It’s my birthday today. Will you do me a favor?

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I turn 29 today.

Creepiest pic ever 

So as usual, I know it’s weird to ask for my own gift, but I’m going to do it any way.

Will you share one specific thing I Will Teach You To Be Rich (or my Earn1K course) has helped you do this year? This can be anything concrete and measurable: overcoming a psychological barrier, paying off your last credit card bill, getting your first paying client. Maybe it has nothing to do with money at all.

I wouldn’t be surprised, actually. IWT isn’t really about money. It’s about behavioral change. And it’s been an incredible ride, from starting this blog in 2004 as a cocky college kid, to growing this site into what it is today.

The reason I write this site is to treat IWT like a laboratory: to help you figure out how to get more done in weeks than you’ve done in years. To show you that barriers can be crushed, that techniques can be put into practice, and to show you that information is not enough — we have to actually DO it.

Nothing could be better than hearing how my material has helped you.

Just leave a comment on this post. Or, upload a video to YouTube and tag it “iwillteachyoutoberich.”

The more specific, the better. Share a story. Tell us how IWT helped you hit a goal, pay off debt, earn more, get a better job — whatever. Provide specific, concrete #’s. Tell me what it meant to you.

It would make my day.

Thanks in advance.

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566 Comments

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  1. Last week my husband and I bought our first car in cash. Our net worth was up to $21k before the purchase, though significantly down now. This is up from a net worth of $-10k when we got married in December 2010. Our retirement funds are valued at $14k and we’re on track to either pay off my student loans or max out our Roth IRAs in the coming year.

    Thanks, Ramit!

    • Shouldn’t your car still be a part of your net worth? Or are you just counting the cash on hand? Your net worth is probably a lot more than you think… typically, retirement funds are also rolled into net worth, major property you own, etc. Congrats!

    • I included the retirement funds in my net worth calculation. Since the car is a depreciating asset that we plan to drive into the ground, I decided to take it as a loss from the beginning. The car as about $11k, and after that and a large bill from my immigration attorney in June, my net worth is $9461.09. I’m happy with that. I have quit a bit of outstanding receivables for my husband’s business that we’re about to collect, a cash gift from my FIL and the last month of pay from my job, which I have quit. I’m hoping to get my savings back up to six months’ of living expenses and pay off my smallest student loan in the coming month.

    • OH, I forgot the big one. I started my job at $10/hr in March 2010. I’m leaving at the end of July making $19/hr. I nearly doubled my pay rate in a little over a year thanks to negotiation.

      I’m particularly proud of this because I was a fairly low earner and was impressed I managed this.

  2. You’ve helped me get over my fear of networking. Before reading your materials, I thought it was kind of slimy, but I challenged myself to try it and have found that a lot of people would like to help me find a job in my chosen field. I still haven’t secured a position (but have an interview tomorrow), but feel so much closer. As an added benefit, I’ve gained experience and confidence in talking to people in a professional context. Thanks Ramit!

  3. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and was immediately drawn in to the way you discuss personal finance and any other topic for that matter. I bought your book, which pushed me to take action in several areas. Specifically, additional long-term/retirement savings. I don’t have a retirement plan at my job, but I was already maxing out my Roth IRA. I then opened up an additional long-term fund in Vanguard (choosing a low cost index fund), which I will be building with an automated monthly payment. You also inspired me to really look at where my money was going, helping me save money in non-important areas while allowing myself to splurge on the things that are really important to me without feeling guilty (since I have an automated savings plan in place!)

  4. My husband and I set a goal (well, several, actually).

    Our dream has always been to have a real estate business. But until this year, it was just that: a dream. So, during the spring we set a 12 month goal: to own one trailer park and two apartment buildings by the end of the year. Then we got busy doing what we needed to do to accomplish it.

    Thanks for getting us up off our butts!

    • Janice Roquero Link to this comment

      Hi, do you mean you will own 2 apt buildings and a trailer within one year, or do you mean you will have put down a down payment on them? Just asking? Good luck.

  5. Chris B. Behrens Link to this comment

    Happy birthday! I’ll share a couple of items:

    1. $300 savings / monthly by combining / negotiating phone services television services.

    2. $10,000 earned on the side from techniques learned in Earn 1k.

    3. Personal finances organized and automated (mostly). For the first time, I have a master list of the large annual expenses (why in the world didn’t I do this a long time ago?).

    4. Dramatically improved my negotiation skills (if you’re an American, it’s not hard) with the Jim Camp books.

    5. Automated my billing with Freshbooks (referred there by one of your extras).

    I might be considered notable because when I was first introduced to your stuff, I was already making six figures, maxing out the legal contribution to 401k, and was debt free. I was at least an A- financially (I’ve got a degree in Economics), and yet I still have found a hell of a lot of value in your work.

  6. You helped me negotiate for the first time in my life. I needed to buy some new rims for my car (old ones were leaking air), and I called around to find the best price in my area, which was $110 for a pair. I was about ready to pay for them, but I just blurted out “Will you take $100 for them?” Without hesitating, the salesman said sure. This is big for me, not because I saved a ton of money, but because I’ve learned that negotiation is often simple and I don’t have to feel dirty about it. I’ve negotiated a few more small items since, and it’s given me confidence for when I want to negotiate something big, like my salary.

    • Well done Jeremy, don’t get carried away with it though. As you get comfortable learning how, next is learning when. I’ll never forget the time I was in line and a recent immigrant from a certain subcontinent was arguing in the express lane of the grocery store with the clerk. Turns out he was offering to pay $0.17/roll on a max pack of toilet paper instead of the posted price. It was an advertised item so I knew that the rolls were $0.20/roll. Not exactly a big win negotiation but if the clerk had said Ok right away maybe it would be worth it. I don’t know how it ended as I got into a different line and when I left they were still arguing.

  7. My wife and I didn’t get much help for our wedding (and didn’t have much saved). We ended up with about $24k in credit card debt at the end of 2007. We were paying over the minimum for awhile, but it was slow going. Late last year we finally made our last payment and officially credit card debt free – except for the monthly balance which we now pay in full. While we were getting there, I read your book and setup our plan once our money was freed up. Now we both have Roth IRAs and couple grand around in savings (which normally had no more than $100 in it). Next step, school loans! Thanks for all of your advice and hard work – Happy Birthday!

  8. I gave up specifically tracking and paying most of my bills, and switched what I could to autopay. After the first couple of weeks, I now get upset when I encounter a monthly bill with no good autopay options.

  9. Hello Ramit…. I am turning 29 today too!

    Best Regards from Brazil.

  10. Recommendations from your site helped me double my income which allowed me to pay off the last of my credit cards and establish a 6 month emergency fund. Next on my list is to pay off my car and student loans in early 2012. Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  11. My husband and I have fully automated our finances, so our savings are automatic. We’ve saved $5000 this year that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Plus, the save-first for specifics means we don’t feel guilty when we spend out of our “travel pot.”

    Working with your system has made me feel in control of our money so we can actually enjoy it while feeling responsible. Thanks, Ramit, and Happy Birthday!

  12. Hi Ramit,

    I already sent you an email with my thanks for your book, but I will comment here as well.

    I negotiated a 21% increase in pay by moving to a new employer, and I saved $4500 off sticker (and $3000 under invoice) by negotiating with multiple dealerships for a new car. My situation has dramatically changed for the better and I saved a killing on a car I was going to buy anyway.

    Thanks Ramit!

  13. I want to be in the Earn 1k program but I have some left over credit card debt from when I was younger and much more stupid. I know you don’t want people with credit card debt in your class so that has really motivated my husband and I to pay down the debt. We have paid off $13,000 in the past year and we have about $11,000 to go, which will be gone in 11-12 months.

    Before I started reading your blog, I was trying to pay down the debt but I wasn’t really focused on it. You lit a fire under my arse and I haven’t looked back once.

  14. Today, my first index fund purchase went through…after paying off thousands of credit card debt, after securing months’ worth of savings, after upping my 401(k), after automating my financial systems. It’s mostly because of the book, since the writing style was aimed directly at my demographic, that I was able to grasp things and execute on them. Thanks!

  15. Your book and blog have helped me and my family immensely just this year alone.

    I learned how to negotiate a pay raise. After clearly showing my value to my employer, I received a 5K bonus and a 17% salary increase as well as negotiating one day a week where I telecommute!

    I used “The Year of the Hustle” to grow my side business doing web programming. I started the year with 2 small clients, and so far have grown that to 11 clients with more coming on board in the next month or so!

    Thanks again, and Happy Birthday Ramit!

  16. I sent this to you in email a few weeks ago, but I thought I’d put it here for everyone to see, because hey, it’s your birthday! Here is a paste of my email:

    Hey Ramit, just a quick note. I recently found out I needed to have a second back surgery. The first one cost me $30,000 up front, and I am still waiting to find out how much insurance will reimburse. This second one is “only” $12,000, but having just shelled out 30K less than two months ago, I don’t have 12K just lying around.

    Or do I?????

    It turns out that several months ago, my wife and I got serious about automation after lots of reading, including your book. We set up several ING savings accounts for different things like kids’ activities, car repairs, household maintenance, emergency fund, etc. We never got used to actually USING that money, so we’ve still been paying for the kids’ gymnastics and the lawn guy and the oil changes out of our checking account. So I was stressing about how we were going to afford the $12,000, thinking I’d just have to put it on a credit card, when I just happened to look at ING. And whaddayaknow? We had $13,000 that we didn’t even know about!

    Ever since I saw you speak at SXSW a couple years ago, I’ve been impressed with your no-nonsense, come-on-people-this-is-just-logical approach. I learned a few things in your book, but much more important are the things that I already knew on some level but needed someone to say plainly and clearly.

    Thanks for helping me give myself the gift of financial peace!

    • Jeff,

      Good luck with the Back surgery! I work for one of the Major Medical device companies in the Spinal Product line. I am in spine surgeries everyday. Sorry to hear you have to have a second surgery (an all too common occurrence with spine problems.) I know sometimes it can be hard to educate yourself on this topic since it is fairly complex. I thought i would share a few websites with you that you may or may not find helpful. Again, best of luck to you and i hope everything turns out well.

      http://www.spineuniverse.com
      http://www.back.com
      http://www.maturespine.com

  17. I applied for — and got into! — college because of your posts and your emails. I never thought a bum like me would do it, and now I’m moving into my dorm in August.

    Now to choose between nursing and English… ;)

    • Nursing is a young person’s game. Be prepared for hard physical work and eventual back problems. have a backup plan for your eventual inability to do it. There are no old hospital nurses. Management opportunities are less than 1%. It does have rewards, but they will not be from your employer, neither will there be attaboys from your patients. You can be fired based on an unsubstantiated complaint from anyone. As a side note, my son majored in journalism and now makes substantially more than I ever will. Get job as an aide and observe carefully before you make that decision.

    • Jess,
      Congratulations on going to school. Nursing is an honest profession with a clear path. English doesn’t have a clear path, but if you combine it with a specific/(even general goal) it makes the analysis easier. Don’t fret about Gayle’s advice, I assure you it’s possible to be fired from any job (even your own business, its called bankruptcy). One big point she brings up though is currently it’s hard to go out on your own as a nurse. If this isn’t important to you then no worries.

  18. I sold my overpriced mutual fund and bought a balanced portfolio of index funds from Schwab. Business-wise, I’m working to narrow down my focus from small businesses in my area to ones in a specific niche that actually have money to spend on a $2-3K WordPress site. Thanks, Ramit!

  19. I switched banks, paid off credit cards and my car. Also automated all my finances. It is SOOO much easier now!

  20. Ramit,

    I read the book, I enjoyed it, I tried to separate everything en only look at what I should be spending, but it was too easy to go on huge trips around the world/us- and know that I would be having fun now instead of later. Honesty every time I do it, I have this little voice in my head that’s telling this is stupid, and you should save (Ramit told you to) and every year I try and pay off all my cc’s and start over (has happened twice). I’m moving now to work with a group of people who are very good at personal finance and have found a balance to their lives, which I’ve admitted to them that I need help with. So the gift you gave me was the ability to admit my problem, and while it’s not the end solution – it’s a start. Thanks, have a good birthday !

  21. Subscribing for a few years, love the wisdom.

    Happy Birthday, Ramit!

  22. It’s a little thing, but I got a credit card with a good rewards program—the one you talked about in your newsletter.

    • Rodolphe,
      Thanks for the post. I was going to put the same thing. We had been credit card free for the last 2 years so I knew we didn’t need it, but thought with my business travel and usual expenses we could take advantage of a rewards card and pay it off every month to avoid interest.
      Ramit,
      Happy Birthday! Thanks for the tip on the best rewards card.

  23. Happy Birthday!

    I think the main thing that’s changed (that I can blame you for) is my attitude towards my ‘blog’/business. I’ve not only finally restarted working on it after abandoning it on my degree, but I’ve been investing in myself and my skills, hiring other people to do parts that I’m less qualified to do (or just plain don’t want to or have time to – like writing tutorials), and being more willing to get out there and phone people than before.

    The shift from blog to business has helped a lot and changed how I see everything related to it that I actually do, and I’ve gained more confidence as a result.

  24. Happy Birthday Ramit! and yes, that definitely is a creepy picture.

    I signed up for the Earn 1k Course late last year and found tremendous value in having to describe my ideal customer. That really helped me narrow my focus and target my marketing materials. I did get a few customers, but I think it’s tough with a luxury product…and while it’s a nice side income, I’m really trying to replace my day job. I basically need more time to work on Food for Thin since it’s my passion. So, I also took a lesson from the other love of my life – Tim Ferriss. I’ve decided to do a simple drop-shipping business an see how that works out. In fact, I was just putting up the website when I received your email, Ramit!

    It really isn’t all about money – thanks to both you and Tim, I feel empowered. I don’t get scared about losing my job. And in this economy, it’s a huge relief not to stress about something like that. I know I have the tools to get my own business off the ground. It’s all I think/dream about – I can’t wait to fire my day job and live the life I want!

    Thanks and happy birthday again!

  25. I migrated my bank accounts over to Schwab and ING and now have automatic withdrawls to my vanguard IRA and multiple subaccounts. I’m making money while I sleep and saving money for a new car, wedding, and vacation to hawaii without even thinking about it. I’ve got extra money I didnt even know about now being properly stashed away for an exorbitant drunken bar tab or taking a special someone out to a nice meal. I started changing in January and I’ve already saved over 5k on a very small salary. Thanks!

  26. The one thing that has really helped me is your strategy in automating saving accounts. Before, I had a single saving account that I used for everything, and I could never seem to grow that account, as every miscellaneous expense would be withdrawn from that account. Creating separate accounts for separate purposes has really made a difference in being able to budget and not overspend. It took all of five minutes to set up, but has vastly simplified my life and helped grow my savings.

  27. Happy Birthday Ramit, I hope you have a lovely day and a great year.

    So far your Earn1K course, which I am still making my way through, slowly but surely, has started to open my mind to new possibilities. I will finish it and I know that I am going to put it to good use.

  28. I quit my job, started an online business, bought some terrible courses about online business for several hundred dollars, screwed up the business, ran out of money, lost my place to live, moved onto a family member’s couch, panicked.

    Picked up a copy of your book at the bookstore, learned how to negotiate, called my old company, got my previous job back for TWICE MY OLD SALARY. This type of thing never happens in my industry. I credit the raise and the initiative to use my old network to the practical tips in your book.

  29. Have a happy birthday! Automation for sure. I found your blog and bought the book as I was quitting one job and moving to another. I now make 20k less a year, but with automation, I NEVER worry about money anymore. I got rid of my car, live in my own apartment, put money into my 403b (making sure to max company matching), opened a Roth IRA, opened an ING account for savings buckets, AND have managed to save hundreds a month for my upcoming vacation to the UK for two weeks without having to make much sacrifice. I also was able to reduce my cable bill by $30 a month, with extra services included, for the next year. Where before I would just buy things when I felt like it, now I really really consider if things are worth it, and most of the time, the answer is no!

  30. Your book has helped my husband and I define our goals and start saving for them specifically. We’ve also used your book to help us with our retirement savings (maxing out IRAs, etc) and we are throwing extra money into index funds. We love Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, but once we had our full emergency fund, we didn’t know what to do since we don’t have debt. Your book helped with the specifics, and for that I am very grateful! Happy Birthday!

  31. Hi Ramit; happy birthday! Hope it’s a great one. I haven’t started reading your stuff enough to add a real comment here. But reading these comments above has shown me that I need to make time to read the important, life-changing stuff or day after day will slip by and no changes will be made. I am going to make a new routine that allows time for this type of reading. I already share a mindset and some habits with people here, so I have come to the right place. I look forward to learning from you soon!

  32. Earn1k helped me refine my business ideas and get my first three clients =)

  33. The thing that was the biggest A-ha for me was the idea that if I want to spend money – spend it on the things I care about. Not the things I don’t care about it.

    IE: I care intensely about my fitness. I’ll pay $150 a month to go to my CrossFit box. I don’t care about my cell phone. I got a pay-as-you-go because I’m never on it. Savings? over 100$ a month, and I still get to pay out the nose for my box.

    Thanks Rammit!

  34. Nichoel Forrett Link to this comment

    The book, website, and emails finally encouraged me that I could do something with my finances instead of feeling helpless and overwhelmed. I got off my butt and put my little bit of savings into an ING account, and I set up a Roth IRA. I set up automatic monthly funding of both these accounts. I have most of my bills automated. I don’t have money in the budget for the course this time, but I sure appreciate the information in the emails, thanks!

  35. I have been “thinking” about doing “something” for thirty years. Nothing has happened. So last year I went around the world, and this year I have started my own photography business to at first make some money on the side (already made $800 in 2 months) to eventually quit my job and go full pro.
    Your blog inspire me to focus on action instead of thinking. To just bypass fear and do it anyway, no matter how much my mind tells me it can’t be done.
    I don’t know if I*ll succeed, but I don’t care. Just bypassing fear and doing something is the biggest kick I have ever had…

  36. Happy Birthday!!!

    Well, still kicking off my side income ideas but I’ve learnt to stay focused and do the practical things that will have immediate meaningful returns.

    Thanks Ramit and keep up the great guidance!

    Eugene

  37. Your emails/instructional material helped me ace an interview using the very compelling briefcase technique and also get my cable bill lowered by $250 for the year.

    Happy Birthday!

  38. You’ve helped me:
    -Set up a great automated system for my accounts that includes a saving system that has repeatedly saved us in various situations. we have savings for stupid mistakes, moving, and Christmas gifts to name a few. That has helped us run our lives much smoother and with less stress.

    - Negotiate a raise at my current job. It got me a $5,000 raise.

    - Negotiate a $15,000 increase in my starting salary at a new job, which I start next week. The $5,000 raise from my old job helped set me on a new baseline, so this means overall my salary has increased $20k in this year alone.

    Thanks so much and happy birthday!!!

  39. I have automated my finances from using techniques you suggested and have paid off two of my five main debts, and after I pay off the other 3 I will be free!!!!

  40. Thank you for helping me get over my “I need to incorporate!” “I need to have a fifty-page business plan!” “I need a logo!” “I need a professionally designed website!” etc. I’ve used my existing social and previous work networks to start identifying clients and at the very least getting myself out there.

    I was drawn to your site for the personal finance tips, sick of jumping from Harris to Citibank to Chase to … But your real gold is in empowering people to stop scrimping on the little things and start looking for avenues towards personal growth.

  41. Happy birthday Ramit!

    I can’t resist a birthday wish. Thanks to your site and book, I’ve started thinking very differently about money, happiness, and what it means to be “rich.” I’ve automated most of my finances, and I’m (slowly) learning to practice conscious spending – this has really changed my life. I really appreciate your advice and commitment.

  42. Wrote and published an ebook
    Turned a hobby into a business
    Started another business
    Focused on the business side of my blog

    Combined, on track to make about 7k-10k in 2011 that I would not have earned otherwise. You made me think about life more as a business.

  43. From the Earn1k course I finally learnt to get up off my arse (it’s the correct spelling – in Australia) and TALK TO PEOPLE about my freelancing. It was strange, because I’m not a shy person by any means – I just had to overcome my cultural inhibitions to talk to people about business and sell to them.

    I got more feedback about my ideas in 2 weeks of doing that than in 6 months of ‘doing my own thing’ (ie. sitting on a computer and reading stuff on the Internet).

  44. Where do I begin, Ramit helped me…
    1) Automate my expenses
    2) Prioritize paying off debt, like actually paying it off
    3) Orange Savings account – f&%k yeah! That account rocks, oh and set up a sub savings account there
    4) Did I mention automating my bills
    5) Get a credit card that actually has great rewards…bam!

    Happy Bday Ramit!

  45. I started a business.. I will tell you how it goes once it is up and running.

  46. Set up monthly auto-contribution to a Roth IRA, invested in a lifecycle fund. Dropped Bank of America, and set my lesser credit cards to pay smaller monthly subscriptions.

  47. Your book has helped me, a 22 year old new college business graduate, understand investments and brokerage accounts so much better. I felt they don’t teach the finance-you-need-to-learn-personally-for-your-life at school. I used to be the many that shut down and don’t do much because there’s too much complex info out there about money. You tell the simpler way of how to manage finances. I passed on the book to my friends, in hopes that they can receive the great advice that you’ve given to me. THANKS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMIT!

  48. Only because it’s your birthday, Ramit =)

    I sent this private email to you on May 19, sharing the success story (and changed behavior) with your readership:

    Ramit,

    Once again, successfully applied the techniques learned from your website, and forwarded the tip to my friends. I pitch your stuff like hotcakes to my friends who are not as savvy about personal finance, keep it up.

    Thanks,
    Jonathan

    The tip(s) I used, in a story I wrote to my friends:

    Took me 7 minutes on the phone to get out of my late fee, 1 day late.

    What I said, after verifying that I am who I say I am:
    “Hi, I was alerted by Mint.com that I got a late fee of $25, and I just logged onto the website and paid my credit card balance in full. I’m not sure what happened, but I think it was because the alerts weren’t working properly, so I’d like to get the fee removed.”

    He places me on hold for about 2 minutes, and then tells me that the fee has been removed. Then, I update my Google Docs Spreadsheet called, “Customer Service Call Records” (incidentally, also a Ramit tip).

    Counterparty Phone Call date Time Name Comments (http://www.IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com for more personal-finance tips)
    Chase Freedom 1-800-555-1234 2011-05-19 7:48:00 Joe Called to remove $25.00 late fee due to not receiving alerts. Fee will be removed as a one-time courtesy. Was recommended to set up automatic payments and review alerts on the website.

    Learned from:
    http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/negotiating-out-of-bank-fees-part-2/

  49. Paying off debt and money automation were big ones for me. When I stumbled onto IWTYTBR, I was already about 3/4 done paying off an obscene amount of debt (student loan, car and debt I took on in a divorce) — to the tune of over $50k about 18 months ago. I started funneling a small amount of money into a couple of ING accounts while I was still paying off debt. Those accounts gave me a small safety net in case I had to replace tires on my car or had some other surprise cost come up. Once I was done paying off the debt (YAY!) I set up a few more ING accounts that enabled me to not just save money for emergencies, but also to save enough money to buy a used RV outright, create a six-month safety cushion and have money in the bank dog eared for other things (new electronics, vacation, so forth). Other tips have helped as well, but this one suggestion (automate savings) has made the biggest difference to me financially. Now I can see where my money is/has gone and be proud of how I’ve saved/spent it. Thanks. And happy b-day!

  50. I’m so motivated to get my business going to the next level, and also my husband and I are saving now! The kicker for me, was your story about the guy who gave a best man speech, and once I read it, I realized I really already KNOW how to do some of this, as I studied music in school, and what this guy did for the speech is what you do to prepare for an opera role. YOu take the better part of a year to prepare…so you are ready.

    And I’m inspired because it’s just a matter of applying that concept to our finances.

  51. My lesson isn’t from any of your courses, rather, from the remarkable sequence of emails (marketing emails, of course, but also so much more) that I’ve been getting from you as part of my downstream benefits from attending MicroConf2011. You’ve certainly made me re-think the possibility of using email as an effective marketing tool (the authentic, direct voice you use is something I can do — the amount of info/content you deliver is still a bit daunting) but that’s a bit wanna-be as a response to your birthday request. More concretely, you’ve given me the example I needed to go to a single online community, approach the members for help/feedback, and enter into an on-going dialog with several of them that is bringing tangible benefits to one of my products and that we are all enjoying.

    Thank you.

  52. I’ve learned that just because something seems like common knowledge doesn’t mean it is and to challenge those perceptions. I’ve also learned to take smaller steps towards a goal and refine as I go.

    - Thanks Ramit and Happy Birthday!

  53. I’ve started offering my teaching services, writing instruction, and writing consulting (writer-in-residence) programs six months earlier than I had originally planned. Before, I felt like I needed to wait until the MFA was completed, so I’d have a piece of paper to wave around when I looked for work. Instead, I am moving forward, knowing that I’ll graduate in January, with the plan of having some clients already in place, happy, and enjoying the process of becoming a better writer. I haven’t jumped feet-first into your program (yet…) but I have put at least THAT idea to work for me. Thanks, and Happy Birthday.

  54. Oh my God. Where do I start. The week-long e-mails on finding profitable ideas and how to test them out was like an arrow marker. Then I read the book and realized I have much less bills and much more money than the average examples you listed in the book, but until recently I have been blowing most of the money and not having a clue that I had so much.

    My paying for life/dating coaches has kind of put what I have in perspective but I can’t talk enough about all the value that I’ve gotten from your e-mails and the website before I even invested a penny in you.

    After investing in the IWT book (which I just finished reading btw) I now will have an automated finance system which I love, and this is really what I’ve been looking for, so as I was reading it was totally clicking with me, except for the investing part. I wanted to learn the nitty gritty but I found that to be a particularly hard read. Definitely looking to stick with lifecycle funds for now ;)

    Anyway, Thanks Ramit! Awesome value. So much so that I can’t wait to see what’s in the profitable idea or earn1k course.

    Also love the repeated “But Ramit!,” you might say, “blablablablabla” possible objections/rebuttals too. :)

  55. IWT has helped me set up an automated plan and convince my my that managing finances isn’t evil.

  56. Okay, Ramit. Get ready to hate me, then love me, then hate me, then love me. Nearly three years ago, with very mediocre credit history, I opened my first credit card… with Capital One (hate!). The card I ended up choosing, I found on bankrate.com at your suggestion because it had the lowest APR I qualified for. I also negotiated out of the annual fee (love!). In March of this year, they doubled my interest rate from about 13% to 22% and when I immediately called to complain I was told it was through “no fault of my own” and there was nothing they could do. Awesome. I was laid off last year and carry a balance, and here was a big crap sandwich to take a bite out of (hate!). Four days ago, I read your post about Capital One and did some research, and the more I learned about their policies, the more angry I got, and I called them up ready to cancel my card (hate?). Instead, I got my APR lowered to LOWER THAN IT WAS BEFORE and a 2-year commitment to the rate (love!).

    I finish my degree in December and the first thing I do when I’m working again will be to follow the IWTYTBR playbook to the letter – 6 weeks to financial literacy! Um, wait. I mean, getting rich!

  57. Hello Ramit,
    Happy Bithday!!! I automated my savings. I do not have to worry about it anymore. There are a lot of good practices in your book. But you know, you are right, make time and do it. Making time is a challenge for me. I have gotten one thing done and will make time for more taks to be done.
    Thanks Ramit!

  58. Happy Birthday!

    From your excellent research I have done the following:

    I opened up a Schwab account and just got my AMEX card.I have set-up my financials to be automated and now I will start attacking my car and student loans!

    Cheers,
    Livia

  59. I got a second job to pay off debt instead of trying to be *more* frugal

  60. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    One specific tactic I learned from I Will Teach You To Be Rich is that credit cards give you 90 day or more insurance on most purchases that get lost, stolen or damaged.

    Since I learned about this, I’ve gotten over $400.00 in refunds from Amex. My bike was stolen in Chicago and an ink pen busted in a expensive ass pair of jeans. It was very easy to get the refunds. Cool thing was Amex refunded me for the entire purchase on that jeans receipt so I basically got 2 free pairs of expensive ass pants!

    Ing sub-savings accounts are highly effective too. I use them to party hard, pay for unexpected car repair, go on vacation, invest and donate to charity. Knowing you have cash set aside for specific needs is such a stress reliever!

    • Similar to this is the free extended warranty on most credit card. Capital one Visa is fixing or replacing a 3 year old lawn mower at no charge to me. It came with a 2 year warranty from the manufacturer, and Visa adds 1 extra year. It died just before the end of the Visa period. A 5 minute phone call and a little paperwork. Once they review it, I will either get a full refund or they will pay to fix it (about $150).

  61. Earn1k inspired me to start a website design freelance side-business dedicated to helping local political groups design decent websites. As a result, I had a great line to put on my resume that helped me land a HUGE job with a startup company in Austin in my main profession. Not only did I make back my investment into the Earn1k program by far and learn a ton about business while doing it, I got what I think is probably the perfect job for the long term with a company that is definitely going to go far!

  62. Prabu Rajasekaran Link to this comment

    You inspire me to create rock-solid content day in and day out.

  63. It’s the savings account idea. I always used to complain – for instance at xmas or other recurring event – that I did not have money for this or for that. After reading that section, I set up an account for xmas gifts, for workshop and courses; for a trip to Peru, for unexpected events, with a weekly money transfer for each. So simple, so easy… And so nice NOT to be whining about lack of money for things anymore…

  64. Using ideas from this site, the book, and the free Earn1K materials, I found a small game company with some newly published game content that had been edited poorly. I took them samples of my work and showed them what I could do for them, and they agreed to make me their chief editor. But not before I talked them into raising my proceeds from 5% to 7% of sales on any of their projects I edit (just as a baseline), with additional fees based on the difficulty of a given project.

    Thanks, Ramit. Happy birthday!

    —David Wilson

  65. I believe that regardless of topic, there are universal thinking processes for achieving excellence. The basic money principles you teach can be universally applied to all subjects and are characteristic of high achievers from professions such as artists, scientists, teachers, or even stock brokers.

    While I have always measured everything in terms of time, I realized something was missing. This year, when I learned that the missing piece was value, life made sense again.

    Hope you have a great birthday.

  66. This year, IWT and Earn1k helped me get a better job and negotiate a much better salary. The improvement was so extreme that my student loans will now be paid off in 2 years instead of 20. My mind was blown by Ramit’s debunking of the “selling is scamming” myth; it was liberating to understand that selling is mutually beneficial when you provide real value to customers, and offer something that they’re delighted to pay lots of money for. The epiphany, for me, was understanding that we can negotiate not based on “how much I need to get by”, but based on “how much value I am providing to someone else”. It’s impossible to think this way without putting yourself in your boss or client’s shoes and understanding what value means to them; so, as a natural part of increasing my own income, I became more effective at my day job and freelance gigs, and learned vital lessons about the nature of businesses that I rely on for my bread & butter work.

    This sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true: Ramit’s work has not only helped me make more money and become a more effective employee; it has also deepened my perspective of how business and interpersonal communication work on a fundamental level. I consider this a true philosophical epiphany. Happy birthday, and let me know if you’re ever in Cleveland, Ramit–I owe you a beer!

  67. Ramit,

    You have given me the strength to break through the mental barriers I had against becoming a professional in my chosen career. Last year I began the journey to become a Certified Ethical Hacker. I paid down enough debt to afford the program offered by a local company. During the program I also grilled the Technical Partner about hiring practices. Now, I am one of their Ethical Hackers, making almost twice the money of my old job.

    Thanks and here’s to many more years of learning ahead!

  68. I paid off $70k of student loans in 3 years by busting my ass and using tips from this site. Thanks Ramit and Happy Birthday!

  69. Happy Birthday Dude!
    I just celebrated my 30th. I took your advice and have 90% of our monthly bills auto deducted from our checking account. My bank now is set up to notify me via text message, of the upcoming payments, and I don’t have to do a thing unless I want to change the payment amount. After a couple initial insufficient funds fees, which I had reimbursed, things have been smooth for four months. Thanks Ramit! you’re a genious :)

  70. Thank you very much for your book. It encouraged me to develop a budget that I think could work. I have so far have been putting it into place, and I believe I will be able to pay off around $3k worth of credit cards within 3 months.

    I’ve signed up for your earn 1k course, but will have to wait til I get out of debt before I sign up.

    Thank you for helping me attain my goals.

    I even set up a Roth IRA and it has a whooping $25, but hey, it’s a start.

    Thank you,
    Michael

  71. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I started with your book, got rid of almost all my debt (except husband’s car loan, but we will be done in a year), significantly raise my credit score (from 650 to 820 within a year, I think), got savings account in ING (with SAVINGS in it!), got IRA and so on. I feel much more secure now about my future!

    Then, I joined your Earn 1K course and guess what? I succeeded. I didn’t know what to choose: my etsy shop, freelance design or photography business. I started implementing few of your techniques (not all, honestly speaking) and still succeeded: I got a contractual job as a photographer in a huge and famous museum in NY, I got few sessions too and I still doing my main job as a designer. And my etsy shop is growing too, more than 800 sales and still going. wow!

    I mean, I didn’t jump over my head, but I used some of your techniques and still use them, and got a dream job! within few months! I invested in myself too, and still investing — it was an important part I took from you.

    Thank you-thank you-thank you!

    Can’t wait for your updated book IWTYTBR and maybe, you could write book about buying your own house too?! It would be very helpful.

    You are amazing! Yay!

    • That’s very inspirational, Natasha! We have similar interests and it’s great to hear that you can juggle multiple interests/sources of income!

  72. I Will Teach You to Be Rich gave me the tools I needed to set up a savings plan. Before I read the book I felt paralyzed with too much information and instead of doing anything to save I just thought to myself that if I was conscience about how I spent my money, I was being financially responsible. Wrong. I was maybe saving $3 in one day by not buying a cup of coffee… that was eventually spent the next day because I felt so good about not buying a cup the previous day! The book helped me set specific portions of paychecks to automatically fund into savings, IRA, etc. and allowed me freedom to spend without constantly worrying about whether my spending choices were “responsible.”

  73. Dear Ramit,

    your book and financial advice has been superior to that of all other personal finance literature on the market. Your words of wisdom have helped my sister pay off her increasingly large debt, and get her spending on track. Your book and blog in many ways, has played a large role in helping her turn her life around.

    I could not be more thankful. Happy Birthday.

    Sincerely,
    Josh

  74. You’re only 29. Holy Crap! Am I allowed to write that???? LOL! Anyway, Happy Birthday!!! I haven’t accomplished as much as other writers but you have helped me get a psychological grasp on spending. I no longer spend on things I just “want”. My finances are now automated and I only spend on things I “need”. Thanks for your help. If you’re ever in Sacramento, I would love to sit down and have a conversation with you (as I’m sure millions of others would as well (lol)) but know the invitation to lunch or dinner is open. Thank you again for all your help in revamping my finances. Much appreciated and have a wonderful Birthday!!!

  75. IWT has taught me the benefit of having and responsibly paying off a credit card (I’m working on getting my first). It’s also keeping me motivated in my goal of paying off my student debt. I’m currently paying off $1000 a month ($2000 down and $11000 to go). More than anything, it’s taught me that managing one’s finances is fairly easy, highly rewarding, and even a little bit fun. Thanks, Ramit, and happy 29th!

  76. First off, Happy birthday!

    For the IWT lessons: I was legitimately excited when I got to say screw you to the big bank I used to use. Felt real good shredding those cards up. It’s funny how I canceled my accounts with them because of poor service and they kept putting me on hold during the cancellation process. IWT pointed me toward the best accounts and let me finally move on from the bad ones.

    So much more, too:
    1) Fully funded Roth IRA for the past 2 years
    2) Credit score has gone from ~680 before I picked up the book to ~740 (and I still haven’t turned 21)
    3) All my finances are automated so that my retirement accounts are funded, my savings goals are funded, my bills are paid, and I don’t have to feel guilty about spending the money I put aside for spending.
    4) Automated payments for student loans each month are helping me chip away at the highest interest loans even before I graduate
    5) The feeling of awesomeness when I hit each new “5k milestone” in my investment accounts
    6) Feelin’ like a sage when friends and family ask me for personal finance help

    And I’d say the most important thing has been that I don’t worry about money anymore. I’ve learned to just cut down on or cut out the stuff I don’t care about, automation makes sure that I’m hitting my savings and investment goals, and then I have money to spend on the things I enjoy.

  77. I’m a stay at home mom, unemployed, but active volunteering. One of my gigs as secretary of the local bee club resulted in a member asking for my resume for a position with the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. My first response was to freak out. But then I took a deep breath, and started asking questions about what they’d be wanting, how I could best help her out in her department. Based on the info she gave me, I started writing up my resume. My first inclination was to downplay things – I’ve been out of the work force for 6 years, I’ve never worked with spacecraft, why would they want me? But after years of reading your info I knew that was pointless. I wrote up my resume entirely honestly, but focused on which skills I had that could most benefit their department according to the info I’d received. She handed my info to her superiors during her annual review, and they’re not currently hiring because they’ve got several missions due to expire soon and no new ones starting right now, but she told me that they were VERY interested in my resume and look forward to talking to me even over other current employees when the next round of missions start up.

    While I have no concrete money in hand because of it, your blog meant the difference between me saying “Thank you, that’s flattering, but I don’t really think I’d fit…” and “Absolutely! I can fill that niche for you nicely, and here’s how.”

  78. I had a bit of an aha moment with this last round of emails. I’m designing quilting patterns. I realized I can design the pattern, teach the pattern and package kits with supplies for my students and also sell online. I never made the connection to use the patterns and consciously expand it to other income streams. Thanks for that. I have had mega stress the last few years because of the economy downturn and my income is minimal at best… however I have automated my expenses and have reduced that stress big time. I bought 2 copies of your book when it first came out and gave one to my 28 year old son. He is now.. getting it and using it to deal with his finances in a more responsible way. He is almost debt free and has over $2000.00 in savings by automating everything. So, you have helped two people here.. Thank you! BTW yesterday was my birthday…however, I’m much much older than 29. But never too old to learn from anyone regardless of their age.

  79. Hello Ramit, I appreciate your advice on negotiating credit card debt. Last week I negotiated a high rate interest card, 29.97%. I was told at first that they couldn’t lower it since it was a contractual agreement. I wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I told them I want to speak to the supervisor who could write a new agreement for me. Bam!! I was put on hold and then the agent came back and said they could lower the interest rate to 10% for six months; that was perfect since I plan to have it paid off by the six month period!

  80. Hey,
    first things first. Happy birthday and all the best in the next year of your life. :)

    So few months ago you helped me discover cloaked fears and since then I’m successfully getting rid of each and every one that I recognize. Well I still have one that’s been bugging me for a while (probably the most common one) – fear of failing. I want to start my own business but I constantly say to myself: You don’t know the right people, what if you won’t be able to pay the people working for you for the first few months, what if you mess something with accounting etc. Well for about 3 weeks now I’m really trying to overcome it and I think that now, I’m near the finnish. I’m having a meeting next week with few young designers with whom I want to work with. I hope that all will go as planned, because I already have some very potential clients that want to start working with me. :)

    So for the end… your blog posts, together with some other stuff in my life got me moving… well, running actually, to get to my desired goal. :)

    Cheers,
    Rok

  81. Thanks to your blog, book, Scrooge Strategy, and Earn 1k bootcamps, I’ve:

    Maxed my roth IRA contributions for the past two years, learning how to pick low cost diversified index funds, and rebalance assets

    Saved $10,000 in my emergency savings in my ING account

    Negotiated to remove credit union fees, buy a used car in near perfect condition for $12,900 where equivalent models’ sticker price was $16,000, and reduce insurance premiums by $500/6 months

    Finally got off my lazy ass, narrowed down all of the freelancing ideas down to something really niche that people are willing to pay for, and landed clients I genuinely love working with

    Received 10% raise from one of my freelancing clients with whom I started working in March. This client has told me that she wants to significantly raise my rates above market and help me snag future clients

  82. Learned a LOT about financing. I’m a 22 yr old college student (actually, just graduated a few weeks ago-yikes!), and your book was the first time I seriously learned about finances, and all the smart things people in their 30s wish they did in their 20s-high-interest checking account, IRAs, credit card strategies, etc. I started a high-interest checking and savings accounts (with my name on in, rather than leeching off my parent’s account-felt good to be ‘on my own’), and am almost done with your book. Hoping to have an investment plan in place that is low-maintenance, so that I can sit back and let my money work for me for a change. This is especially beneficial since I am considering mainly non-profit jobs, which means low salary. Having the extra ‘enhancement’ that your book and website tips provide could save a boatload of trouble.
    Thanks so much! And happy birthday!!!!!
    God Bless.

  83. Happy birthday Ramit, and enjoy being 29, it’s been one of the best years for me so far!

    Earn 1k helped me to start getting a little creative and outrageous with my attempts at earning money – I also loved the way you cut the BS (websites, biz cards, etc.) and help us to get straight to the ACTUAL THING we are trying to earn money with, with almost immediate results.
    With the brainstorming, one of the items I came up with was ‘cooking’. Pretty simple, right.? Like the rest of the world, I’ve written a food blog in a very gentle way over the last few years, so most of my friends + a few others know about it. That afternoon I sent out an invite to the first ‘Scribble the Nibbles’ Supperclub, forcing a date on myself, to just see what happened. I made a bit of cash (not quite a restaurant millionairess yet, I’ve got a few lessons to be learned there still…), and also had an absolutely fantastic evening to boot. And my first lot of guests even tipped!! Bonus!
    I have become less afraid to ask for what my skills are worth – I’ve just landed a freelance writing job – which has given me a huge amount of freedom in the way that I conduct my day. Now to use the E1k skillset to get a few more gigs like that under my belt.
    Meanwhile, I’m hustlig every day as I set about setting up an online bikini business due to be launched next year – Bikini Fling – gorgeous, beautifully cut mix-and-match bikinis for the adventurous water nymph.
    So thanks, basically – I go back to my E1k every time I need a virtual arse-kicking. Love it.

  84. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    Writing this from Singapore, just moved a few months ago!

    I bought your book at US and read it full till the end ! Found it quite interesting and enough practical to be implemented. The website is equally informative and over there, one link led to another and found one interesting “salary negotiation” video.
    Used the same skills as I moved back to India and with little practice and “acquired” killer negotiation skills, landed up with a job paying Rs 1,600,000 pa in Feb 2010!! It was quite an achievement! Thanks a ton!
    Meanwhile one of my friends referred me to a Bank at Singapore and with my technical skills I was able to get to HR round. I was bit tensed to discuss about salary, but the same negotiation video came to rescue! After a little “soccer”, I was able to win 1-0 and got SGD1.10K pa!

    Thanks again and best wishes for you future!
    Neil

  85. Happy Birthday, youngster. :)

    More than anything, your blog has converted my mindset around money. I grew up in a family where money wasn’t talked about, nothing was ever negotiated, and basically you were supposed to just get whatever you got without questioning it. Needless to say, that approach has sucked.

    We’re not debt-free yet, and I’m no master negotiator, but we’re getting there, thanks in large part to your work. I’m also much more solid about charging what I’m worth, and my business is taking off because of it. Thanks for all you do!

  86. Specifically, your articles on the Breifcase technique (and intimately understanding your client/employer’s needs) helped me adjust how I interview. This, in turn, helped land me a young IT professional’s dream job at a great new employer…
    I already had the skills and service, but did not have the sales mindset necessary to move up to a new exciting opportunity. Your posts really pushed me to understand and tailor my services to a better employer!

    Happy birthday and thanks for the constant quality advice!

    -BJ

  87. I followed all the steps applicable to me in I Will Teach You to Be Rich and I am now a life long follower. One of the biggest impacts has been using ING to save for vacations, important events, emergency expenses, etc. I have been able to save $10,000 in ING for various expenses and am traveling to the Europe in a few months – Something I’ve always wanted to do. Thank you so much and Happy Birthday!!

  88. Happy Birthday Ramit.

    I created sub accounts for my wedding and honeymoon, and automated savings into them so we could pay it all off in cash rather than using our credit cards.

  89. You and I have basically have the same ideas about personal finance. I used to spend a lot of time explaining to people to bank online and automate their finances and buy index funds. And then you wrote this great book that is easy to read. Now I just recommend your book to people. Saves me a lot of time.

  90. Ramit,

    I have wanted to move to NYC from Seattle for awhile, but was just sending out resumes. I took the advice to ‘spend on myself’ and booked a couple of flights out to meet with potential employers. I persistently networked my way to setting up meetings this August with a few decision makers at firms I’m really excited about. Thanks for all of the advice!

    -Matt

  91. You made my marriage a success. My wife and I got married in July of 2009. As we were working through how we would combine our money there was a lot of frustration – I couldn’t understand why she was “wasting” money . She was sick of me questioning her spending.
    I found your blog-automated our bills, savings, ect. We both couldn’t be happier with the results, we are hitting all of our savings goals and I don’t get frustrated on what she is spending money on.
    You are affectionately referred to as “Gandhi” in our house and we are always recommending your book to others.

  92. Hey Ramit, happy birthday and many returns ofc.

    Only started your program 1 week ago, but the 1 thing it did for me was making me kick myself in the butt and get to work on those things I love and am passionate about and not just pondering and breaking my mind over them all the time.

    Regards

  93. I went from having about $5k in credit card debt, no savings to speak of, and no extra money to do anything to having $1k (and growing!) in savings, almost $10k in investments (with an employer match program) no credit card debt, and enough money to take three short vacations paid for out-of-pocket this year. I know I’m still not getting everything right, but just taking action has put me in a much better place than I was a year or two ago.

  94. Thanks for inspiring me to be awesome. I have been reading you for a while and it motivated me to begin making money on the side. I found an idea that wasn’t out there (Virtual Assistance for Photographers) and have grown and develop it. When my husband had a stroke in November (he’s doing much better now), I dropped to part time at my soul-sucking job and developed it even more. Now, I have managed to quit that POS job and got a Part Time job at Apple as a supplemental income while I do this freelancing too. It’s been amazing and I couldn’t have gotten the courage to do it without you. So thank you!

  95. The most important thing you will get from Ramit’s material is to stop BS-ing (working on unimportant things) and to just take action on the right tasks that have the greatest ROI. Without this, I would not have the business I have now.

  96. Happy Birthday, Ramit! By employing several of your kick-ass techniques I have been able to buy a nice house in town with a big inground pool and hot tub, and a 12 acre farm about 40 miles out of town to get away to on the weekends. Thanks for helping me achieve my paradise.

  97. I got married a week and a half ago. My wife and I have already set up sub savings accounts to save money for a honeymoon for our one year anniversary (exporing San Francisco and driving up to the redwood forests), and to save to replace both of our cars (my 1998 minivan has over 170k miles on it and only has about two years left in it).

    I’ve also switched to a credit card that gives rewards that I will actually use, automated and got ahead on payments for my student loans, and recommended the book to several colleagues who have also put your ideas into practice.

    Most importantly, we used several of the things that we picked up from the book to plan our wedding. With the “spend extravagantly on the things you care about and cut mercilessly on those you don’t” mentality, we were able to have the wedding that we wanted, UNDER budget, and still have all of our friends and family tell us that it was the most enjoyable wedding they’ve ever attended.

    Happy Birthday, Ramit! Thank you for all of the value that you’ve provided to your readers.

  98. Ramit,

    Happy Birthday! I have not read your book (yet)… I don’t even own it :) So I don’t have a story specific to IWT, or any other of your programs, etc. But being here and exploring your tips and knowledge, along with the comments athers are posting has already made a significant dent in the way I think about approaching various possibilities of starting a business and managing my finances. I appreciate it. A simple “Thank You!” is your b-day gift from me. So… Thank You!

  99. I have Applied for 2 new Amex credit cards and increased my Credit History. I had a confusion to either buy or rent a house. Your book make me decide which road to choose.Though i havnt got 10,000 points on starwood. it was definently a booster on planning my budgets a bit using Mint.

  100. Ramit,

    Actually you have done a lot and you don’t even know it over the last 2 years. But specifically over the last year your advice about high interest checking and savings accounts fundamentally altered my life long approach to banking. I used to think I needed a brick and mortar bank. But you convinced me to try ING and Schwab and the auto savings features and the interest I am getting from these accounts makes so much difference. I am also very persistent about fees and have gotten really good about negotiating them away. I am currently working on getting all my debt paid off and for the first time in 3 years actually opened a new credit card account to the Starwood Preferred and have moved all my business over to them for the points.

    I can go on. But most of all your positive thinking, encouragement, and also being so persistent. That most of all got me to to really listen and take action.

    Thank you!

    Happy Birthday.

  101. Ramit Happy Bday!

    I read your book and it helped me save over 25k for my wedding in roughly 12 months. I used the specific strategies you laid out in book to automate my finances which allowed me to reach my goal. My fiance and I will be getting married on July 23rd and will paying cash for everything! Instead of starting off our married life in debt we’ll be shopping for a new house. I can’t thank you enough. I will never forget this quote, “Personal finance is not about more willpower!” I had tried every trick in the book and nothing worked for me until I read your book and adopted your automation strategies.

  102. I used the negotiation tactics to increase my rate 25% above what what my employer was offering.

  103. Congrats! After reading IWTYTBR I automated all my bills payments and savings to happen on the same day each month. Now once a month I just make sure the required amount is in the account and never have to spend time balancing my bank book or waiting for cheques to clear my account throughout the month. Life changer. Thanks!
    Eliot.

  104. I haven’t made improving my finances a huge priority yet, but I have made some small concrete steps that are setting me on the right path:

    – set up an automated savings account that gets 5% of my paycheck
    – paid off a $1000+ credit card bill that I’d been struggling to control (kind of a big deal for me because I have grad school income right now)
    – added three small but helpful revenue streams to my income (which enabled me to pay off bills and have some extra “fun” money)
    – changed my bills to come on or around the first of the month so they are easier to pay (my salary comes on the last day of the month)

    The biggest thing for me, though, is that I’m no longer scared to look at my (meager) checking and saving accounts or my credit card bill. I don’t have a lot to work with, but now I feel like I know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, I feel confident in working with what I have, and I don’t feel guilty about being horrible at balancing my checkbook.

    Thanks Ramit! And happy birthday.

  105. Happy birthday Ramit!
    I havent accomplished as much as I’d like especially since I purchased Earn1K, but I still want to thank you for every little thing your material has helped me with.

    - being more aware of invisible scripts in my life and how to not let them get to me

    - changing my mentality that I don’t have to quit my day job to start doing what I like. In fact, a day job can be a good balance!

    - being able to identify whiners and people who are all talk and no action…and making sure I’m not one of them!

    - automated all my bills that allowed me that option, and started automatic withdrawals for a savings account (currently saved $1200 and growing). In the past, I probably would have spent all that very quickly.

    - accepting the fact that I don’t have to be perfect to be good and to make a profit.

    Thank you again Ramit! Always looking forward to your new material.

  106. Bought the book – IWT got us using a Conscious Spending Plan instead of a monthly budget. We set up complete automation of our finances and also paid off all of our credit card debt, a car, and a student loan early.

  107. Hello Ramit, I appreciate your advice on negotiating credit card debt. Last week I negotiated a high rate interest card, 29.97%. I was told at first that they couldn’t lower it since it was a contractual agreement. I wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I told the agent that I wanted to speak to the supervisor who could write a new agreement for me. Bam! That was the ice breaker. I was put on hold and then the agent came back and said she could lower the interest rate to 10% for six months; that was perfect since I plan to have it paid off by the six month period!

    Better still, I then thought, what the heck, I might as well call another credit card company. I then negotiated another card down by 9 percentage points. The agent kept trying to offer discounts on travel and more but I repeated that I only wanted to lower my APR. By sticking with the plan of being persistent and letting her know that I wanted to stay with them but need to get rid of high interest cards, I put the onus in her hands. She wasn’t about to lose a client. Thank you for all your great advice and Happy Birthday, Ramit!

  108. You taught me a different point of view. And I appreciate that so much.

    Happy Birthday

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  109. Happy Birthday!
    I have learned that you have to take action to get out of the ditch:
    In two weeks i will have paid off my 4 credit cards, my credit has gone up.
    I automated all my bill payments.
    I also looked at what i was spending and cut out alot of magazine subscription and other items that cut 100. per month of expenses.
    I am also starting a side job as a loan processor, i am in the process of getting my license. Since they now require a state and federal test my sister who is a broker lost her loan processor , so i have a client base already.
    I was also approved for a house now which i will be getting in Sept., My rent payments are higher than my mortgage so i decided to buy a house instead.Which will help with my taxes.
    Reading the book made me make critical changes, to reduce expenses of things that i don’t even use.

  110. Happy Birthday!

    The main thing you have taught me started a couple weeks ago. For the first time I didn’t feel guilty about not owning a house.

    As a recent college grad who is just trying to pay back student loans and get some what established in life, I was constantly being hasseled about buying a house. “Rates have never been lower!” “It would be a great investment to start off your life.” All I could think of was “Geez I would just be happy paying off some loans and going to the coffee shop a few times a week.”

    Your article on the costs that come with a house and how houses aren’t really an investment for people my age, compared to my parents really got me thinking. It’s ok to not do it just like eveyone else has in the past. Debt free, a decent appartment and a fully funded Roth is my only goal now that I can stop feeling guilty about not owning a house.

  111. IWTTBR has helped me realized that I need to stop spending in things that are not important to me so that I can spend on things that are important to me and truly enjoy them.

  112. Happy Birthday Ramit! I first read your blog maybe two years ago and started automating my savings, maxed out my 401K, opened a Vanguard account, switched from Hells Fargo to Schwab and got a new credit card with a better rewards program. I dropped off reading for a while but am back on the bandwagon now, and I can honestly say you have helped me reconsider my entire professional trajectory. I have always wanted to freelance or at least have a more flexible job but didn’t see how it could be possible (psychological barriers: I’m too young, I don’t have enough marketable skills, why would anyone pay me to do x y z etc). I started earning money on the side (resume writing, only one paying client so far but it’s a start!) and have started conversations with my employer about contract work after I leave (I’m starting a fellowship program in Thailand). I feel more confident to ask for what I want and I’m so excited for where this might take me.

    Thanks and I’ll keep reading! :)

  113. I learned the difference between active and passive obstacles. It led me to reorganize my office so that tasks I used to put off (like “print” doh!) because they involved a whole series of actions became easy and instant. This not only makes me more productive at my desk and lets me have the paperwork I need in meetings without the procrastination, it makes it more pleasant to get into the office and start the workday. This was a small tip, but a major change. I am expanding it to more strategic areas. Thank you. Happy Birthday. Please continue to use your power for Good not Evil (smile)

  114. Ramit,
    You have inspired me to get back to building my website and to start looking for a side job. I can’t afford your Earn1K program yet – too much debt to pay off first. So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been monitoring Craigslist to look for small jobs in my field. Nothing’s panned out for me yet, but I’m optimistic.

  115. This week actually my wife and I finally made the switch the the Schwab Checking Account and I did grab that AMEX card you recommended and am using it for all my travel. Thanks for the tips man.

  116. I have automated more payments to reduce my credit card debt. I have also researched moving to the Schwab checking account you recommended.

  117. Happy Birthday OLD MAN.
    I’ve only just starting hearing from you and your program, but none of my time spent with you has been wasted. I especially appreciate your specific goals and assignments and I know that doing money generating things will become my new habit. I know that doing two things at once is productive but doing three or more is stupid. I’ve learned that its not only ok to be writing at 3am, but its probably more profitable than writing at 2pm.

    I’ll keep reading and watching, and completing the assignments…thanks for sharing your decades worth of knowledge!

  118. IWT has helped me immensely. I’m 31, carry no debt, I max out my Roth IRA and hopefully soon my 401k, and since October, I have successfully negotiated for two promotions for a total of a $39k increase in annual salary. I have also successfully negotiated for a three month bonus at my new rate (which is significant as it is not the tradition of my company to offer bonuses at all). I’ve had my eyes opened to the myths of home ownership, and while I may purchase a house in the next 24 months, I will do so informed, well-prepared, and with no misconceptions that it is anything more than a conscious purchase, and not an “investment”. Thank you Ramit!

  119. You helped me find the confidence and common sense to start my own commission-based art business. Specifically, I learned how to get inside my customers’ heads and tailor my approach so that it was all about THEM; my commissions literally tripled. Unfortunately, it was the wrong market, so my success didn’t last, but thanks to your information I now know WHY it was the wrong market, and next time I’m going to focus my efforts on the wealthier set.

    Also, I finished paying down my student loans!! I’m not actually sure how much direct influence you had over that, but it’s your birthday, so I’ll give you credit. :)

    Happy birthday. Enjoy your last year of being a 20-something!

  120. To appease your ego, I will tell you because of your site I have become more financially aware and I have almost all my college loan debt paid off since I graduated last June ($600 left). I also have automated all my accounts and due to your suggestion, have been reading extensively on investing. The amount I have learned from your site and book is incalculable With that said, the best thing about following you is reading the hilarious Reddit links you post on the twitter.

  121. Remit,

    After reading your blog i’ve been able to: 1. automate my finances 2. open an ING savings account 3. Open a roth IRA account 4. Passed your info onto my girlfriend who was able to get an 11% raise at work + commission 5. helped my girlfriend launch a profitable Etsy store that has brought in more than 1K in the past 2 months.

    Thanks again, and have a great birthday… hope to see you around NYC sometime.

  122. Your book (and blog) helped me stash away ~6 grand just in the last 9 months by automating my money flow instead of depending on discipline to save it and put it in the right place.
    Bonus: the book also gave me easy, practical advice for investing. Before I read IWTYTBR it was discouraging and confusing trying to figure out how to invest my money. Not anymore! Thanks Ramit, and happy freakin’ birthday!

  123. Oh my goodness where do I start??? I started reading your posts almost from Day 1 and as a single mom, who worked at a university myself, I thought you were a wet-nosed twerp — but, hey I kept reading all these years! I started my own household services business that now has subcontractors and actually makes taxable money (ha ha) !! My daughter just got married 6/19 and we paid CASH for the wedding — yeah!! I don’t lose sleep at night over how to put food on the table or gas in the car. Trust me, there was a time I was paying for gas with coins and was holding garage sales to get food money. So these years of you growing up — I have also grown up!! Congratulations on turning 29 !!!!! It’s hard to believe the years have flown by so fast. Here’s a birthday hug!!!

  124. Hi Ramit,

    Happy Birthday. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and while I like your writing style, I don’t think it’s your tips that make you as unique. For me the value in your posts comes from the fact that they’re infused with confidence. You aren’t afraid to come off like a d1ck, and I swear I can see some of your words in my head when I find myself wimping out, and they give me some much needed support to “man up” and own who I am instead of acting like some wee shrinking violet. So thanks! Oh also, I totally loves your approach to applying to college. I plan on using that when I apply to grad schools and jobs that are technically way out of my reach. Here’s to strategically using rejections!

  125. hey Ramit Happy Birthday many many returns!!!! IWT has helped me not really about money, automating my finances etc, but its taught me more about myself and the psychological barriers in my own mind preventing me from getting off my lazy ass and doing something for myself after reading instead of procrastinating I started saving, restarted and going consistently well in a regime to put on muscle, I’ve restarted my guitar practice and have gotten much much better but all of this is basically because of a change in my behavior that I only realized after reading IWT so thanks so so much. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

  126. Ramit, iwillteahyoutoberich reminded me to AUTOMATE my finances. Something I had done years and years ago but had stopped. I started again and it is the ONLY way to wealth! Thank you for the reminder – and – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  127. Happy Bday Ramit!
    So, one specific tip that I read in your book was about Roth IRA’s. In your book,you mentioned that you could withdraw the initial amount you deposited to start the account without penalty as long as you had it for 5+ years. Well, I am happy to report that I took out $1000 free and clear and even had my banker stumped. I have used this cash to invest in my new business, help me pay down credit card debt and well, feel a lot more confident when it comes to the numbers game. Thank you SO much for this tip and for all that you do. :)
    PS: I’m in Marie Forleo’s RHH B-school for the 2nd time and want to say THANK YOU for offering your bonus gift to us. That was super generous!
    Virtual hugs from AZ,
    Diana

  128. I understand financial automation and that life is about using money to enjoy our desires. My mom is a financial advisor with an ultra-conservative outlook, and frankly, I hate her perspective. Your perspective has liberated my mind.

    Thank you for everything you do Ramit.

  129. Happy Birthday!

    I started reading your website a month or two ago before I graduated college after freaking out about the fact that I knew very little about finances going into the real world. I visited your site after reading one of your guest posts in a NYT article (the guest post method got me!) and since then I’ve found an invaluable amount of insight in your material. Specifically, here are some of the things I’ve done since starting to read your site:

    1. I opened up a savings account and got a credit card
    2. I got my first full-time job (some of your tips and methods helped with that)
    3. I strummed up the confidence to reach out to a well-known app developer to collaborate on a project, using some of your scripts
    4. Automated my finances to the best of my ability
    5. Overall become much more attune to my financial situation.

    Thanks and Happy 29th!
    David

  130. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    I’m a teacher who knows the value in hearing how you have helped someone, and who also happens to savor every bit of money-saving advice. I’ve started tutoring on the side, and your advice has helped me to work more efficiently and become more confident in negotiating. This confidence is not only useful in professional areas, but in personal relationships as well. It’s changed my outlook on my interactions and has helped me to look for ways I can benefit others and be benefited with every contact I make.

    Enjoy your day!

  131. Hey Happy Birthday!

    I’m from México but read your book anyways… started to look for the mexican equivalents of everything you talk about in every chapter (too bad the account and bank recommendations don’t count here).

    Anyways, I immediately opened an investment account, a savings account, and automated everything I could.

    Oh! and also I stopped using and additional credit card from my mom’s… I’d been using it since long ago and always paid the total, but never realized that I was just helping my mom get a better credit score instead of my own, so I went to get my own credit card.

  132. Hi Ramit,

    Frankly I have not read your book but keep reading your mailers/ twitters – and its been months that I am doing so. The one thing I realized that you always recommend to leverage own strengths or build one for sure.

    Thank you for your great advice and I’m sure I will benefit from other actions – I see a lot in the comments.

    Happy Birthday Ramit! – I have decided to read the book and plan to wrap up by the next weekend. Be assured you will hear a lot from me.

    Regards,
    :)hristopher

  133. Happy birthday ramit!

    I am a medical student in London and have been reading your website for just under a year. This year I have reached out to people in the field I am interested in (pediatrics) and I now have lots of useful contacts. I also made a conscious effort to defeat my student instincts about the value of things rather than the cost and paid to go abroad and present my research at an international student conference in holland. And I used the briefcase technique to get a job!

    So thank you so much for all your advice.
    I hope you have a lovely day!

    Aarthi

  134. Hi Ramit,
    Happy Birthday!!

    A thank you note and a birthday gift for you – I stumbled on to your site a few weeks back and what I read there motivated me enough to pick up the phone. I had had a job offer a few months ago which I declined. After reading your IWT site, I called them back checking to see if they still had the opening. However, instead of joining as an employee, I pitched it as a consulting job – and what do you know, they agreed!! Today, I am sending them my first ever invoice as a consultant – for more than 1k and having put in far fewer hours than I do in a week on my regular day job. Lovin’ it!

    So, a big thank you. And have a wonderful birthday.

  135. IWT has helped me to fully automate all of my finances and bills, switch my chequing account over to a non-fee bank called PC Financial (in Ontario, Canada), start a new savings account over at ING Canada (including the sub-savings accounts which I’ve titled similar to yours), I negotaited my annual salary to $2000 more than what it was “supposed” to be at the time of my contract renewal, I actually took the actions you suggested every single day in the preliminary Earn1K 2.0 emails, I looked into the cost of Earn1K 2.0 and was going to try to figure out a way to pay for it – but once I got your email about not being allowed to sign up if I have credit card debt – I didn’t. Do you have any idea how much more I respect you than I did in the first place because you made that clear? I only have $800 credit card debt, but it’s a huge priority of mine to pay it off and honestly it’s not that easy, but you saved me another $1000+ debt by not “lettting” me sign up.

    One more thing. The same day I decided to give up on signing up, I created a very simple advertisement for my brand new side-job, showed it to a few people for suggestions – got praise… and my first real client (other than my parents). I start next week!

    Thanks Ramit. You’re pretty cool (I think).
    Oh and Happy Birthday… you old man.
    ;)

  136. Happy Birthday!

    The most important thing for me is the idea of testing my assumptions, which I’ve applied to various aspects of my life with mostly positive results. Turns out that I *do* like beets, that maybe all men in their 20s are not too immature to date (still testing that one), and the value of my skills should not be determined by how easy something is for me to do, but rather by the impact it has on my clients. So, just because I can solve a problem with minimal effort on my part, doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable service for which I should be handsomely compensated.

    Well done. Enjoy 29!
    Kelly

  137. I just started reading the IWTYTBR site in May, and I have since opened up an ING Savings account and began saving for long term expenses and emergencies. In two weeks I will open up a Schwab checking account and say good-bye to ATM fees. I am automating my expenses for the first time in my life and working toward a financially healthy future. Thank you.

  138. While it may not be specific or measurable, I’ve noticed a profound shift in the content of my thoughts as well as the quality of my actions. Instead of playing video games, my friends and I sit around discussing various business ventures.
    I have learned to hone the lens of my worldview.

  139. Love the creepy pic, ha ha- Happy Birthday! Your newsletter has been invaluable to me in the reminders to stay positive and be proactive. After some major life changes this last year it’s like I’m out of the starting gates again.

    I have studied the gist of what you teach re: behavioral change for a few years now and most of what you say is right in line with what I’ve learned. So, the pep talks you send are wonderful and remind me to promote ME. You do have some seasoned readers out here and this one appreciates your stuff. Getting ready to embark on a new chapter, so thanks for helping me keep my eye on that light at the end of the tunnel.

    I do these lists online, too, and I’ll definitely include you in one about Inspiring Websites. Here’s one I did a long time ago, maybe you’ll like (and rate?!):

    Best 5 Things to Do to Attract $$
    http://www.best5everything.com/best5ListPages/thingsattractmoneykaching74237.php

    Thanks so much and enjoy your birthday!

    JustLisa
    lisapena.com

  140. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    You’ve helped me to become an active participant in my life instead of just letting it happen to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  141. And I just reread… as far as concrete and measurable, I have lowered my interest on my credit card down to about 9% and used my side hustle of tutoring to pay down my credit card and opened a new account to earn bonus points that are allowing me to take a vacation to a beachfront location. :)

  142. Happy Happy Birthday!

    Thank you for coming into my existence last week. On your next birthday….. I will have tons of things to share! Have a great birthday week too!

  143. Ramit,

    I read your book when it first came out and it helped me setup my finances. I setup a roth IRA, credit cards and high interest savings to be all automatic. Freeing my brain for other more interesting events.

    All that work ended up saving my ass when I decided to move north to be with my gf. I took me a while to find some income up there and all that automatic saving I did came through gloriously.

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  144. I scored a paying client based on a referral from a previous client. New client thinks I’m awesome because I applied all the stuff I learned from Earn 1K.

    More importantly, I worry less about negotiating, e-mailing or calling people, or doing job interviews, because I have all these wonderful scripts from IWTYTBR!

  145. Cole Van Vlack Link to this comment

    From your book, the greatest thing I’ve taken from that is all of the tips for improving my credit score. It was already good, but you’re right that it is probably THE biggest thing that will help my finances in the short and long term other than investing. The nice thing about those tip is I’ve been able to convince who cringe when they here people talk about investments that at least their credit score is something that will have a huge impact on their finances and they don’t have to do a tonne of research. This will make the people in my life happier and me happier by association! :)

    From IWTYTBR, I love all of the psychology about willpower. I have been TRYING to finish my PhD, and so much of that is willpower based. No one is going to make me do it but me. I haven’t found many other ways to deal with the fact that I have a finite amount of willpower other than to avoid situations that make me use up my willpower. Things like the 4-hour-body have certainly helped me take care of myself while trying only to focus on finishing. Thanks for everything and Happy Birthday!

  146. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    My husband forwarded me your blog about two months ago right after we moved out of our pricey townhouse rental and back into a house my inlaws own and my brother-in-law lives in (married with a roommate, not ideal) with the goal of paying off our credit card debt and getting ahead financially. I loved your blog and went to the library to check out your book (I got wait listed for a few days – that’s how I KNEW it was a good one). I read the book in a day and when I returned it bought my own copy.

    Since reading your book a few weeks ago, we have opened a Charles Schwab checking account and plan to close our Wachova -turned-Wells Fargo accounts, My husband increased his contribution to his 401K and I started my 401K (just became eligible) and am contributing 5% starting next Friday. We also completely updated our mint.com budgets and have been holding ourselves accountable to those budgets. This is the first time in our two years of marriage that I have felt like we have control over our spending and it feels great!

    Thanks to the suggestions in your book we are able to send $800/month toward our debt! Seeing our debt drastically decrease like that makes having a roommate for the next year completely worth it! Sticking with our plan will get our credit cards and my husbands car paid off in a little less than 12 months! I am so excited!

    Thank you, Ramit!!

  147. Happy Birthday! Your automatic payment/savings plan introduced me to online money management that I’ve been finetuning since last year! Many, many thanks! Enjoy your special day!

  148. Ramit; Happy Birthday! Hope you’re spending it having a great time, and I know you’re going to get exactly what you wish for today. You deserve it.

    Thank you for helping me to realize that the world isn’t ending tomorrow, and every thing I do today to prepare for my future is worth the effort. You’ve helped me to automate my finances, using my bank accounts to accomplish this.

    Oh, yeah, I’m 55 years old. Thanks again, Ramit. You are really making a difference for many people. I give your book away to my friends, and recommend it to everyone.

  149. Happy Birthday man! Thanks for your many emails. You’ve taught me to be persistent, to follow up like mad and if there’s something I want then to go after it like crazy because the buck stops here. Thanks again and have a great year – Your Best Year Ever! -leilani patel

  150. Ramit, you complete me! Happy birthday man, keep this rolling it is helpful.

    Reading with Ramit, it has helped me establish a spending pattern that has saved me much heartache and frustration.

    I used to do the debit card until I had no cash, just put it all on there and worry about the rest later, I make enough so I could spend as I chose. The only downside, I never really got out of the day to day habits. Spendign all my money on trinkets, games, food, beverages and saving for retirement left me with no cash for having fun (travel, hobbies, additional education, etc.).

    Well I switched to an all cash system for my day to day living, I calculated up what my daily rituals cost, what gas for my car costs and how many times I eat out a week, how much I spend at the grocery store. Added all of that up and take that precise amount out each week.

    This does a few things for me, the first is, I’ve amassed a couple of grand in about 6 months by utilizing ready cash only and leaving the cards at home. I am a bad impulse buyer so this is the only way to curb that habit.

    The second thing it did, I was about 20lbs overweight (well lbs don’ t matter to me but I was at 23% Body Fat, pretty chunky for a middle aged guy). By not having total ready cash to both eat out and buy groceries I have had better meals, I usually pack a lunch, and I cook at home which I love to do. Gone is the huge temptation to eat fast food every night when I see that stack of bills dwindling and by wednesday have no money to do anything but go to work and cook at home. So if I want to eat out a couple of times a week I need to decide which ones I want to pusue. Well that was a little off topic, but it boils down to that I have lost about 4% bodyfat by combining the new eating habit with workout habits.

    Hope this helps you out on your birthday, have a cervesa for us!

  151. Happy B-day Ramit! I wish you all the besssst!

    I’ve got raise on my job. Yuuuhuuu!

    All best,
    H.

  152. Your blog and emails have been instrumental in helping me acknowledge and identify fears. I’ve been so afraid to make mistakes that, rather than learning from the mistakes I do make, I justify them in some twisted way to make it look like I might know what I’m doing. You gave me the idea to diversify my income streams, and this weekend I kick off my first venture in that regard (of course, this week has been the biggest battle with fears ever as old programming keeps coming back up to interfere with my course).

    Thank you! And happy birthday!

  153. Happy Birthday Rammit!!
    You have done two things,specifically, for us this year:
    1- you helped us organize our finances into an automatic system that has taken a significant load off of our shoulders, money now going where it is suppose to, and much more peace of mind that we are meeting our financial objectives.
    2- your style of writing/communication has removed the stick from my wife’s butt about reading financial books/info…you’re cadid style matches us to a “T”… You inform without drolling on and on…in other words …YOU DON’T SUCK!!! Thanks for that Ramit.
    Congratulations on your birthday, and continued success to you and yours!

  154. I found your site while randomly surfing the web one day. Your approach has been a breath of fresh air to me. Since then I have overcome my fear of autopay, and have an idea of the business I want to start.

    I guess you can say that I have already started my business, but I have no outside clients, yet. Right now I am experimenting on friends and family.

  155. Hi Ramit! Happy birthday, man! IWT helped me sort out which idea is the most promising one for making money on the side. I did the exercises among many ideas I have and found out graphic & web design services were the most promising. Even though I got other projects going, I’m focusing on creating a portfolio to open soon my design company. Other things that helped me are the exercises on just doing stuff, and then adjusting. Credits have to be shared with T. Ferriss whose first book opened my eyes to businesses online. Have a good one!

  156. For me the most important thing has been to understand and embrace the concept of conscious spending; that being frugal doesn’t mean to give up the things that are important to you. Once I have met my financial goals for the month, I spend guilt-free on the three things that are important to me: experiences (like travel), eating out, and education.

    Thanks Ramit. Have a great birthday!

  157. Ramit, i am thankful to you for sharing a useful strategy which enables me now to understand what my CLIENTS NEED. I am in the process of talking with potential clients and they are more responsive to me now that i try to narrow down to THEIR NEEDS instead of focusing on what i THINK of as their needs. Thanks Man! I thought i’d share this when i crack the first deal but since its your birthday i thought you do deserve to hear the change your advice has brought about in my behavior (even if it is minor as of now). Financial success will follow that i’m sure of. And all the credit goes to you.

    Happy Birthday!

  158. I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    (I can be a little self-centered sometimes)

  159. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I bought your book about a year and a half ago, and this year I used your book and blog’s advice about negotiating salary at a new job. I was worried that my new employer would laugh at me trying to negotiate for more money since I graduated just three years ago and hence don’t have a ton of experience. I managed to get 5k above the initial offer and was thrilled! More importantly, my new job is closer to my idea of a dream job.

    I also used your book to start making automatic non-retirement investments in some index funds (I do 401k and Roth IRA for retirement stuff too).

    Cheers,
    Josh

  160. Ramit,

    I have been considering a new business for over 2 years. I had been making plans, starting, reworking, restarting… I was recently on one of your webinars and you said something that changed my outlook….

    “Perfection is for losers” I realized my issue was seeking perfection and not just making a plan and getting out and making it happen. I wrote the quote on my whiteboard and look at it everyday as a reminder to keep moving.

  161. Happy Birthday! I loved your negotiation video for women! It is so hard for us and that was a goldmine! Thank you.

  162. Structure
    Structure
    Structure
    Structure
    Structure
    Structure
    Structure

  163. Happy Birthday!

    I tested my assumption that I could never get hired as an attorney to a big law firm through on-line ad postings because I had never gotten a response in the past. As it turned out, it took less than 2 weeks and I’ve been hired to a top 100 firm. My first day is next week and the pay increase is huge. I’m so excited and happy!

  164. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    I joined your e-mailing list quite late (or it’s never too late to join the mailing list of awesome?) so most of the strategies you speak of I have already implemented and am on the financial freedom track. Reading your emails/blog posts/etc… have made me feel I am not alone in the climb to the top.

    The only thing that would help (more) is if you had a Canadian version of you!
    I really really want the bank that pays me back for ATM/ABM usage and haven’t been able to find that in Canada.

    Thank you for your daily encouragements and keep spreading the awesome!!

    All the best on your special day,

    Meli !

  165. Ramit,

    I usually have hundreds of ideas zipping through my head at once, and your material has helped me quiet the thoughts and focus on one thing at a time. You’ve given me clarity, and for that, I am very thankful.

    I already have my own small business and your material has helped me push myself even farther and fine tune my strategies.

    Back in February, I watched your video on how to write a proposal using your problem/solution format. That strategy helped me land my biggest client yet with a hefty retainer/bonus compensation plan.

    Thank you for all that you do for us.

    Happy Birthday!

    Caitlin

  166. Hey Ramit!

    Happy Birthday! I signed up for your original Earn 1K course and it really helped me focus my job search and land more interviews in the salary range that I want. I also used the psychology pieces to lose weight. I know these are nontraditional uses for the course, but that’s because your material is the most effective I’ve come across.

    The course is really incredible and it’s very true that the barriers are the ones you create for yourself. However, once you practice doing the exercises, the things that you are nervous doing become easier.

    Thank you for everything. You’ve been a better mentor than anyone I’ve known in my professional career.

  167. Happy Birthday!
    As a preface, I haven’t taken your 1k course. I have bought your book and follow your posts/newsletter. But I’ve learned a lot and done the one of the most important things.

    I STARTED!

    Thank you and many happy returns.

  168. Happy Birthday! I bought your book randomly at Barnes & Nobles. With your website and books I’ve been able to be knowledgeable on reducing all my interest rates on my cards, consolidated all of them and automated. Now ready to do more. Your not only educating me, but now I can educated my circle. I am in Advertising industry, but your stuff is real. Let me know if I could help you.

  169. The biggest lesson Earn1K taught me is how to overcome a psychological barrier that’s stopped me from achieving my goals for a long time: It showed me how to overcome the mental and physical inertia of just starting. Since I want everything to be perfect all the time and have every detail in place, often times I’m too overwhelmed to start in the first place. Or I start and don’t finish. Earn1K focused on establishing a new mindset of starting and being persistent – continuing my good habit instead of retreating and not doing anything because there’s too much to do. It made the biggest difference in my productivity and on what i was able to accomplish. It was a very big deal for me, very big.

  170. Hi RS, I have being reading your blog from quite some time now, I didn’t use much of your material to be frank but i can honestly tell you that you have excellent goal of making people free as i also want to be free or not working for money one day as this seem bit difficult in India specially here. I can say happy birthday and keep up the Good work Good soul.

  171. Happy Birthday,

    I finally started to put money into IRA this year. I also opened the account at Charles Schawb because they don’t charge any ATM fee. I do go overseas a lot so no ATM fee in any foreign ATM helps out compares to other major US bank.

  172. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    Here’s what I’ve acted on:

    1) Set up a second retirement plan (am not based in the US and after years of dithering about whether or not to set up a local plan, I did so).

    2) “Automated” my savings. I use ” ” because I am a freelancer with very irregular income, but committed to putting away a 10% of each payment that comes in. I knew all along that I should be doing this but wasn’t consistent. Now it is non-negotiable. I also shift a small designated sum to a savings account each month, whether or not I’ve had any money come in. I may have to dip into it at some point, but so far so good!

    3) Started paying attention to reward programmes (credit card, grocery store etc).

    Small steps all, but the point is they are steps, not passive thoughts.

    All good wishes to you as you start your 30th year.

  173. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    Enjoy the last time you get to be a 20something. Wanted to thank you again for your invisible scripts concept/posts. This has been an amazing revelation for my wife and myself in our personal and professional lives. We now use this idea consciously when negotiating or directing folks below us and it helps to clarify what is being unsaid in any argument or negotiation.
    Specifically we started hosting international college students as our get off our butts and do it item. We earn money, get to have first hand interaction with other cultures and their version of a comfortable home which challenges us to think what are american concepts and what are just the way our families did things. Plus we both work professionally with international bents and the ability to physically recognize when you’re putting another culture at ease vs guessing because you read it in a book is invaluable. Looking forward to where you evolve this site next but I have to admit your research into psychology and it’s immediate effects in everyday life has me willing to actually take classes again specifically with a bent towards cultural interactions.

  174. Reading your site and your book has helped me immensely with my negotiation skills. For example- I managed to make almost twice on a freelance job what a close friend of mine who’d done similar work for the same job suggested my client would be willing to pay. Then a couple weeks later I was able to negotiate my hourly rate at another job to be 200% of the number the client was initially suggesting- partly by knowing exactly what range would work for me and partly through the use of your briefcase technique.
    Reminding myself to stay in my client’s head and figure out how to meet their needs had really improved my ability to work with people. Thanks so much Ramit!

  175. Overcoming psychological barriers–you’re good at teaching people that Ramit! I loved your “briefcase technique” and lots of other strategies for getting your own and clients’ minds set to better profits.

  176. Best Wishes for a very Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    Your money flow chart in your book helped me to get better organized as to making paying my bills more automatic and seamless, as well as transfers from my checking to savings accounts.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share, and enjoy your special day!

  177. You website has helped me come face to face with my true passion as well as strategies, insight, and different ways of thinking to making my dream slowly become more of a reality. Thank you, and Happy Birthday!

  178. Happy birthday! I just bought the car of my dreams, which I had been stalking for 3 years. Ever since I knew that I would buy the car *eventually*, I automated the approximate monthly payment into my “Car Fund” ING account which was an idea I got from you. I was able to pay for half of the car in cash using that money; and I won’t miss the monthly payment for the rest because I am used to that money disappearing from my checking account anyway.

  179. Happy birthday, Ramit. I’m a PhD student making almost no money. Using your book as a guide, I closed my account with Chase bank and said goodbye forever to their sneaky, dirty fees 2 years ago. I signed up for an account with Charles Schwab and have been investing an embarrassingly small amount of money with every pay check. Since then, my Roth IRA has climbed into the thousands. This year I made a few hundred dollars on my retirement investments alone without doing ANYTHING. Thanks, Ramit!

  180. In the last year, I have used advice from I Willl Teach to get a better credit card, set up a Roth IRA, and set up ING subaccounts for my savings goals. I have almost all of it automated, so the balances are increasing really rapidly.

    I also joined Earn1K, and I have doubled my tutoring rates and earned $1800 in the last few months. Also, using the advice in Earn1K about writing an effective proposal, I landed a long term commitment for tutoring worth about $3000. This same client asked me to “give them a deal” for signing up for so many hours, but I stood my ground and they happily agreed to my rate.

    IWT and Earn1K have made a huge difference in my financial life. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

  181. Horace Cavalero Link to this comment

    I only have one question for you and I would love if you could answer it . Here it goes” tell me at 29 are YOU rich yourself ? If not , What are your qualifications to teach others how to be rich ? Please consider these questions simply as an enquiry and an act of curiosity.

    Thanks
    Horace

  182. Happy Birthday, Ramit. In a few short weeks, I will celebrate my 60th. I enjoy reading your emails – you make me smile – and try very hard to get my nieces and nephews interested, involved, motivated. I have given your book to 3 of them. My spouse and I live debt-free, pay cash for large acquisitions, have IRAs, portfolios, mutuals, bonds and savings. We travel when we like and both of us work at our chosen professions. Life is good. Thanks for your inspiration and encouragement.

  183. Bottom of the page on every email you get, Mary. Just click the link 3 times and repeat…”I’m only a gnome, I’m only a gnome…”

    BTW…it’s still considered rude not to, at least, acknowledge someone for the help they provided you…in other words…Ramit didn’t sign you up to get his emails, you did….so a TY and maybe Happy BD might be in order, unless you are a communist, in which case you probably feel as though you contributed as much as he did to his website, and then in which case, you should have known about the link at the bottom of the page…I am so
    tired of you.

  184. Happy birthday Ramit!! I remember 29 (vaguely)… IWT has taught me, first and foremost, how to automate my finances. This has been an incredible time saver and helped get my ass out of a few jams, where I would have forgotten to make a payment on a bill.

  185. Happy birthday ramit
    I will teach you to be rich is a great book I have learn a lot it help me get to a 100.00 dollars the first week . Thanks again

  186. I automated as much as possible. And I dove into a new business, which isn’t making money yet, but will be next year. It’s chickens, as soon as more eggs hatch I’m in the money!

    I also automated simple things (all my bills and savings!), like putting smart powerstrips on all my electronics which saves me 20 bucks a month in electricity, that means a yearly savings of 240 dollars. I knocked my credit card debt down from 15, 000 to 3,000. I also got a side babysitting job to help counteract feed costs while the chickens grow up to egg laying size. (instead of just putting it on credit and assuming it’d even out later when the eggs were here- that’s what I used to do!)

    I have a target (500 birds) and a plan to hit up as many stores and restaurants as needed until the eggs are sold every week. I’m already at 120 birds, more hatching every week. It takes six months to grow them up to egg laying size, and in the meantime I’ve been doing odd jobs to cover their expenses.

  187. Your pearls of wisdom are a huge blessing in thinking out of the box, managing finances and negotiating life’s challenges!
    Thank you for being a great guy and Happy Birthday!

  188. I was offered a freelance writing opportunity. I was surprised since I didn’t have much writing experience and had just launched my blog a few months prior. They offered me $20 a post, which I was fine with taking just for the exposure. But I figured, what the heck, counter with $30. Sure enough, I got it.

    I know it’s a small victory, but this is something that I might not have done before learning about negotiating on IWTYTBR. I definitely plan to scale up my negotiating skills from here. Thanks, Ramit, and happy bday!

  189. You helped me go from $0 in savings to $1000. Also got me to automate my investing. Now $200 a month goes to Sharebuilder into index funds. Thanks for kicking ass!

  190. I asked out a guy yesterday. He said no. I feel shitty but not that shitty because I know I “failed”. And I don’t consider failures to be bad things anymore. I’m still deciding if yesterday was a good or a bad day.

  191. In the last 6 months, I paid off over $5k in credit card debt and automated all my payments. My credit score has gone up by 30 points into the next bracket! I also took your advice with the Charles Schwab and Starwood accounts and am excited to see them start to save me $ and reap the rewards. Next step is to get more $ into my savings and retirements accounts. And you also make me laugh, which is MUCH appreciated when reading about finances!

  192. Hi Ramir, I am older and have been under the weather, but i am so happy to get all the information, that you share with all of us. I will will get better and i will be back out there, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAMIT, You make me happy, Donna

  193. This year I had two huge wins using tactics I learned at IWTYTBR.

    1 – I negotiated an 11% raise at work using your negotiation advice which is worth it’s weight in gold. I was able to completely reverse my boss’s original decision and then convince her to give me 11% instead of 6%.

    2 – I negotiated 8k off of the sticker price of a new car just two months ago and was able to walk away with another 2k worth of freebies on the way out using the same negotiation advice.

    Before I started trying to dig myself out of debt two years ago I never negotiated or tried to use psychology to get what I wanted. I figured the numbers people gave me may as well have come down with the ten commandments engraved in stone. In two years I’ve completely changed that. I negotiate for everything now and if I don’t get what I want I leave. (You’d be amazed how effective this is.)

  194. I automated our mortgage payments online. At first I was nervous that I’d make a mistake, but now it’s such a glorious little piece of mind to never have to worry if I sent it off on time. I also set it up to pay extra on the principal. It feels like such an easy way to save years of payments and thousands of dollars. Now I’m working on facing the fears you talked about. Thank you!

  195. It’s a beautiful day, I love June 30th. It’s your birthday and it’s my birthday, too! Let’s celebrate. I’m turning 21, (Ha, Ha). OK, 30 something.
    You’ve helped me a lot. I ‘m looking forward to meeting you in person soon.

  196. Thanks to you, Ramit, when my cable/Internet bill went up I didn’t just pout about paying more — I did something about it. As soon as I got that first bill I contacted my provider and got it lowered. Should save me about $75/month for the next six months. (And then I do it again.)

    I also refuse to feel guilty like most money blogs say I should over buying the new car that my husband and I did. It wasn’t some crazy good deal, it is part of our conscious spending. We save elsewhere to be able to spend on the cars. :)

  197. Happy Birthday!!

    Thanks for all of your tips.

    I have automated my finances and have saved 4,000 besides my retirement and stocks.
    I also applied to airlines credit cards and have travel for free almost 4 times now. I never knew the credit cards also cover towing services!!
    Thanks!!

  198. Happy Birthday, Ramit!
    I am a full-time Mother-at-Home, who is making money on the side, as a Career coach. Your question, +What are you doing for free that people would pay you to do?” really got me thinking. First, I thought, “I love to talk and listen to people. Without a masters degree, no one would pay me to do that.” Then, I thought a bit more. ” What do I love to do in my free time? Help people think through their small business problems, and work through career transitions.” Hey, peopel PAY for that!!!!! So, I handle one client at a time, and have been making very helpful money on the side. As an added note, my husband, who is only earning $15/hr due to a job loss/change (and has a masters degree!) is now doing professional research on the side, and earning $50/hour for that. His desire is to turn that into his full-time gig. Both of these stories are a direct result of my utilizing some of the techniques you have been teaching on IWTYTBR and Earn1K. Not to mention the clients I have helped in their job transitions, sharing (with proper credit : ) your ideas. THank you, thank you for giving these things to me!!! I love how you think, and love even more your willingness to share it!

  199. Happy birthday! I turn 41 next week, and I’m wishing for a paper shredder, Hello Kitty knee socks, and unused wrapping paper.

    Since I started getting your e-mails and reading your blog, I have gotten a new job with a 45% pay increase, automated my finances, and found a better way to think about money overall.

    And it’s hard to quantify, but I really appreciate your ability to complain in a funny way, without whining and while showing you really get it and thus are worth listening to. I’d guess that’s worth about $23 a day to me, on average–more than most people would give to public radio.

  200. Ramit:

    Feliz cumpleaños compadre!

    Happy Birthday dude!

    This year at last I have started an alternate money income, ARCADES, yes arcade machines like the usual in 90′s, they are still very popular in Latin America, its an aditional money for me, about 20% of my normal salary at the office, but I only work 5% the time in comparision to the office.

    Here at México we are living hard times, a lot of crimes and extortion, a government that make us the things dificult about starting a new bussines. And all of this reflects in economy. But life goes on and those are another obstacle to ovecome.

    In the other side behavioral change, I have learned to “enjoy my lattes” with no guilt.
    I have learned to ask directly with no shame , right to the point, “are you interested on…” “would you like to”, without expectations of a yes or no, with no worries of reject.

    Thanks

    And again happy birthday

  201. Happy Birthday Ramit! Yes, that is a really creepy pic! Hahahahaha

    I want to thank you for teaching me the concept of spending my money on the things that I really need and want and cut mercilessly on the things that I don’t care about as much. That was a habit that was drilling holes on my wallet during my entire life.

    I have also performed exercises to find my strengths and skills in order to turn them into freelancing ideas. I’m a native Spanish speaker and I have never performed translation services. After taking a few tests, I found that I can do a great job translating. Is it my passion? No. But if it is a service that will help someone and will make me money on the side, you bet I’ll do it!

  202. Thanks to I Will Teach You To Be Rich I have formulated a plan to earn income on the side that will (hopefully) lead to early retirement where I will be able to do my side gig full time. You’ve also helped me switch jobs (and get more money) and put a plan into place that will pay off my debt. Next up for me: automating my finances! Thanks Ramit, and Happy Birthday!

  203. Dear ramit, Many happy returns! I am a widow and was overwhelmed about money specifics as well as general stuff. So many things I read were unclear or made no practical difference. I love how clear you are and real world applicable. (and you don’t make me feel guilty about the coffee shop! ) your book has helped me with credit cards choice what are the best account choices (so helpful) I really like the format of specific do this and I was able to DO it and move to next thing. Also got my college age son and adult daughter started. Thank you so much!

  204. hi i am a btech student from India, before i started reading ur articles i had simple goals like get a good job and live a comfortable life, but u have showed me that there is a lot more to do than just siting and doing ur own work.
    i love ur work and i am greatly inspired by it.
    i havent earned a penny yet but il am confident that i will very soon succeed

  205. Thank you for getting my boyfriend out of nearly $10,000 in debt, showing me the benefits of maxing out a Roth IRA and a 401k as young as possible (22), helping me to decide to continue renting, and also for showing me ING Direct.

    Happy Birthday :)

  206. IWT has helped me automate my savings/investing and I am now investing 10% of my income for retirement automatically, as well as automatically transferring funds into my sub-savings accounts each month. I’ve also been able to rack up some useful rewards by using a credit card for the majority of my spending and paying it off every month.

    I also got my first paying client so that I can get paid for my work on the side! Your book/emails/tweets rock!

  207. Happy birthday Ramit! May it be an awesome year for you.

    There are so many things you’ve helped with…

    * Your book provided both validation of things we were already doing (such as multiple savings accounts), and has helped me with negotiation tactics.
    * We’re getting our house’s exterior painted this summer, and got $300 lopped off just by some simple Q&A.
    * You helped me find the courage to leave my job. Though, leaving wasn’t my intent; the intent was to make some changes in my working arrangement. The negotiations made it clear I wasn’t valued, and instead of knuckling to a lowball offer, I gave my notice. It was time, and your examples and advice were huge in influencing my decision.

    Thanks, man. All the best.

  208. Last year, I pretty much took a bath on selling my condo, but am very grateful to have finally sold it. My fiance and I had started an ING savings account, automated our finances, and come September, we will be able to pay for a good amount of our (Indian) wedding in cash. We’ve also automated our finances and have a plan to pay off what we will owe relatively quickly.

    Thanks, Ramit. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

  209. Used the briefcase technique to negotiate an amazing new position at my current job. I was tired of my particular job (mechanical engineer in defense industry) and I knew the program lead for the newest R&D effort was drowning in work. I approached him and offered some concrete solutions to how I could help him reduce his workload. Two days later he approached me to work for him full time as the lead on a particular effort within the project. By really getting into his head I knew exactly what his struggles were and offered specific solutions.

    I then used the work I was doing in the new role to negotiate a 15% raise which brings my salary into the six figures. It feels amazing to be at this point in my career and I’m only 28! Thanks to IWT and Earn1k I knew exactly how to approach and make a solid impression to basically create a new job for myself. I feel like I took control of my career instead of letting it just happen to me.

  210. Ramit,
    One thing I have learned from IWTYTBR is the power of automation in finance.
    All of my insurance plans and savings plans are now setup on automated schedules. I’m never late paying my insurance accounts and my bank cut me a few bucks on each bill for setting up the automated payments.
    And since I’m feeling generous on your birthday, for a bonus:
    I used automation and ING sub-accounts for my savings plans so things like textbooks, auto repairs, christmas/birthday stuff and doctor’s visits won’t end up on a credit card.

    Happy Birthday!

  211. I read your book in December of 2010 and went ahead and automated my savings account and began saving money automatically. Fast forward 6 months and I now have more money saved in my account than I ‘ve ever had. It was so easy too. It’s done every month without my having to think about it, and I don’t ever really even think about it being in there until I get an email from the bank reminding me that I have this savings account with money in it now. I love it. :)

    Thank you, and Happy Birthday!

  212. IWT confirms my beliefs over the past several years. I believed in spending on quality rather than cost, for example I would rather get one expensive item that lasts long than several poor quality items that aren’t great. (My family scolds me for that). For example, I bought a $200 Ann Taylor suit jacket rather than the $80 ones from stores such as Express. There was a huge difference in feel. The Ann Taylor one was soft and flexible whereas the majority of other store’s suit jackets were stiff and uncomfortable.

    Several weeks before I stumbled upon IWT, TCF Bank was ripping me off so I thought, what can I do about this? I google’d how to remove overdrafts and ehow.com gave me the answers. I had 3 overdraft fees of $35 each by the way. I called my local TCF and managed to get one removed only. I was told I had to go in that day to deposit money in order to avoid further charges so I went in. I don’t remember why but I told the manager what happened (she was my ethnicity) and she removed another $70 overdraft fees! I’m pretty sure I looked and sounded like I was about to file a lawsuit if they didn’t remove it. So point of the story is that I was proactive about it. Because of an extenuating circumstance I have been in this year, I’ve been forced to call many places (I hate phone calls and would usually go by email).

    I even chose to have my cell phone bill payed automatically so I can pay my bills on time for +6months in order to switch to a 2 year plan that is cheaper. So I guess I’ve been heading the right path before I came upon this blog!

  213. i created a local news product that was launched on two media platforms at the same time; this week i sold my first advertising sponsor and i started working with a counselor at the local small business center.
    i began studying an audio series on sales strategies and set a goal for the end of the year about how much money i will make through advertising sales for my product.
    i also signed up to work with a small business counselor at the local college

  214. Definitely the number one thing that’s helped me is the automation of my finances. I have ING, everything is setup automatically. I use Mint.com. I only need to check my accounts a few times a month to ensure I’m on budget. Amazing advice, simple to implement, and even more simple to live with. One it’s set up, it’s, well, automatic.

  215. Two words: Fail fast. Thanks for the wisdom, Ramit! Many happy returns!

  216. Sitting down and putting together my conscious spending plan was one of the most empowering financial things I’ve done. Previously, I was doing a pretty good job of saving, budgeting, etc., but there was always a nagging worry that I’d forget something or that it might not be the best idea for me to spend money on this or that. Now, I’ve saved automatically for a wedding and a car, and I don’t stress over spending my “guilt free” dollars. Next step: improving and automating my investments.

  217. One thing that your emails have helped me with is by giving me great specific advice and laying a clear setup for which credit card and personal bank account you think is best. Testing your assumptions also comes in a close second.

    Thank you so much Ramit, and Happy Birthday!

  218. Earn1K helped me find my first longer-term paying freelance client. That’s not the big win, though.

    The big win is that because I was able to land work like this, I had more leverage negotiating. I knew I could stand firm on my price, certain terms, and the kind of work I wanted to do. Eventually it led to me talking with a company about a management position, where I knew I had the option of continuing to grow my freelance work or take the position – but only if the terms made sense for me. I had the confidence and skills to negotiate terms I was happy with so I took the position.

    Keep up the good work, Ramit, and happy birthday!

  219. I was able to negotiate a 15% increase in my base salary and incentive comp using your negotiation advice and the briefcase technique. I also signed up for your favorite credit card. Thanks and keep the advice and motivation coming.

  220. I’ve learned to be WAY more specific in choosing a niche. I also feel inspired and motivated to pursue my idea strategically rather than leaving it to chance.

  221. Hi, Ramit,

    Happy birthday! I’ve been a subscriber since before your book came out. I have used several of your tips (like contacting credit companies and my satellite company to get rates reduced as well as separating my savings into dedicated sub-savings for different things). I purchased the book when it came out because I like the way you think. I’ve also purchased additional copies for recent high school grads, etc., hoping to give them a chance to learn how to best handle their finances.

  222. Started keeping track of my interactions with credit card companies and that really helped me negotiate a higher limit on a few of them.

  223. Just reading your stuff has moved me from being a terrible negotiator to being a somewhat sub-par negotiator. Like most Midwestern kids I was too polite to ask or negotiate for anything.

    I have been earning 1-2k / year freelancing as a programmer since before finding your site. When the time to talk about money came around there would be this awkward moment where I would ask what they thought or offer them a low-ball number.

    Since reading your blog and email messages I have done two specific things to improve my negotiating game : (1) I found out what peers were making per hour and per project doing similar work and (2) call friends and contacts that recommend me for jobs (my usual source of extra-circular work) and ask them if they think my guesstimated rate is within the customer’s budget.

    Now when money comes up I can say something useful like “Well my standard rate is X, but this job is [easier, harder, for a non-profit, etc] so…”

    I would say this change alone has probably increased my earnings by about 50%.

  224. Automated my finances and began backpackign the world

  225. Your emails have given me so much information to use and has given me the confidence to go and DO something with the information instead of just collecting it in my head and letting it sit there. I have gained great bank account information that I am currently using and I am working on a business plan as well so that I can DO something with it as soon as its ready such as make a business proposal to the right people. Thanks so much Ramit, you rock! ^_^

  226. Ramit—via his book, online material, and personal e-mail responses—taught me just about everything I know about finances. Because of him, I was able to learn about finances and the psychology of money management, which has taught me how to help my friends and family.
    Specifically, because of Ramit and IWTYTBR, both my best friend and I have had a Roth IRA since we were 19 (we’re now 23). Also because of Ramit, I talked to my HR rep and was able to get into the 401K program as an hourly employee (which normally isn’t allowed). Those are probably the most notable financial accomplishments, but the list goes on and on.
    Ramit is also a wonderful person, and one that I greatly aspire to be like. In fact, because of him, I too will start a scholarship fund when I am out of college ans get my first job.

  227. Your words encourage me. Literally. You’re like an infusion of courage. I have an Etsy shop, chrishugh.etsy.com, and I’m having fun earning extra money on top of what I make at my regular job. Thanks for the great example of youth, energy and innovation.

  228. Happy birthday, Ramit! Mine is on Saturday. :)

    I did Earn1K in the hopes of starting a freelance photo retouching business. While that is still in the works, and I did get $240 worth of work from it last year, I used the wisdom of E1K in an interview for a better 9-5 job this year, stressing in the interview what I could do for the COMPANY to make the team’s day-to-day easier, rather than focusing solely on my strengths and what I was looking for.

    Ramit, I got the job the day of my second interview, with a no-questions-asked 13% raise. They were willing to do anything to get me on the team. That move way more than made up for the cost of the E1K course, and I am still using the tactics to work on my side income. Thanks!!

  229. Laura in Cancun Link to this comment

    Happy birthday! I haven’t been reading long and I’ve never commented, but I read about treating people to lunch on here awhile back.

    Just being more social at my local Starbucks has gotten me a small freelance writing gig.

    I also recently landed a new side job (through my blog) working with a lot of important people. You can bet I’ll be paying for a few lunches in the next few months!

  230. Ramit, your words of wisdom have made me basically get off my ass and get things done. I have a private client now and also do more workshops/classes in my field. I didn’t have to take your course but you have provided me with the best resource ever to make it happen…the motivation and encouragement to GET OFF YOUR ASS!!

    Now get off your ass and make sure you have the best birthday ever!

  231. I’ve been trying to start a freelance paralegal service and used one of your e-mail scripts from the free earn1k material to contact a couple of attorneys. They responded positively and it lead to a couple of projects with possible ongoing work in the future.

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve also used the tactics you’ve shared in IWTYTBR and in your book to get rid of an overdraft charge once in a while, negotiate my cable and internet bill and find discounts on stuff I enjoy.

    Thanks for everything Ramit and Happy Birthday!

  232. Happy Birthday!

    You’ve really made me a conscious spender. I don’t have a lot to work with, so what i do with my money is important. You made me realize that i didn’t need a lot of what i had AND that i don’t have to pay 9 dollars a month for a checking account when i could pay nothing at a better bank.

    Thanks for everything, this is my first shot at acting appropriate with my finances and i appreciate your help. I can already see the difference!

  233. Julie Angarone Link to this comment

    I learned that Money Market accounts are no better than savings accounts and that a life cycle fund is a good place to get started when I don’t have a clue…I moved money from my money markets into index funds and life cycle funds….waiting to see some results- I just did it this month. I bought your book at the same time that I got Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover from the library – he advocates getting rid of the credit card whereas you advocate taking advantages of the rewards – I have always paid my credit card off every month- I’ve used the rewards to feed my family on Disney trips, get free movies, cash, gas cards, hotel rooms- but after reading your book I realized that the best bet for rewards is the “1 round trip airline ticket” because it is usually worth more than the points I actually earned – so that is where I will be using my rewards from now on as I like to travel!.

    • Julie Angarone Link to this comment

      oh – and I also have started using Mint.com – again – I’m just one month into it- but it is nice seeing all my money in one place.

  234. HBD Ramit! You are only 29 and you grab the bull by the horns and shake the hell out of it! Love your hustle! You inspired me to step outside my comfort zone and ask for what I deserve at work. I explained my needs, told them it was necessary to my survival for me to get the promotion they kept dangling in front of me immediately or I had somewhere else to be. It worked. Took assistant managers position within a week. It is a temporary fix, but I am working on putting my own plans in motion as an entrepeneur. Thanks for your motivation. Sometimes all I need is a good kick in the ass to get me started. I like your no nonsense approach. Make the best of this birthday and may you have many more and much success!

  235. There have been days that I would check my finances online twice a day–worrying, trying to get my money all in the right places at the right times, not knowing how much was coming in or going out. Having read I Will teach you to be rich the most valuable lesson for me was automating my finances, at this point I’m able to check on my accounts once, maybe twice per month, without worrying.

    Happy birthday Ramit and thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  236. Although I am in school right now, reading your blog has helped me keep up the motivation to sock away money into savings every month, at least what I can from the earnings I make at my crappy job. Also I finally got a credit card again and have been charging one thing to it monthly and paying it off each month in order to rebuild my credit. Thanks!

  237. (Starting point: payments already automated, savings automated, significant savings on the side, no credit card debt)
    * Moved my savings from a 0% to an investment professional
    * faced our true financial reality: every month we are spending more than we earn, and as a result we take from our savings (different than credit card debt, but still….)
    * Simplified some aspects of our monthly budget, so our real state is clear. For the past 2 months we are not spending beyond our income.
    * Fired the housekeeper who was doing a pretty bad job for a very nice part of my salary.
    * Decided on a track to make money on the side. Advertised myself but have no paying clients yet. I’m just a beginner here.

  238. Mate, you are a genius. I didn’t do your program but from this post alone I’ve learrned that you can use basic knowledge of human psychology to get people to create value by giving you a gift that you can use for your marketing, and to refine your product.

  239. Happy bday dude, hope you’re reading this on sat. after recovering from a hangover the last two days.

    One thing i remember from your talks and posts is the story about how you hired the interior designer for your ny apt. It was a great example of not only professionalism but being a hustler to win business.

    I recalled the story during a recent convo with a buddy at a startup who’s been learning a ton about biz dev from the founder — one example he shared was how he never contacts potential clients and partners with just an email, but with a full-on mockup of their product on the client’s site (it’s a web-based product). Doing this makes the pitch infinitely more powerful by enhancing the storytelling, showing that you are serious about winning the job, and most importantly, creating a tangible vision for the client.

    Your blog posts and emails are great, keep it up dude.
    james

  240. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    You actually came into my life twice – both times through the New York Times. The first was a story about your book, which I read last year, along with excepts of your book. It was very rewarding to read that we were already doing so many of the things you recommended in terms of organizing our finances, and we picked up a few additional great tips along the way. The second time was a recent post of yours in the NYT, explaining how earning a side income can do more to advance your finances than being frugal. I’m not looking for any additional income, but the idea of getting paid for things I love to do was very appealing to me. I have a fantastic job, but I’d love to expand my skill set and work on other things that interest me.

  241. Happy Birthday, Ramit! I already had all your favorite accounts. Per your book, I set up all my transactions at the beginning of the month. From your simple conscious spending plan, I’ve realized that I can allocate $2055 per month toward my student loans without making a single change to my lifestyle. I will shave 22 years off my payment plan and pay less than $5K in interest. Most importantly, you’ve really made me laugh. You rock!

  242. Luv the picture. Congratulations on your 29th birthday!

    I have been really good at not getting myself in nasty debt/financial messes. Even before reading your blog I used to already save, invest, have most of my finances automate and managed my finances. However, I used to save for the sake of accumulating “wealth” (or having money sitting in my accounts just in case I needed it). I had no motivation to invest beyond maxing my roth IRA or to save beyond 10% of my income until had sifficient money to cover a few months of my expenses in an emergency fund. So anything leftover after paying my fixed expenses and my investment/savings contributions was spent on clothes, shoes, and dinning. until I read in your blog a great way to get motivated… having specific saving goals. I have subdivided my savings accounts to account for 1) traveling, both domestically and internationally, 2) a future scholarship fund I dream of having in the future, 3) Parent expenses after they retire (I’m still 15+ yrs from the time my parents may retire but It’s a good time to start saving for whenever they may need $$), and 4) designer purses and art -I want to have my house decorated and a pretty purse! lol. After having specific goals I feel more inclined to save more and make more money so I can save more towards these goals.
    Now, besides maxing my Roth IRA, I have opened a taxable investments account where I contribute an extra 5% of my income and my savings has increased from 10% to 15%.

    Thanx for the extra motivation!

  243. I overcame multiple rejections and months of delays and finally got an app published. It’s generating a small amount of income, but I will talk to customers, refine, and increase my returns.

  244. I’ve spent a year lurking on your mailing list. Dropped out of corporate America 5 yrs ago to nurse my sister-in-law to her death (renal cancer), my mother-in-law to her death (heart failure), and now my mother as she transitions to nursing home due to strokes in her brain. Lurking because I have so little in common with the audience you target. My ‘job’ now is caring for family; which doesn’t generate pay. I read your info and I wonder if there will ever be time for me again. I’m rural, middle-aged, with dial-up internet. The antithesis of your 20/30 somethings. I’ve never seen your videos since I’m so far on the other side of the digital divide. —

    This week, I finally figured out how to make something you’ve discussed apply to my situation. I am now carving 30 minutes a day, just for me. No matter what. I am taking 30 minutes a day to invest in myself. Although usually it is to nurture my soul rather than my bank account. But its a start. Why do I stay on your mailing list? One last connection to a previous life? A mighty force of enthusiasm and positive thinking? They way I used to be and the way I will be again.

  245. Happy Birthday!

    I paid off my credit cards, opened a Roth IRA, and switched on my rewards for one of the credit cards and have begun to use it for regular spending and paying it off every month.

  246. I have now put all my bills on my banks auto pay. It is saving me time and best of all no more late fees!

  247. Wow! I remember you sending this e-mail last year and feeling like complete shit because I had nothing to write (despite having been a reader of your blog for over a year). Last year, I actually set a personal goal to be able to respond to this request better than any of your readers.
    The primary tactic I used was not from you, it was from your parents. Almost daily I remind myself: “A year from now, you’re going to be a year older. What are you going to do?”
    This reminder isn’t about lighting a fire under me and working hysterically for two days and then burning out. It’s about realizing that it’s not all done in a day; that incremental progress and creating better habits is the true path to success.
    I am a year older and have the following to show for it:
    • Increased net worth $60,000 (net worth last year was negative tens of thousands)
    • Earned nearly $25,000 in side income [tactic: getting inside customers heads]
    • Increased salary by 67% [tactic: non-adversarial negotiation]
    • Started saving for future events and purchases of the next 5 years [tactic: automation and accepting the future]
    Happy Birthday! I honestly can’t express how much better I feel every day for getting on top of my financial situation.

  248. The Earn1K course helped me overcome my fear of freelancing. I’ve made $6,000 in three months with no end in sight. I never would have asked for the rate I did ($50/hour) without the skills to clearly communicate the benefit of my services, which I learned through this course. Also, I’ve become hyper-sensitive to picking up on psychological barriers in myself and others. I no longer tolerate all this nonsense because I realize that action is the cure for fear and insecurity. Thank you and happy birthday!

  249. Thank you for everything you post and share us everything I have learn so many thing every time I read your blog, and also I forward your web for all my friend and recommend your book anyone I meet . I wish you a happy Birthday!!!
    Bob

  250. Hey Ramit,

    Happy birthday! I’m happy to share some of the ways your newsletter has impacted my life. For one thing, it really got me thinking that it is possible to generate multiple streams of income. I didn’t grow up in an entrepreneurial household, so most of what I saw growing up was my mom going from job to job looking for a higher pay. I knew of people who made money on the side, but I didn’t think of it as something that was possible for me. Reading your newsletter really got me to take the thought of finding clients for my writing and editing services seriously. Additionally, it showed me the value of thinking big. I went from doing little things for friends for $40 to writing articles for my university newspaper that pay $600, and making moves to leverage that experience against other government-funded programs. Once I bought your “I Will Teach You to be Rich” book, you showed me the value of good credit–despite having credit card debt and being young, I have pretty good credit. But I sometimes feel frustrated because I feel like I will never pay off my credit cards. Your book showed me how much money keeping up my credit saves me–and that is definitely my language. Additionally, I remember how you personally discouraged me from enrolling in your Earn1K class because I have credit card debt, which really got me thinking about how serious of an impetuous credit card debt is on my personal finances. Finally, your candid writing style kept me interested in a personal finance book–usually i’m bored and frustrated, but you kept me reading, which keeps it on my mind. So on your birthday, I’d really just like to thank you for changing my attitude toward personal finance from “buy less” to “earn more.” Happy birthday. Enjoy your day!

  251. I changed my behaviour so that I now automatically save more money, invest it more carefully and still have plenty to spend on the things that I care about. Oh, and by applying some of the techniques to my personal life, I managed to lose 6kg since the start of the year as well! Thanks Ramit!

  252. Hi Ramit,

    Very happy birthday!

    Your material on this blog helped me become a better blogger. Your ideas have helped me grow my traffic and newsletter subscribers.

    Excited to learn more from you!

    Rishi

  253. I started only dating Indian men

  254. I launched a side venture to develop a new product, then used that product in the “briefcase technique” when interviewing for a new job. The product itself hasn’t sold well yet, but I ultimately got four job offers, and accepted one that raised my compensation by 75%+.

  255. helped focus on earning our way to a better life, rather than depriving ourselves and saving our way out through cutting costs. Not that we live an extravagent life, but the key is more income. That and the tips on the better checking, savings and credit card accounts.

  256. I only just got started and am trawling through all the info on your site and have only just bought IWTYTBR, so nothing to report quite yet :-) But I did want to say Happy Birthday anyway :-)

  257. Ramit, you have helped me start off my post college life on the financial right track! You have also helped me begin to plan for things that are years and years away, but I know I’ll be ready for them when they come. Thanks for making me the most money conscious and responsible one of all my friends!

  258. Hey Ramit, a very happy birthday to you my friend! I wish to thank you for all your powerful knowledge and wisdom and you willingness to share it with the rest of us! I think your ATTITUDE and GENUINE TRUE CARING for all of us puts you in a league of your own my friend!!! May you always keep that, for you are “THE MAN”. Best, Phil

  259. IWTYTBR has really helped me from a behavioral standpoint. The advice that the book provides about automating your finances has allowed me to save and not have to worry about bills and not having enough money. Yes, I still have to save up and work for big items, but don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Great book and blog. I am an avid runner and blogged about Ramit, his book and how it can help runners as well.

    http://welltodayi.blogspot.com/2010/06/its-never-easier-than-now.html

    Keep it up Ramit and Happy Birthday!

  260. Today I proudly could tell somebody that I’ve been afraid of starting my own business. Well, it looks like I will sort of start it. That somebody person has a magnificiant idea and I’m contributing. When success follows, I can feel proud.

  261. Ramit,

    You have taught me, above all others, to value the big wins and stop wasting time on the little things; this has helped me realize where I am being inefficient and just spinning my wheels burning energy on trivial things that won’t change my life. I guess it’s just yet another application of the 80/20 principal, but the way you demonstrated it with financial examples and the psychology behind modifying behavior makes it actionable and applicable to one’s own personal life!

    By the way, Happy Birthday! You have 1 more year left in your 20s, make the most of it!

  262. This ones easy. Moving from apathy to action. I used to doddle and dream a lot. Now, it’s all about moving quickly past the idea and making the plans and ideas come to life. Procrastination is no longer a part of my vocabulary.

    Happy Birthday!

  263. Ramit- I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, and a fantastic year!

    Here is a list of Ramit inspired accomplishments since I started following your work:
    - Needed a $1,200 car repair and actually had the money to cover it in savings (though I put it on my credit card so I could get my rewards!)
    - Paid off my credit cards
    - Got through my MBA debt free
    - Will be able get through my June 2012 wedding and honeymoon debt free!
    - This month went on a $200 shopping spree at Old Navy for FREE thanks to my Discover Card Cash Back
    - I now spend my money consciously on things that matter to me (organic, locally grown produce, attending Weight Watchers meetings, and my upcoming trip the the Caribbean) and no longer spend money on things that don’t bring me joy (bar tabs at skeezy bars I didn’t really want to be at anyways, paying too much for cable/phone/internet, and paying interest on credit cards)
    - I helped get my fiancees credit score in line
    - I have started questioning invisible scripts in my life when the rear their ugly heads

    Your work has made a huge difference in my finances, and in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  264. Your motivations helped me:

    –> Save almost $10K for myself — a change from my previous lifestyle of living paycheck-to-paycheck and bitching about why there was never any money “left over” to save at the end of the month :-)

    –> Land a better job within the same company, at a pay hike during a time when no raises were being given

    –> Write a short story and have it accepted for an anthology

    –> Find a new lifelong friend and kindred spirit, someone very valuable and dear to me, because I had the gumption to go to an intimidating and “scary” venue and reach out

    –> Take charge of a “stuck” relationship with a family member, sparking positive change in both me, that person, and the relationship we have with each other

    –> Start learning SQL at work

    –> Start making my own cheese at home! I have a beautiful little wheel of Gouda just waiting to be waxed so it can start aging!

    –> Join a gym, get a personal trainer, start lifting weights. I can’t believe bookish lil’ ol’ me can now deadlift more than both my children weigh, combined. :-D

    I could go on. Basically you,along with some other very important influences ;-) , have sparked massive changes in my life over the past year.

    Thank you for IWTYTBR! I haven’t focused on turning your material into money yet — that hasn’t been my focus — but when the time is right and I decide to turn my attention that direction, I know I will crush my goals. In the meantime I’ve certainly gotten more than my money’s worth from the non-financial rewards of your program.

    oh, and did I mention the better sex now? MUCH better sex comes from a more positive, can-do attitude. Who knew??

  265. Through your book I learned to automate all of my bills and accounts so I don’t have to worry about a thing. Normally this would just be very convenient, however I was recently diagnosed with cancer and throughout my surgery and now upcoming chemotherapy and radiation its a HUGE relief to know that my accounts will run themselves while I’m incapacitated. My parents and family don’t have to worry about a thing, except for making sure I have enough “income.” If I didn’t have this set up I don’t know what I would do right now. So thank you, and happy birthday!

  266. I helped my friend get a 5k job. Helped a friend save 360 dollars in the cable bill, I am on my way to starting my own freelance business. I learned a lot from the Earn 1k Course and the Beyond 1k course together when it was up.

    One of the best investments I have done in my education. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to freelance work now. I’m a ways off from earning my first 1k but now am more than 2/3 closer to to that goal.

    Thanks bro,
    I learned quite a bit.

  267. Ramit,

    I loved your guest post on passive barriers. That article really got me thinking about all the barriers that are around me, not just those in my financial life. It really clicked that with really small changes you can accomplish a lot. Thanks!

  268. Hi,
    I looked carefully my credit card fees and now I change my bank.
    I also bargain everything I purchase.
    Thanks for all these ideas

  269. You made me realise the invisible scripts that I was carrying round with me. I kept thinking “I’ll lose weight when I move back home for the summer. It will be much easier to do it then than now. Plus I’ll start on that slow-carb diet that Tim Ferriss mentions. No point doing anything before I move back home though.”

    I was waiting for circumstances to be perfect before taking action, without realising that taking ANY action now is better than doing nothing. So I hopped on the treadmill and started logging some miles. I’ve just done 5k for the first time in 6 months and am feeling great.

    Also, you taught me what are probably my three favourite words in the English language: “Craigslist Penis Effect.”

  270. I do like money. But I have a good job, and I got my savings and automation squared away before you even started this blog. I started taking you seriously when I realized you weren’t really talking about money.

    Instead, you’re sharing a perspective. For example, thanks largely to your posts and comments, I’ve developed a knack for recognizing excuses for not acting when I hear them.

    Of course, the hard part is applying this to myself. Last week I stumbled on an online service for connecting people with expert advice. I can give expert advice. But I heard myself think “This is silly. No one would use it, and even if they did, it doesn’t pay much. Plus the website stinks. Anyway I’m not really an expert, exactly.” Now, just noticing what I was doing there was a big deal. But then I took the next step and signed up, and two days later I was answering an interesting question from some random medical student, learning some cool new stuff, and making a couple bucks besides. I don’t know where that particular venture will go, but it doesn’t matter. I’m getting the flavor of trying things and putting myself out there.

    So thanks. And happy birthday.

  271. Hi Ramit,
    Your book helped me a great deal. Being a fellow indian, I wasn’t going to spend money to make money (pshhhht, what does he know that I don’t!). Then a friend of mine told me to take his copy and read it. Halfway through I decided it was good enough to warrant support for it, and went out and bought it.
    The book taught me 2 important things:
    1. The value of automation
    2. The swensen model

    (1) My focus on money was a bit of a roller coaster. 3 months I’d be all over my stock portfolio, monitoring it daily, then 6 months I’d totally forget about it, and back again… Now, I have setup automated transfers into my investment accounts and am laughing all the way to the…errr.. laptop.

    (2) While I used to invest all over the place, I had no method, just madness. This chapter was the most important for me. It told me about the Swensen model, I went and researched it, found 2 models that I liked (Swensen and Harry Browne), and divided my auto investments into these 2 models, and am following them. Now I feel a lot more empowered. So I roll on the floor laughing all the way to the laptop. Good thing I dont physically go to the bank. Rolling on the streets laughing would add to my laundry bill.

    Finally, your article on automated savings lowered that barrier to it enough that when I read ‘Secrets of the millionaire mind’, I could follow their Jars system pretty well as well. I think the 2 books went along very well synergistically for me.

    Thanx Ramit!

  272. You have helped me to figure out how to go about “budgeting” (sorry I know you hate that word) and it is not nearly as overwhelming as I initially thought. I actually enjoy reading your book and have told lots of people about it (I came to you as a referral too).

    Thanks dude, Happy Birthday.

  273. I did everything you instructed in your book! I automated all my payments. I obtained another credit card with a credit limit of $20,000–with the main goal of improving my credit. I rolled over my Roth IRA (which was managed by a financial manager at a brick-and-mortar bank) to T. Rowe Price’s life cycle fund. I manage my finances and budget on Mint.com….and many more!

    Although your book’s aim was to liberate me from my financial worries, I am still very conscious about my spending and am constantly checking my spending. That is just part of my personality; I am a worry-wart.

    Thank you for writing the book! Have a wonderful birthday!

  274. You gotta be kiddin! Guess what?! It’s MY birthday too, Ramit! I bought your IWTYTBR-book a couple of months ago (your buddy Tim Ferris was referring to it somewhere in his youtube sessions). Now, I live in Germany and I’m working in a big, traditional, German company and pers. finance matters are never discussed over here. Your book has been a mind-opener. I’m now trying to figure out what the German counterpart of a Roth-IRA is. Anyway, have a nice birthday and no matter what anyone says, I’m telling you: your work was not in vain!

  275. Happy b-day Rameaty. IWT has taught me how easy it is to backslide and be financially undisciplined even after reading your book.

  276. I have tried several of the ideas after reading Ramit’s blog and receiving two of his books as a thank you for an interview with me from one of his writers. I read the books, and then passed them along to young friends of mine. (I’m one of Ramit’s geriatric readers!! :)—53!) Anyway, as a teacher of many years, I received my Master’s Degree in November 2009 in a different field, and since then after reading or see Ramit on a tv show, I followed his advise to work part-time. I made an extra $10,000 dollars, plus got experience in this new line of work.

    I’ve also called all credit card companies, and since I have a good credit score, I renegotiated my interest rates.

    I’ve done many things which will help me spend these last 10 to 15 years of working being smart about my money situation for the first time in my life. All of you who are in your 20′s and 30′s please be smart about your money now! Time FLIES!!!

    Happy Birthday Ramit!!! Many more to you!

  277. Once in a while, I get a good laugh from what is said. Most importantly, I have a little more hope today for my financial future than I did yesterday. Thanks man.

  278. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    The Information you send out through emails are great reads. I’m a better negotiator when it comes to dealing with mortar banking institutions and mobile phone carriers. The sky is the limit now!

    Many Thanks

  279. Wow 280 comments – Happy Birthday to You!!!

    I appreciate your willingness to say what needs to be said without worrying about how the message will be received (maybe you worry about it and I just don’t pick up on it). You also have a sense of humor and obviously have the ability to move and inspire people to take action. Keep up the awesome work!

    Regards,

    Camara

  280. Even though I’m doing well for myself (currently a biglaw associate), looking at my finances and loans terrified me, in a totally irrational way. I spent a long time in the if-i-just-ignore-those-late-payment-notices-they’ll-go-away camp, which caused me a lot of guilt. But with your book I went from deliberately not knowing how much I owed on my student loans and paying my bills whenever I happened to remember them, to putting everything together in one place (thanks, mint.com!) and getting a copy of my credit report to check it out (actually, pretty decent, despite all my fears). Then I realized that I could achieve my goal of paying off my student loans much faster than I realized. So I went into loan-paying overdrive and wiped out the remaining $50,000 or so of my loans, and now I am debt-free, and finance-guilt-free, and I have an emergency fund with 6+ month savings, and am auto-paying into my retirement account (even with only starting this halfway through the year, I think I can max out my IRA and 401(k) limits, without a match). Next is saving for a wedding, because my parents say they’ll help, but I don’t think they have any idea of what a wedding in a big city costs. (And the last chapter of your book scared me straight.) It’s been quite a transformation. Thanks, and happy birthday!

  281. Ramit, probably the single most impressionable thing I’ve learnt to date from even just your emails, has been this: “There is a limit to how much you can cut back on (or save), but NO LIMIT to how much you can earn.” This transformed my thinking!! Also, I am about to start my first “on-the-side” job teaching piano to some young girls. THANK YOU. Happy Birthday! :-)

  282. Happy Birthday!!!
    After completing an accredited 3 year course of study, I am starting an Interior Design business. I was intimidated because I haven’t had the opportunity to work under a master designer to learn the standard way of doing everything. I decided to take it a step at a time, and work on networking, figuring out contracts, and other things as I go. My initial financial goal became smaller due to your advice– to just focus on making the first $1000 and go from there. I have my first client now doing a paint color consultation, which should get me close to halfway to my financial goal. Because of your site, also, I came to realize how important the actual experience is for the client, and am doing my best to keep it fun and interesting. I am attending events in my community that connect me to my vendors, other interior designers, and potential clients. I am having a good time now with the process.Thanks so much for the encouragement and motivation. I really appreciate it.

  283. Dear Ramit

    Happy Birthday!
    Last year I found your book through Derek Sivers’ blog and ordered it soon after from Amazon. (I think I saw you before that in Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week, but I’m no longer sure if it is really in the book.) By the end of last year I was putting money in some funds (the little I can spare, being a student, but something none the less). This year I closed a bank account that wasn’t of use to me anymore and switched banks (where things are free and rates are better). On Monday I will be at my new bank signing in for the ability to put money in funds. More actions will be taken this year, in part thanks to your book, I Will Teach You to be Rich.

    Thanks a bundle!

  284. Ramit, I have started rebuilding credit because of your site. I was turned down for a premium rewards credit card so I paid off some more debt and was able to qualify for a decent card the next month. Thanks for the writing. Happy Birthday!

  285. Hey Ramit, Happy BDay! Make it golden and just reading the blogs have help me put my dreams into motion! Also, I started a savings and boy does it feel good to finally get a hold on this financial bull!

  286. THE most difficult thing for me to do was getting into a habit of saving/investing a specified amount of cash every single month. Goal accomplished through reading your blog!

    Joyeux anniversaire from France!

    -AG

  287. Hey Ramit,

    First off Happy B-Day!

    Hey I want to thank you on helping me get my finances in order and showing ‘em who the boss is. Because of your book I learned about the following enough to be comfortable with them: savings account with credit union, mutual market account, checking/brokerage account with Charles Shwab, a bunch of accounts with Ally, a Roth IRA with T. Rowe, I learned to pay my bills first and myself last, about the snowball effect, and most importantly have kicked the habit of doing everything the wrong way. Ramit, thanks a whole lot, let me know when your next book comes out.

  288. I am one of your older readers and so tired of hearing the same old advice about how to save money.
    Its been refreshing to hear new ideas about removing barriers and automating. Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  289. Ramit,

    B/c of your advice and help i have automated my finances and will be 100% debt free in 3 years and have built up a healthy saving. You asked for it in numbers…..i’d say a conservative estimate would be around $450,000. Thanks Ramit! Oh, and by the way….in the “creepiest pic ever” Which one is you? Just, you know, to avoid any confusion.

  290. Christopher Jones Link to this comment

    I figured out my goals for the first time since I started in business 7 years ago, despite trying and failing to come up with anything that really hit the mark. (That sheet did the job by asking at least 80% the right questions, I filled in the other 20%. I am referring to the quiz on where would you like to be 2 years from now.) We (my wife and I) are now developing a road map to meeting these goals. Ramit, I am doing the reverse of what you suggest in a way, one step back to go two steps forward — I am self employed now and am going to get a full-time job as part of my transitioning to a new industry (from window coverings sales to insurance) and and to continue to “freelance” as self-employed (in window coverings), then raise my rates by narrowing my focus on my business – I don’t have to be everything to everyone and can turn down jobs I don’t want that way. Never felt I could turn away customers before. Thank you I have a PLAN! BTW, the advice that my Trusted Advisors have been giving me – get a regular job, don’t just be self-employed now that you are getting married – is fitting in as part of this plan and I am getting the best of both worlds, getting out of debt, and building a future with measurable goals.
    BTW also I got the help of a Life Coach through our church, it is helping light a fire under my, rear, and moving me along. Tip to all: if you have trouble lighting a fire under yourself, you can get help. Try the SBA (Small Business Administration), their Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is there to help you develop any business you can imagine, if you need the handholding. (I did, I’ve been a talented, smart, capable loser far too long to make it out of that world (losersville) without help, at least not quickly.) Both resources are free!
    Not sure why I am posting this to a bunch of anonymous strangers but if it helps someone, good.
    Christopher Jones

    • Christopher-

      I had never heard of SCORE before. Thanks for the tip! I already have a question in to the mentors!

  291. Things I have done since starting to read your site: purchased your book, purchased Tim Ferris’ books and read 4HWW, opened a Charles Schwab checking account, applied for and got a Starwoods Amex card, automated 4 credit card payments, started a new business with the plan to automate it as much as possible (I have been persistent with the website developers about how I want to do that).

  292. Your email blast earlier this year was a great example of how to hustle and how it pays off. I was away at college at the time, and seeing your hard work only motivated me to work hard. Thanks.

    Oh, and your stuff on money is good too.

  293. Your little gift…specifically, I have become more streamlined and efficient with my finances. I am totally online (without guilt) and due to my success in organizing and maintaining my own funds I began my first venture. It’s not sexy, but I love good food, so the Singing Frog Cannery is coming to Knoxville. Thank you for your “cockiness” and get-it-done attitude. Cheers.

  294. Happy Birthday, Ramit!
    Have a great day, because you are great.

  295. Hi Ramit,
    Happy Birthday!
    Today was the day I decided: that’s enough, I’ve had it ..! You were right, I could hardly see any mail of yours in my inbox, but not because I did not like them but because I failed to work them. And, when I lost friends last night because of not doing what the would have needed from me, I decided I will not wait ANY LONGER to do what I consider to be important – your program included! So I signed up for your Earn1K 2.0 and can’t wait to get started … Your program was recommended to me by a friend who I trust – I am now looking forward to earning my first 1K on the side.
    Sorry not to deliver any #’s yet about how IWT helped me … I will get back to you on that during the class. Thank you for setting up all this, it is really a huge package and I believe that it works.
    See you,
    Sabine

  296. The book helped me outsmart my ADD demons by automating my most anxiety-inducing chores (paying bills, checking balances, sharing banking info w/my husband, paying for predictable irregular events). I have had only one late fee in the last year and a half, which is huge for me. We’ve paid off one car and all credit cards. Most importantly, the pain is gone. Money is a source of confidence, now.

  297. Ramit,
    This year you helped me open and automatically fund my Roth and my daughter’s college fund. You helped me put my passwords in one central location. You helped me call and work out a plan with my student loans so that I know one day they will be paid off. You helped me negotiate with B of A to remove my last months account fee and switch me to a new no fee account. I set up and track my expenses. I could go on forever. You have helped me grow up financially.

    Have A Great Birthday,

    tdt

  298. I took ur Save $1000/mo challenge about 2 years ago. We found $1000/mo in expenses in savings each mo. We switched auto insurance, cut out a wine club, shop at a local farm mkt and walmart for groceries. It was relatively easy and we keep it up. Thanks!

  299. the book and the blog helped me to see that you can always have what I want to know my priorities because it used to be very messy. now I can live the life I want as long as directed and follow the teachings of the book. I am happy with my life now and live the life I want.

  300. Switched brokerages and set up a proper asset allocation. Incorporated into my personality a little bit of What Would Ramit Do, though not nearly enough…

  301. HAPPY B-DAY!! I’ve been reading your emails with no action for about a year, but the seed was sown. Without even realizing it I’ve cut out the frivolous impulsive spending, know where all my money goes, and am now able to pay myself as one of my monthly bills while whittling down the debt I’ve foolishly accumulated. I’m also full of ideas for other income sources. I work as a screen printer and came up with the idea of starting my own online printing business while utilizing the place I work now to do the printing. I can turn a single source of income into a double source of income, while saving up for my own equipment to branch out on my own, as well as numerous other ideas. Thanks for giving me the hustler mentality and focus to get me on track.

  302. Happy birthday, Ramit! And great to see you over at ProBlogger!

    What I have learnt? (where to start?)
    - there will always be the complainers that want everything for free or cheaper or faster; that isn’t everyone!
    - what is holding us back is our own fear of failure (or may be even our fear of success!)
    - “sales” doesn’t have to be sleazy; getting inside your clients head and putting yourself in their shoes will work better than any hard sell
    - don’t be afraid to ask for what you are worth
    - make sure you fulfill a need
    - automate your finances, because no matter how much you tell yourself (or your spouse) that you WILL put money into savings, you probably won’t do it regularly!

    All of these have added to my success this year!

  303. Happy birthday Ramit. Well, I really enjoy applying and sharing your how to automate your money! Simple yet powerful!

    Thanks and enjoy your day!!!

  304. I automated my finances.
    I looked at everything I spent last year then set up a realistic budget for this year. I like that you tell me its OK to spend money on things I really enjoy – even if others think the amount I spend on entertainment is crazy.
    I have found it soooooo easy – money just goes into the right accounts when I get paid so I know how much I have for food, bills, paying off debt, entertainment etc. I have never paid off so much debt yet still gone out to so many concerts, gigs and shows in my life.
    Living the dream. THANKS

  305. Well happy birthday I love your advice so much I’m sending a copy of your book to my children so they will not make the mistakes I have financially I think your great thanks for sharing and have a great day.

  306. Happy birthday! I think the big lesson I’ve learned from you is to automate everything. The most recent thing I’ve done inspired by that lesson is the approach my band is now taking towards show promotion.

    Before each show, there are a number of routine things we need to do to ensure high attendance numbers at shows: 1) contact local press, 2) update Facebook fans, 3) send newsletters, etc. As well, there are a number of routine things we need to do after a show: 1) debrief and share our thoughts on how the show went, 2) write show recaps for our blog with video/audio clips, as extra content for our fans, etc.

    I’m putting the finishing touches on an automated email system that will send reminder emails to the entire band for each task that needs to be completed for a show. It will email you 3 weeks in advance to start emailing press for coverage, and so forth. Each band member can quickly act on a task reminder, and reply to the whole band with status updates. It’s stupid easy.

    This is much more streamlined and organized for us, and lets us focus on what matters (making music) while still being successful on the business side of things (how you get people to discover it and give a damn). Which, incidentally, is exactly what you seem to advocate with respect to handling money: it’s boring, automate it, get on with your life.

    • I know you asked for specific numbers/results in the newsletter you sent. Unfortunately, since the system is so new, I don’t have numbers yet on how that’s affected our show turnouts. That’s data I’ll be collecting over the next few shows, however.

  307. Hi Ramit,

    Happy Birthday! Coincidently today is my birthday as well(42)!

    I am still reading your book. My wife gave it to me as a gift for Father’s Day. It is exactly what I needed to help organize and set a plan for our financial position and insure that we are able to do the things that we want to when we retire.
    I’m finding the information so valuable, wishing that I had this mindset when I was younger. I found myself discussing your book with my youngest son this morning who’s about to start his junior year in college. I will be giving my kids the book to read when I’m done, hoping that they can learn from my mistakes and put themselves in a much better position than my wife and I.
    Thanks again and have a great Bday!

  308. Ramit, from you book alone I got my interest rate lowered on my credit card from 12.9 to 5.0. I also opened a new checking account and online saving account and optimized all my accounts to automatically save money. It has been amazing using your suggestions to simplify my financial life and save for the future. Keep up with the amazing blog, thank you!

  309. -started and deposited $2500 into Roth IRA.
    -Negotiated 2 bank fees & got money back
    -Automated Bills
    -Opened up Orange Savings account with ING & automatically save $100 a month
    -Got rid of the “if it ain’t passive income, it ain’t worth it” mentality.

    Thanks for all the help Ramit…Happy Birthday

  310. First of all, I subscribe to your emails and read your blog, so I haven’t even started IWTYTBR yet. That is certainly going to change after reading all these wonderful comments, however. What I have learned is automating financing and contributing to my 403(b), and this has saved me a lot of anxiety about constantly logging into my bank account and on-the-go budgeting.

    Now then, in terms of the soft stuff: I have really gotten a lot out of your posts about invisible scripts and psychological barriers. These two things are limitations I’ve allowed in my life to keep me stuck in my job/quotidian life, which isn’t a bad place– it’s very comfortable, but without passion. So, in the past six months I’ve really been investing in myself by going to conferences, investing in equipment to take my creative projects further, taking people out to coffee for informational interviews, starting piano lessons, going to hands-on software workshops, and applying to film school (to which I was accepted, but had already begun making a portfolio of improvement for when I wasn’t accepted– and you know, I’m in the habit now of completing more and more projects).

    In short, my life feels more rich in so many ways thanks to you.

    Happy Birthday.

  311. Happy birthday!
    I went from having my life savings ($4,000 or so) sitting doing nothing in a savings account earning a pathetic .025% apr… to now knowing what to do with it! At 20, I know much more about saving, investing, retirement accounts, and conscious spending that any of my peers. I even made my boyfriend read the book!
    Thanks!

  312. I was already in decent financial shape (good salary, automated savings and maxing my retirement fund, no debt except for the mortgage)… but your recent credit card recommendation was a huge help. I’m getting married in a year and a half, and most of my wedding expenses are now going to be charged on the card to get the points. I’ll only be charging what we have the cash for, so that I don’t accrue any interest… but in the meantime, I’ll get a ton of points I wouldn’t have had otherwise. In 18 months, we should be able to pay for a nice chunk of our honeymoon with them!

  313. I realized that money issues have much more to do with own mindset than with my knowledge about money.

    That changed my whole approach.

    Happy birthday!

  314. You’ve actually helped with two things:
    #1 After reading your book, I set up a Roth IRA and using automation, built it up to over $2000. My wife also set up a savings account and built it up nicely. She’s never had emergency funds available before.

    #2 Negotiated her trade-in car for full Blue Book value and got a great interest rate on her new car.

  315. Wish you very happy birthday Ramit.

    Made me price my products right when I started my side business 2 months back.
    Also, following your advice I felt confident launching a business that caters to very small niche ( Handmade clothes for little girls).

    Thanks Ramit!

  316. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I’m 23, I started reading your blog right before I started my first real job at a nonprofit.

    Your specific posts and behavioral advise helped me concretely twice:

    Yesterday I negotiated away two $5 bullshit “maintenance” charges from my Bank. (also I’m scrapping this account, got a Schwab last week. I guess this bullet counts as two from you).

    At an organization where salary is based virtually solely on tenure, I negotiated my way to a 2.5% salary increase upon signing. It’s small amount overall, but the fact that it happened was a bfd.

    So thanks for all this man. I’m not going to buy any of your products for the time – but I appreciate you sending them my way. I’m thinking of buying your book on Amazon with the rebated bank charges as my way of saying “thanks” (and saving myself more money).

    Have a rocking 29. Hope you’re at a beach somewhere.

  317. Happy burfday dooooode!!!!

    I lowered my car insurance payment by about 1/3.
    Next … paying off the credit cards!!!

  318. Happy Birthday Ramit! Thanks to you and the Buck Blog at the NYTimes my wife and I have automated our money. Especially helpful was funneling 5% of our funds to our Roth IRAs and utilizing some sub-savings accounts. Great advice.

  319. I love your articles about the ‘best credit card’ and the ‘best savings account’. I still have them printed out for future reference. We are working out of debt and your no nonsense approaches really are refreshing.
    Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  320. Happy Birthday, Ramit! Hope you’re doing something amazing to celebrate. I managed to finish automating my savings, up my retirement contributions considerably, and take an incredible trek to the base camp of Mount Everest (ridiculously grueling, but spectacular and an amazing experience, which I could afford after choosing to have a small, less pricey wedding). Your blog has definitely helped me prioritize my spending so I’m able to enjoy my life much more. Thank you!

  321. I like everything Ramit writes because he does it with high-, can-do energy. Reading his material makes me want to get a better grip on my budgets and examine my expenses, contact my past clients for referrals, and push myself to make extra income on the side–after all countless of his clients are doing it, why not me?
    I am really eager to begin Earn1K, or the First Idea program, and the reason I have not is NOT because of the price tag (with an iron-guarantee there’s no risk), but rather because I have not been able to clear enough hours to make a fair run at doing the project right. But it’s in my near future.

    Happy Birthday!

  322. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    I did your earn1k course and made $840 of side income in the month of June. I’ve scheduled my next client for 2 July, who will pay me $220, slightly missed my goal of $1K/month for June, but there’s always July…

  323. I’ve focused more on big wins and spent time looking for alternate opportunities to make money on the side.

  324. Hey Ramit – Happy Birthday! I’ve been meaning to write to thank you, and your birthday prompt finally gave me the kick to the backside I needed…

    I stumbled onto your post “My $100,000 bet on Chris Rock” while I was starting a new job search back in May. A position had opened up at one of my “dream-to-work-for” companies, and your story made me realize that my cover letter sucked — mind you, it was wasn’t bad, it was just… generic.

    The question from your post, “Which essay would you rather read?” made me rethink my approach. I knew the hardest step in getting hired at my dream company was getting my foot in the door, and your article inspired me to think about how I could both personalize my cover letter, as well as add value for the reader.

    Instead of a dry rehashing of my accomplishments, I wrote up a story about a funny incident that happened during another job – which demonstrated the positives about myself I was trying to convey.

    During my interview, the interviewer told me that it was the best cover letter she had ever read, and several rounds later, I was hired. I’ve been at the new job for about a month now.

    Since then, I’ve become a big fan of the site, and I just started reading your book. Thanks!

  325. Dear Ramit,

    your blog and book have helped me achieve many things in just a few months. While I could list them here, this note would simply be a repeat of most of the steps you’ve yourself described. Of course, I could add figures to these steps, but figures are not really relevant,
    when taken out of context: so what can I really share with you today? Well, I’d say you’ve had a far more impressive impact on me: you’ve completely transformed the relation I have with the money I make and the one I spend. Let me explain…

    I’ve always had an ambivalent, almost hypocrite relation to money: neither poor nor rich, with neither debt nor significant savings, I have for too long, pretended that the issue didn’t matter. Now that I look back, I can tell you that I was in fact secretly obsessed with it: obsessed, fearful and guilty about it, which is a very unhealthy state.

    Maybe for some people, money really does not matter, and I have to assume that those people aren’t reading a personal finance blog. Ignoring it’s existence is probably fine as long as you live an uneventful, self-centered, content existence. Unless you are a zombie, at some point though, you will think you’d like to go on vacation somewhere, offer something to your spouse, help someone in difficulty, decide you want a child: something will put your back against the wall and you will have to face reality. One day or another, you get to see that you are stuck in a self-repeating cycle, and barely started in married life (I am just a couple older than you), I was beginning to realize that I was taking away any chance of growth, by ignoring a powerful lever for my life and the life of my loved ones.

    The concepts and ideas in your writings are deceptively simple and obvious, yet require to be honest with oneself, which is a real challenge. The first powerful concept that changed me, is the idea of starting with setting clear rational goals *beforehand*, about say, short and
    long term savings, for specific and well quantified objectives instead of a vague feelings that you ought to. The second powerful concept is the notion of “guilt free spending”, a state of mind that I don’t think I’d ever experienced in my life! In addition to this, by automating finances the way you teach, I can now, honestly this time I think, claim that money isn’t a problem!

    With clear measurable goals and a plan to achieve them, you have no excuse, you can’t bitch anymore: with time and effort, you just make your ambitions come real. Instead of passively tolerating the tide and constantly dodging bullets, you proactively build and expand your life, going where you want to go… and with some real “guilt free spending” money, even very little, you make the whole process quite an enjoyable ride: isn’t that the true essence of living a rich life?

    So, thanks a lot! I wish you a very happy birthday.

  326. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    Probably the most specific way your advice on IWTYTBR helped me recently was in choosing a fee free ATM card. I’ve used ING since 2006 but was looking for a fee free card for international travel I have planned and I wouldn’t have found the Schwab account without your recent specific recs. Thanks!

  327. Inspired by many of your posts, but most significantly through the psychology of making excuses for doing what you want: I’ve incorporated a rotating set of daily “action items” that involve me working on stuff for 2 other careers (art and writing) that interest me. They don’t pay (yet) but working on them is both valuable in terms of practice and in terms of building a portfolio that I can eventually leverage. So rather than wondering “how am I ever going to do anything with these hobbies” I’m at least at work on building a portfolio and practiving.

  328. Automation. I have finally stopped running away from my debt (esp student loans), prioritized them and have a plan for paying it off. Your words on guilt free spending have forced me to pay myself first and not feel guilty about spending after everything else is taken care of. Once my credit card debt is gone I will move on to the Roth IRA, a life-cycle fund, and savings. Thank you, and happy birthday.

  329. I realized the value of using the credit card only in extreme emergencies. I was able to pay off my car in 4 1/2 years, instead of 5. I saved money by looking for a better auto insurance. I feel more in control now of my financial resources and have a sense of accomplishment every time I save more money. Thanks for the wonderful advice.

  330. Happy Birthday Ramit!!!

    I Will Teach You to Be Rich helped me get in charge of my finances so that I could pay off my credit card debt and attack my student loan debt! I’ve got my automated system set up, including deposits into a 401(k) and an investment account. I also learned that it’s worth my time to search for bank and credit accounts that suit my needs; I found a checking account that pays 4% interest with no fees as long as I meet the minimum balance requirement, which is easy to do!

    Thanks so much!

  331. Happy Birthday!

    IWT has helped me in two ways this year. First, as a teacher, I have used your information to help my students learn about personal finance. Without having read your book or blog, I would not be able to relay this very important information to my students who would otherwise never get it in school. I do not teach a finance class (I teach music) but felt it would be wrong for my Seniors to leave high school knowing zilch about personal finance.

    Second, as a first year teacher, my job was first on the chopping block as a result of budget cuts in education. Before going into an interview, I read up on your briefcase technique. As a result, I made it into the top two, beating out other applicants with 5+ years of experience. I eventually took another offer before the interview process was complete so I don’t know if I would have come out on top but the fact that the top two applicants were myself and a woman with 20+ years, I felt that the briefcase technique made a real impact and set me apart from other candidates.

    Thank you for everything you do and again, happy birthday!

  332. I took your advice on automating my finances as well as getting the SPG rewards card from Amex.

    Now, 5% comes off the top for 401(k) and 5% for Roth IRA and I’m setting up sub-savings accounts to make sure I track my savings to tangible goals.

  333. Happy Birthday Ramit! How I wish I were 29 again! I’d have all that time ahead of me to implement your techniques….but I don’t and I choose to live in my own reality, which was pretty much status quo, working hard to pay off stuff and stay afloat..that’s right, just stay the course, status quo.
    A few weeks ago, I opened one of your “I Will Teach You” emails (Yes, step one is to actually open and read them, which I may have glossed over before and added to the ‘check it out later folder’). Well, the email was talking about “bests”, best credit card to have and why, best bank account to have, best checking account. I was happy to learn that I HAD THEM…well 2 out of three. What I didn’t have was the total picture of WHY is needed them…I’ve had a Starwoods amex for years and never really took advantage of leveraging the point system. I have added over 2000 points in 2 months and my balance on the card is zero, because I pay it off sometimes twice a month. I set up my sub-account to auto-load savings each month via ING. I have also automated my other bill paying. Most importantly though, you have taught me in just a few weeks that life does not have to be ‘status quo’ til you die. simple things like automating savings, paying down debt and taking action have inspired me to see a much brighter picture for the future.
    I will be joining the Earn 1K as soon as I have all my debt paid off as you advise.

    Enjoy Your Day!!

    Jackie

  334. Last October I suffered the unexpected loss of my spouse, who was a CPA and managed all our finances and taxes. As a middle aged guy with a well-paying job I’m not exactly in your target demographic, but I had been following your site because the logic made sense to me.

    After taking over the household finances (on top of the unexpected expenses), I realized sadly that I should have been more involved all along as I faced $127k in debt spread between retail credit, business credit cards, home improvement loans, etc. I bought your book and worked from the start to get better accounts set up, automate finances, find better arrangements to reduce costs everywhere, and got a sustainable lifestyle set up for our family. In the first few months, attacking this area was a kind of therapy to get through it all.

    I’m happy to report that after six months the debt was down to $89k with all high interest cards obliterated, I have cash on hand to cover unexpected expenses without worry, I have savings that actually earn measurable interest and credit cards that provide useful rewards.

    Thanks, and happy birthday!

  335. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    Wow, what have I learnt from IWT? That’s an interesting one because there are so many things, yet I can’t seem to pinpoint any of them. I think it has generally shifted my attitude towards money. I used to think it was scary and difficult, something to avoid talking about and dealing with.
    A few lessons from Ramit:
    Numbers are important, but they are alot easier than I used to think. Earning a lot of money is actually not that difficult provided you know your own self worth and are prepared to ask for it. Often you have to put in the research and practice first, but they are worth it in the end. Making the right calls on what and how to spend or save is important.
    Thanks heaps Ramit, have a lovely birthday and keep up the great work!

  336. Happy Birthday! Do yourself a favor. Destroy that picture !
    I followed your book from page 1 to page N and I did everything it said. All my finances are automated. I save a bunch without even knowing that it comes to my checking account first. I spend without the guilt on things I love.
    I invest my time in things that really matter and I hire people to do the chores like cleaning, mowing the lawn and cooking (sometimes). I’ve saved a bunch of money by negotiating gym memberships, auto insurance etc. I’ve overcome psychological barriers and I do fun things like train for a triathlon, develop mobile products etc in addition to my 9 to 5 job. I follow my passions and my day job provides $$ for fulfilling those passions. You are awesome. ! Will that help you have a better bday?

  337. Using Ramit’s material I was able to get out of credit card debt, moved my car loan to my credit union and was able to negotiate it into a much lower percentage rate while setting up automatic payments.
    This past week I have been editing and organizing my photo banks and I mustered up the courage to enter a contest instead of talking myself out of it as I have done every year until now, telling myself, what’s the use? I’m not as good as those other photographers.

  338. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    While I feel that sometimes you plug your course a little too much in your posts, overall, I have gotten a lot of value out of your book and blog.

    If anything, it took the mystery out of finances for me. Before reading your book, I was like most Americans–overwhelmed with facts to the point where I kept putting off managing finances because it seemed like such a joy.

    Since reading your book, I have set up a Roth IRA and gotten into online savings.

    Though I still have lots to learn, I feel good knowing that I took some action towards my financial life.

    Thank you for demystifying finance for those of us who are overwhelmed with all the jargon!

  339. Happy Birthday! What have I learnt from you?

    1) Behavioral Change takes time
    2) Being frugal (is not being cheap)
    3) How to impress my boss in a small company
    4) Ideas about decision making with a longer term perspective

    - Rahul

  340. When I was in the Navy, my car insurance insisted the only way they’d cover me to to allow auto withdrawal from my checking account. Then the Navy screwed up my paycheck. I had to scramble to get insurance to not withdraw the money and work out how to pay them until I got my paycheck straightened out. I realized if I’d been at sea, I would have been totally screwed. My account would have been overdrawn, my insurance would have been cancelled, and the idiots in disbursing would give me a blank look.

    And so, I was terrified of automating my bills for the next 18 years.

    IWT helped me to get over it and start automating. I’m not totally there yet, but when I get paid, some money goes into Savings, and some goes into my bill account. I have as many bills as possible on autopay. About all that’s left are Citibank, water, and gas. What the hell is wrong with them? But I’m at the point where anything in checking can be used guilt-free.

  341. Happy birthday Ramit, and thanks for all the advice.

    Here’s my scenario: I’m male, 35, married, no kids. I’m in a well-paying job, my wife is in a well paying job; our combined incomes are, um, comfortable. I read your book a few years ago and tactically started implementing the recommendations. I now have no credit card debt (do have a mortgage), max out super contributions (I’m Australian, by the way, our rules are a little different down here – you can’t contribute too much to your super over and above what’s legally obliged), my finances are automated as much as my bank will let me, the only manual step I have to take is to shuffle off a regular monthly contribution to an investment account, which is handled by a broker. I have zero interest in asset allocation so I’ve set my investment goals and let the broker manage to that. This is a relatively small investment but it’s growing every month. My situation now is a complete turn around – I was coming from the position of a failed business, huge credit card debt and a very poor position with the tax office.

    Over the past few years I’ve probably earned $40k on the side freelancing (I was doing this before I read your book). I’ve decided that freelancing isn’t really for me and I’m starting to explore some more product/deal based ways to make more on the side. (I’m pretty lazy, prefer to work in bursts and like leaving everything to the very last minute. I’ve found this doesn’t really work well with freelancing.)

    In your A/B/C split I’m pretty much a B that’s been pushing himself to be an A.

    The single most important thing IWT has taught me, and this is something I’ve only really understood this year – is to automate things as much as possible to set myself up for the next stages of my life. I want to be at least a decade ahead of the curve so to speak, to avoid the regrets that seem so common in other people – especially the saving for retirement one.

  342. Micro-testing…you’ve confirmed for me the belief that I was finally not the only person who does this sort of thing. That there are others — who see the merit in it. And now…I’m hooked, I’m micro-testing all the time. Like the banshee…

  343. I have read your website for the last two years, but have never really been able to put any practical application to it because I just graduated and start my first job in two weeks.

    One of the first posts I ever read on this website was how to separate your paycheck into different areas of saving and still have ‘guilt free’ spending money. When I earn my first paycheck in two weeks, I will model my breakdown into my savings, checkings, bills, 401k, and spending money after that post.

  344. Happy Birthday Ramit, your book has been invaluable to me and my newlywed wife in the start of our marriage. We’re automating all our accounts, setting up solid financial goals, and not feeling guilty about our spending. It really is all psychological. I’ve also been able to negotiate dumb fees and increase lines of credit with ease. Your book’s been great as well as your blog and emails. Sorry for the lack of concrete details, but I didn’t want that to stop me from wishing you a happy birthday.

  345. Helen McDonald Link to this comment

    I finally got around to opening a Roth IRA with Vanguard and am automatically sending 300$ to it each month, this is in addition to workplace 403B. I would not have thought much about a Roth without reading IWTYTBRich (the book)

  346. Happy Birthday, Ramit!

    I’ve learned that it’s more important to earn more than it is to cut lattes (I enjoy lattes, so thank you). After reading all of your emails, I began targeting a smaller niche of freelance clients. I immediately booked a project for double the fee I charged on my previous project. Now I know how to begin looking for ways to earn more, instead of living with less. I know even better things are in store for me now.

    Thank you!

  347. untill this evening i thought my 500$ a month job (i’m a student) and my lame apartment and 20 year old car was the best i could ever do.Today it hit me, for the first time ever, that i really deserve more than that. and that i can actually go get more in life.

  348. Happy BDay-

    Since we are on the topic of birthdays, I just wanted to say that over the last couple years, I have used the book as a gift to 15-20 people for their birthdays. Many needing some pushing to actually read and do the steps, but with a few nudges I have converted many. One has even joined earn1k in the past.

    I always put 5 bucks in the book for them and told them that they will end up paying me back in the future when they are sitting on the beach sipping pina coladas.

    -Rob

  349. We helped our son figure out a way to get to college tuition free, and I have set a goal of becoming accredited in a professional field, and have started the education for that.

  350. Loved your book! Thanks so much. I am buying it for all the twenty-somethings in my family as a “gift” that could change their life. I’ve read lots of books on personal finance and think yours is the best, especially for 20-30 yr olds. I especially like your approach of taking care of the big things…and ignoring the lattes of life. A great approach to life. Personally, what I have gained from the book is automating my investing and am gearing my investments more towards simple target date funds rather than trying to guess what the next best thing is.
    Would love to see you do a similar book for teens. As a middle aged woman, my gift to my kids is to give them the gift of good financial info. The simpler the better with specific action statements would be great. Thanks so much for what you are doing. Have a great birthday! love from Virginia!!

  351. Greetings and Birthday Wishes…

    Great advice in this new economic clarity……….really helpful……..Continued Successes and Kind Regards, Joe

  352. Happy Birthday! I’m 51 and still learning. Thank you for being an inspiration for change. I have paid off my credit cards, downsized to where my housing is $650 total, acclerated to pay off my 2010 Prius, which I probably wouldn’t have bought if I had been here before. I changed insurances to USAA, since my dad was a vet, saving about 1k a year for home/car insurance. I have automated my bills/savings and opened up a Roth, on top of my 403b/Ira. You’re pretty good at getting people off their a$$. : ) Congratz. May the rest of your live be as motivational and fruitful.

  353. Clarity and discipline

  354. Hi Ramit,
    Happy 29th Birthday to you!!
    May all the grace & goodnes that you give to others return to you tenfold this year!
    As a birthday gift, I would like to share what you have given to me, through your knoweldge and expertise in the financial sector.
    Discipline and consistancy are first on the list. Feeling happy about getting the information I need to move forward with my personal & business finances have changed my attitude. Creating repetitive, good habits with banking has become exciting. I am much more assertive and involved with the money process as opposed to being uninformed and passive.
    I feel as though I have stepped into a green oasis that has been on my map for fifty years.
    Thank You!!
    With Birthday Cheer, Donna

  355. Oh yeah happy happy bday

  356. I’m too old for most of your instructions unfortunately, but I did take the opportunity to do what you recommend most often, which is to stop making excuses and just do it – so I have my own column (currently a blog, but it is starting to collect subscribers, and is published periodically in a local online newspaper) reviewing local bands and club venues… so thank you for being such an annoying pain, Ramit – and happy birthday!

  357. I learned to automate my finances and set up automatic bill pay. While this hasn’t saved me cold hard cash, it has saved me lots of time and worry, which I can then use to help build my business.

    A cold hard fact: went from 0.25% interest rate savings account to 1.0% thanks to you.

    Keep the good stuff coming and thanks!

  358. Prioritize – a huge thing for me was realizing I needed to be picky – the “permission” to buy what I love in exchange for not buying junk – saves a ton of money right there. One high-quality item is cheaper and better than five low quality. Your advice to “buy what you love, and only what you love” was golden. Thank you!

  359. Happy birthday dude!

    One specific thing I did because of you was start my Roth IRA, putting my money into a Vanguard target date fund. I’d never even heard of lifecycle/target date funds before I read your book.

    You keep writing, I’ll keep reading!

  360. Happy Birthday!

    I have a lower income than I thought I would have (about $1000/month) and was living from emergency to emergency, until I read the part in your book about putting something aside in savings every month, no matter how small. I’ve put $178 into an ING account every month, and that covers my annual $2000 emergency. Last year I had to buy a new laptop, and this year I had to buy a round-trip plane ticket to Taipei. It won’t sound like much to some commenters, but the impact of not having to put those purchases on my credit card (and not paying the interest) have been really freeing. I also have an account for car emergencies–no sleepless nights about that either!

    The section in your book the discusses how to prioritize saving vs. paying down debt really resonated, and I’m proud to say that it’s taken me exactly 2 years since graduation to pay all of my student loans. Everyone thought that using that money to pay extra instead of putting it into investments was a bad idea, but it’s wonderful to be completely debt-free, even though I make $14,000 max per year.

    E1K was really valuable in that it taught me to understand WHY someone would hire me. I had 1 client, and now I have 4. Architecture projects take 6 months-1 year minimum, so getting 3 new clients as a sole practitioner is excellent business growth. I’ve also used E1K to determine the projects that I want to do, and I’m poised to double my number of clients this year but not taking on projects that are too big and overwhelm my other projects.

  361. Paid one credit card off, and now almost halfway done paying the other. I sold three things on Amazon and used that earning to pay off the card as well. Finally I cut back on my gas consumption by riding my bike more, downgraded the cable and Netflix and cut my grocery bill by 30%. All that extra income is being put into paying off the last credit card. Thanks for your ideas and motivation!

  362. A year ago, I had been working at my first “real” job for a few months, and I had just moved in with my (unemployed, recent graduate) boyfriend of 3 years. At the same time, my parents were getting divorced and my mother, who had stayed at home for 15 years to raise us, is left with no assets, no savings and no retirement contributions. I knew that I knew nothing about money and it freaked me out.

    IWT gave me not just the information, but the kick in the butt I needed to get started. The two biggest points would be automation, and discussing finances with my partner. I automated my savings in a “ladder system” – emergency buffer in a savings account first, then investing in the market in the most fiscally interesting way (no 401k, I’m not American). I had numerous discussions with my partner about money – both short term (I will support you as long as you don’t have a job, but not pay your debt) and long term (what do we want our life to be like, what should we save for, how can we make more together?) We read a lot of your articles, and other personal finance material, together.

    Now we’re one of the most financially secure couples in our social circle, with no debt (except for $8,000 of his student debt), $12,000 in savings and a comfortable lifestyle where we can afford what we enjoy most. Not bad at 25.

  363. Oh yeah, I’ve also been keeping a “money diary” this week and the insight I’m getting just from putting my spendings and my thoughts about them on paper has blown me away. Just so you know, even your old material is still really useful :)

  364. Happy Birthday, Ramit! There are a bunch of things that your site and book have helped me with this year. I just finished automating my finances using online bill payments and I have finished planning my conscious spending plan, including how much I will divert into investing and savings (I don’t start getting paid at my new job for another month). (Sorry the salary was non-negotiable.) And just today I got $3 in ATM fees reimbursed because of my Schwab debit card. Thanks so much!

  365. m.kasiviswanathan Link to this comment

    hi ram,

    wish u a many many happy returns of the day. its nearly a year before with lot of confusions i had when i came to you. now i am in right track going a head i will not bluff that i reached a lot but i organised the finance with some keypoints you have told to do. now its been set and i am sure that its works 100% in profitable mark. pl…continue this service.

  366. $7k invested in the last six months
    $1k emergency fund
    Mentor who sold his last business for $88m
    All accounts setup and running well
    Two friends saving using the save 1k in 30 days challenge

    Thanks Ramit, you’re a champion. And Happy Birthday!

  367. I utilized scrips found within your book to negotiate an increase on my credit line. I also obtained that Rewards Card you’ve been recommending, and I cannot wait to use the perks. Happy birthday, Ramit!

  368. Happy birthday Ramit!

    I learned I believed in some invisible scripts I wasn’t really aware of. Now I started trying them out. This simple change makes me feel a lot better.
    I do believe the good news will around soon.
    Thanks a lot.

  369. Hey Ramit, Happy Birthday!

    Your book has helped me in a number of ways:
    1. My Bills & Savings are now fully automated
    2. I have opened a Roth IRA account
    3. I have started contributing to my 401k at work
    4. I have recognized the importance of smart spending vs. cheating myself of my favorite things to save a buck (though I’m still working on this)
    5. I have learned why it is important not to under-value my services (I’m a software developer/consultant).
    6. Most importantly, I have learned that in order to be the best, you have to provide the most value (whether that’s to client’s or to your employer).

    I really appreciate your blog and all the freebie’s you give out, and I’m saving up for earn 1k, hope to get into it before the end of the year.

  370. I currently work for a job I love, and I negotiated $10,000 more a year than what they usually offer.

    The HR person was really pushing to get an amount out of me and I got scared, so I reached out to you for help. Your videos on negotiation gave me some great exercises to use, and they gave me the confidence I needed to stand my ground and get them to give a number first.

    There’s countless other things you’ve helped me with, but I wanted to let you know that the extra money I’m gaining every month has been incredible. I’ll be totally debt free in less than 2 years and I can’t wait. Thanks for everything Ramit!

  371. Thanks to your tips, I have begun to automate and I always pay myself first, which has helped me save/invest more money this year than ever before…and I started a business a couple weeks ago, something I never thought I would do, but which I feel very confident about thanks to all the information I have gained from your work. Happy birthday!

  372. BJ Fogg masterclass : Changed the way I approach people and freelance work!

  373. Ramit,

    I was a prisoner in Plato’s cave, and you showed me the light. I’m 17, I generate $5000 a month freelancing, and am going to travel around the world this year. None of this could have been possible without your guidance.

    I hope you have a magnificent days to come!

  374. This site was a big player in forming my attitudes and knowledge regarding money, which in turn was a big part in my dad getting his first side-work contract ever for $60k (he’s a 46y old lawyer). I know it will help me soon enough, and probably will in the upcoming weeks as I apply for my first ‘real’ (career-related) jobs.

    P.S. Hey Ramit, please don’t turn into someone less cool. There’s only so long you can retain the youthfulness this site requires and it’s not cool to be an old geezer on TV shows as the ‘token’ expert, repeating the same stuff 20 years later.

  375. 1) put myself on an automatic savings plan that has me paying of my student loan debt by the end of the year

    2) got a new job where i’m learning skills that will lead directly to starting my own business

    3) earned ~3k on the side

    thanks ramit! happy birthday and thanks for the hard work.

  376. I negotiated with my bank to remove two late fees that came about from my pay cycle being out of sync with their billing cycle, and I arranged to shift my billing cycle so it wouldn’t happen again.
    I started contributing extra funds to my superannuation (retirement account) to get the government match this year.
    Thanks Ramit, and happy birthday!

  377. Hi Ramit, your site helped motivate me to leave my job as a software developer, and move into my passion of being a rock climbing instructor.

    Not only did I take the leap, I had hoped to do some contracting on the side. Through a client at the rock climbing gym I am now earning roughly twice what I was as a full time developer through contracting on the side, while still living my dream as a climber.

    I love the site, and get so much more done each day now that I am more motivated to put the effort in and not just get by.

  378. I took a higher paying job in a better city doing something I thought I wasn’t qualified for. A few more details: I /was/ qualified, I had just been telling myself that I didn’t have the right letters behind my name, the right degree in place, the right background, etc. Lies, really. So I got off my ass and asked about this job, got in touch with the right people despite fearing they wouldn’t respond, and now I’ve got a better job lined up in August. Thanks for the fire under my ass, Ramit, and happy birthday!

  379. Happy Birthday! My wife and I are much smarter about money thanks to you.

  380. Happy Birthday Ramit!!!!

    1). I’m now the holder of the Charles Schwab Visa Card

    2). I automated my accounts and now having $100′s in savings

    3). I also have credits on most of my bills due to the automation (meaning I don’t have to pay anything for at least a few months and the credit just keep growing and growing)…

    Thank you Sir for your wisdom!!!!!

    ~ Kevin

  381. My thoughts and beliefs have changed. I always believed I had to be perfect or have everything just right and ready before starting something etc. Over time, with your teachings et. al. I have realized a new truth. The first step, the act of doing, being able and willing to fail before one succeeds – I have a new perspective about success. Thank You Ramit.

  382. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    iwtytbr has definitely changed the way i look at credit cards,bank accounts etc now if i can only gain income without being between jobs all the time lol

  383. I automated my per-paycheck savings a year ago and was pleasantly surprised recently to see how the high the balance is! I have saved almost an extra $3,000 without thinking about it. The money transfers automatically after payday. Thanks, Rami!

  384. Thanks for tipping me off on the best rewards available with an American Express credit card. It lets me get rich while I sleep.

  385. Just read your book 2 months ago, have implemented almost all of your suggestions, completely automatizing my entire financial life, and it feels great! Your book has given me such amazing peace of mind. Thanks for everything and happy birthday ramit!

  386. Happy Birthday!
    Your book helped turn me from dealing with my finances in a passive kind of victimy way, to taking constructive action.
    I’m in the process of automating my finances, I’ve opened a Roth IRA, I’m almost out of credit card debt, I’m able to save over 1000 dollars a month allowing me to quit a hated job, and I have three or four ideas on the back burner to generate even more income.
    Revolutionary stuff! Thank you!

  387. Happy Birthday Ramit. I soon as I save enough money I going to join your 1k program.

  388. Since I read about your craigslist penis effect, I improved my performance at public speaking just a little bit. I currently earn money with it and got me consulting jobs and loads of free PR. Just for that…. you are my HERO!
    Happy BDay, Ramit!

  389. The most important change has been to change the way I spend money. After reading your book and blog, I automated my finances and am earning rewards for my regular everyday purchases. I also no longer guilt myself for spending money on things I’ve prioritized. In automating my savings, I’m now over $2500 in my general savings and have started wedding, house and vacation accounts that are growing slowly (but steadily!). Oh, and thanks for validating my nagging my friends to contribute to their 401ks and Roths, which I’ve been doing since I was 24 – now I can arch my eyebrow at them and say, “Well Ramit says…”
    Happy birthday Ramit!

  390. Earn1K has taught me a lot about where I was going wrong with my business and helped me switch my gears from treating it like a hobby to treating it like a full-time job. Now I earn my living through Evil Ink alone.

    While I was employed full time, I managed to pay off some crippling credit card debt and a hefty surprise cancellation fee. Now I’m teaching my friends and relatives how to manage their money and a few them have actually taken my advice to heart and I’ve seen them reduce heavy education costs as a result.

  391. This site and your book helped me see “budgeting” in a more positive light.
    I picked up another book recently that talked about giving up lattes to be rich when you’re old and rickety…and I could see right through it, thanks to you. While I still have an appreciation for making sacrifices to save for my future, I now understand that the journey to get there doesn’t have to be totally “latte-less.” You’ve really helped me understand the self-discipline of conscious spending without feeling totally suffocated and guilty for EVERY. SINGLE. PURCHASE.
    Thanks for that.
    And Happy Birthday!

  392. Ramit – So appropriate to write you today – Today is the day I am done paying off my credit card debt! Since reading your book in November: I negotiated (successfully) a lower APR, I paid off $8000 of cc debt, opened a 403b and get my employer match, and automated my finances so that debt/savings are diverted and bills are paid automatically. Thanks so much! Hope you have had a fabulous birthday!

    Also – just opened an ING account and created a budget, so I can save for things I want. One quick favor – could you do a post on how to create sub-savings accounts on ING? Thanks!

  393. Happy birthday Ramit.

    Thank you for teaching me about ING direct – because of you I have an automatic savings account that has helped me accumulate savings instead of spending it on worthless “things”.

    Thanks for teaching me how to easily save cash for investments or wise spending in the future.

  394. I have been lazy/demoralized for the last 9 years.

    You have brought me hope and a slow but sure change in attitude .

    Hope to tell you other benefits soon.

    Wish you a happy birthday

    sunil dandeniya
    colombo
    sri lanka

  395. Happy Birth day Ramit

  396. Finally bought your book and 1 each for my 2 sons that just graduated college.
    I know the best is yet to come! Thanks Ramit.
    Happy Birthday & many , many more!

  397. Happy birthday!

  398. I took the Earn 1K coursea while back. I was working for a coporation at the time and wanted to bust out on my own but had had a few MLM ‘failures’ (mine, not the product’s) so knew I had no clue. I quit my 9-5 and became an independant consultant. Although I took a very good contract I was still embedded within the corporation. This year, at 60, I quit that job (in an industry that I’ve been in for 40+ years) and am starting a whole new career. And I love it! I’m doing something that gives me a whole lot of pleasure! What I learned from Earn 1K was to know my product, my customer and market, my personal and network resources and to get all my ducks in a row so that I can concentrate on doing the business instead of the business doing me in. Thanks, Ramit and Happy Birthday!

  399. Happy Birthday!

    You made me start thinking – really thinking – that I could easily do my job as a freelance consultant.

  400. Happy Birthday Ramit!! Since I first read IWTYTBR in Jan this year, I have saved $1400+ by having a set amount automatically transferred to my savings account each month. You were right…I don’t see the money, so I don’t miss the money! Imagine that? LOL I’ve “learned” to pay myself first. Something I always knew, but rarely did.

    I also started investing by opening a Roth IRA, which still scares/amazes me, because I really have no clue what I’m doing. I just followed what the book said, sat back & watched my account grow. Easy enough I suppose. I’ve always been interested in personal finance, but your methods work for me because you give clear cut action items. I’m accustomed to a structured environment so it’s easy for me to follow instruction step-by-step, otherwise, I would still be reading & absorbing the info, but not taking action, so my hats off to you, for actually getting me to take ACTION!

  401. and PS – you inspired me to reopen my ING account with automatic contributions for my toddler so that she’ll be better off than me!

    Happy Birthday some more!

  402. I think the biggest help has been facing and overcoming the small psycological barriers. Specifically, I finally signed up for the 401k program offered by my husband’s employer. This was after reading the post about how more people enroll if it’s done automatically. I realized we hadn’t signed up yet, and it had been 3 years since he’d started there. Right then, I stopped and enrolled online. I have more, but that was an immediate change.
    Thank you and Happy Birthday Ramit!

  403. Brian Speronello Link to this comment

    Here are a few quick examples, and then one long one where you might be interested in the psychology behind it. The most important thing for me though is that they all add up to peace of mind, since now that I actually have a plan in place for my finances.

    #1) Negotiated $50 off of the $150 hourly rate for someone I hired for a one-day gig. Saved $175 total.

    #2) After learning about asset allocation I was able to correct my 401(k) so that it’s now appropriately 90% stocks and 10% bonds (I’m 25) instead of being nearly 40% bonds like it used to be.

    #3) Called my credit card to increase my available credit (I’ve been lucky enough to avoid having debt) to improve my ratio of debt to available credit, and therefore my credit score. I also checked my credit report, found an error that I’m having corrected, and setup annual reminders in my calendar to check one of the three reports every 4 months.

    #4) I revised the “Buckets” section in the spreadsheet where I track my money, so that now it shows me how much is REMAINING in each bucket for the week/month, instead of the total that I’ve spent.

    First, after reading about psychology from you and others I realized tracking groceries and entertainment on a monthly scale wasn’t good for me. If I saw I had a big number to spend at the start of each new month, I would think to myself “I’ve got plenty of cushion” and go out and spend way too fast. I switched to track groceries and entertainment on a week-to-week basis to help keep myself on target.

    Second, I used to have my spreadsheet setup so that if I entered the name of one of my buckets next to an expense, it would automatically add it to the total I spent on that bucket. The problem is, even though I know what my budget is, spending over my limit just meant the number was a little higher on the spreadsheet. To trick myself into paying more attention, I now have the spreadsheet arranged so that it SUBTRACTS from my total whenever I enter an expense. Seeing my “Remaining Cash” shrink with every purchase has a much bigger effect psychologically than simply watching the total that you spent on something creep a little higher.

    I’m guessing part of the reason the impact is so much greater has to do with the relative change. Let’s say my grocery budget is $80/week (since it is). If I’m looking at it from the “total spent” perspective, adding $2.50 for a candy bar when I’ve already spent $75 on groceries doesn’t seem like much. However, if I’m looking at how much I have remaining, that $2.50 cuts my available budget in HALF. Psychologically, this is a much more persuasive way to present the same information to help curb over-spending. And just to add a nice touch, I also setup conditional formatting so that as I get lower and lower the colors of the numbers go from green to yellow to red when I’m almost spent. (I got the idea from a Wired article Tim Ferriss posted on his Facebook, the basic gist was that subtle reminders encourage action more than overtly strong-arming does. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/ff_feedbackloop/all/1)

    Happy Birthday! 364 more days until your golden birthday.

  404. Hi Ramit,

    I thought I had most of my finances automated, but realized that I hit and miss with savings. I set up an automated amount and I have done much better and have a much higher ending balance. Thanks for all the great info. Elmo loves you! Happy 29th (you’re just a baby). Vicki O

  405. Make decisions quick choose a simple program and use it. Simple one used is better than the complicated program.
    Happy Birthday!!!

  406. Hi Ramit!

    It’s really fortuitous that you sent this email today. Just this morning I went from being a student of astrology to being an Astrologer. I recorded a horoscope podcast with a business woman named Jenn August and she will be posting it, along with a written version, tomorrow when the new moon moves fully into Cancer. Sign up on our website http://www.bizastrology.com to receive your monthly business horoscope!

    The one specific thing that I have learned this year from IWT is to invest in myself. I’ve taken classes on astrology, tarot, Aryuveda, Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy, and attended lectures on ghosts, heaven and hell. All in the past six months! Without your gentle prodding to invest in myself, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to finally see how much of an expert I have developed into.

    Really, the journey from theoretical astrologist to practical astrologist is the ultimate example of going from information to doing! Instead of I THINK (that’s my Gemini side), it’s I AM (that’s my Aires side!)

    Let me know if you would like your chart read!

    xoxoxoxooxo ilana

  407. Automatic savings plan helps me save > $200/week. Thanks Ramit and happy b-day

  408. I’d say over 400 comments of love and appreciation are priceless for your birthday. Congrats on making a difference in so many peoples’ lives by teaching them not only how to be rich but to think rick too.

    Natalie

  409. Thanks for all the helpful info. Unfortunately I started my financial savings and investment planning late in life. Your book was a revalation. Easy to understand and impliment. I’ve already given away half a dozen copies to friends and urged them to follow the steps you set out. Keep up the great work and happy birthday!

    Tony

  410. Happy Birthday !!!

    You really have me thinking about multiple income sources.

  411. I negotiated my new job that I started 3 months ago and got more than I was expecting ($6k more in the base).

  412. I used your IWT and Earn1k info to find out many of my invisible blockers, and stopped making excuses that undervalued my abilities when it came to my freelancing business. By admitting to myself that I do have great skills I didn’t turn down an opportunity that led to my highest paying client thus far. I plan to continue building my skills and increasing my presence. Thanks for the help and happy birthday!

  413. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    A friend of mine told me about your book in 2009 shortly after I graduated college. I ordered it off Amazon and couldn’t put it down, it was EXACTLY what I was looking for (I’ve since passed the word on and at least five more of my friends have read it).

    Thanks to IWTYTBR I have opened a credit card with rewards that are actually rewarding, opened a savings account with ING (which as netted me more in interest in the past year than in my whole life), negotiated myself out of credit card late charges 4 times, have had my credit card company credit me $50 when my emergency replacement card got lost in the mail enroute to Santiago Chile, and have paid off an additional $600 of the principle of my college loans simply by paying $50 more each month! And now thanks to your Earn1K emails, I am starting to think about a second income. What you are doing is amazing, I thank you so so much.

  414. Lost my job in December and used your briefcase technique to land a new job 2 weeks later. The money I gained from such a short unemployment period made me more than willing to buy your Profitable Idea and Earn1K programs.

    Never would have offered to work for free, but per your Earn1K suggestion on when working for free is appropriate, I offered to help my old employer (small struggling business) some limited pro-bono marketing assistance based on what I learned at my new job (highly profitable small business). Doing it out of compassion for the owner and the challenge of bringing a company back on its feet.

    Opened a Schwab checking account last month. Already used it at 3 ATMS the past week. Very convenient especially since almost everything in The Mission is cash only.

  415. Happy birthday! I’m already a freelancer but haven’t been enjoying what I do. As a result of your testing assumptions challenge I emailed all my friends and family and asked them what they thought I had to share (assumed I didn’t have a good idea already for something I’d love). The responses were similar and illuminating, and one of them came with a request for help. So I started helping this friend, and two days later got $250 to help another friend and I love what I’m doing! I think this is my new career and I already launched my website (not perfect but I’m taking action and refining as I go). I’m honing in on my target and message all thanks to the free emails from the earn1k list, and I haven’t even joined yet. Thank you for providing tons of value already – I hope to take the full course and earn 1k and beyond.

  416. I overdrew my checking account. First time offender, my mistake.

    Called the bank and used your script. She offered right away to reimburse 50% of the overdraft. Continued with your script. She talked to her “supervisor.” Got 100% reimbursed.

    Just one example, but still not a bad ROI on your book.

  417. Happy Birthday Ramit! Iwtytbr has impacted my life in the way I think about money. I ” spend extravagantly on things I love” ( just returned from two weeks in Europe with my kids) and” cut costs mercilessly on things I don’t.”(I buy clothes and shoes at Marshalls)
    I have zero credit card debt, max my 401k out, and am in process of launching my first web based business with the help of Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder ( your referral!) the extra money I make I plan to pay off my mortgage early. I have 4 streams of income with a goal of 8-10. Last but not least, i negotiated a 40% reduction on my cable bill just by using your scripts! Thank you, Ramit!!! Enjoy your special day!

  418. Hi Ramit,

    Happy Birthday! Thanks to you I am doing something about paying off my credit cards. I have not accumulated any more debt for a year and a half. I have payed off 15k, 25k to go. At the same time I have a high interest savings account for emergencies, and I use a rewards credit card in place of my debit card, i.e. if I have the money in the bank I put my purchases on the credit card and then pay it off immediately. This way I accumulate no interest charges on those purchases and reap the rewards; so far after about 4 months I’m ahead of the credit card company by $120.00. So for a change a credit card company is basically paying me $30.00 a month to use their card. Some may say that is not much, but it is much better than the other way around.

  419. I’m not youngish (in material/societal years), but young in spirit. This program reinforced that I can continue to work the on-the-side angle to my benefit, and I’ve used this to my advantage.

    So Ramit, realize there are some 50-somethings who dig you work! (yeah, “dig”). And your IWTYTBR rebalancing stuff is great tot.

    ¡Feliz cumpleaños! (happy birthday in Español)

    Bob

  420. Happy birthday Ramit!

    I’m too busy paying off a credit card to do much else, but I now have two savings accounts (glad to see you like ING too) with automatic deposits, opened a Sharebuilder account, even though the stock market is still like Greek to me. I got a new position at work and a (small) raise. What I really need is a blog called I Will Teach You To FInd a Good Apartment, that would fix so much in my life.

  421. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    So far this year E1K has helped me earn about $7500 on the side at the same time negotiate a 10% salary increase. Even though I didn’t take the E1K class I took a lot away from the month of free information leading up to it, and would pay for the class in a heart beat when it opens up again. I will also never pay an ATM fee again in my life and love telling people about it, haha!

    More importantly than ANY of that, I am more confident in my potential to start my own company and make significantly more income than I can working for a company. I now own an Ecommerce business in a niche market that I love and get more exhilarated from daily orders on my website than any check a client writes me. Open up E1K again early and I am in 100%!

  422. Happy birthday Ramit!

    2 things you’ve inspired me to do, one big, one small.
    1) I invested in myself, in a course I had thought about taking, which will lead to a new side-line career. I will spend next week finalizing an official name for my business, and the second week of July I will have business cards printed to give to people who will either use my services or refer me to those who will. 6 month goal is to have enough clients to take an extra day off from my current job; 9 month goal is 2 extra days off from my current job (i.e. work no more than 3 days a week); 1 year goal is to work no more than 1 day a week at my current job and to employ at least one person in my new job; 2 year goal is to have 4 employees and to work when I feel like it.

    2) I collect Giant Microbe ™ plushies. I found a store selling them, and saw 4 that I liked. I asked for a discount for buying more than 1. The owner gave me 15% off, so I bought all 4. Never would have considered asking if not for you (okay, you and Tim Ferriss, but at least half you).

    Thanks for being you, and here’s to the next 29 years!
    -Sharna

  423. Making me accept the limitation of being a cognitive miser. Behavioral change is hard, best to take one or two small changes every few weeks and maintain them. To illustrate: small daily or weekly changes in diet and exercise: getting into the habit of working out for a short time everyday, making sure to buy a couple sacks of salad every week, adding supplements and vitamins one at a time…pants fitting looser!

  424. I finally automated my finances from bills and mortgage to direct deposit.
    I literally only have to pay one bill (I pay my credit card off each month, and the amount varies.)

    To take it a step further, I wrote a google doc my wife and I share to track all spending and extra expenses (plus surplus’s I make from side projects). All I have to do is type is 2-3 digits, hit enter, and the spreadsheet does ALL of the math.

    I just added a new component this month: automated, digital filing. For $10/month, I send all my paperwork in an envelope to a company that does it all for me. I can access my info anywhere, anytime now. (I use a company called Shoeboxed.com – and no they did not pay me to mention them.)

    These two things have saved me 5-10 hours a month, not to mention all of the wasted time my wife and I used to spend coordinating spending exceptions.

    But even more important than the time that I have saved is the grief and frustration from the monotony and meticulousness of the task. I also avoid 3-4 fights with my wife per month, too.

  425. Happy birthday Ramit!
    Reading one of your posts on interview preparation inspired me to get out and network with Hackers and Founders around the bay. I’ve always been awed by how much you’ve accomplished but I think that post on preparation really hit home on how much work you actually do to prepare. Also on a sidenote if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have purchased Maneesh’ passive income class, which has earned me money. Happy 29th!

  426. I’m so not an early adopter, but s-o-o slowly I am trying out some of your ideas, like beginning to automate finances–what a great feeling when it works and makes my life simpler and saves time! Now I am absorbing (also slowly) your ideas about how selling one’s skills doesn’t make me an asshole salesperson; this month I had an unexpected referral through a friend for some side work and just got the check in the mail today. I am cautiously optimistic–thanks Ramit, and hope it’s been a great birthday!

  427. I love your E1K strategy of thinking about what your customer needs. I’ve used it in my full-time job to great success!

  428. The best thing I have learned from you is not about money, but is much more your focus- action. Just do it, take the chance. I have a lot going on and have had disadvantages but have learned even if you have legitimate reasons for being where you are it doesn’t get you where you want to go or form you into who you want to be. The last few weeks so much more has happened and it gets better all the time.

  429. HI
    Happy birthday!. Okay so I was raised by a mother who knew NOTHING about fiscal responsibility. Ergo I have been a mess. I’m one of your older admirers as I’m in my 50′s. Last year I decided to fix my financial picture and I read Dave Ramsey’s book. I started working the plan to get out of credit card debt ( which by the way I was out of when I divorced my husband and i wish i had found either yours or his book at that time 5 years ago). Anyway, I’m working the plan and then my job gives us a 10 % paycut. Devasting to a single mother. So I get your book. First of all you are hilarious and I enjoyed reading your book even if it is for the younger generation. So I’m plodding along paying off credit card debt and then last month hits. My car needed repairs, a tree needed to be removed from my yard and my daughter broke her glasses. So all this extra money I had to pay off debt suddenly disappears and I’m in what our family calls a shame spiral. So i reread your book bcuz just the way you write makes me laugh. But the advice you give about bargaining with creditors was the best ever. One of the creditors offered me a deal where I only had to pay off half the bill and I just completed it, so that means that money is now available for whatever. Thank you. And some of your biz advice i have put into action has also brought rewards. You are great!!

  430. i’m wishing u happy birthday.

  431. automating my finances like a boss.
    Makes me worry less about where my money goes all the time.

    happy birthday

  432. I read your book. I am following the 85% solution in my investments. I am happy about this because I am on the path and not thinking about picking stock or any other such wierd ideas.

    Thanks

  433. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    IWT has changed my attitude to money. I am focusing more on earning more vs cutting back and IWT has given a lot of great advice on how to do it.

  434. Happy birthday Ramit! This year you helped me learn to save every month with ING, I now finally have hope to take my trip around the world in a few years!

  435. Roberta Holleman Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit,
    I found you through my friend Janet Patterson. I am a CPA and Quickbooks Pro Advisor in Sonoma County. I am also studying to be a money coach.I purchased your book and found it to be one of the best tools I’ve seen so far, practical, down to earth, easy to read and palatable for people your age…and good for people mine ( I’m also a year of the dog but…36 years ahead of you!) I gave my book to my 25 year old son, have to get another for me…he’s on the right track, with your book he will learn more now that he has his degree and starting a job. I hope to network with you as you are close by.

  436. Happy birthday, Ramit! Thanks for the book and the years of advice from your blog.

    I really started getting serious about personal finance and implementing your advice 3 or so months ago. Since then, I have done the following.

    –Created effective eBay campaigns to sell unneeded stuff ($260)
    –Researched and sold through other websites ($135)
    –Negotiated cell phone bill to take $20 off per month.
    –Negotiated DSL fee to $10 less per month (Also got out of a $10 late fee)
    –Started a “side hustle.” Earned ~$200 in the first month I started.
    –Started conscious spending. This is a big one. I’ve trained myself to forego small expenses that I don’t really enjoy, in exchange for larger purchases that I love. For example, I hate chain restaurants, but I used to go to them every so often to save money. Now I just don’t eat out very often, but when I do, it’s always a quality meal.

    These seem like small amounts, I know, especially when compared to some of the other comments, but as a grad student, these small savings are really adding up for me. Definitely worth whatever I paid originally for your book!

  437. Sudhindra S Bhat Link to this comment

    All the happy returns of the day.

    The best thing that you have done is to make me move. You have set the inertia in the right direction.

  438. Happy Birthday Ramit! You, your blog and your book have helped my wife and I automate our finances and we’re well on our way to being completely debt free! We now have an emergency fund, we’ve opened up retirement accounts and, as I said, we’re nearly out of debt. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and encouraging us to be smarter with our finances!

  439. Hey Ramit — Happy Birthday! I wanted to say thanks. Your writing has pushed me to set (high) revenue goals this year, and has kept me motivated to meet them. I’m saving significant amounts of money, and am generally better prepared for the future because of your book and your blog. You rock, keep up the great work!

    jcran

  440. Vinayak Maheswaran Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday Ramit!
    I improved my negotiation skills greatly. Also, developed confidence and realized the importance of practicing before going in for a job interview.
    All of the e-mails have been great. I can’t wait to get the money to buy your course!

  441. Hronia Polla Ramit!
    (happy bday in Greek)

    It was your emails, posts and E1K that got me off my butt to finally make it happen, an on the side business that I was just ‘postponing’ for someday… I got paying clients, working now on releasing my website (it was your guidance to stick on the IMPORTANT things first, which is getting paying clients…) and basically put me on the mode of viewing the world where I can MAKE my future instead of expecting it to happen specially while we (as a country) are experiencing serious economic crisis.

    The way you talk about money in an easy way, made me more comfortable of searching, looking and stop avoiding (mostly) this topic, because I used to think, oh it’s so advanced for me… and blindly ignore it when I can do so much more!

    and last, but not least… the people you have introduced and got to know through you… have made serious impact on me and my cirle. You are a great source!

    Happy Bday!
    G

  442. Happy Birthday Ramit! Thanks for writing your book. I finally opened a online savings through your link and am earning more interest now than before thanks to your “push”.
    May your BD be filled with all the things you love.

  443. Happy Birthday! Ok, IWT has taught me to just effing do it. Stop with the excuses, just hit
    The ground and go. I used your no nonsense approach to raise almost 2k for a volunteer trip I’ll be participating in this August in Peru. Yay!

  444. Happy bday Ramit !

    Earn1k has helped me over the psychological barriers of earning more. I am currently joining a group of young investors to put together our minds and invest as a collective. I’m also polishing some really good ideas, on earning money on the side, which I was able to generate using your material…

    Cheers, Rob
    (Cape Town)

  445. Happy belated birthday Ramit!!! Hope you had an awesome day. Now, while many of the ideas and tips are not available to me e.g. the 401k and stuff like that (I live in Kenya), your blog has challenged me to look for the equivalent here. I am saving more without struggling, I have automated most of my bills, and I am currently working on the conscious spending. Thank you.
    P.S.: THe fact that I am actually doing something now is the biggest achievement of all.

  446. Hi!

    First of all, congrats on the birthday! :)
    Second of all, your blog and book have helped me automate my finances (still a work in project, not everything is the same in Sweden as in the US), tackle debt and almost becoming debtfree, increasing my side incomes and opening me up to the potential of a third and fourth revenue stream into my life.

    So, thank you!

  447. Happy Birthday, Ramit.

    I have been flossing my teeth every day since January when I listened to the interview with BJ Fogg and he gave that exact example.

    This may seem like a small thing but not really as it was a bigger than normal challenge for me with a disabling illness. I was starting to see deterioration in my teeth and gums and was worried that by the time if I achieved a remission, I would have horrible teeth. :D Even without the illness, it would be an immediate daily long-term behavior change.

    It’s good to hear from you that IWT isn’t really about money but behavioral change. That is how I have been using your site.

  448. Hi,

    Happy Birthday

    I got the inspiration from your website to start my blog. my blog is three months old and I am very happy for the same.

    Visit my blog http://www.economysavvy.com/ & leave your suggestions

    Have a great day.

  449. Since reading I Will Teach You to Be Rich I have successfully negotiated a 14% Raise at work, going from 105$ a day to 120$ a day. An extra $300 a month in my pocket… basically, like getting a part time job’s pay for the same work I do anyways.

    I also started an online savings account at ING, which doesn’t have a lot of money in it (yet!) but continuing something is a LOT easier than starting something. Currently I have 10$ a month automatically going to it. I plan on raising that amount soon, since I have some extra income coming in now.

    I am constantly thinking of ways to free lance. I have a plan now to learn or in some cases relearn some tools that I am pretty confident could land me some freelance gigs in the future. For instance, math tutoring, saxophone tutoring, and improv comedy tutoring. My hope is that over the next year, I can fine tune all those things and use them to my advantage. I now know that it’s not about being an expert on things, you just need to know enough that people will pay you for what you know. Also, I don’t feel the need to be 100% ready and unwilling to fail in order to start something like this.

    Right now, I can’t initiate everything I want to, but I am on my way to putting myself in that position.

    Thanks Ramit.

  450. Hi, Ramit. I really do wish you a happy birthday, and I want you to know that you actually have helped me a lot these past few weeks. When I first started getting your e-mails (and I don’t even remember how I heard of you, unless maybe it was from either Chris Guillebeau or Tim Ferriss), I thought “Oh, cool’ I need to re-focus and handle some of my finance stuff and this guy seems to really care about and know a lot about that stuff” So I read the messages, but what happened is that with one thing or another, either the case studies or the people whose work you recommended, I just kept getting inspired.

    And every time I was feeling like I was at the end of a dead-end road with my face smashed into a brick wall – here’s Ramit again, saying you can do this and here’s HOW.

    But it wasn’t so much the HOW, it was the HOPE.

    So with a little hope, I got off my ass and decided to start my blog. It’s not making any money, in fact I still don’t have too much of a clue as to what the hell I am doing, but guess what? I don’t care because I know it will be good. And anyway, it’s fun – even if I am the only one who ever reads it, and even if my only 4 subscribers just happen to be related to me. (yeah, sad but true)

    So even though I am busy running a business of my own, taking care of my elderly Dad and disabled daughter, moving out of town and whatever the hell else is going on – thanks to you and your work, I was encouraged to take one step in the right direction and do something I have been wanting to do for a long while – which is get back to my writing. So thanks again, Ramit. It must be gratifying to know that your work touches people in so many different ways. Thanks for making a difference! Happy Birthday to You!

  451. automate. automate. automate. I put ALL bills, student loans, car payments etc on automation for MORE THAN the minimum amount, and paid off over half of my loans, paid off my car, and am well on my way to automatically saving for wedding, house, vacations, etc.

    My birthday is on Saturday, July 2nd, and I am also turning 29, and I think the lessons from IWT book targeting young people my age are priceless! I’ve purchased this book for many of my friends who were going nowhere to help boost them on track too!!

    Thanks Ramit, and happy happy birthday!

  452. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    The big thing that I got out of IWT was to automate savings payments. Make it easy to do the right things….thanks for writing your book and have a lovely day

  453. Where to begin?
    1. Cost as opposed to value. I used to think paying for things was lame, but to actually calculate things and to see the value in it freed me up a heck lot.
    2. Life is negotiable. I hated talking to customer service on phones or home repairs, but turned my questions into strong requests (“can you ___” VS I’d like you to ___. Thanks! I finally DID something about it and got results.
    3. Make the environment conducive to success – stop ‘trying harder’. Still working on that, but yup, negotiating through it.

    Happy birthday :) You’ve done very well in putting a dent in the universe.

  454. Hi Ramit,
    Yesterday was my birthday too (bit older that you though!!) – so belated happy birthday to you my young fellow Cancerian. I’ve not been signed up to your blog long, but have already gain much from it – mostly in regaining my long forgotten confidence. In the last few weeks I have increased my social networking profile by building up my web presence, blog, and joining things like Linkedin. And it’s paid off: I have gained three new clients in the last two weeks. I have also been way more confident dealing directly with people in all respects again, especially the financial world. Yesterday, I gave myself a great birthday present and persuaded my insurance company to increase a payout to me by £400. A little while back I would have just accepted what they told me and left it well alone. But thanks to you and others, no more. So THANK YOU and please do keep up the great work.

  455. I used money back guarantee :)

    I bought “Find Your First Profitable Idea” and later understood that it is not the product I need at the moment. Successful use of money back guarantee encouraged me to buy another product: the “Natural confidence program” from Morty Lefkoe. Which helped me very much :)

  456. I took action and I run my first half-marathon this year (not money related but…). I took action, eliminated barriers and limiting beliefs and something that was just a wish come true.
    Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  457. Helped me save a lot more monthly so I can go on holidays and afford my own place!

  458. This year I have submitted stories to three different journals/anthologies, and written the first draft of a novelette. The longest piece of original fiction I’ve ever completed.
    You made me think not just ‘what do I want?’ but ‘what can I do about that RIGHT NOW?’
    And also, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
    To which the answer is, ‘Not a lot, really.’
    Happy birthday, Ramit. Hope your day is at least fourteen kinds of awesome.

  459. Ramit, I can’t thank you enough for the information you’ve shared through your site! I just accepted a new job offer that provided me an instant 25% pay raise, significantly improved benefits, a week/year more vacation time, and opportunities to progress professionally at the new company that just weren’t going to happen at the old place.

    Thanks to your advice, I knew exactly how to present myself to the new company in the terms they care about, and sailed through the salary negotiations like a pro.

    I’m also a big believer in your philosophy of making money on the side, and have used your advice to help me land clients for side work and raise my rates for that work from $20/hr to $70/hr. My goal for the next year (after getting settled in at the new day job) is to turn those intermittent side projects into a steady $1k/month stream of side income. In the year after that, I will expand my side income enough to quit my day job if I feel like it. Based on the success I’ve had with all your actionable advice, I know this is easily achievable.

    Thanks Ramit!

  460. Hi Ramit, im reading you about a month, the same time that i moved from my natal Puerto Rico to Springfield MA. I need to say that your tips are helping me a lot. You motive me to be more conscious about my spendigs. And one of my best achivments are that yesterday i open my ING Direct account, thanks to you im now in my way to the hustling. Thank you for this website and have a Happy Bday,

  461. I learned that I should have multiple income streams. Not there yet but it’s a goal… My behavior is slow to change.

  462. I am encouraged by every email newsetter I receive, even if I don’t always put the contents into action. I look forward to them.
    Thanks and happy birthday.

  463. I haven’t yet signed up for the course or bought the book, but decided to sell my excess handmade jewelry online, after reading your emails about earning extra from my hobby. My first month I made $10, 6 months ago. My bridesmaid set became popular & during the last 3 months made at least $300 p.m. Increasing each month, I spend a hour 2-3 times a week on this hobby & paying down my debt! Paid off 2 credit cards, one more to go! Who knows this may become full-time!
    Thank you for the inspiration! And hope you enjoy your birthday :)

  464. ROBERT HARKINISH Link to this comment

    I`ve paid off $50,000 in cc debt since IWT, and have automated my savings, and I`m going full tilt boogie on saving for retirement.I`m 62 now. Thank you for changing my life.

  465. Aloha, to be quite honest I have not used anything directly from your site or course. I do however file your emails and read a bundle at a time when I am able. I write more to agree with an emphasis you make and to thank you for putting it into the world. And that emphasis in my own words is: there is no time and no tomorrow. You must act now – to whatever degree – on what is important to you. Otherwise you live life unactualized and ineffectually. We all die, but not everyone lives. Mahalo for the medium.

  466. Happy Birthday, Ramit! I started reading your blog when I was 17, and just starting business school. I’m a junior now and at 20, I earn in a month just as much as my brother does (he’s a doctor).

    The best thing your blog has taught me is overcoming psychological barriers. Once I got rid of the blocks I put on the path myself, earning money at the side has never been easier. I work part-time at two leading organisations in my country, and still have time to maintain the top five percentile of my class (Yeah, I’m a geek like that). I’m working towards saving money for postgrad and buying my own car (your sub-savings account tips REALLY helped curb my spendthrift ways). I want to go to Harvard for postgrad, and as soon as I get back I’ll start my own company.

    Thanks for making me believe in my own abilities!

  467. This is just to wish you a belated happy birthday and may you have many more to come!

  468. Hi Ramit,
    Happy Birthday.

    IWTYTBR Blog is one of the first blogs to be addressed to people like us in the 20s & 30s. How yto manage the money when we are free from the obligations of school.
    To be it’s also the first blog on automating your finances and the clear percentage each category should have!
    Because of the strategies in Make1k, I have made that per month and am working towards ideas of turning that into passive income.
    Thanks Ramit!

  469. I posted last night, and in the meantime remembered 2 other ways that you’ve helped me! :)

    1. The mindset I’ve adopted from your e-mails was a contributing factor in my recent decision to start closing down an online business I ran for 4 years. The business made money, but not enough for me to justify the time and financial investments I was making in it. (And the nature of the business was such that raising rates was not really an option). Being choiceful and freeing up my time will now allow me to focus on other more profitable ventures.

    2. I joined Weight Watchers earlier this year, and have been steadily losing weight ever since I joined. Part of WW is that you track everything you eat; at your meeting each week, you are given a paper tracker for the week where you write down all of your foods, and the “points” value of each (which you have to calculate for each food). I knew that the tracking system, and all the calculation, was going to annoy me and I’d eventually stop doing it… so I made the decision to buy their online membership separately, in order to have access to their online tracker (the online one has all the points values already stored, so you just click on a food and it adds it for you). The people in my meeting, including my WW leader, always scoff that I’m “wasting” the $18/month for the extra membership… yet many of these same people have been dropping out of the program because tracking frustrates them too much. To me, that $18/month is worth it to accomplish a goal, and I more than make up for it by spending less in other areas.

  470. Happy birthday man! You’ve helped me focus my efforts on the psychological aspect of purchasing behavior in consumers. Understanding motivations and incentives instead of building cool tech first.

  471. I took your advice and automated my finances. I set my 401(k) to automatically rebalance every quarter between the various investments. Now I don’t have to worry about doing it manually or about being tempted to not rebalance at all if one mutual fund is temporarily performing better. Thanks to you, I know that over the long term it’s better to stay disciplined and keep the portfolio balanced.

    PS- The 30th is my birthday, too. :)

  472. I’ve automated my and my wife’s savings. Since that time, it has allowed us to pay off 2 phases of renovations in less than 3 years totalling over 40K without borrowing!

    Thanks for your help along the way and Happy Birthday! :)

  473. Happy Birthday (a little late)!

    I just finished your book, which gave me a new perspective on how to manage expenses and the information to get started investing. I struggled with the number of decisions paralyzing my ability to take action (both in investing and not), but now I can look beyond a single decision and see a bigger picture!

    Thanks for a great book!

  474. I have started my 401K, negotiated credit card fees for the last and current year to zero, convinced my husband to make use of his Roth IRA, set up cheaper bank account, automated my savings and understood how important habits around money are.

  475. After reading your book, I was still hesitant to automate my bill paying …what if I didn’t have enough money in my checking. So, I decided to make imaginary automated bill paying – first of the month, I sit down, and in 5 minutes pay all my bills myself. ( I had never made online payments before) The results: I spend most of the month with less worry about bills, its over and somehow I seem to be getting it all paid with a bit more left over. Happy Birthday !! Many thanks !!

  476. I finally opened an ING savings account. Deposited the $100 to start, and have $20/month automatically transferred to it. It’s not much money – but a huge feeling of accomplishment to have done sth I’ve been “meaning to do” for 10 years. Plus, now that the system is in place, I’ll be able to ramp up the amount when I start working full time.


    Michael

  477. I’ve toyed with the idea of teaching Vietnamese traditional instruments on the side for some time now, and I was already resolved to do it, but your advice helped me find the courage to pursue students for instruments of which I wasn’t even an expert! Right now, I have two students learning Vietnamese zither with me. I was direct and honest with them that it wasn’t my expertise, but that I knew how to TEACH them, even if I was not an expert performer myself. Now, by teaching, I’m getting better at this instrument myself, and I’m finding new ways to speed up the learning process for others.

  478. You’ve also helped bring my life into focus. Really. In the last few weeks its been like a light turned on inside me. That’s from our conversation (about way more than just blogging), chatting with Andrew Warner, making progress with WriterViews, etc. “Wish” it had happened sooner – but really glad it has now.

    Thanks.


    Michael

  479. Ramit

    The biggest things I have learned from you are the concept of focusing on infrastructure instead of will power for behavior change, and the concept of optimizing asset allocation. The talk with BJ Fog was great.

    I wanted to make sure I flossed everyday – so I bought those little floss “picker” things and put them in my shower and do it in there every morning. I’m standing there anyways, and the floss is kept in a soap caddy thingy at eye level, so I do it.

    I wanted to work out more, but I realized I needed to be in a class to do it. I joined a cycling class at the gym about 200 yards from my house. It costs more than working out on my own, but I actually do it.

    I maxed out my company’s matching 401 K program, and made sure that it bought the most aggressive fund possible.

    Many thanks Ramit for your work.

  480. Hi Ramit, Happy Birthday and thanks for the blog!

    Besides giving me hope that a freelance side income is a credible reality if it is ever needed, you’ve also encouraged me to think about what I would want to save for in the future (beyond retirement). I spent a few minutes doing some maths, and I’ve realised that a lot of the income I will have (in the job I start next month; I’ve just graduated) I shouldn’t see as disposable income.

    Thanks!

  481. Happy Birthday Ramit!

    This year, your book has helped me pick out (and set up/optimize) a high interest checking account with Schwab, and got me to start my Roth IRA and fund it with $1000 so far.

  482. Happy day-after-your-Birthday!!

    I read your book at the beginning of this year. It was recommended by a family member and I have since purchased a copy for myself and my brother as well as encouraging two high school friends to peruse your site. This book came at an optimal time for me. I had several savings accounts open but I hadn’t actually been funneling money into them on a regular basis. I started direct depositing money into the additional savings accounts (as opposed to just splitting between my main checking/savings and pushing money into the other accounts when I needed it). This allows me to have a dedicated “vacation fund” account that can build up slowly overtime. I also funneled money into my ING account with a plan to invest with those funds. I’m grateful that I started this groundwork since my job situation recently changed.
    At the beginning of this month, I was laid off from the company I’ve worked at for several years (my only job since graduating college). Thanks to your book, I’m actually THINKING about my finances in what I hope is a rational way. I am putting my new “earnings” (thanks unemployment office!) into a savings account and then “paying myself” every two weeks by moving cash into my checking account. At least this way I hope I can get an accurate assessment of my financial health and I can determine when it is time to panic! Also, I’ve been looking into starting a Roth IRA since I no longer contribute to a company 401K. I would not even be entertaining that idea had I not read your book. I really want to thank you for being able to present financial advice in a fun and common-sense way. It’s only week 3 of unemployment so I don’t know if my new system is working for me yet. If you have any financial advice for the recently-unemployed I would LOVE to hear it!
    PS – sorry if this is rambling and more than “one thing”… I just really have been meaning to write you a thank you letter for quite some time!!

  483. Hi Ramit and happy belated birthday. I bought your book and was struck with your easy to understand and omplement instruction. I was married, unemployed and pregant with my son and desperate to find a way out of the $30,000.00 in debt my husband and I had accumulated. Through your book I successfully structured a plan and have been able to reduce our debt to $21,000.00. I’m now employed and have started an automated savings plan as of last month. I’m also using rour Earn1k preview to help in the freelance business I’m starting this year. When I’ve got my credit card debt down and the next course opens I will be there.

  484. Happy Belated, Ramit!

    Thanks to you, I finally buckled down and called my creditors to get some pretty ridiculous and outdated blemishes taken off my credit history, and my score is now just shy of 800 with all 3 institutions.

    And, I’ve automated my savings – but I need to take it a little further and open separate accounts elsewhere because I’m finding it a little too easy to steal from myself on occasion…needing new shoes for a wedding counts as an “emergency”, right?

    I’m on the verge of taking the plunge with Earn $1k, but would like to save and pay cash for it without dipping into my current funds. So look for me the next time around, please – you really have me inspired!

    Kind regards,
    Jessie

  485. Happy Birthday Ramit! You have accomplished a lot in your short life and you should be proud :)
    I read your book earlier this year. I enjoyed the writing style and followed your recommendations. I have eliminated my credit card debt and set up my automated savings/bill paying system. I feel much more in control of my finances, I have set some savings goals and am on my way to accomplishing them!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and today signed up for your mailing list. I look forward to learning about how to increase my earnings potential.

  486. Apologies for the late birthday wishes. Hope it was a good one, or you have a good celebration this weekend. I did want to respond to your request. The best thing IWTYTBR has done for me has made me examine my behaviors. I love how you point out that anyone who comments “great post! I’m going to get right on this!” or something to that effect is really not going to do anything. Until you said that, that was absolutely me. You’re right; it feels good to read a great post/article/what have you, then nod to yourself and say, “Yes! This is it!” But if you just read the next post/article/what have you, you forget how “profound” the first one was. Then you’re catching up on personal emails, work emails, etc.

    I have a savings account labeled Earn 1K. A lot of factors have put me into debt over the past year, and I am brave enough to admit they were a culmination of stupid decisions. But having control over my own earning power is crucial. So hope to see you there next time.

    Thanks for the blunt, butt-kicking attitude, Ramit. Thanks for not being soft. :)

  487. Happy Belated Birthday I hope it was a great day!!!

  488. Your site taught me to write from the other person’s perspective- ie what needs of theirs can I fill, as opposed to the other way around.

  489. Athenea Beltran Link to this comment

    Happy Birthday Ramit: Great Elmo photo! You have absolutely brought back the fire and motivation in me to create to the best of my abilitites! This week, I acquired my very 1st paying client, $1,000k paid in full!!!! I feel stoked! Happy Bday and thanks. Since my website is not quite done, I went to the colleges and posted my ability to process F-1 student visas & adjustment of status & suddenly sporatic phone calls came in! I even got an English native executive calling so that I may renew his non-immigrant document…stoked, very stoked

  490. Your ideas helped me to make my first US$1,000 on the side training people.

  491. Happy Birthday, Ramit!!! Your generosity with the wealth of information has helped me to be aware of my financial situation. I had opened an ING savings account in 2007 and with your advice I went to open another one because I had completely forgotten it even existed. I now have been saving 25% of each paycheck in that savings account and i have never seen the amount of interest I am receiving!!!

  492. I was always good at managing my finances, but when I moved here from Europe 7 months ago I must confess that I was completely lost. I had no idea what an IRA was, what’s the difference between IRA and Roth IRA, how the credit score works or what 401(k) meant. Your book and your site helped me understand how the system works here and how to make the best choices. And trust me, it’s very different from the Romanian system!

    The last few months were mainly about survival so I couldn’t really use a big part of the info you’re providing. Today I got my first job in America. It’s not great but it’s a start. Things are going to get better from now on and I can’t wait to move to the next level: working on my negotiation technique.

    Thanks Ramit! You’ve been of great help!

  493. Here’s a happy one-day-late-birthday greeting and my appreciation for the *Earn 1K* content you’ve developed. I have definitely learned a lot from your model and although I’m still trying to hit the right idea, having the structure that you’ve provided is going to get me there. You’re inspiring and entertaining and definitely provide a ton of value. Thank you.

  494. Automating my accounts was a brilliant move and I really appreciate your philosophy of money not taking up a huge chunk of your time.

    Echoing others you have fantastic content up for Earn $1K so thanks for that as well.

  495. first of all, sorry for the typos.. I’ve found your blog a few days ago, i’ve subscribed to your earn1k and slowly i’m getting the big picture. I believe i can do a lot of things. But i’m changing my mind very often. With the very first article of yours i’ve realised -finally- what exactly my skills are and my strengths. But, unfortunately i live in Greece and you know in what nightmare position we all are. So there is a huge difficulty to earn extra money from others. Only from the internet i can do stuff. I wanna thnk you because you’re making more concentrated.

  496. Belated Happy Birthday and I’m very grateful for the techniques from wealth creation to breaking my psychological barriers that is regards of money. Your knowledge helped me a lot ever since I stumbled in this site and not to mention that I have other plans to do. And again, belated Happy Birthday to you.

  497. I got the book because obviously I wanted to be rich, I never had a money problem, but am constantly chasing my salary every month, and sorta to make reading it easier I started searching for videos for Ramit, and I found one where he is being interviewed and mentions how horrible it is to set a budget, and I thought it cannot be that horrible, I never set a budget, I might as well try it, see what he means by that. I mean how horrible is horrible ?

    so in order to set the budget, I needed to know how much is my average spending for each item, I downloaded all my bank statements, visa statements, other bank account statements. calculated all my savings and put all of the above ingredients into one excel sheet, and soon enough my stomach was stirring, I found out that am over my income by about 500-600 each month !! holly crap !

    now I have a reference for what “horrible” means, thanks Ramit !!, “no wonder these savings keep shrinking”, Now I know I have a problem, and am about to jump from my 22nd floor apartment ( which is why the rent was too high, having a suicide option is a luxury item apparently!!), I managed to put all my savings leftovers in a TFSA ( Canadian Equivalent of Ruth IRA ), I also started cooking at home, big part of my spending were on eating out, I had a friend who owns a restaurant, he gave me a few lessons and turns out I can cook delicious food, I had no idea ! I set up an add for pre-prepared meals, and I got a couple of clients, worked out for a while but did not grow into an ongoing things but I earned a few bucks experimenting with the idea.

    also, one of the greatest tips was that you should try to earn more income, I hired a VA to look up jobs and post my resume on job sites, well see how that goes and that will for sure increase my income.

    I am still experimenting with how to make money on the side, I did not sign up for the earn1k program, I kept procrastinating until I missed the date and it was closed, so waiting for it to be re-opened. I got lots of ideas from the testimonials alone. I think the biggest thing I got was that things don’t have to stay this way if you can do something about it, and it shows you realistic stuff you can do.

  498. Opening a ING savings account and setting up an auto deduct from my checking account. That is a scary pic, were you auditioning for Sesame street?

  499. Hey Ramit,
    I’m a fairly thrifty person and never had any problems saving money, however your blog gave me both the inspiration and the motivation to actually do things that will INCREASE my money.
    In particular, I found your advice on the ING savings account and the AMEX credit card to be very helpful, as I had all my money in a regular savings account and I used a standard bofa credit card. My money is being used exactly the way it was before but I am earning much more on it than I previously was.

    • Oh yea, I also manually paid my bills every month and besides the inconvenience, I would miss payments here and there and have to deal with late fees. But after reading your blog I set up automated payments and could not be more glad I did.

  500. Happy birthday Ramit. I trust you are enjoying the 30s. Gotta a small step on ya.

    I happened across your site a couple days ago. I haven’t read your free material yet, or bought the book or signed up for the $1k course. But something caught my eye… despite my circumstances.

    By most standards I am/our family is already well off and I could retire in a few years (early 40s right now). However, I still enjoy “certain” aspects of my current role; but there are some nagging issues that I have yet to resolve and unsure if I have the “emotional fortitude” to persuade/convince the founder of the company to change. So I recently began looking at options and by way of reading “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers, I came across your blog “Cost vs. Value: the $71K conference that’s a bargain”.

    10 years ago and barely moving the “net worth thermometer” I made an investment in a $3000 course to help understand behaviourial markets/economics. My wife didn’t think it was a great use of money, especially with other pressing demands and hefty mortgage. Hence my original attraction to your sight… “Ah, someone else with a similar business model. Ummm, guess someone else has built out that idea… probably not an area I could contribute or help others in. Spot taken already.”

    After finishing the course and a couple years of earnest practice, training and incremental improvements I was able to perfect (well almost–80% certainity) my investment portfolio strategy. Despite the turmoil of 2008 and 2009 (both year’s I averaged more than 20% return) and homerun year of 2010 (as a measuring stick, paid more tax in one year than the previous 9 combined), I can finally say “I reached my goal”. But my work life has slowly become unrewarding in comparison to the portfolio success.

    But your words struck me and challenged me –> “It’s easy to look at a high number like $71,000 (or even $500-$1,000) and proclaim how “outrageous” it is. But it takes a little more insight to think about what that seemingly outrageous amount of money is BUYING.

    When I saw the $71,000 conference fee, my reaction was “OMG, what an opportunity! For that much money, I could probably expand my network and business opportunities 10x or more.” Then I thought about my current employer and their reaction if I asked them to fund me to go so that I could help earn more for our shareholders… frankly, under today’s G&A constraints, I quickly realized I would have to fund it. This quickly led to: “If I fund it, take the gained insights and contacts, and use this knowledge to earn our shareholders a better return, what would my own personal return be? Prestige? Bonus? I don’t like the compensation/bonus plan structure already. Balloon payments would never happen based on the existing governance model.”

    Then came the startling realization that I am STUCK… and to get UNSTUCK, there is only one person interested in helping… me.

    Thanks again and enjoy your continued success for many birthdays to come.

    B.

  501. Happy belated. One thing that I did with earn1k was just put my shit up! I have been planning and writing for a few months waiting to get things perfect for a fitness affiliate web-site, but I was burdened by trying to make it perfect. It was as if once I launched I would get 1000 uniques a day. Anyways, I just started putting up what I was thinking rather than waiting and refining and waiting and making it perfect. I just put it up warts and all. I’ll probably go back and fix some things, but it’s up there and that has made all the difference in actually doing some work.

  502. Belated happy birthday, Ramit!

    Recently, I’ve just entered college and I’ve got a side line business as well. I’ve been making good dough on the side doing what I love, designing. Currently selling clothing & accessories and the stuff’s been leaving my house at a pretty fast pace. I wouldn’t have had the courage to push through with starting my side line without your wise words, Ramit! Also, in the process, I’ve been networking like anything (using both yours & Keith Ferrazzi’s stuff). Also, I’m spending more on things I like now instead of having to scrimp on the stuff. I’m so happy I found your blog, Ramit. THANK YOU! Wish for you many more birthdays to come!

  503. Happy birthday Ramit,

    I write from Zimbabwe. Your notes have revolutionized my thinking and approach
    to business. You have taught me to TAKE ACTION rather than keep on thinking and analyzing.
    the information is also helping many here.
    Be Blessed

  504. The blog and your book taught me to save.

    As a student, I could scrimp and get by on hardly any money. When I got my first serious job, I thought it would be easy to do the same, but lifestyle inflation got the best of me. I didn’t have financial goals (because as a student, it was just to get by until the summer job), and I didn’t have plans on how I wanted to spend my money (which wasn’t much of a concern as a student because I was paying for food.)

    Thanks to your blog and book, I have figured out how I want to spend my money, started spending consciously, and, as a result, now have a positive cash flow and plan for the future.

    Thanks!

  505. Your IWT site and emails have taught me to automate my finances. I make sure to put aside money into various retirement accounts on a weekly basis so I don’t have to work into my eighties. Thanks for sharing such intelligent information and giving me the confidence to know that I’m on the right retirement track.

  506. Hey Ramit, Happy B-day..
    Being that money is a psychological head game i want to thank you for your tenacity to tell it like it is and offer solutions to the blind leading the blind.. Your book is great!! As soon as we get back on track we are going to implement alot of what you suggest.. we are an older couple with kids in college and high school..had alot of med bills we are cleaning up and repairing credit.. I read your book and it reminds me of the jazz tune “straight no chaser” Thanks again Ramit and you are to be commended for actually helping people overcome much.. I enjoyed your 1k suggestions as i am trying to implement alot in a non profit venture…

  507. Happy Belated birthday.

    The most valuable thing I’ve learned from IWT is to move from the scarcity mentality regarding money. There is more out there. I can also ask for it, if I ask the right people the right way.

    I got a 30+% raise using e1k techniques. Course paid for itself in the first week.

    thanks Ramit!

  508. Janice Roquero Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit,

    And a very happy birthday to you.

    You made me look at the service I was getting from my bank, and I changed banks as a result. At the new bank I told them I never want to pay bank charges for my credit card, and I don’t.

    I moved to a bigger, better apartment for less rent, however I can’t give you credit for that, in my book everything is negotiable. It’s great that you recently told people to do that.

  509. Happy Birthday Ramit!
    I’ve automated all my payments – (bills and rent). I’ve also started contributing bi-monthly to investments. Feels good!

  510. Ramit, you made me believe people when they say my work is excellent, invaluable, a godsend, etc; and that I have to get over my fear of cold calls in order to get clients. I’m currently recovering from a nasty episode of depression (lucky me, it’s chronic and now it’s giving me mood swings, dammit) and once i’m able to work full time then i will pursue clients. You taught me to invest in myself and I have some people lined up to help me find clients via word of mouth. and you taught me it’s pointless to blihdly mail samples of my work and wait for the phone to ring. You rock, Ramit.

  511. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO U!!!! Namaste, Penelope

  512. Happy Birthday! After reading your book (which was hilarious, by the way, in addition to having great advice) I opened a savings account with ING and setup an automatic withdrawal from my checking account into it each week. I started out small $10, then $20 when I got comfortable, and soon I had saved $1,000! It was the most exciting day of my life! Thank you so much, I have so much peace about my finances now even though my income is still different every month.

  513. Hi Ramit!

    Happy Birthday!! I just finished reading your book and was blown away by all of the useful information in it. I took notes and made a list of things I want to take action on. Page 19 talked about opting out of credit card offers. I just went to https://www.optoutprescreen.com and opted out.

    Thank you,
    Jessica

  514. 1) Stop buying newspapers & magazines, use iternet instead.
    2) write down monthly requirements & do shopping from a direct to customer mall for whole month.
    3) use DTH instead of cable and deactivate when not necessary during vacations, exams etc.
    4) save time & petrol buy using online bill payments
    5) now a days Education has become business so avoid heavy fees institutions.

  515. Happy 29! My question is, which bank gives you the best mortgage loan considering you have a credit score of 773, or should I ask what is the best interest rate you can get on a mortgage loan having that score?

  516. I’m 3 days late but still. Hapi bday Ramit!!
    U’ve inspired me to do more negotiating to get what I deserve. No actually, to START negotiating. Yeah, I was such a human doormat.
    Anything concrete to share? Hmm, got some sort of waiver for phone bills (though they were really erroneous to start w but I’d never have dared to ask for a waiver w/o ur encourgement), then fought hard to get priority repair for my problematic notebook (dat would otherwise had taken up to – gasp – 3 mths!!!) & finally an exchange for that beyond-repair notebook. Actually, some hits and misses w my negotiations but like u said, we have to polish our skills by practising & practising.
    Anycase, now I believe it’s really possible to get wat u want by just asking reasonably. Thx to u!

  517. Belated B’Day Wishes.

    1. Learned to negotiate with banks for overdraft fees thrice.
    2. Negotiated with Sprint to get 90 mins added to the account / month.
    3. Used your ‘Best $20 you’ll ever spend’ and interacted with the founder of a marketing consulting firm in India.

  518. Ramit,
    Happy Birthday and thank you the great content and your efforts. I have paid off all my debts and appreciate your prodding via your blog to do so. You are creating ongoing great content -keep it up!

    Stuart

  519. Belated happy birthday! People like you really make the world a better place. :)

    I randomly found your blog while preparing for salary negotiation and got addicted! There’s just so much to learn about finances and your straightforward way of articulating made it fun and interesting! Apart from the successful negotiation I had, I’ve taken measures to take control of my finances. I’ve started budgeting and tracking my expenses, which also made me save more money and able to automated some more transactions. I researched about credit card and updated on the ones I hold. I’m making a better plan on my small business idea (which I will start soon) and there’s just so many other good domino effect from such inspiration. I’ve made plans to order your books (but they don’t have it in here so I have to wait for my batch order from Amazon)…I’m really waiting to read it. And thank you very much! :)

  520. Happy belated birthday.

    I’m nearly switched over from bank to credit union for most things. I’ve renegotiated the interest rate on one card, and paid another down by almost half. And I’m working on my 1k ideas. All tremendously encouraging.

    Happy new year to you! [since it is your new years, after all!]

  521. 1. Reading your book changed my life
    2. I now have 2 credit cards that work for me
    3. I know where all my money goes, and anything extra that comes in is spent consciously
    4. I’ve learned to negotiate to get fees dropped get what I want
    5. By reading your posts over the last couple years, You’ve taught me how to be rich and you continue to do this with new material

  522. Happy belated!

    Your book changed my view on money. I knew there was more than just building credit using a card, paying my bills, and having just a little left over for spending. I’m 20 years old, and I really wanted to know what else was out there. Thank you for opening my eyes!

  523. Happy Birthday Ramit. I’ve been offline for the past few days but I wanted to take this opportunity now to say that I’ve been a reader of yours since 2007. I’ve always told anyone I ever met my age about you and you’ve changed the way I think about life, time, possessions. I find new ways to apply your principles: like just yesterday helping my family move out of their McMansion into a smaller one, I thought about *space* like your richness principle: cut out all space not necessary and indulge on what is important. I’ve already done this for time and energy.

    Another thing: your blog has led me on a long long journey to other things. I would never had considered Early Retirement, or building my own house or considering so many other things if it weren’t for you. This year is the year I better sure as hell bust my ass using your Earn1K material. You should kick my ass for knowing that I need to invest in myself and still lagging with it. It’s my ticket out of being locked into a 9-5 (got a year till undergraduate graduation) You’re good at that. Here’s to many more lives changed by your work and much more enjoyment of the things in life that really matter. You fight the good fight.

  524. Happy birthday!

    Some things I’ve learned:
    1) Action >> ideas
    2) Small actions help a lot to get moving and make bigger changes
    3) To sell something, or even just to persuade someone, it really helps to “deeply understand their psychology”, i.e. really try to dig deep into what motivates their words and actions.

  525. Yervant Kutchukian Link to this comment

    A bit late with my birthday posting, but here it is (and happy birthday!) :

    I learned a few important lessons before even finishing chapter 1 of I Will Teach You to be Rich. Here are two significant lessons I learned:

    1.) Nothing is set in stone. Where you find yourself is a starting point, whether looking at one’s current salary, debt, prospective purchases, etc. As an illustration, After reading the chapter on taking control of one’s credit, I called my credit card company and within 5 minutes, employing the dialogue pretty much verbatim from your book, I nearly doubled my credit limit.

    2.) Look at circumstances as untapped opportunities. This is a work in progress; I am working on cultivating awareness and perception as I view my current circumstances and look at ways to cultivate richness, fiscally and otherwise. Since beginning the book, I have been offered a freelance job that engages both my personal skillset and professional experience with tidy compensation.

    Incidentally, I will be giving a copy of your book to my nephew who graduated college this May along with a check to begin him on his own road to richness.

    Thanks for sharing your insights!

  526. IWT has taught me to organize what most people think is the scariest part of their adult life: their finances. I spend next to no time dealing with my bank, any of my accounts, or my bills, and those hours saved per month are awesome.

    The most I do are these:
    -Hop on for less than an hour per month and pay all of my bills that can’t be automated
    -Casually check Mint to see how my spending/saving goals are coming along

    Yup. Two things. I’m focusing on getting my creative ideas off the ground instead of fretting about where I might be financially in the next few weeks, because you, Ramit, showed me how to get it on lock.

  527. I opened a Roth IRA and set up automatic transfers for both my husband and myself. I now feel like we’ve just made a great decision in saving wisely for our future/retirement and it feels good to do that earlier in life rather than later when it would not benefit us as much.

  528. After accruing an overdraft fee, I called the bank and read IWT word for word, and they canceled the fee before I could even get to the second line – saving me $35. I have an online savings account and have put my max amount in my 401k, which my employer will match. I decided to go for the long-term reliable car instead of the sexy car. Some nights I have trouble sleeping because I’m so excited thinking about my money earning interest…

    Happy belated birthday! I’ve put extra money in my savings account instead of buying you a gift. :)

  529. Let the birthday greetings and celebration continue well past the day itself.

    Here’s one concrete thing I can mention. After a lengthy hiatus from doing freelance work, I need to get back into it to generate some cash flow. Am thinking through my approach for it this time around w/ the benefit of things I’ve encountered from Tim Ferriss and Ramit. A week ago, on Monday, I sat down to begin working on that approach, and followed a twitter link (fr Pamela Slim) to a blog post on the Briefcase Technique. Kewl! I can use that. Right now. Will be meeting with some friends-of-a-friend to see about partnering options to do work for friends’ clients. Friends themselves need some work of their own. Am prepping for that eventual meeting with a Briefcase Technique proposal. No results to report yet, but the beginning goes well.

  530. Happy belated birthday; I read your book in 3 days time recently, and have been using your blog posts regularly. I’ve learned a lot about automation and tactics for getting the most for your money. Thanks!

  531. 1) Stopped making excuses for my crappy Spanish and hired a tutor. In the last 4 months I’ve become comfortably conversational, and am now working on being able to understand TV and radio!!!

    2) Automated mid-term savings plans for large purchases (In 2010 using your book I had already automated retirement and debt payment). Using ING Direct, I now have accounts for traveling, finishing construction of my condo, and even Christmas (tends to run many hundreds in presents). It’s worked like a charm so far, and helped prevent going into temporary debt for a couple big purchases already.

    3) Negotiated a bigger bonus, more responsibility, and more independence at work.

    Thanks for continuing to push us to be better, bro. You make a difference. Happy birthday.

  532. Ramit,
    Your energy is infectious. It helped propel me into overcoming the enertia of habit that was dominating my days. I’m recovering from multiple by-pass surgery and am feeling charged about new horizons.
    Your irreverence is forceful. Keep it up!

  533. Ramit – Welcome to the 29 year old club! It’s an honor to have you join us. I Will Teach You To Be Rich has helped me in the following ways since I bought the book in ’09:

    1. Disputing fees. It used to be that a rare late fee would hit one of my accounts and I’d say, “I deserved that.” Not anymore. I clung to your script for my first dispute and it worked like a charm. $30 stayed in my pocket and, by the end of the call, I had a lower APR. Also, I set up autopay to avoid future issues.

    Similarly, when my internet provider double-billed an old bank account, creating a litany of overdraft charges, I persevered until all charges corrected and they added television service and faster internet access for no extra cost. I avoided $250 in overdraft charges, a $100 double-bill that the provider insisted didn’t happen, and I’m saving $150 each year on television service. I could throw out several more examples. You changed how I interact with companies – it’s a partnership, not a dictatorship.

    2. Automated savings. I didn’t have a savings account before IWTYTBR. As a result, I struggled with temptation when I’d see that large balance. After setting up a savings account and automated withdrawals of ~30% of my take home, I’m close to $20k in savings and growing.

    3. Investing and knowing my limits. As I read your book, I immediately set up my 401k to max out my employer benefit. That’s doing well and, since the money never hits my account, I don’t miss it. Additionally, I did a bad, stupid thing. Even though you warned about it.

    I read the section on Roth IRAs and investing. I wanted to do the research up until I started. I quickly found myself overwhelmed and I left it alone. Even though you recommended a lifecycle account as the 85% solution, I let myself think that just wasn’t good enough. As such, I didn’t invest. This weekend, I read that section of the book again. I setup my Roth IRA with one of Vanguard’s lifecycle funds (I wish the Schwab options were better, as I love their checking account) and I’m investing over 15% of my take home pay between the two accounts.

    4. Charles Schwab Bank. Dear god, they treat me well. I am in love with that account and the amazing caliber of customer service that they provide. Their reps are outstanding.

    5. Relationships. My parents carried $60k of credit card debt. Previously, I discussed your book with them and the changes I made. This made them comfortable speaking to me about a delicate subject. They listened to what I had to say, what you had to say, and executed. A month ago, they repaid all lingering debt. Sure, they went the EXTREME FRUGALITY route, but it worked for them. The experience strengthened a relationship that’s been weakened by living so far apart.

    My girlfriend is digging herself out of college debt. She’s understandably sensitive about the topic, but we’ve been able to level with one another and work towards a mutually rock-solid financial future. That’s awesome. And nerdy. So… I like her rack, too. There.

    These are the first things that come to mind, but there are certainly more. Even though I’ve stumbled along the way (happy birthday, I’m an idiot!), I’m in a financial position I never would have expected to be two years ago.

  534. Using INGDirect and setting up sub accountings let me organize my savings in a way that helped understand what was going on and track how much I was saving much easier. I loved the book so much I bought my brother who recently graduated from high school a copy and told him simply read this so you don’t make all the mistakes I did.

  535. Ramit,

    I’ll admit, I’m one of those you might have been speaking to the few times during the past year you encouraged folks to unsubscribe if they were simply reading and not DOING! However, . . . Happy Birthday!

    You DID change one of my behaviors. Your episodes about challenging assumptions impacted me in several conrete ways. First, challenging assumptions led to me halting worrying about certain issues w/ certain family members. I don’t stop caring about THEM; I stopped making their issues my issues and carrying anxiety that does not belong to me.

    Second, challenging assumptions led me to change (for the positive) a few subtle things about how I interact with my wife, affecting clearer communication, less conflict over “small” things, and comments from her indicating she’s noticed these small changes.

    Third, challenging assumptions led me reconsider my work life and its near- and mid-term future. I’m very blessed to have a job that I love. However, challenging assumptions made me re-imagine a much bigger role to play in my industry. Am I filling that role? No, I’m not even close. In fact, my job is the same today as when I first read your “challenging assumptions” content. But having re-imagined my goals inspired me to take concrete steps towards them. Things as small as finding a mentor about a certain work-related topic, spending time and money investing in my professional future (e.g., reading and implementing the recommendations of a book related to my field), learning and using aspects of social media I had formerly dismissed but now see as highly useful when used properly.

    So, Happy Birthday!

    P.S. – That pic is scary, dude! I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume those characters were part of an inside joke for your party, or wherever you are!

  536. discuss with spouse what is truly important to us: where we live or what we do. Answer: what we do. So we will be moving at end of current lease to different apartment and paying 1/3 less in rent. new building is same amenities as current, 10 miles outside of metro area, walk to transit or healthy bike ride to work, the cost of living out there is less as well. what will we do with extra $ … travel, rent a cottage at beach for a week and save for emergencies

  537. Ramit,

    I have read your emails for years but in the past 2 years I really honed in, read your book and have applied what I have learned. As of this month I will be finished paying off thousands of dollars worth of debt and will be closer to pursuing ultimately my long term life goals.

    I appreciate the advice and strategies that you share in your emails and I read them to keep me focused on what is important.

    Happy belated birthday! and thank you!

    Ben

  538. Hello Ramit,

    and Happy Birthday! Oh yes, I know too well it’s ‘kinda’ late. I have been thinking and sent my wishes to you at the time though. Mentally. But that’s the thing, the thought is the most penetrating energy. If only people could understand it. And then use this information too…
    Back to your birthday wish now, I wanted to let you know that although I am not a computer geek, blogger or social media savvy and don’t read every of your articles, I still keep an eye on the information you share. I find it interesting and useful, thank you. That’s how I have, at some point came across a very interesting fact. I knew it before, it’s obvious too, but you just put out there, in my face, at the right time: we tend to overload ourselves with information and start depending on it. So much that we get lost and hooked to such extent that it stops us from taking action. We just sit there and search and read and search and read. I remember you being so frustrated about it. About people taking and taking and never making any use of what they are being given. But please don’t let this come in the way, don’t stop the free content. There are so many out there that need it and you never know when just one sentence, one single fact within a whole article can pull the trigger and turn around someone’s life. I still haven’t started making money by following your advice, but I have certainly appreciated the fact that there are other people that enjoy giving much more than receiving, the idea of taking small steps towards a great destination, the idea of doing a lot of hard work and spending plenty time for goals that seems so out of reach… And I have made my decision of following your example! At the end of the day, if we can change one single person’s life for the better, it’s well worth the struggle. So here’s to my due to be born websites about parenting, love and relationships, healing and mind power. And here’s to you Ramit, Happy Birthday and to many many returns in your life and career both!

    Oana

  539. The book has taught me to create a call log for whenever I speak with a business related to any discrepencies that I have with my accounts.

  540. Dear Ramith!
    Thank you for your tips. They DID HELP me. What was decisive is the following – to start getting money you have to DO something to that end. So I, stopped ONLY DREAMING and decided to take up the nearest acceptable job. I started with quite a few money. But it made my true career path open. My action brings me forward to what I want.
    Thank you and sweet greeting from Ukraine, my homeland.
    Love,
    Olga.

  541. [...] Over the last 12 years, I’ve developed several models for driving behavioral change. That’s how I get results like this. [...]

  542. Happy Birthday,
    May you have had an enjoyable day! I have not taken your course. I read part of your book and I scan your e-mails. I agree that it is all about behaviour. In two weeks I will be earning $600 for one day’s work! In the past I would have turned down this opportunity. Thank you for helping me to realize that there are many opportunities for all of us.

    Bill

  543. By reading (probably less than half) of the blog posts this year i have begun studying for and taken my first 2 IT Certification tests. I am in an underemployed work position and determined one change that will help me return to the IT field would be to get some certifications. Even before getting any certs i found myself more confident about getting work back in my field. I also find that my temporary work situation does not seem to be the big drain (mentally and physically) as it was before.

  544. Hi Ramit. After reading your book recently, I opened up my Roth IRA and decided to invest automatically according to the year I retire. (I was considering going with mutual funds suggested in Kipplingers but feel your advice was probably better for me–especially since it was HIGHLY recommended.) I also began saving for emergencies, gifts and vacations in an ING account. Your book truly motivated me! Thank You Ramit! Happy (very late) Birthday!!

  545. For me, the biggest impact to date that IWTYTBR has brought into my life is the automated finance system. In terms of trying to quantify it into a specific and measurable impact, it would be impossible because the payoff is infinite in my mind.

    In my opinion, the primary lesson from your book (that I’m always trying to stay vigilant about) is that we all move forward by “doing” and not “thinking” or “planning.” It’s not to say that the latter is not important, but as you say, that’s usually where it ends. So here’s to a belated birthday comment, but I hope it is along the lines of what you’re looking for.