The Big Wins Manifesto

June 11th, 2012 - 41 Comments

Compare two people trying to get an edge in life.

John, 28, earns $62,000/year as a project manager. He used to have $8,200 in credit card debt from overspending, but he’s been slowly paying it down over the last two years and now it’s at $6,400. How? He tried all the typical personal-finance advice: He set up a budget, he tried to cut back on his daily lattes, and he made sure to make a list of goals he wanted to achieve. Yet last week, he took an honest look at his life and realized he’s still treading water. Despite paying off part of his debt, he still has years ahead of being in debt — plus no real savings, no investment, and something always comes up, causing him to yo-yo back and forth on his goals.

Chris, 32, earns approximately $120,000. Four years ago, Chris was making about $60,000/year but he was barely getting by — he had $50,000 of student-loan debt and, most days, would eat the free snack bars at his office instead of buying lunch. Yet within 4 years, Chris paid off $50,000 of debt, amassed a savings account of tens of thousands of dollars, and more than doubled his salary. To do this, he set up automated systems to pay off his debt. He turned his skills into a side income to earn over $1,000/month on the side. He knew he was slightly socially awkward, so he spent time joining courses to improve his social skills and ended up negotiating multiple salary increases — including over a $50,000 raise two months ago.

The difference between the two people?

John focused on tiny, meaningless tactics that experts told him he “should” do. Chris, the successful student with the dramatic results, focused on doing a few important things, and mastering them. He focused on Big Wins.

Chris is, in fact, a real person — the only student who has joined every single one of my courses.

A national reporter also wrote about Chris in a recent 6-page Fortune profile of my teachings.

There’s a reason why many of my IWT students have results like Chris, and this, and this — results that include earning tens of thousands of dollars more every year, paying off $50,000 in debt, and leapfrogging their peers to land their Dream Job in their 20s — while so many other people are stuck cutting back on $3 lattes with no discernible results and a side of soul-crushing guilt.

IWT students focus on Big Wins instead of minutiae.

IWT students don’t worry about saving $2 or $3 on lattes, knowing that in the grand scheme of things, that money is largely meaningless — plus, as cognitive misers, we have limited cognition and attention, so each additional thing we try to focus on means an overall reduced amount of willpower and attention.

If you had to use your limited willpower to cut back on $2 a day of something you love, versus learning how to negotiate a $10,000 salary increase, which would you rather do?

Minutiae-focused people try to focus on everything, rarely prioritizing. They obsess over their monthly spending as much as turning the oven light off, never understanding the futility of trying to trick human nature. They use phrases like “I just need to…” and “Yeah, I really should…” and “If I just try harder this month, I should be able to…”

True masters of human behavior understand our shortcomings, and use systems, automation, and a judicious use of our limited willpower to tackle the things that really matter — while ignoring the rest.

Once you adopt this frame, you’ll see it everywhere. You’ll see people dutifully trying to cut back on small daily expenditures, then getting frustrated when it adds up to very little…and they yo-yo right back to their former behavior. You’ll see them sporadically jumping from expert to expert, like others jump from diet to diet, searching for the one “magic bullet” that will solve all their problems — all the while, never understanding the mechanics of what actually works.

Ironically, if you suggest that they focus on doing a few Big Wins (e.g., learning how to negotiate their salary, or earn money on the side), the very same people will claim they’re “too busy” to do that. Indeed.

This is a fascinating wrinkle in human behavior. People will continue to do something — even if it doesn’t work — instead of potentially trying something that might actually work but is novel (and therefore scary) to them.

  • Even if their closest friend has used these strategies and techniques to pay off tens of thousands of dollars of debt
  • Even if they see examples of people just like them who have changed their lives
  • Even if they trust that the techniques work for other people, many of us will use barriers like “Well, that might for HIM…but I have [INSERT SEEMING UNIQUE SITUATION THAT IS NOT REALLY UNIQUE AT ALL]

I find this human tendency totally astonishing. This is why you see people who have been working out for 3 years but haven’t lost much weight at all. Yet when you suggest they try getting a personal trainer — even for a week — they say, “I could never do that! It’s too expensive.” Same with diets. And money. And relationships.

Today, a short primer on the difference between the “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” approach and many others’ approaches.

BIG WINS: A KEY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IWT AND OTHER “EXPERT” ADVICE

There are a few Big Wins in life where — if you simply get them right — you almost never have to worry about the small things. If you can focus on the 5-10 Big Wins, rather than 50 little things, you can have an insurmountable edge in life.

The I Will Teach You To Be Rich philosophy has always been to focus on the long-term, and to focus on big wins that matter. If you start investing early, pick a sensible asset allocation with low-cost funds, save for big events in the next 10 years (wedding, down payment on a house, kids, vacations…), focus on having great credit, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t care about. Do these things and you’ll be ahead of 99% of other people.

Here are several examples of typical advice you’ll read in magazines, newspapers, and blogs…contrasted with my teachings that I’ve tested with over 1 million students.

THEY SAY: “Keep a budget! How can you cut your spending if you don’t know where your money is going?”

I SAY: Nice in theory, but it almost never works. Nobody wants to keep a budget (it makes people feel bad about themselves), and if you study people who pick up personal-finance books, only to find the first chapter saying “Let’s create a budget,” you’ll predictably see those people shut the book and put it right back on the shelf. Ironically, “experts” who recommend that others keep a budget rarely keep one themselves. Had they tested this worthless advice with even 10 people, they would see that 10/10 would fail to maintain a budget past 2 months, a laughably terrible result. Their natural exhortation, should they ever decide to test their terrible lifelong advice? “These people should try harder.” Sigh.

***

THEY SAY: “No, you can’t buy those jeans. No, you can’t afford those shoes. No, you can’t take that trip. No, no, no.”

I SAY: Who wants to be told what you CAN’T do with your money? For too long, money experts have been telling us all the things we’re not allowed to do, instead of telling us what we CAN do. Guess what? I want to live a rich life. I WANT to buy nice things. I want to travel to Vegas, or San Francisco, or LA, to visit my friends and go out. I WANT to buy a round of drinks for my friends or send a nice gift to my family. So if you want to buy $300 jeans, or a $1,000 weekend in Vegas, great! Instead of judging you and making you feel guilty, I’ll show how to do it — how to live a rich life by spending EXTRAVAGANTLY on the things you love, as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t — just like my friend who spends $21,000/year going out.

***

THEY SAY: “Stop spending on X, Y, and Z. Oh, you want to know about earning more? [Crickets]”

I SAY: There’s a reason why most personal-finance experts write about cutting back and constant frugality, yet they don’t write about earning more:

They don’t know how.

Now, cutting back relentlessly on the things you don’t love is an important part of living a rich life. But earning more is at least as important.

It’s why I’ve raised my hourly rate from $20/hour to $3,000/hour in a few years. It’s why I’ve taught thousands of students how to earn thousands of dollars/month on the side via one of my flagship courses, Earn1K.

There’s a limit to how much you can save — but not to how much you can earn. You can’t outfrugal your way to being rich.

***

THEY SAY: “You should search around for the right accounts. You should call banks and try to bargain. And be sure to negotiate your salary some time!”

I SAY: You already know what you “should” do — yet few of us do it. Instead, I provide the exact word-for-word scripts, phone numbers, and exact accounts I use so you don’t have to think. You can simply open the right accounts, negotiate your salary, automate your money, and get on with your life.

Exact scripts for:

***

THEY SAY: “Do this. Do that. Not that!!”

I SAY: Read virtually any money or career advice, and you’ll see a laundry list of tactics. The funniest examples are (1) where books/columns try to teach you about the difference between corporate and municipal bonds. Who cares?? What person ever woke up in the morning and said, “YEAH!! I REALLY NEED TO LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STOCKS AND FIXED-INCOME STRATEGIES!!” and (2) raw lists of ideas of so-called “businesses” you could start on the side: Plumber, freelance writer, freelance nurse, freelance nanny, freelance cardiothoracic surgeon.

Are you seriously kidding me? As if people simply need a list of ideas? Yes, THAT is what’s holding me back! Ahh! What a great idea!! Now that I see this 2-word IDEA, I know exactly how to turn that into side income, including marketing, positioning, targeting, referral strategies, pricing, and lead generation and qualification!

These are all tactics that assume people need to be “educated” — a belief that’s so deeply held, it’s become an invisible script. “Ah, if we just educate these poor people and show them a compound-interest chart, they’ll wake up from their spending stupor and realize the critical importance of financial management!”

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

As Clotaire Rapaille wrote in his terrific book, The Culture Code,

“Years ago, Tufts University invited me to lecture during a symposium on obesity…

Lecturer after lecturer offered solutions for America’s obesity problem, all of which revolved around education. Americans would be thinner if only they knew about good nutrition and the benefits of exercise, they told us. Slimming down the entire country was possible through an aggressive public awareness campaign…

When it was my turn to speak, I couldn’t help beginning with an observation.

“I think it is fascinating that the other speakers today have suggested that education is the answer to our country’s obesity problem,” I said. I slowly gestured around the room.

“If education is the answer, then why hasn’t it helped more of you?”

There were audible gasps in the auditorium when I said this, quite a few snickers, and five times as many sneers. Unsurprisingly, Tufts never invited me to lecture again.’”

(See great/hilarious comments on this story.)

We already “know” we need to exercise more, eat healthier, control our spending, and maintain our relationships better. So why don’t we?

That nexus –the difference between what we CLAIM and what we actually DO — is where I’ve spent 10+ years studying from a psychological and persuasive basis.

Short answer: When it comes to changing human behavior, education alone is not enough.

7 BIG WINS

If you simply get these Big Wins right, you’ll almost never need to worry about minutiae like “Can I afford this appetizer?” or “Should I spend $2.50 on this mocha?”

The beautiful part about Big Wins is you do the work up front — and they pay rewards for the rest of your life. For example, one $5,000 salary negotiation in your 20s can be worth over $1m over your lifetime. How many lattes is that worth?

  1. Automate your finances
  2. Start investing early
  3. Improve your credit score
  4. Land your Dream Job
  5. Negotiate a raise
  6. Earn money on the side
  7. Negotiate your rent

Next time you hear the same old tired advice of keeping a budget, or cutting back on $2 lattes, ask yourself: Has that really worked for the millions of people who’ve tried it? Are they really not “trying hard enough”? Or is there perhaps a systemic problem urging people to waste their limited cognition on near-meaningless tasks with little reward…and should we instead focus them on high-leverage areas that will result in massive payoffs?

Put another way — how can we focus on using Big Wins so we can have an edge in life…and get on with doing the things we truly love?

That’s my philosophy at IWT, one I’ve shared with millions of readers. I cover the exact action steps in my New York Times best-selling book (automating finances), my Earn1K course (earning money on the side), my Find Your Dream Job course — plus all over this site for the last 8+ years. I hope it helps you, too.

For even more Big Wins, join 200,000+ others on my Insider’s List

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41 Comments

 

Comments

  1. Ramit,

    This has been your most comprehensive post to date. It’s all there in plain site.

    I am heading off to Asia for several months in September thanks to your IWTYTBR Blog and courses.

    Thanks Ramit and IWTYTBR staff.
    +John Mean

  2. The Negotiate Your Rent link goes to the “I’ll pay your rent” page, but no articles about it. Is there an article about it?

  3. If the majority of people spent their time embracing Ramit’s advice rather than systematically attempting to pick the opinions apart based on non sensical untested theories most would be better off. Whether its fitness, health, love, career or life goals actions speak louder than words. If you want something go get it. I don’t care for fancy clothes but have no problem spending hundreds a month on fitness memberships or nutritional products. Make choices and stick to them!

  4. Ramit,

    I really enjoyed this post. It was indeed comprehensive, as Johnny Mean had mentioned. I am eager to continue working on implementing the remaining steps on this list.

    Cheers.

  5. Ramit, fantastic the way you blend human behavioral psychology and personal finance. Because other than just plain not knowing (lack of knowledge or experience), isn’t one the primary driver of the other? Your automation system does wonders to negate the things that hold most people back from making a lot of wrong choices – fear and uncertainty. Multiple scientific studies show that the human mind is hard wired, when it comes to risk, fear and uncertainty around our personal finances to make poor decisions. Automation allows us to make the right choices by bypassing that wiring. That’s a HUGE win.

  6. Thanks, Ramit. I am passionate about mastering your teachings for myself so that I can help others do the same in their lives, especially regarding healing themselves.

    I’ve been meditating on increasing my focus. This Big Wins article came just in time as a pleasant reminder. Information addiction is a time waster, right? I reminisced about my life coach Shanel Cooper-Sykes’ words, “Ignorance on fire!” haha

    Thanks again!

  7. Ramit,
    Great manifesto. I chucked several times while reading it. I still feel many of your anti-frugality arguments are straw-men, but overall your philosophy is clearly to focus on big wins. Nobody is going to argue earning 10k more per year versus cutting back on a latte every day. But then again cutting back on the daily latte isn’t the best frugality has to offer.

    How about big wins like:
    Living closer to your work to cut back on commuting time and cost.
    Getting a small car versus a luxury SUV.
    Living in a modest home versus a mansion.

    I would say many of these differences can be just as large if not larger than earning 10k more a year. I think people would be wise to both earn more and spend less.

    And really deep down I think we are on the same page, as your say yourself in this article “as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t [love]“.

    • The big wins that Ramit suggests are long term solutions that can apply to anyone looking to increase their income.

      Your “big wins” list is more specific to certain geographical areas. Living closer to work is viable, if you can find a suitable spot near work. If you work downtown, you might be hard pressed to find an affordable and suitable solution ‘close to work’. This may rely more on luck than skill. The luxury SUV may have more than one purpose (if you have kids, soccer mom, or transport large objects.). In regards of the size home, i assume you are renting your home vs owning the home. Yes, a smaller home should be cheaper. But again, location/landlord has a larger effect on price than . If you are truly frugal, why not stay in an efficiency/motel? You can get utilities and a roof over your head for what $400-800/mo all included.

      The frugality approach and the earning more approach still have the basic component of ‘opportunity costs’ to consider for each

  8. I love your emails Ramit, I am going to get rich with your advice, thanks for being so honest and real

  9. One time I calculated how much I was spending on lattes per month. It came out to around $200. At first I thought “Damn Kelly, that’s a lot of money every month for something you could make at home.”

    Then i asked myself, “What would I do with $200 per month if I was making all my lattes at home?” The answer was (you probably guessed it) buy lattes at my favorite cafe!

    Yes, I can and do make lattes at home, but something about the cafe experience is like a ritual and puts me in the mindset to be productive. I get some of my best, most focused work done with a large in hand, prepared for me by a friendly barista who knows my order when I walk in the door.

    I’ve cut back on other things, but it’s like you say: I spend extravagantly on the things i care about, and almost nothing on anything else.

  10. Great article. I’m someone who tends to focus too much on the minutuaie sometimeis – the idea of a few big wins (as in your book) is great for simplification. And yes, we are tired of the same old advice from ‘experts’ to cut out lattes ;-)

  11. Ramit, I want to marry you, lol.

    I want to tell you, I think this is your best article ever, and here’s why:
    It outlines your “narrative” so that anyone can follow it.
    It links some of your best articles in one place.
    It saves us all time!
    It’s very shareable!

    As for me, I plan to never spend more than 3k on a car (unless I must drive a reliable car for income), I taught myself how to color my own hair (according to Tresemme the average woman spends $1130/year on hair) and I’m currently getting pretty good at nails (btw women last year spent 7.3 billion on nail services). These are my merciless cuts, because I don’t get pleasure from driving a car, going to a salon, or getting my nails done by someone else.

    With the money I save I invest in healthy food, and classes or experiences that make me more awesome.

    And did I mention, I’m handicapped as fuck and I live on a fixed income? Even in this situation I don’t see much point in cutting every corner, instead I prefer to lay groundwork for getting ahead later and never worrying about stupid crap again. Maybe then I’ll re-strategize and get my nails done at a salon if it saves me time, lol.

    Probably not what you read everyday, but how’s that for big wins?

  12. Ramit,

    Please, tell me that you wore that toga in public.

    Also, your principles helped me reverse my financial situation. I recommend your book to all of my friends. (My zealousness annoys them.)

    John

  13. Ramit,

    Interesting read. I think there is one important behavioral factor that you haven’t accounted for, inspiration. You’ve inspired many people to change their behavior — they are following you (and should). The particular strategy is less important.

    People need to cut expenses, try to increase income, live within their means, save for their future, stay out of debt…the list goes on. You can pick any of these. They all work. It’s math. But, to sustainably change behavior, we must be inspired. Systems help direct and support the inspiration but nothing happens unless you’re driven to make a change. You inspire. You make people want to be better and give them the information (and strategy) to get there.

    I’ve taught personal finance and served as a financial coach for a number of years. IMHO, the main difference between people who succeed and fail at changing behavior is the source of inspiration.

    Don’t underestimate the power of you.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done.

    Alok

  14. Thanks Ramit. Worked like a charm!

    After joining Ramit’s Earn1K and Find Your Dream Job courses, I managed to:
    1) Get a job right out of college (yes, in this horrible, horrible economy)
    2) Secured 3 clients from my freelance writing business (earned more than 1k, so the course paid for itself). Planning to get a few more to secure the 6 month emergency fund (before considering going full time) Ramit mentions in the Earn1K course.
    3) Raised the rates at which my family homes and shops were rented out by 30%-40% each

    The result of all this:
    I don’t have to cut back on going out with my friends (and sometimes paying for them) or family!
    I’m gonna be out of debt in 2 or 3 years (instead of the omnious prediction of 20-30 which I previously imagined)!

    It feels great! It’s a snowball effect!

    Guys, you should really join any of Ramit’s courses! I personally endorse them! You are gonna be raking in millions over your lifetime.

  15. #2 is an Amazon link…

  16. Recently did steps #1, #3 and #5 :)
    As for #7: I used to stress over every food item (and latte) I bought, then at the end of each month would be amazed that I ended up spending the same amount of money for food every time. I also used to work at a restaurant where the owner tried to cut cost in every little thing (napkins, cleaning solution, hired incompetent employees for lower pay), yet the biggest problem seemed to be the location and the size of the restaurant (not many customers but very spacey dining room). She ended up closing after 2 years. Since then, I realized the importance of the fixed costs and looked for lower rent. Automatically, there was more savings and it gave me the impression of having more to spend for my food budget. Interesting enough, at the end of each month I still spent the same amount for food. This just proved to me that trying to cut on small expenses only put you in a cycle of misery.

  17. While I agree that earning more absolutely is a good thing, being frugal isn’t a bad thing. Bashing it the way you do makes it sound like you’re just lacking the discipline for it. Earning $60000 or $200000 can still make you end up with unpaid debts and no money in the end of the month. Hell, if you had that problem at $60000 I’d say it’s even likely the same problem would be there at $200000.

    And the example of John, earning $62000 a year and having a $8200 credit card debt is an excellent example of why we actually NEED to be more frugal. He paid it down to $6400 in TWO years. Not the whole debt in ~6 months, $1800 over two years. He might be the lamest guy ever.

    Absolutely, being frugal can be tough. But after a few months you just laugh at the people wasting money. :)

  18. I am in total agreement with the people who say that this post is one of the most comprehensive posts on ramit’s blog. It actually inspired me to write to my mailing list (who have been patiently waiting for almost a year for me to launch my website, and I haven’t emailed in over 6 months). There are some important aspects that are vital when dealing in financial markets. These two quotes are just classic:
    “….People will continue to do something — even if it doesn’t work — instead of potentially trying something that might actually work but is novel (and therefore scary) to them…..”
    “Are they really not “trying hard enough”? Or is there perhaps a systemic problem urging people to waste their limited cognition on near-meaningless tasks with little reward…and should we instead focus them on high-leverage areas that will result in massive payoffs?”

    This is 100% correct, especially trading financial products. Well phrased.

    MP: I found out too when trying to hire the cheapest freelancer to help program some custom indicators the importance of picking competent people and not just looking at price. Then once you determine a good price for a competent person, then you look for a means to afford it. That is one of the things that make rich people richer: they see VALUE in good quality things/services that will enhance their business process and/or quality of life, and then place their attention on how to afford that value.

    And to address the people on frugality. Ramit can only do so much to give out specific advice. People must tailor it to their own specific needs.
    But I think Ramit is more concerned about people who put the majority of their thinking into frugality, which usually backfires. When he makes a comment like this “….how to live a rich life by spending EXTRAVAGANTLY on the things you love, as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t…” appears to focus the reader’s attention on spending money on things you love (which you would value) and simultaneously be ‘frugal’ towards things that you don’t love. I don’t think he advocates spending money on shoes that you don’t have; but rather pay yourself first. When you buy those shoes, it may encourage you to want to continue to afford things like that, and you are more motivated (internally with desire) to want to earn more. If you focus only on frugality, you tend to attract being poor and not having, because all you can think about is dollar cost. You usually nickel and dime yourself to death.

  19. Ramit,

    I’m always impressed by your behavioral and cultural competence with finances and money. The couple of opportunities I had working with your followers was a pleasure. You’re one of the few who know how to describe what’s below the line and help people see their true interests/needs and what’s really important to them, rather than focus on all the trivial things.

  20. This article is a big win. I’m barely out of college and only just landed my first full-time job, but thanks to Ramit’s materials (summarized by this post), I feel like I’m in a better financial position than 95% of anyone out there because I know what to do with my money and how to keep earning more. Keep the awesomeness coming, Ramit!

  21. Ramit, I just started following your blog and newsletter since December of 2011. Since then, I have negotiated a new job, lowered the mortgage with a refi, started two side jobs, and just naviagted a $10,000 raise after only 3 months of being hired. All in all, I recommend your book to everyone!!! Love the toga too.

  22. I just wanted to report that I tried the “negotiating bank fees” script and it worked! I was charged two “returned check fees” of $29 because there wasn’t enough money in my checking account to cover 2 withdrawals to my ING direct savings account. I called the bank and told them I normally never have issues like that and they told me, “Well, as a courtesy, we’ll refund those fees, but just this time.” Awesome!! I’m so glad I saw this post. In the past, I would have assumed that negotiating things like that wasn’t possible. Thanks, Ramit!!!

  23. Great post.

    Regarding this line, “People will continue to do something — even if it doesn’t work — instead of potentially trying something that might actually work but is novel (and therefore scary) to them,” I think it boils down to a few simple things – an individual’s appetite for risk and return, his ability to recognize opportunity, and his execution skills.

    I like your aggressive stance on focusing on the “Big Wins,” as it really implies focusing on the biggest returns (for the level of risk of course). For someone like me, I have a high risk tolerance and I am used to asking for the order (raise, business, etc.). For more risk averse people, it makes sense to ask for a raise, get a dream job, etc., but it takes foresight, skills, confidence and execution. Individuals have to not only recognize the abundance of opportunities presented daily, but they have to capitalize on these opportunities. Recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities is a fluid and dynamic process, it can be one of your principles.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the human psychology, “I want to have a rich life. I want to buy nice things.” As you mention, “Nobody wants to keep a budget.” But, similar to the other principles you lay out, if you cannot execute a budget or other simple tasks, it may be about sharpening your execution skills too, as there are many factors!

  24. “A fascinating wrinkle in human behavior.” I love that line.

  25. Ramit –

    Your coursework, book and general philosophy have helped my family greatly. Thank you!

    My wife and I discuss conscious spending ALL of the time. We are fortysomethings, and we work smarter than we used to, thanks, in part, to you. Automated finances produce out-sized gains for us — higher credit scores, lower mortgage payments, larger emergency funds, larger college funds, among other things. I say out-sized because the amount of energy we spend on account maintenance is tiny compared to the rewards.

    Personally, I used your earn 1k course to improve my current job in sales. I treat my accounts like my own side business, and the results speak for themselves — double digit gains in sales dollars and sales volume each of the last three years! I am a trusted adviser to these business, and we all make money because we work together.

    In summary, your writings make a lot of sense to me, because you emphasize that you have to work for your gains — I am willing to work SMART and HARD to get my life to where I want to go. Thanks again!

  26. I negotiated my pay raise when I got a new position at work, even though I don’t want to remain there much longer, might as well make more money while I’m there, neh?

  27. This is great advice.

    But… I still believe in budgeting (for myself at least). I can easily spend several hundreds a month on various things that don’t make me happy if I don’t pay attention. It isn’t so much that I can’t afford to do that, but if something isn’t giving me a good value or contributing to a “rich life”, then I think I’d like to not buy it!

    Still, there is already a lot of advice on frugality and spending within your priorities. I think some of it is good advice, but without the big wins, it’s useless. There are very few people focusing on big wins – thanks for this!

  28. I recently bought a car and spent 2 hours negotiating the price and finding a lower interest rate online, resulting in $3,800 of savings. The final price was the lowest any dealer in Houston, TX would take. I saved $1,900 per hour!

    To put it in other terms, if I earned $60,000 per hour before taxes, at a 27% tax rate it would take 178 hours or 3.5 weeks of work to earn that much money.

    Those 2 hours were well spent!

  29. [...] I rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save [...]

  30. [...] I rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save [...]

  31. [...] I rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save [...]

  32. [...] one of my top reads this week was Ramit Sethi’s Big Wins Manifesto which is a helluva long article but superduper highly recommended (If you’re too lazy to [...]

  33. [...] rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save money. [...]

  34. [...] I rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save [...]

  35. [...] rarely write about saving more money because I’ve written my piece, and I’d rather focus on Big Wins. But when 2008 hit, nobody cared about investing — they just wanted to know how to save money. [...]

  36. I have to say, the “focus on big wins” concept is probably the biggest thing I took away from your book and your teachings Ramit. That, coupled with a solid spending plan has let me ease up a little bit on my tendency to be too frugal. I still get pissed when I have to pay $7.50 for a beer at a football game, but damn, who doesn’t :)

    Looking forward to more great posts like this in the last half of 2012. Hope you didn’t end up in a gutter for your birthday bash!