Your Money: The Missing Manual

Your Money: The Missing Manual

by J. D. Roth


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Keeping your financial house in order is more important than ever. But how do you deal with expenses, debt, taxes, and retirement without getting overwhelmed? This book points the way. It's filled with the kind of practical guidance and sound insights that makes J.D. Roth's a critically acclaimed source of personal-finance advice.

You won't find any get-rich-quick schemes here, just sensible advice for getting the most from your money. Even if you have perfect credit and no debt, you'll learn ways to make your rosy financial situation even better.

  • Get the info you need to make sensible decisions on saving, spending, and investing
  • Learn the best ways to set and achieve financial goals
  • Set up a realistic budget framework and learn how to track expenses
  • Discover proven methods to help you eliminate debt
  • Understand how to use credit wisely
  • Win big by making smart decisions on your home and other big-ticket items
  • Learn how to get the most from your investments by avoiding rash decisions
  • Decide how — and how much — to save for retirement

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780596809409
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/18/2010
Series: Missing Manual Series
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 1,104,131
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

J.D. Roth is an accidental personal-finance expert—a regular guy who found himself deep in debt. After deciding to turn his life around, he read everything he could about money and finance. In 2006, he started the award-winning website Get Rich Slowly, which Money Magazine named the Web's most inspiring personal-finance blog. Over the past four years, Get Rich Slowly has grown into an active community where thousands of readers a month share ideas on how to improve their financial lives. J.D. lives with his wife and four cats in a hundred-year-old house in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

The Missing Credits vii

Introduction 1

Part 1 Blueprint for Financial Prosperity

Chapter 1 It's More Important to Be Happy Than to Be Rich 7

How Money Affects Happiness 8

It's Not About the Money 16

Chapter 2 The Road to Wealth Is Paved with Goals 23

The Road to Success 24

Tools and Resources to Help You Achieve Your Goals 29

Coping with Mistakes and Setbacks 33

Chapter 3 "Budget" Is Not a Four-Letter Word 37

Mapping Your Financial Future 38

Building a Budget That Works 38

Sticking to a Budget 44

Automating Your Budget 48

Why Budgets Fail 51

Chapter 4 Defeating Debt 53

The Power of Positive Cash Flow 54

The Basics of Debt Reduction 57

Curbing Compulsive Spending 65

Start Now 71

Part 2 Laying the Foundation

Chapter 5 The Magic of Thinking Small 73

Why Frugality Matters 74

Frugal Tactics Anyone Can Use 77

The Tyranny of Stuff 96

Leading a Rich Life on a Budget 99

Chapter 6 How to Make More Money 101

Working for Others 102

Working for Yourself 111

Other Ways to Make Money 118

A Pep Talk 127

Chapter 7 Banking for Fun and Profit 129

Choosing a Bank 130

Finding Accounts That Meet Your Needs 135

Making the Most of Your Accounts 139

Chapter 8 Using Credit Wisely 147

Credit Cards 148

Your Credit Report 158

Your Credit Score 161

Final Thoughts on Credit 165

Chapter 9 Sweating the Big Stuff 167

Counting the Dollars 167

Buying a Car 168

Finding Deals on Vacation and Travel 185

Cash Is King 193

Chapter 10 House and Home 195

The Eternal Question: Rent or Buy? 196

Buying a Home 200

Owning a Home 210

Chapter 11 Death and Taxes 219

An Introduction to Insurance 219

What You Need to Know About Taxes 230

A Brief Overview of Estate Planning 239

Part 3 Building a Rich Life

Chapter 12 An Intro to Personal Investing 245

Why Invest? 246

The Tools of Investing 250

Being on Your Best Behavior 255

Common-Sense Investing 261

Chapter 13 Retirement: The Final Frontier 271

What Will Retirement Look Like? 272

Figuring Out How Much to Save 273

Why You Should Start Saving Today 276

A Brief Guide to Retirement Accounts 279

Early Retirement and Other Dreams 288

The Final Frontier 290

Chapter 14 Friends and Family 291

Financial Blueprints 292

Friends with Money 292

Love and Money 296

Church, Charity, and Community 304

True Wealth 307

Index 309

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

If you need a book on personal finance, Your Money: The Missing Manual is a solid choice. It gets all the important stuff right, and does a great job of distinguishing between that stuff (that you have to get right) and the peripheral stuff (that you can do any of several different ways, as long as you do it).

— Philip Brewer,

Customer Reviews