Book Reviews

Book Review: I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi is a great personal finance book. The book is set up as a step-by-step guide to having a stable financial life. The back cover touts “Six Weeks to Financial Control.” The title, I Will Teach You To Be Rich is good obnoxious marketing. The truth is it’s a great introduction to personal finance. If you follow the steps in this book you’ll develop good personal finance habits and start saving for retirement.

This book does not break from the norm of financial advice. Minimized debt, Roth IRAs, 401Ks, budgeting it’s all in there. It’s not like infinite banking which is a complete departure. This book is squarely in the mainstream of financial advice. Dave Ramsey would likely approve of most of what Ramit Sethi recommends.

Where this book shines compared to other personal finance books, and yes I’ve read many. Is in its practical advice and concrete steps. Where most personal finance books mention that you should invest in a 401K. I Will Teach You To Be Rich will tell you exactly which bank to set up your accounts at and which investment vehicles to invest in. It’s very specific and very helpful in that regard. Having to pick out a mutual fund to investment is one of the most intimidating things about saving for retirement. The specificity of the book even gives you scripts for when you need to call customer service. 

Sethi takes the guesswork and fears out of setting up your financial life. 

I Will Teach You To Budget

The con of this book is that he does not actually teach you to be rich. He is the mold of all great marketers and gurus and redefines what it means to be rich. To be rich to Sethi is to buy the things you want to buy. While this is a nice way to think about budgeting. It’s certainly an improvement over Dave Ramsey’s budgeting approach, but it’s not exactly what you think about when you think about being rich. 

To go into further details about budgeting, I Will Teach You To Be Rich essentially want you to prioritize what makes you happy and do not have any shame in spending money on those things. Most financial gurus, Dave Ramsey, recommend painful budgeting. Cut out all extra costs and suffer through it. Sethi’s plan to prioritize your spending is probably a better long-term strategy. The main example of this is the “Starbucks cup of coffee.” Most places will tell you to not get your daily cup of coffee it’s $5 a day and over a year that’s $1,800. So you can save so much money! But if you really like Starbucks coffee and it really means something to you then you’re screwed. I Will Teach You To Be Rich lets your budget according to what you value, and not what financial gurus value.

I Will Teach You To Use This Book As A References

I Will Teach You To Be Rich offers a great plan to get you set up with a great financial present by managing debt and budgeting. It will also set you up to have a secure financial future. On your initial readthrough, it will get everything in your financial order. But it’s worth keeping around as a reference. The book has clear sections and concise information. Most books when I finish I throw in a pile and never look at again. I’m notorious for throwing away books when I move. Not this book. I take it with me. Whenever I need to update my retirement or need to know something about personal finance, I turn to this book. And I’ve turned to it over and over again. It’s my personal finance reference and it should be yours too. 

I should add, I don’t recommend his website. All it tries to do is sell you sketchy “classes” and products. The book is great. I haven’t gotten much use from his blog.

It also makes a great gift! I gave a copy to my sister for Christmas. I’m not sure she loved it, but she did use it.

And you can find some of my other book reviews here.