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15 Little Life Hacks

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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  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!