the internet.
    Thank you
    Hank

  364. Happy Birthday! Keep up the good work!

  365. I am a new subscriber from Boston so my birthday gift to you is I will read your materials and promise to have an open mind. Enjoy your special day. Mine was just the other day (27th).

  366. A few things:

    (1) Automating my finances. It works better financially, and it reduces stress and my list of things to do.

    (2) Negotiating with Comcast. Those bastards.

    (3) Make more money. I’m a student who works full time, and couldn’t work any more hours, but since you opened my mind to the idea, I applied for (and won) a $12,000 grant. I’m going to school for free next year.

  367. Happy, happy Birthday, Ramit.
    You’re probably out partying by now or you Should be !!
    Keep having b’days, and I’ll keep learning new ways to manage my mo*ney from
    you.

  368. Hey, Ramit! You helped me save $540 a year on my car insurance by just making a couple of phone calls. It required so little effort that I was embarrassed. I’m also starting a new savings account with a better interest rate.

    Happy birthday! You can celebrate it knowing that I recommend you to all my friends.

  369. Happy Birthday, Ramit!!
    The best thing I have learned from you is to BE MINDFUL about money. Thanks.

  370. I Will Teach You To Be Rich helped me realize that the money flowing in and out of my checking account CAN be managed and CAN be put toward goals of my choosing. Then it gave me the tools to do it. I can’t say I’m all the way there yet, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was when I started!

  371. Happy Birthday (is it weird that I feel like I know you?)!

    The one thing IWTYTBR has helped me with is automating my finances!

  372. Ramit -
    Thanks to IWTYTBR, I automated my savings and investments. I’ve also negotiated bank fees and service charges down and learned a lot about my motivation and psychological barriers.

    Happy birthday!

  373. Hi Ramit – Happy Birthday from Singapore. From reading this blog and your book, I developed the courage to ask my company to pay for my home internet (required for early morning and late night conference calls back to the US), so that’s saving about $25/month – not much, but it feels pretty good.

  374. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMIT, Have a good one! :-D

    Your post on sending personalized emails to companies has inspired me (currently in High School) to call over 20 companies, email a CEO (he replied!), and has given me the courage to try new things! Also, your book is the best book on managing money out there! It’s fun, easy to read, interesting, and full of actionable steps!

  375. Happy 28 Ramit!

    On your advice I switched to ING direct and am now making substantially better interest that with the old brick an mortar. This is just one of many concrete changes I have made since reading your book.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,

    Larry

  376. Happy Birthday, Ramit! I’m almost there too, but you have me beat by a year. I hope you feel old. ;)

    Your book and blog are amazing and, although I’m glad you’ve helped many people, I’m more happy, selfishly so, that you helped me get my ass into gear. I’ve studied finance for a number of years in search of solutions, and even with as many finance books as there are in the world, nearly none of them have the solutions. They talk and talk about how great a 401k is, how you should be saving and how credit cards can be amazing tools. However, none of them solved the problems I was facing. I couldn’t piece it all together. Your book did that for me. Simple solutions to, what sometimes seem to be, enormous problems.

    It’s all easy now. Since reading your book and reading your blog posts, I’ve paid off my biggest debt, I’ve opened a credit union account and am now using it in conjunction to my normal bank account to automate my finances, I’m saving more, starting my company 401k soon and, most importantly, I’m planning for my future.

    I think we all have amazing goals, or at least desires, for how we wish our future to look, but as it tends to be, we most commonly see these goals as illusions, too far away to grasp. My dreams don’t seem that far away now. I’ve been inspired, many thanks to you, to plan ahead. I have a couple schools to look forward to, many career options and a sense of well-being stemming from new-found sense of financial security. I couldn’t even imagine these options in my future prior to reading your book.

    Thank you very much for all your help. You, sir, are genius!

  377. Ramit–my marriage would be much saner if I followed all of your advice….but instead I play busy soccer mom and don’t prioritize like your blogs and books say to do—but I keep reading b/c I’m interested in all of this–just need to apply it! It at least keeps finances more toward the forefront of my life–which is a good thing!

  378. Hi Ramit,

    I may not be your target audience, but I have benefitted enormously from your material. I am a university undergraduate looking for ways to use my skills to make good money without having to work for someone else. When I was first introduced to your stuff, I was putting my spare time into an online project that I thought I could get people to pay to use, but it just took a little reading about getting into customers’ heads before I realized I was just wasting hundreds of hours of my life on something that nobody would pay for. When I looked at one of your lists of suggested freelancing ideas, I decided that as a National Merit Scholar, I could tutor students for the PSAT and SAT to help them achieve the same goal and win scholarships. Now I know how my customers think, enjoy my work, and sit close to my clients’ money. With the special services and guarantees that I formed based on some things you have said, I expect to make this a very profitable business, maybe even profitable enough to support myself. Thanks for all your great materials!

    -Timothy

  379. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    Thank you so much for your book, emails and videos!
    So far, I have lowered the APRs by 40% on my credit cards. I had bank fees reversed and I set up almost all of my bills for automatic payment. I earned an extra $120.00 this month and I started a blog to journal my way through this journey to financial stability.
    The biggest thing you did for me was give me confidence to do all this!
    I hope you have a fabulous day!

  380. Happy birthday, Ramit!

    Thanks to your blog I automated my savings for specific things. I went from $1300 saved in February to over $9800 today, even after paying cash for almost $3K in tuition and over $3K for a new garage roof in the last few months. I also saved for and bought my dream couch which I wanted for 2 years. I save $200/paycheck broken down into these accounts. It’s helping me manage my cash flow and feel much calmer, and also be really realistic about how fast I can save, and that in turn helps me limit my spending.

    Here are my account balances:

    Chairs $1,311.72
    Cushion $7,677.98
    Car Insurance $100.59
    Vacation $25.12
    Car $625.45
    Europe $118.02

    Thanks! Happy b-day again.

  381. Yo Ramit,

    1)Your book has taught me the importance of investing early
    2) To get a no fees bank account
    3) To automate my bank account so that it saves me time.

    Thank you so much.

    Please write another book

    Happy Birthday!

  382. Thanks Ramit for showing me how to automate my finances and encouraging me to negotiate with my vendors. I’ve recently automated everything using ING and have saved over $400 per year on my car insurance just by shopping around and then negotiating a bit.

  383. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    When I first bought your book and read Chapter One, I bought a second copy too, one for travelling with, one for home. The first two Chapters, once applied to your daily spending habits, immediately empowers you by highlighting how both your money and you are treated or mistreated in connection with the banking / credit card systems. You become your own financial analyst and with automatic payments / spending, you can see your financial forecast growing in real cash and savings right before your eyes.
    I made sure I found a credit card (Union Plus) that was going to be my new “Friend with Benefits” and those benefits are access to Health & Dental benefits, discounted Gym, air travel, car rental, book buying and shopping and life insurance discounts, scholarship money, credit card spending protection and a one-time (per incident) payment of your bills when you let them know you have a hardship situation. So Ramit, as illustrated in “I Will Teach You…”, when you gain the financial knowledge of how the currency systems are set up, you won’t allow yourself to be “Set-Up” for a downfall, where in this instance, many end up paying for something physically, mentally, emotionally or financially.
    My request of you Ramit, if you care to do so before your next birthday, is for you to address the real financial pyramid structure where the “bottom” 90 percent of people are financially supporting the “top” 10 percent of people in society. How did we become so unbalanced? Keep the Focus and the Faith, Bro’!

  384. your comments on credit , how to maximize your credit score, helped me to do that, print the credit reports and when we applied to refinance our mortgage , went in from a position of strength, got a good rate and good discounts and had lenders trying to match the best rate, best closing costs and best package. For retirees that was a great confidence booster. Have shared your philosophy with friends, my adult children also so hopefully it will have far reaching affects. Thanks for dispelling the myth that all these stock market analysts are not gods with all the best information and we will never be able to make it happen for us and our children because we do not have their knowledge.

  385. Automating saving. Matter of fact tomorrow 300 dollars is moved to my two saving accounts

  386. Marilyn Muckerman Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You taught me to have hope more than anything, & after reading everyone’s notes.. looks like I need to purchase THE book! Wow! I cannot believe you are only 28..keep spreading the wealth and again, very much appreciate the light.
    cheers!

    Marilyn

  387. Hey Ramit,

    Thanks for the opportunity to express my appreciation of your work.

    Numerically speaking, your advice on how to negotiate with banks, credit card companies, and the college financial aid office has saved me over $14,000. Your advice on automating expenses and going for “big wins” in general has helped me spend money on things and activities I find fulfilling -my Puritan book collection and my love for traveling. You taught me that I CAN have that 16 vol. set of the Works of John Owen.

    Personally, your work has freed me from the financial guilt imposed on me by my parents, my professors, and myself, but, more importantly, you freed me from my judgmental perspective on others. You give voice to the shifting values of our generation, and this advice even breaks through ingrained class values. Do you realize how relieving it is to not feel resentful of my friend’s spending? To be able to articulate to my parents why I handle my finances the way I do? My relationships are so much healthier now!

    Again, thanks Ramit. Praying many blessing come your way,

    Joy

  388. Hi Ramit,

    happy birthday!

    The one thing that I only took from reading the first chapter of your book already saved be a bunch of money in the last months. Renegotiating my credit card fees, waiving overdraft bills and raising my credit limit helped me a lot to handle my finances overseas.

    Thanks a lot man! Let alone all the rest about asset allocation etc… Fact is, only by going 10 % of what you advice, I already broke more than even with the investment for the book.

  389. Thanks to I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I have kept my debt paid off, coaxed my company into allowing me to participate in the 401K program, and opened up an Roth IRA at the age of 19. Most importantly, Ramit taught me to take a few minutes and ask questions/run the numbers, instead of arm chair wonderment. The best example of this was when I asked my HR rep if I was able to participate in the 401K program during the summer while I was able to work full time. They were impressed with my realization of the importance financial matters, so they agreed to let me participate not only for the summer, but also during the school year while I was working part-time. I’m now 21 and on my way to financial success. Good looking out Ramit!

  390. Ramit,
    You are efffing hilarious. You have taught me that finances can be fun and funny. I want to slit my wrists while reading so many other sites, I know I can count on you for a good laugh. You connect with your readers like no other, you write as if you’re talking with someone, not writing trying to sound smart or show off, it’s highly effective and engaging. I’m not your target market, I’m 33 year old female, your target seems to be just out of college males (maybe females too, not sure), but you got me. Maybe I’m immature, whatever. Nothing quantifiable here unfortunately except 100% good times while reading your emails.

  391. Happy Birthday Ramit.
    I’ll be looking for more tips on reducing debt and increasing savings.
    Just as I felt I could use a newer car, I realized I had a lot more pressing financial matters to clear up.
    There is nothing wrong with hanging on to my 2002 Honda Accord.
    After all, it runs really well and it’s been paid off years ago.
    Thanks for the fun insight you share.
    Carlo

  392. You taught me, most specifically, that online banking was the right thing to do, and that being very specific with your goals will pay off every time. I really can’t list all the things I learned from you, it would take way too long. I thank you so much, I appreciate it more than I can express.

  393. Wish you a very rich birthday!!
    I was searching for exactly what you catered for on your site that too in a detailed and meticulous way!

    Long way to go Ramit

    All the best
    Sarang

  394. You site taught me a better way to automate my money. Although I already had a system to automate most everything, your tip to move my mortgage and card payment dates to the same time window of every month was the key to making the process much less stressful than it used to be.

    Thanks!

  395. My biggest win after reading your book is finally setting up a Roth IRA with T Rowe Price and investing in a target date index fund. I’m 23 and have been wanting to set up a roth ira for the past few years but for some reason just didn’t do it.

    2-3 days after reading your book I opened the account up and funded $1,000 in it with the retire 2050 fund. I’ve been making regular contributions and have invested a total of $2,700 in so far! feels good

    I’ve also opened an ING orange savings account and saved up $1,500 so far in that.

  396. Only 28?! Disgusting!

    I think the thing that really got me rolling was asking for a $6K raise and getting it. That really set everything else in motion. Earn1K was great too.

    Happy Birthday, RS!

  397. happy birthday ramit !!!
    been reading about you since way back (2008).
    taught me to:
    look into my retirement fund
    knock off my credit card debt of 4000
    save 52k
    now, all i need to do is move my job status from casual employee to a full time one

  398. and happy birthday!! make it a good one!!

  399. Happy Birthday!

    I’m somewhat new to your blog but one thing you JUST taught me was that when a post is worth commenting on, and there’s a lot of comments, it’s still worth commenting on.

    Thanks for the tip! :)

  400. All my credit cards are now paid off all my vehicles are paid off now all I have is a house and rental mortgage payment

  401. hey ramit!

    happy birthday! :)
    u’ve taught me to
    1. buy ur book because it’s awesome
    2. actually get rid of bank fees using ur scripts
    3. open an ing savings account with sub-accounts
    4. automate my finances so i dont have to keep checking
    5. using the credit card perks!

    thanks and hope u have a great year!

  402. Gerrylynn Dively Link to this comment

    Dear Ramit,
    I have been reading your blog since January. Thanks to you, I have opened an ING account, automated my Roth IRA savings, always paid myself first, made myself giddy at the fact that I saved $4000 in six months by being conscious of every dollar, took the buyout at my job and paid off all of my credit card and car debt (nearly $20K), got introduced to the ideas of Tim Ferriss, started working on a passive income stream, and started a special account to buy some investment property. You have been a big influence, and now I don’t live paycheck to paycheck anymore. Thank you also for your sometimes-cocky and challenging tone of voice too—-it gave me the kick in the ass that I needed. Many blessings to you!

  403. Happy birthday and thanks Ramit!
    Your work is not only savvy but fun to read. Even when you’re being harsh your sense of humor shines through — that’s important.
    The psych of finance angle has been extremely helpful. Particularly useful stuff for me has been the negotiation advice. And I got an ING account linked to my already free credit union account & set up subs.
    It’s also been great to share your smarts about doing finance right when you’re young with my KIDS — because ‘someone else said it.’ Cheers!

  404. Hi Ramit
    Happy Birthday! live long dear
    I learned and am learning much from you.The most important is “Spending plan”which manages my life too wisely.You have given me a lot of attractive ideas.Just one thing I asked before.Teach universally not just in American culture.
    Have a good life Ramit
    Azhdar

  405. Happy Birthday Ramit! :) Hope you have an awesome year, years rather .. :)

    I am sorry, but the lazy-a** person that I am, I haven’t really gone through any of your literature. But I try and keep a control on myself having wasted away all that i made past decade … :) .. now that i have a child and all .. :)

    Keep up the good work .. :)

  406. Happy birthday, Ramit!

    You helped me to negotiate my credit card limit, and my bank raised it $1200! It’s a small amount, but I’ve only started building my credit for about six months. Paying off my debt as soon as I swipe my card works wonders.

  407. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    I recently bought your book. It was the best $15 I ever spent. Finally, a book that tells me everything I want to know about making the smart choices when it comes to my money and financial affairs. It is especially serendipitous that I found your book when I did – I moved to the U.S. a little over a year ago and I’m in the process of trying to build my credit score from virtually scratch. Using the advice in your book, I am hoping to be able to navigate all sorts of potential financial land mines with relative ease and beat the banks/credit card companies at their own game. Thanks a bunch! :)

  408. Happy birthday Ramit!!

    I have only been following your blog for a month now (thank you iGoogle), so I haven’t got my bank charges down yet.

    I have changed my habits, by setting up automatic payments, (in South Africa the banking systems are a bit arcane, especially my bank which might change soon).

    If you can’t be good, at least be good at it.

    Erik

  409. Wattsy from Oz Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit, happy birthday, great photo! Congratulations on achieving so much and still only 28, this shows everyone it can be done.
    I’m a 41yo mum of 3 in Australia and a big fan – so much of what you say is relevant to everyone, whatever their age.
    I read your blog for ages before I actually did anything, but your posts about psychological barriers finally prompted me to act!
    What I have done – I’ve automated all my bill paying and set up online saving accounts that pay automatically (and have accrued more than $5000 in about six months). The best thing about this is I don’t have to worry about money any more, such a lot less stress, because what’s in my spend account I can spend guilt-free.
    Still to do – priority one, get my retirement savings accounts in order, then negotiate a raise by end of year.
    What I love best is your irreverent writing style, and my most favourite thing of all of yours, ever, is Things I Hate. Please never take this down. I have it bookmarked and whenever I’m having a bad day I have a look and it’s guaranteed to make me LOL!!
    Love your work!

  410. Following your advices I learn how to get better commissions from credit card and to handling money with my partner.
    Happy birthday to you !!!!

  411. Hey Dude,

    Happy Birthday!

    Well, i just recently started receiving your newsletters, so i’m in the implementing stage of your wisdom. but be sure i will holla back with success reports…you just wait (and sooner than your next birthday)

    cheers and thanks!

    (oh that’s my other email address)

  412. Hi Ramit –

    I found the ‘how to negotiate (a salary)’ to be brilliant.

    I admire your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to share your wealth…of financial knowledge…:-)….with the masses.

    Wishing you many, many years of health and wealth.

    Ahuva

  413. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    I can’t tell you a whole success story sorry, because I’m just ‘starting out’, but so far you’ve taught me:
    - I don’t have to do it all the first day – applies to finances as well as most every other area of my life
    - The guy at the top (who’s normally too busy) actually does care about the almost no-hoper at the bottom sometimes
    - It can take a long time, and sometimes the steps I take won’t show great results, but added together they can make a big difference
    - Do what I can. Getting started is more important than starting at the right place and even if it looks small (see last point)
    - Not everyones ‘right’ way is the same way

  414. One thing I learned from you was that once you get a lot of people to read from you, you have lot’s of power in that you can get them to do things for you. From you Alice to Gilt you’ve developed quite a way to get the masses to pay for your stuff.

  415. sfordinarygirl Link to this comment

    You taught me not to be cheap and enjoy making conscious purchases. I bought two tops recently that I really love. My savings are automated as are bills and I continue to live below my means (still paying cheap rent) and looking for ways to optimize my time. Rather than wait and take the bus I am taking cabs more often if it means shaving half an hour to 45 minutes because I don’t have all day to wait for public transit. I spend money on things I enjoy such as exercises classes (paid for two different fitness classes because I find the gym too boring) and taking my family out to dinner on occassion.

    Your blog also really pushed me to think not about nickel/dimes savings but earning more. I recently landed a new job earning 30% more, taking on more responsibilities and advancing myself in my career.

  416. Man, I’m not even finished with your entire book yet but I took action on what you said by starting my Roth IRA and put $1,000 in there right away with $200 automatically coming out of my account each month. I’ll bump that up more next year monthly so it reaches 5k by the end of next year, and I’m putting in the full 5k in this year.

    I paid off 2 credit cards so far that I had two years ago when I was sleeping on my sisters couch with no income coming in. I’m paying off the third credit card next week, and only using one credit card each month for expenses and paying it off monthly now.

    I also increased to $100k whole life insurance policy from $50k whole life which I had previously because I had the option to increase without increasing my premium.

    I put all of my cell phone, rent, electric, and other monthly bills on auto bill and tracked exactly how much I spend each month and know how much I have left over.

    Saved a bunch already on late fees so that was nice :)

    I also set up all of my student loans on auto pay now and am putting double the amount on each payment in order to pay those off faster. I may increase that if you think it’s necessary or just keep it the same for now.

    Other than that I’m starting an ING savings account per your recommendation and will plan on putting 1k per month away to there… and was wondering if I should put money in a SEP as I work for myself or if I should invest it in something else for now?

    Thanks for all you do, and this book literally has changed the course of my life for the better by simply making a few easy changes over the last few weeks, and I still haven’t finished the entire book yet!

    Rock on my man.

    Lewis

  417. Reading your blog post – about “use your God-given skills to earn money on the side” – inspired me to start tutoring organic chemistry on the side. I started a small business. Within 2 months I’ve made over 1K – and that’s without even sending you a penny. I eventually signed up for earn1K, however – I want to grow it so I can quit my day job and do this full time. Thanks for the inspiration Ramit.

  418. cheers have a good one! the story about your father not buying the car because the seller wouldnt throw in free mats is incredible and very funny. some very cool topics you have, life changin!

  419. What had the biggest impact on my finances was automation of funds at the start of the month. Of course all the bills were automated, but not my savings/investments. Now my ‘budget’ for the month is controlled by how much is left in my account after the first couple of days in the month and I can spend that cash how I wish, knowing that I’m adding towards my future financial security. In terms of numbers, I’ve already saved and invested over £3,000 in 6 months.

  420. Congratulations!!!
    I also thank you for your gift to me! I finally opened a savings account and automated my finances. I feel much more in control of my financial situation. Thanks to you and your book!
    doris

  421. Dear Ramit
    Happy birthday to you.
    No story to tell as im learning a lot from a youngster (you).
    Thanks for everything.
    Prem

  422. Happy Belated B-day!!!!!!!!!

    I’m late to the party so I know my comments are going to be repeats:
    Slash costs that are non-essential
    Spend $$ on what you love
    Automate, automate, automate
    Stand up to creditors, utilities, anyone really and negotiate better deals

    We were already devotees of Dave Ramsey; however, you take things several steps further.

    Hope you had a great b-day!

    Kathryn

  423. Hello Ramit,

    ¡Feliz cumpelaños from Spain!

    I follow your web site and I have your book. Sorry for my poor english, but you are an inspiration for me.

    Happy birthday!

    Regrads, Lis

  424. I’ve always been pretty fiscally responsible, but I’ve never been good about keeping track of my money, so every expense was associated with some guilt.

    I have one last car payment next month and then I will be 100% debt free.

    Your automated system and idea of having the freedom to spend AFTER you have saved has helped me quite a bit. I run my own business, which means income can fluctuate greatly. I’ve set up five savings accounts to keep track of things like taxes, house savings, short term savings, etc.

    I’ve also set up a Roth IRA for myself that I’m maxing out and 529 plans for each of my kids that I contribute heavily too. Between those and my house and short term savings, I’ve realized I’m currently saving about $3200 a month, which is roughly 50% of my take home pay.

    Because of this, I feel a bit more freedom to spend on things I would like to buy, because I know I’m saving plenty of money for my age. (I’m 33.) It also enables me to keep my living expenses lower so that if my business hits a lean time, it simply slows my rate of savings, it doesn’t damage my lifestyle.

  425. Ramit,

    I’m 23 years old and have been working in my job for just over a year. In that time I have read your book and many posts from the website. This has given me the guidance to:

    1) Make sure I’m contributing to my 401K
    2) Open a roth IRA with automated monthly contributions
    3) Open an ING savings account to take advantage of better interest rates

    Thanks for all the tips and good information you’ve provided..

    Alex

  426. Hey Ramit,

    Happy birthday! My comment: 23 years old, in Australia, read your book one year ago. Your style of writing and sense of humour is fantastic. Since then, have gone from living credit card stmt-to-stmt. I’ve fully paid off all debt including student loans of $8k. I’ve fully automated my monthly salary, managed to save $6k, reduced my weekly rent by 40% and taken a small fortnightly second job. Can’t recommend your book and the website enough!!

  427. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    You taught me sooo many things – the most beneficial one for us being to save on the big things. Between auto insurance savings and refinancing our mortgage we are saving over $600/month! Now that money is going toward debt repayment. We’ve already knocked out our HELOC and are now working on cc’s.

    Thanks, Ramit!

  428. Open a car savings account – set aside money to purchase a new car with cash. It will take time but you will be so-o-o-o proud of yourself! We pay ourselves instead of a bank, credit union or dealership. My husband is an Engineer and clearly understands that one can drive today’s cars upwards of 250,000 miles and MORE if onechanges oil, fluids, and follow manufacturer’s periodic check ups. We also go back to the dealership as this makes them accountable because they sold the product. We donated our last car to a family member. It had 250,000 miles on it and they drove it way over 300,000 miles. Engineers will be the first to tell you if you do not abuse your vehicle and follow manufacturers instructions you will be amazed how your car treats YOU. Your first cash savings attempt, will take time, but once you get on a roll and continually save on an on-going basis you won’t be making someone else rich. You immediately start saving again. I own a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (purchased new) with almost 200,000 miles and I am not ready to give it up. Within the past month two people asked if I had gotten a new car – it even smelled new. People cannot believe it is 12 1/2 years. If you love and take care of your car like a girlfriend or a child, you will be rich in more than one way. One can easily drive over 250,000 miles and beyond if you follow manufacturer recommendations. Check-ups are cheaper than major repairs and there is no need to ever purchase a repair program. I now have 12 1/2 years of savings set aside for my next car. Americans abuse their automobiles and turn cars over too fast. I’ve only had to replace hoses, brakes, battery, repair the air conditioner, muffler, no major repairs. If I have a large repair I’ll still be ahead of the game. Granted, interest rates are low these days, do not despair, what is not in your pocket you will not spend. Place your car account in a bank or credit union where you may not have a tendency to make withdrawals. Oh by the way….my husband’s car is a 1997 with no major repairs. Recently his card radio died. When his ’97 poops out he will take my ’98 and I get the new car next time. Happy saving and driving!

  429. Happy Belated Birthday!

    You taught me how to save using automation. I actually have savings now — not just whatever is leftover at the end of the month in my checking!

    When my dad got laid off from his job (he’s fine now — he found a new one), I could actually offer to help my parents financially if they needed it without calculating if I could make the rent first :)

  430. Hi Ramit,

    Happy bithday to you and wish you many more…. I always thought you must be a cancerian since you have a trait for saving. I am the same and I always agree with your blogs, comments and discussion and I am glad that I am doing the same.

    Swati

  431. Hi Ramit, Happy B-DAY. You have inspired me to save and make as much money as I can. I now only spend money on things that matter to me and have cut out expenses that are not truly important to me. Thank you!!

  432. Hey, Happy BD! Just to let you know I sold $1,500 worth of burden: huge fish tank, pumps etc, old iPAQ PDA, Sony PSP, etc etc. Kinda taught me “Not to covet” THINGS; and I’m still dumping junk! Thanks.

  433. Janice Roquero Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday, Ramit

    Through you I learnt to look at what services my bank were giving me. Not a lot!

    I went to Banco de Sabadell, they offered me free credit card and no bank charges. Also some very interesting fixed term offers. So I decided to transfer 10.000€ from the other bank which I asked them to organise. A few days later I got a call from the first bank asking me why I was transferring that money. I told them that Sabadell were offering me good conditions on fixed term. She said we have some good plans as well. So I asked her why no one had bothered to tell me about them even though this money had been in my current account for a few months. (I had looked at the myself and the conditions weren’t as good).

    Money transferred and invested in plans for 5 years, 4 years and 6 mths. On the 6 month one I get 5%, but if Spain wins the World Cup I will get 7%.

    I’m a freelance/translator and the manager said if I left some cards she would recommend me to customers. Spent 11€ with Vistaprint for 500 cards, and am regularly getting translating jobs through this lead. Recommended the bank to a friend of mine and with points this for this they gave me a water purifying jug
    and kitchen scales.

    Thank you for making me look at how my money is being used.

    Sincerely, Janice

  434. This book has help me simply be more aware of my finances and make the necessary steps to be smart with my money decision, but the big thing that it has helped me out with right away was buying a car.

    Anyone who has purchased a car for the first time knows it is a bit confusing and you simply don’t want to get screwed. The section of the book about big purchases and purchasing a car saved me money specifically on the financing and the warranty.

  435. Ramit – Happy birthday !!!! I’ve learned so much from you, even though I’m about twice the age of your target audience and my financial situation is quite different. You break things down and explain them so well that what you teach can be broadly applied. Learned a lot from your book too. Really good of you to e-mail me back right away when I sent a question. Love the videos on your blog, especially the one about the briefcase trick, which I’ve used. You’re right – very effective. Your post about the senselessness of debating minutiae was particularly good. There certainly is a lot of that going on in the world – very clever observation on your part. I’ve learned a lot from you about blogging too. I’m launching one soon. Not about finance, though. :-) Hope your birthday was good and that there was lots of cake. Susan

  436. Hi Ramit!

    Happy birthday! Since I’ve been reading your blog, I started to look at my personal finances. I live in Portugal and our average salaries are much lower than those in the U.S.
    Anyway, on a joint income of only €29.000 per year (mine and my husband’s) we were able to pay 20% of a family loan for home improvement and save and invest 17% of our income. Now, my husband also does some freelance work as a graphic designer, in order to improve our income and increase our investment goals.

    Thanks for all the inspirational posts

  437. Happy 28th!

    You taught me to:
    -Automate my finances
    -reap the benefits of credit card rewards points
    -That buying a house isn’t necesarily a good investment.
    -That I don’t need my new Cadillac SRX right now (thanks for the personal email on that one!)
    -You got my brain thinking about how to make an extra $1k on the side which means I need to consider taking your next class!

  438. Ramit — Happy birthday!

    You’ve helped me automate my finances, create sub-accounts and better manage my 401k. I was also able to teach my girlfriend about these things to help her save and pay off her student loans.

    By saving, we were able to quit our Silicon Valley jobs and travel around Asia for a year (we’re currently here).

    While we’re not making money, we also re-automated our money the other direction to ensure we don’t overspend our savings and stay on track with our financial plan.

    Jason

  439. Happy belated dude!

    While automating finance is not exactly an easy thing to do where I live, I’ve opted to automate my scheduling instead. By using computer applications, I can set schedule for my money transfer and other stuff. Although I have to get on my butt and actually do the transfer, at least now I don’t have to worry to forgetting to fund my retirement plan, pay bills, etc. I got to live with it. But, hey, thanks for all the advice and insights.

    Have a fab 28th!

    Yoga
    -Jakarta, Indonesia

  440. Your blog about being realistic and saving for a wedding was passed on to my daughter. It had some great things to think about = mostly being realistic and realizing that when push comes to shove more money will be spent than you realized – why not plan for it so as not to create ‘wedding debt’. (a crummy way to start your life together)

  441. I spent my first year out of college (2008) learning about personal finance. Your blog and book really helped me get started! I am an aggressive saver in my personal savings accounts (emergency, travel, wedding), my ROTH IRA and my 403b (my company matches 8% if I put in 5%, which I do). My parents Christmas gift to me was helping me max out my ROTH IRA. That’s how much of a nerd I’ve become about personal finance since following your blog. Its about time to reread your book so I can make sure everything is on track. Thanks, Ramit! Happy birthday!

  442. Wow you are strange (re: pic).
    Ok so as I’m really just getting into this the list is small so far.

    I called my credit card to get a higher credit line. Not much, but it’s at about a quarter of my yearly income.

    Got my credit rating for free (yay creditkarma!). Havent had time to mess it up yet and parents helped start build it, so that’s sweet.

    Forwarded info about student loans to the BF.

    Beginning to automate. Makes me nervous though since bills don’t come on a normal cycle. Still working on that.
    Thanks!

  443. I realized, around the time that I first found your blog, that my parents know nothing about money management, and though they’ve tried, God bless them, they’ve been squandering their money (and mine) over the last 21 years. I thought it was inevitable then, that I would follow the same dismal financial path. Your blog and book has made me understand that not only can I educate myself if I have the will to, but I can also learn from my parents’ mistakes and make better financial decisions for my future – that won’t start when I’m 40. I can’t yet boast that I’m debt-free, have a blossoming IRA and other great things, but I am on my way and proud of myself for stepping out of the rat race of financial ignorance. Thank you. Happy birthday!

  444. Happy Birthday!

    I bought your book. I really feel this should be required reading in high school or the first year of college. I think that it would at least inform twenty-somethings if not affect their behavior for the better. I know my daughter will read this one in her teens, since I intend to educate her as best possible to prepare for her financial freedom as a young adult.

    If you’ve read Millionaire Next Door or other “financial freedom” books, you will find this refreshing and that it teaches about wealth – which is not just about money.

  445. Hey Ramit,

    Wish you a very Happy Birthday :) Well I am actually a grad student working full time this summer. I would be graduating next May. Honestly I have not read your book but one of my friend has and she told me about you. I just recently have been added to your list of subscriptions and received the “First Chapter of your book”. I currently don’t have a story to share but soon will. Its time for Action!!

    Sam

  446. Happy Birthday Ramit ! One day late!

    Got my credit rating for free. Already own a house, negotiated for a lower mortgage interest rate. Started automating my finances by changing the schedule for some bills. Looking for big wins in my credit card spending. Still spending on lattes.

  447. Happy Birthday!
    Paying off $30,000 in credit card debt. $10K down, $20K to go…
    Also, the value of automating.

  448. Hey Ramit,

    Happy Birthday! I am researching my credit score thanks to you. After applying for a car loan and finding my score was in the 745 range, I freaked out (It used to be in the high 700s). I know 745 is good, but I want to know the reason for the 50 point drop. I got a free credit report and my next step will be getting the credit score from MyFico. Thanks so much, I feel like I can trust your opinion on who’s good and who’s spammy junk.

  449. I have learned 2 major things from I will teach you to be rich (the website/Scrooge/Earn 1K/book).
    1. Apply critical thinking skills to discerning IF something is worth buying instead of which one to buy. It’s a lot harder to determine if a new phone is important rather than which model to buy but it’s saved me thousands of dollars – if just on leaving that Blu-Ray player at Best Buy.

    2. Even if you choose minimalism and simplicity, life isn’t about saying no – sometimes you need to say yes to an opportunity to better your life. Ramit likes to talk about lattes but it’s true that I’m not motivated to reach my goals if the result is self denial. I think these two go hand in hand.

    Happy Birthday Ramit and thanks a ‘latte’ ;)

  450. I have heard a million times to be tough with all providers especially the banks but have rarely checked it out until i read your article. I have saved much money since . Thank you

  451. Happy Birthday first!

    I just ordered your book because reading your blog, posts etc. has helped me understand my finances and helped me realized how to get to where I want to be. Both financially and as someone who plans on being self employed eventually.

    Thank you.

  452. Hey man,

    I was able to increase my credit limit on my credit cards which allowed me to raise my overall credit score.

    I have also used your negotiation strategies and saved hundreds of dollars on everything from rent to cable bills. As well as negotiate higher salaries thanks to your briefcase technique.

    Thanks and keep them coming

  453. Marcos Cisterna Link to this comment

    Hey Ramit

    Happy Birthday!

    To my was really big to learn how to do one more K to my budget, simply doing it, stop reading, stop bloggind, stop sharing fears with friends… just do it!

    and it works…

    my best!

  454. You helped me automate my finances and taught me the importance of human psychology when it comes to helping others master their finances. I use this info daily in my personal financial & investment advisory business.

    Thanks Ramit, and happy birthday!

  455. I’m debt free, graduated with my undergrad (most of which I paid for out my own pocket) and paid off my car. Since I paid off my car I still put away that money as if I had a payment but it just goes into savings!

  456. I saved $97 in bank fees by using your script!

  457. Great! Even if I am a colombian reader and still studying in college,
    I learned a lot reading your blog. The are inspiring and I’m earning
    some money after reading some posts about 1K course.

    You also taught me to:

    1. Think about planning asset allocation -for young people like me-
    2. Automating my savings. Saving money isn’t a matter of effort
    3. Think more carefully about what is considered an “investment” -houses, for example, and why renting is not a bad idea-
    4. Negotiate my salary
    5. Considerate not only numbers but psychology in money decisions

  458. Hi Ramit
    Happy Birthday

  459. Things I Learned from IWTYHTBR

    1. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time paying bills and fussing over budgets. Do it fast and get it over with! Automate! This was a huge moment for me.

    2. Buy that little thing you want, the album, the yarn because I’m a knitter.

    3. I opened a perks credit card (with an annual fee), and it’s helped me to pay down my debt. Plus the happy miles and perks help me to be very responsible with it. It has created a positive feedback loop of adult responsibility!

  460. Happy 28th Ramit

    -Learned how important psychology is in pretty much every aspect of life.

    -Compelled me to pursue my passion for technology.

    -Helped me to find other mentors in similar genres (Tim Ferriss, Gary V etc.)

    I can’t say that I would have followed this path without reading your book, so for that I am beyond thankful. I wonder how many others have learned things outside the realm of finance from reading your book? Nothing short of profound.

    Have a great birthday!!

  461. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    You’ve taught me:
    1. to automate my finances. I managed to save as much as $10,000 in an emergency fund which really came in handy when I got laid off from my job. I would have been screwed to say the least if I didn’t do this. This really gave me peace of mind.

    2. to negotiate and not be scared of the big bad cable company. I saved $30/month without any decrease in service.

    3. how to earn more and really focus on what really matters. I’m still working on my freelance idea, but now I have a concrete model to work from.

    The biggest takeaway is that I’ve actually taken ACTION.

    Cheers!

  462. Many of the things said before – automating, switching banks, saving, etc.

    But one thing no one mentioned yet was making a log of important conversations. This has made me so much more efficient – I have a spreadsheet in Google Docs.

    Thanks and happy birthday

    Rob

  463. You taught me that personal finance doesn’t have to be a big, scary thing that only fancy analysts and people that can afford fancy analysts can tackle.

    1. Everything is negotiable.
    1b. Always ask for what I want.
    2. People act the way they do because of immediate consequences, not far off possibilities.
    3. Personal finance is personal and no one can judge me for spending money on shoes.
    3b. Judgy people have terrible finances.

    Happy late birthday!

  464. thank you for alot of very useful ways to save and make extra money.david s(have a nice b-day)

  465. Dude – you taught me to just BE YOURSELF. When it comes to money, life, passions, whatever. You rock YOU to death and it works. Happy 28th bro – keep poppin’.

  466. My wife and I have always enjoyed reasonable cash flow, but whenever we wanted to do something expensive, we never really seemed to have the money set aside. Since reading your book, we have set up a series of sub-savings accounts, labelled ‘vacations’, ‘home improvements’, ‘car repair’, etc, and have really enjoyed the benefits of having the money saved up front.

    Thanks a bunch, and Happy Birthday.

  467. After a few years of hearing from my friends how I should ‘go to school for computers’ or ‘start my own computer business’ you helped inspire me to move beyond some psychological barriers and do just that.

    In my first month of business I had revenue of $160. I don’t have a very high paying job so that number equals a substantial percentage over my normal take home pay.

    The journey continues.

  468. Happy B-day !!!!!!! May this be your best year yet :)

    Okay, I learned a bunch and had fun doing it but the BEST part was having the book laying around for my 20 year old to pick up. He couldn’t resist the title :) He sat down, devoured it and started dreaming about how he was going to implent the steps once he got the job he was hoping for. Fast foward to today….he’s landed that well paying job and without your blog and book, who knows how it would have gone with his finances. Even if I had gotten nothing out of it (NOT!) my son is going to have a brighter future because of your efforts here. I can’t thank you enough!

  469. Happy Birthday!

    The tips that I most benefited from are:

    (1) Automation of Finances
    (2) Lifecycle Funds

  470. Happy birthday!

    I think the best thing about IWTYTBR is that it taught Devin and I to speak the same language, particularly the concept of big wins. It has kept me from focusing too much on all the little day to day stuff and has (largely) kept him from stockpiling electronics. :) The concept has made having the same goal pretty effortless.

    Hope we can celebrate your birthday soon!

  471. Taught me more about debt management…
    But most important how to manage my finances a lot better..

  472. Happy (belated) birthday! Without your website, I would never have opened a Roth account several years ago (I was a grad student at the time and had no employer-based retirement account). Your “don’t be an idiot! Just start INVESTING already!” pages convinced me that an investment account was a no-brainer and not anywhere near as difficult to open as I thought it would be. I opened a Target Retirement fund of index funds and make regular monthly contributions, even through the roller coaster times, and am very happy with this simple solution. Thank you!

  473. Glenn Macabenta Link to this comment

    Hey R!

    Happy worthday to you.

    You taught me that you don’t need a financial adviser to do exactly what you can do for yourself. You helped me automate my savings and most of all showed me that these changes can take place over a month.

    Its made me worth something.

    Regards
    Glenn

  474. I started to put more into my pension plan so that I can have more money by the time I retire.

  475. Happy Birthday man!

    You taught me that it is ok to negotiate for salary, for credit cards etc.

    It may be ok to rent rather than own, once you invest your money.

    You can have what you want if you are willing to cut the non essential.

    Automation is the best. It is not a willpower issue but how you structure your finances.

  476. Happy birthday.

    (first of all, please excuse my poor English, because French is my first language and I usually write in French as a professionnal)

    I focused on your advice “make more money”. I used to be a bus driver and at the age of 34, I decided to make a career change, and went back to school to achieve my dream to become a journalist. Everybody though I was crazy, since I had a permanent job, vacations, etc.

    The first year of my new career, I worked for a small weekly newspaper, so I earned only 18 000$/year. That was a big drop, since the average bus driver makes 45 000$. But in the long run, I knew that I would make much more than a bus driver if I became excellent at what I did. The second year, thanks to my experience at the small newspaper, I became a freelance for the biggest daily in my province and did 35 000$. Then I found a few magazines that would publish my work and three of my articles were published in school books for French students. The third year, I worked a lot and got 50 000$, but it would have been more if I hadn’t decide to take two months of break in the summer.

    In the meantime, I had read your advices and decided to improve my efficiency, and changed tcertain hings in the way I worked to make more money. I also started refusing to work for medias that would not pay me well enough, and focused on the ones that would pay me better. This year, the daily gave me a raise of 20% for each article, and I have found a website and three magazines that were willing to pay me a lot more to write for them, thanks to the fact that they had been seeing my name in the big daily for two years and they liked my work. So now, June 30th, I already have made 45 000$ and we still have 6 months of work in front of us, so I think that I will definitely earn more thant 85 000$ for 2010. Isn’t it amazing? I have more than doubled what I earned in a couple of years and I earn more than I would have never imagine, especially as a bus driver.

  477. Happy Bday Ramit,

    Your blog inspired me to create my own blog and to do more writing, speaking, and TV appearances. I think you’d like my segments.

    Check out my most recent segment on how to buy nice things without breaking the bank!

    Luxury For Less:
    http://robwilson.tv/2010/06/25/luxury-for-less/

  478. I found your blog when I was 14 years old. I didn’t really understand a lot of the stuff you were writing about but I found myself coming back everyone once in a while. I bought your book before going to college and definitely learned a lot from that as well.

    Now I’m 19 and have an “emergency” fund saved. ($500! First time I have ever had so much saved up despite have worked for a good three years.) Actually your book definitely helped me to stop making excuses. After reading the chapter about bank accounts, I immediately opened an INGDirect account that night. I have a couple ING accounts set up now for small personal goals. One is for textbooks and general school supplies–which is automated so I don’t have to do anything. But I’m also going to work hard this year to get more scholarships! Another is saving up for a business project I want to do in the future because I hate my part time job so why not try something new?

    You’re also one of the people to helping me lose weight! Haha. I have an account set up so that it pulls $20 every week so by next year I’ll have around $1000 for a shopping spree. Knowing that I will have that much money with little effort keeps me motivated to work my ass off.

    You taught me that we are ultimately responsible for ourselves and need to buck up to meet the challenge. I actually found your blog through a simple google search because I was super frustrated. Complicated family financial issues aside, debt collectors had come to my house that day and took our minivan that we had all come to love. Then around 17 years old, my family was pretty much evicted through other family drama.

    My parents struggle everyday to make ends meet. You have helped me to realize that learning how to manage my money isn’t scary. Anyone can do it.

    I’m still trying to convince them that credit cards aren’t all bad though. =P

    Thank you. And happy belated birthday!

  479. Ramit:

    I have read your blog for about a year now, and it has helped me break down a daunting problem into a manageable one.

    I have automated (most of) my finances, broken out my savings into a number of specialized accounts, moved my banking from Citi to USAA, cut debts, and, most importantly reduced stress thanks to your advise and breaking the financial issues into sets simple, achievable steps.

    Thank you for all of this.

  480. Ramit Brother, by far the most awesomest thing that I have learned from you is to think differently about personal finance. You present sometimes (what-should-be-) obvious ideas in such a way that it is not normally thought about. Like people worrying about the $4 Starbucks that we like to drink everyday instead of some of the bigger things like interest, etc. Like if that is what makes you happy and say you don’t need a $4000 flat screen 3D 60 inch plasma hd tv then it’s retarded to say you’re wasting money on the $4 coffee everyday. Specifically, the automating your finances & SAVINGS has been your most GOLDEN tidbit of advice. It is the single reason why I bought your book (especially that video with the diagram that you drew up).

  481. Ramit,

    In 6 months, you’ve helped to fundamentally change my behavior and actions in my career — I’ve gone from struggling and timid to proactive and confident. The fundamentals of freelancing that you showed us in Earn1K are invaluable tools that I’ll profit from for the rest of my career.

    But for me, Earn1K was about a lot more than simply making money.

    It was about learning to identify people’s real problems in the world, and how to develop concrete ways of solving those problems — in other words, helping to make other people’s lives richer, and not just my own. As an artist, I can’t think of a more creative activity, and, as a person, I can’t think of a more worthy endeavor.

    So, thanks for all of your help this year, Ramit; I’m looking forward to what you’ll have done in a year from now : )

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    - Logan

  482. Hey, I turned 27 couple weeks ago!
    I don’t celebrate birthdays and this is belated anyway, BUT, had to tell you I just found the website today about bank overdrafts and to keep asking to waive the fee. I tried to comment on it, but commenting was closed. SO, here I am, saying thanks! Got my $34 chase fee waived by simply asking once! Apparently they can do this once a year the rep told me. Either way, I would NOT have even attempted this, if it hadn’t been for me googling “chase overdraft fee” and then scrolling down and checking out a couple other websites then seeing yours and boom! Jackpot!
    Appreciate it much and lookin forward to finding out some other sweet advice you have!

    Thanks!

  483. [...] Today is my birthday — will you do me a favor? | I Will Teach You To Be Rich [...]

  484. Happy Birthday Boss!

    Thanks for helping me reduce my phone bill, open up a savings account with automatic transfers, set up an entire automatic payment architecture, and generally make more conscious decisions about where I want to spend my money.

    -Ab

  485. Thanks to your posts and book I:
    * Sketched out an automation plan and figured out the necessary flows from income to checking to savings to investing
    * I set up a Roth IRA account
    * I set up a system of automation whereby I automatically xfer to the Roth each month
    * I scrapped plans (and the guilt) for not digging into individual stock investing

    Many thanks and Happy B-day!

  486. Happy Birthday! You just saved me $50 for not having to buy you a present.

    I also just got a $75 check in the mail from my credit card company’s rewards program, since I’ve been using my card for most of my expenses now and automating my monthly payments. I’ve done a full monthly budget which helped me realize I can contribute the maximum 10% to my 401k that will be matched by my employer, rather than the 5% I was contributing before. And by loaning your book to my boyfriend, I convinced him to get a credit card (something his father never did and always advised against), meaning he’ll have a better credit report so that we can be more secure in the long run. He also increased his 401k contribution from 2% to 7%.

    You also empowered me: move my checking account to Schwab, where I get free ATM withdrawals (saving me about $10/month on fees); negotiate a refund on two overdraft withdrawals due to a banking error (saving me $40 in fees); and move my savings account to ING, where I earned more interest in a month than I did all of last year (sadly, that’s 7 cents).

    More than this, you’re helping me ensure my money is going where I want it to go. I find I have more money to go to concerts, buy things for the house, and stuff I actually WANT, rather than waste it and wonder where it all went.

    Best of all, you’ve empowered me to spend that savings GUILT FREE on the things I actually want, which is so much more fun!!

    Thanks, Ramit! Happy birthday again.

  487. hi ramit,

    i’ve been following the blog a bit and signed up for the newsletter when you started it out, so i’ve been reading along even if i haven’t come on the website. i’ve learned that renting is better than owning, that it’s possible to reduce debt, make smart choices even if it’s hard and don’t think about all the other stuff i would want or my friends have and think about my situation, how to invest a little money to accumulate more money. so yeah i’m learning and thank you.

    happy bday.

  488. Happy 28th, Ramit!

    Your book and blog have given me so much.

    I wrote this post a while back highlighting how your book helped me negotiate down some serious credit card debt: http://bouldlife.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/negotiating-down-your-apr-how-i-saved-over-1400-with-two-phone-calls/

    I’ve since aggressively paid down my debt and have opened and automated my 401k plan.

  489. Hi Ramit:

    From reading your blog, I learned enough about investing basics to begin investing by opening a Roth IRA and investing in index funds. I also began contributing to my company’s 401(k). Your kernels of finance wisdom were responsible for helping to change my thinking about money, and I am on track to meeting my long-term financial goals. Thanks very much, Ramit, and Happy Birthday to you!

    Zach

  490. I’ve learned so much and saved thousands of dollars. Some big wins:

    1) Always negotiating fees. Probably saved $1,000 on this alone.
    2) Tracking my spending. I spend a lot less money on things I don’t enjoy.
    3) Automating my system. I put money into my Roth, I’ve never missed a credit card payment, and I love ING.

    Here’s a link to a quick video I made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auZDoosH_70

  491. I just read your post on negotiation which prompted me to
    set up a meeting with my boss. I went to get the book Susan recommended – I
    couldn’t get it in time (I’m going through it now) but the upshot was – a
    $5000 pay rise.

    I would never have got that raise if I hadn’t asked for it. The extra
    money’s great, but I think even more valuable is the experience of simply
    asking for what I want.

    So – thanks heaps Ramit, and Susan.

    Best Regards
    Naomi

  492. It’s my birthday too and I wish I had your book when I was your age. I thought I was pretty smart about money when I was younger. Well, I guess I’m not too old to learn more.

  493. From your advice, I learned to negotiate away pesky fees (take *that* SunTrust) and lower bills. Even better, I learned how to take my own skills and make something creative/profitable out of them.

  494. 1. helped me find Mint.com which has changed my financial planning strategy and greatly improved my life.
    2. Although I just turned 20( on June 30th), you have shown me how important it is to start planning retirement now.
    3.I have opened numerous ING savings accounts that are automated so I don’t have to worry about saving money.

    Thanks Ramit!

  495. You taught me to negotiate and I negotiated excellent rates for our business insurance and vendor fees.

  496. Happy belated birthday Ramit!

    IWTYTBR helped me to do a lot of things, but I’d say the biggest thing was that following the steps in the SAMPLE earn $1k course lessons, I started earning $4k a month more than I was as a newly self employed freelancer.

    Thanks.

  497. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    You’ve helped me in two specific ways:
    1) Negotiating down or eliminating late fees
    2) Even better – preventing late fees by automating my finances. I already had a savings account with ING Direct, but now I have mulitple accounts for specific payments and goals that are funded with automatic transfers every two weeks when my paycheck arrives in my bank account.

    Thanks for your continuing advice.

  498. Hi Ramit,

    Happy Birthday to You!!!

    You taught me many things, but the biggest lesson I ever had was automating my finances, so now I have better control over them, and is better prepared for “unexpected” spendings which I never think of earlier.

    Thanks!

  499. First of all, happy birthday!

    I am a 19 year old, 3rd year college student. Somehow, I landed upon your blog in high school. After reading this blog, I became interested in personal finance at an early age, and understood why its better to start saving/investing earlier than later.

  500. Bought the book 2 weeks ago, still working through it but can already see the benefits. Thanks!

  501. LOL love the pic, haha, I found out about your blog through get rich slowly, and I’m a newbie to your blog but I like that in your finances you talk about being savvy with money and not denying yourself.

    Too many blogs and PF books talk about frugality as a form of self-denial and lets face it, human beings throughout history have never done well with self-denial.

    At some point we break, and I like how you talk about conscious spending, to me that is much more realistic. So thanks for giving good advice that is realistic and doesn’t make a person feel like they’re being deprived. hehe.

    ;)

    Happy Birthday and Happy Independence Day!

  502. After years of keeping most of my life savings ($15,000) in checking account, I opened up a Roth IRA and am contributing $5,000 to it this year via automated transfers.

    Thanks for such informative yet fun-to-read financial advice.

  503. ROBERT HARKINISH Link to this comment

    The importance of automating my finances and showing the best way to do it.

  504. ramit,

    i never had a dad so I still don’t know how to shave well.

    you are my finance dad. i save and plan like a champ now.

  505. Happy belated!
    Although I’m not the targeted age group your book was written for (I’m in my mid 40′s) I learned some very valuable skills to help me manage my money. I used to spend 4 hours a month paying bills and dealing with a large & complicated spreadsheet. The most valuable thing I’ve employed is automating payments of my bills and credit cards. I also use dinkytown.net to calculate how to start saving and get out of debt. The result is a three-year plan that will pay down my debt while also saving money.
    I also switched my TIAA-CREF 403B to a lifecyle fun. I’m pretty sure that’s the best plan for me, although it’s hard to tell what should be happening there due to current market conditions.
    Lastly, I already had an ING savings account, but i didn’t have specific accounts attached to goals. This has helped me parse out the various things I want to save for, and has also been a good solution for having my partner contribute to joint-savings accounts.
    Much gratitude to you!

  506. This is a belated comment, but I felt like I needed to post anyway. So far, IWTYTBR (both the blog, which I’ve been reading for quite some time, and the book as well) has helped me

    1. Automate my finances
    I can’t believe I used to have an iCal reminder to go to all my bills’ websites and manually pay them. What a pain in the ass. I am also automating savings to specific, infrequent categories of spending such as veterinary expenses, car and renters’ insurance (If you pay monthly, they charge you more!), and the “Oh, shit!” fund to name a few. Now, I log in to my bank a few times a month to make a couple of irregular transfers and once or twice to pay my credit card, and that’s it. The rest just happens on its own. I don’t track spending because I use Mint.com to do that. All this means (in David Allen’s terms in Getting Things Done) that I have created a trusted system where I know that the information I need will be available and accurate without me doing anything extra or worrying about it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t screwed up since I started working on this in the last year or so, but it does mean that I have a much better chance at succeeding than I ever had when trying to do it all on my own.

    2. Beat up my credit card company
    Yes, that’s right, I pay an annual fee. Usually, this is dumb, but one of the posts on the blog made a great point about how paying an annual fee might actually be better for you. I have a Capital One rewards credit card that gives me double points since I pay a $39 annual fee. Everything that can be gets paid on this card (including our rent because our property management company is automating as much as they can too!) and so far in the last year it has paid for at least three plane tickets for me plus a couple of first class upgrades on tickets that I paid for out of pocket. I’m definitely winning on the annual fee front.

    Not only that, but I’ve learned and taught my wife to use the shopping page on the Capital One website to get even more bonus miles. For instance, shopping from store.apple.com or iTunes store; Travelocity, Hotwire, Enterprise, and other travel sites/services; and Best Buy and other retailers you might not think of. Best Buy is one of my favorites. Last year, I bought a new printer. It was on sale for $175. But, since I used the shopping site and in-store pickup, I got it same day and still got over 1200 points on my credit card with the regular double points plus the 5/$ bonus. I have often even been in Best Buy and remembered to use the shopping site to get the bonus points. I place the order and choose the store I’m standing in for in-store pickup. Then, while I’m waiting for the pickup email, I go play Rock Band or something on the video game demos or help customers in the Apple section. (I am a Mac developer and most of the Best Buy employees know jack about the Apple stuff.)

    This is all in addition to the usual stuff like not getting the rental car insurance and warranty extension + fraud protection stuff.

    3. Earn more money.
    Since I got out of college this last time (I have two bachelor’s and one and a half master’s degrees…), I was pretty happy to be “just” working my full time job. I had been working full time for the last year or so so getting out of school felt like a break! But I got bored pretty soon and so I started doing more freelance web design work and working on some indie Mac development. This is in an effort to ramp up income for me and my wife so that she can go to medical school in a few semesters after she’s done with some more prerequisite work. By the time she does, my side work should be producing enough income to replace her salary so we won’t have to take much of a lifestyle hit when she leaves her job, which pays our benefits and makes our student loan payments and stuff like that.

    4. Helping friends
    IWTYTBR is the very first book on personal finance that I have felt good about recommending to friends. Everyone I give a copy to or lend my copy to I tell, “If you do what’s in this book, it will work.” I haven’t been able to confidently and authentically say that about other books. More than anything, it’s a book that works for me and the kinds of people I know: technologically savvy, busy/lazy, and confused, lost, or irritated by other advice like “Diversify!” from books/people that then don’t tell you what that means or how to do it. I think of IWTYTBR as more of a reference and instructional manual. It’s like a proven workout system for your brain and your net worth. It’s not always easy, but dammit it works!

    So, that’s a brief rundown of what this blog and the book have meant to me. So, happy birthday, Ramit! Keep up the good work. Keep calling out the bullshit and helping folks with real advice that really works.

  507. Hello Ramit.
    Kind of late. but here goes.

    1. Have better control of my money, I automatted lots of it and at the end of the day I now were everything went.

    2. My wife and me set up a retirment account. Im 30 and shes……… under 30 (she will kill me if I reveal her real age, jejeje).

    3. Have a better understanding of the importantce of money.

    4. I’m recently married and as a couple we have set financial goals.

    Thanks for all the tips, keep em coming.

    Have a great day.

  508. After buying your book I determined that I had to make more money. Working at a restaurant was not going to cut it. I could barely afford my life… I almost got behind on my car payments and my roommate lost his job so lets just say life was stressful. I decided I didnt need a new job, I needed a career.

    1. Started my career making $37,815/year. That may seem like pocket change to you but I now make more in one check than I use to make in one month at my last job. Extra perk of my new job- I can occasionally take on simple part time jobs that pay around $22-25/hr for security details.

    2. I put my credit cards away so I can start paying them off

    3. I am building an emergency fund and I contribute regularly to my ROTH IRA

    4. Conscious spending has helped me cut back on eating out and realize just how much I can stretch my money

    5. I am focusing more on cutting back on the unimportant things and buying the things that are important to me in cash. That is very important for me right now. I no longer feel like I need to reach for my credit cards to bail me out when cash is low.

  509. I used to do five transactions a month manually, but now they are all automated thanks to I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

  510. Happy Birthday!! That’s an awesome picture by the way!

  511. [...] requires very little energy from a largely apathetic and semi–financially-conscious public. Real behavioral change takes systems, not simply willpower. Real behavioral change requires conscious spending, not [...]

  512. You teached me how to lower my cable/phone/internet bill from my provider just by asking. I saved 240$ per year (recurrent) with a single 20 minutes phone call.

    Now is the time to focus on earning more! :-p

  513. Ramit,

    Fully automated money management system, conscious spending, life cycle funds and dollar cost averaging – don’t forget the BIG WINS as well. These are all things that I have learned and am executing today. Thank you and Happy Birthday – I will be celebrating my 28th this year as well.

  514. Ramit – More than anything, you have changed my mindset. I took a job out of college knowing that it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. I have ignored the past two invitations to Earn 1K because I came up with the ‘too busy’ and ‘no good idea’ excuses. But you have changed my mindset – and I know it is time to take some action and quit making excuses for myself.

    Thanks for your website and book, Ramit. Happy belated birthday!

  515. Happy Birthday! (belated as it may be)

    Thank you for your firm encouragement. I wish my dad was as insistent as you are. You’ve taught me about more than just finance. You are a substitute parent, who’s taught this child more about self-worth, integrity and follow-through than his own parents in over 25 years of living. So thank you whole heartedly.

    More than that though, I:
    * set up automated deposits into ING Direct (1400/mo)
    * maxed out both my wife and my own Roth IRA’s
    * created a brokerage account
    * negotiated down my car insurance
    * cut the cable bill (canceled cable tv because i didn’t watch it)
    * prevented me from upgrading my phone
    * prevented me from buying useless electronics (multiple times over)
    * invested in myself: books, tools, and time
    * learned that cash flow is important but my wife is my life (conscious spending… of time)
    * am using what i passively learn for good and profit
    * can work from home now
    * … and more

    So, you are my MVP.
    Thank you so much!
    Paul

  516. Belated Happy bday Ramit! Been reading your blog before i bought the book and here’s what you’ve helped me with:

    - bought your book with my reward points :D
    - automated my bill payments
    - opened a couple of ING Savings accounts with automatic transfers into them every month
    - conscious spending on things i love and not worrying about minutae
    - getting more comfortable with talking to CSRs

    and so many many more… thanks a ton!

  517. Since it”s never too late to celebrate a birthday, you could toast to this tonight!

    Made me want to save money.
    I feel like I can plan for tomorrow.
    More confident about paying my bill with automated bill payments.
    Renegotiated credit card interest rate and the list goes on

  518. I am 30. Yesterday I put an investment and brought your book.
    After it, now I know this “Why?” of everything I am today.

    Believe me, I will not be same tomorrow.

    Thanks.

  519. You taught me (and through me, family members and friends) about Schwab Checking. I’ve just begun a trip around the world, and when I called Chase to let them know, they informed me of all the fees I would incur every time I used my atm card. When I then called Schwab, they did the same thing, except they informed me that I wouldn’t be incurring fees, even internationally. And their customer service never fails to impress me.

  520. Well, that picture definitely made me smile. Happy birthday mate.

  521. Ramit!!!!!!!! Happy Belated Birthday! I have one word for you BOOTCAMP!!!! Your financial bootcamp really whipped me into shape. I still have a long way to go in getting to my financial goals but bootcamp was definitely a HUGE leap in the right direction. Automating my finances was probably one of the best things I could have ever done all thanks to you and your AMAZING book and words of wisdom. Thanks for being AWESOME!!!! And happy saving!!!

  522. Thank you Ramit and Happy Birthday & great comments.

    ann

  523. Ramanankasina Violette Link to this comment

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY , RAMIT !
    I APPRECIATE LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE MY FINANCES . I SUCCEEDED IN AUTOMATING MY BILLS , AND GUESS WHAT ? I SAVED ENOUGH MONEY TO REWARD MYSELF WITH A NICE WEEKEND AT A FARM
    BEST WISHES ? RAMANANKASINA
    ANTANANARIVO , MADAGASCAR

  524. Ramit,

    Your site has taught me to be persistent with all financial matters and take easy steps to get them in order.

    Also, I have been spending alot of free time trying to start small businesses which are not immediately profitable compared to dog-walking, yardwork, or other service related tasks. Do you have any advice as far as earning extra income with limited time, but maximizing that time ?

    That would be extremely helpful for me.

    Happy birthday.

    Jeff

  525. Hey Ramit thank you for writing such a well thought out book! Happy Belated birthday. The things I’ve learned from you are so golden. I worked at a bank and gave people most of your advices and recommended alot to check out your book. I felt like I was a sales person! The thing I’ve noticed though is that..no matter what I did to help my family and friends in any way of their finance problems…they didn’t care. Im a Iwillteachyourich follower and it’s my financial religion. Since I finished your book I’ve been doing what you said too. And that is too pass on the knowledge and word…your word. Thank you so much Ramit and I’m unemployed at the moment but you gave me alot of knowledge…where I’m able to still have money from saving while I had a job at the bank. Thank you for everything!

  526. Hi Ramit!

    wow I’m amazed that you are actually younger than me (one year)!!!

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and I also bought the book. During this time, I canceled my subscription to services I never really used like the gym, video stores, organic stores, and sold things on ebay and actually saved quite a lot of money. At the same time I negotiated a “raise” by asking my employer to pay me a 5000€ formation and many trips to congresses (about 6 per year). I also cut down on stuff that I actually didn’t care much about like going out and drinking 10€ cocktails (what a waste that was!!). Over all, I saved enough to be able now to buy the house of my dreams now with a 50% down payment!

    I also started recently an extracurricular activity following your advices (I didn’t do the 1k course though) and with my bf, we launched a translation and web development company, Koonec. I have to say it’s working quite well, but it’s so much work that I’m not sure if it’s worth it anymore. So I started now a new e-commerce, where I plan on selling book that I write myself. The idea is that once the book is released, I wouldn’t have to work on it anymore. I just released the 1st book this week and I feel so proud. Even if I don’t make a lot of money with it, I did something I always dreamt to do.

    So well thank you for your advices and for everything!!

  527. Sometimes earning less is earning more on the long term … .
    I changed jobs to a company were teamwork is highly valued, and as a result, the quality of the employees is very high in the fiel (of business analysis, project management, etc.)

    Actually, it’s quite cool to choose for education instead of money … and I will be MUCH more valuable on the long term … !

  528. You helped me make multiple savings accounts through ING savings account. :-)