Right on the Money: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances

Right on the Money: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances

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by Chris Farrell

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People want to know more about money—their own money. As a new century dawns, with countless new ways to manage money and spend it, Chris Farrell provides what is most needed: reliable and up-to-the-minute information on personal finance.

In the tradition of the great "how-to" series on public television, Right on the Money offers a


People want to know more about money—their own money. As a new century dawns, with countless new ways to manage money and spend it, Chris Farrell provides what is most needed: reliable and up-to-the-minute information on personal finance.

In the tradition of the great "how-to" series on public television, Right on the Money offers a practical, hands-on approach to making savvy financial decisions. In each chapter, finance expert Chris Farrell visits an individual or family facing a financial crossroads in their lives and, aided by a team of street-smart experts, helps them take control of their finances. From setting up a budget to saving for retirement, Right on the Money not only gives readers the knowledge and tools they need, but also shows how to make informed decisions among the options at hand. Subjects discussed include balancing love and money, investment, the stock market, dealing with credit card debt, buying a car, buying a home, creating a household budget, and paying for college. Informative and fun, with a "roll-up-your-sleeves-and-solve-the-problem" attitude, Right on the Money is destined to become a new classic of personal finance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Farrell, host of the PBS radio show Sound Money and a contributing editor to Business Week, offers a nonthreatening, easily digestible approach to personal finance that is solid if not unique. Writing in a breezy style, Farrell draws on the problems of real-life families, including his own, to introduce the basics of paying for college, buying a car, budgeting, etc. Contrary to similar guides, Farrell focuses on managing money for family needs over the long haul, and includes only a brief overview of the "hot" topic of investing. He addresses such key concerns as whether parents should have college accounts in their children's names, what to avoid when buying a used car and how far in advance to budget. Farrell's advice is sensible, low-key and comforting. For example, in the chapter on budgeting, he advises, "Don't try to do too much in any one sitting. Set up a regular once-a-week meeting where both of you come together for a defined period of time to work over the budget. Afterward, do something together you both enjoy. Reward yourself--and remind each other why you got together in the first place." In all, Farrell delivers a good primer, especially for people who would prefer to do anything but consider the consequences of their spending. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Business Week Magazine
Farrell promotes a holistic approach, urging individuals to pursue strategies that don't conflict with their values and other life goals.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.59(h) x 0.99(d)

Read an Excerpt


The Right on the Money staff gathers every Friday for an editorial meeting. We talk about what we've done so far, exchange ideas about the programs we're currently creating, and discuss possible personal-finance topics for future shows. These meetings are lively. We all draw on our own money experiences and issues, as well as viewer e-mails, economic trends, and the news. Conversations similar to the ones we have about saving for retirement, getting rid of credit card debt, paying off student loans, investing in the stock market, and all the other pressing money issues of today are going on at the workplace and in homes all around the country.

I broke into finance and economics journalism two decades ago, and since then I've witnessed a remarkable transformation in how money is dealt with in American society. Personal finance has evolved from being a tributary of our culture to being an everyday mainstream concern. Managing money is a growing worry for good reason. Our anxiety is the result of the financial upheavals caused by soaring inflation in the 1970s, the extensive layoffs of the 1980s, and the spread of self-directed retirement savings plans in the 1990s. Many of the things we associate with the good life, such as a home, a college education, and a decent standard of living in our old age, have became increasingly costly. What's more, we've moved at a quicksilver pace from a limited world of passbook savings accounts, 30-year mortgages, and whole life policies to a cosmos of almost infinite financial choices. And the rapid growth of the Internet suggests you ain't seen nothing yet when it comes to financial innovation.

Still, thedemocratization of finance is an extraordinary force that has been mostly for the good, as finance for the elite turns into finance for the masses. But better money choices come with a steep price. It sometimes seems that managing our hard earned dollars threatens to become a full-time occupation. We worry about the choices we're making, and it's clear many people are unsure about their decisions. How much of my retirement portfolio should go into stocks? Should I invest in technology stocks? Why do I keep slipping back into credit card debt? How will I ever afford to send my kids to college, save for my retirement, and still pay our monthly bills and daily expenses?

Right on the Money is designed to bring order to the confusion. We keep things simple. Our guiding idea is that you can manage your money and control your financial risks intelligently with good information, a thoughtful focus on your values and goals, and a commonsense appreciation of economic trade-offs. And we believe that approach leaves you the time to do the things that matter much more than deciding whether to buy a growth or value equity mutual fund.

Every episode of Right on the Money starts with a family or an individual confronting a personal finance problem. Their stories are both intensely personal and very typical. We take their questions to several leading financial experts for their knowledge and insight. Then we give the family the expert advice, and return for a follow-up interview. For me, this is the best part of the show. I get to sit down with the family and find out what they learned, what information works for them and, sometimes, what advice doesn't. After all, the experts may tell them which ten things they should do, but a guest's individual lifestyle, values, and competing demands on available time may dictate that only three of those ten remedies make sense. It's their choice. Their decision. And that's how it should be.

Just like our guests, you can benefit from the Right on the Money approach through this book. We deal with a number of different money topics, but underlying them all are some common principles. You're every bit as smart as the money elite and you know your circumstances better than any Wall Street mandarin. So take control of your finances. That's what the Right on the Money television show and this book are all about.

Meet the Author

Chris Farrell is host and managing editor of Right on the Money, the personal-finance show produced by Twin Cities Public Television. He is also cohost of Sound Money, a weekly one-hour personal-finance call-in show produced by Minnesota Public Radio and heard on public radio stations across the country. He is contributing economics editor for Business Week and has been associated with the magazine since 1986. He lives in Minneapolis.

The popular Right on the Money television series (rightonthemoney.org) is a production of Twin Cities Public Television, Minne-apolis/St. Paul, and is distributed by Amer-ican Public Television. Exclusive corporate funding for Right on the Money is provided by ReliaStar Financial Corp.

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Right on the Money!: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since my Dad died, I've looked for some one to give me good financial advice. This book sounds like my Dad talking to me. Seems like a lot of care with the advice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have watched 'Right On the Money' on Public Television, you already know that Chris Farrell is the uncle you wish you had to offer money solutions to you. The book has this same wonderful style
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've read any other the hundreds of personal finance books already published, you won't learn anything from this one. Stick with one of the classics.