psych yourself rich farnoosh torabi

Psych Yourself Rich

This week I’m reviewing Psych Yourself Rich. I was excited to receive a review copy to share my thoughts on the new book. If you’re not familiar with her, Torabi is the author of You’re So Money: Live Rich Even When You’re Not. She’s a;so contributed to The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Money magazine.

Not sure if her new book is for you? Hopefully my review will help you make the decision.

Basic Book Infopsych yourself rich farnoosh torabi

  • Full Title: Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset & Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life
  • Author(s): Farnoosh Torabi
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Price: $22.99

Psych Yourself Rich Overview

Torabi  has organized her book on 3 principles clearly. Each has it’s own focus while maintaining her confident and encouraging style to help readers along as they improve their finances.

Draft Your Financial Blueprint

There are a lot of people who want to be rich, but can’t really define what it means to them. Torabi spend a few chapters looking at the traits that people associate with those that are wealthy and then asks readers to decide what they want. Do they want to be big earners and spenders or do they want to be earners and givers?

It examines how to identify opportunities to improve your finances and introduces accountability into the equation. She finishes the section with some common emotions that people associate with money and how to work with them.

Psych It Up

After your own values and goals are define, the next section looks at removing the clutter and designing a system that works for you. Online and offline tools were mentioned and reviewed to help readers decide what could work for them personally. She also looks at being your own advocate and being assertive on getting better deals.

Raise the Bar

The final part of the book is dedicated to seeking more entrepreneurial options. By nature, people are risk adverse. It makes sense many times as you want to protect your investments or your career. However, it can be beneficial to break out and look at more profitable options.

From these big ideas, she drills down and tackles them one by one.

What’s Inside Psych Yourself Rich?

There is a lot of information inside the book. Depending on where you are at financially, you can read it cover to cover or you can jump around to what interests you. Here are the topics covered in the book.

  • Personalize Rich - Torabi open up with her first thoughts of being rich and what it meant to her. She also spoke with experts to see if there are any shifts in attitudes and ideas within wealthy Americans. I’m going to tell you what they are, you’ll have to read the book to find out!
  • Establish Goals - Did you know 1/3 of lotto winners file for bankruptcy within 5 years? Money doesn’t substitute goals. Not having goals can lead to you losing money. Nice chapter on how to set some realistic ones up.
  • Craft Your Money Philosophy - What are your own beliefs about money? How do you think it should be used? Great questions considered in the chapter.
  • Embrace Your Relationship with Money -Healthy or not, everyone has some relationship to money. Many times we’ve picked it up from our family. The question is, do you want to improve it?
  • Organize. Don’t Agonize - How many times have you said you’ll save more, but failed to do so months(even years) later? I bet you lack of organization played a part in that.
  • Be Your Biggest Advocate - Nobody care about your finances like you do. Taking charge and be assertive can help you handle your finances.
  • Make Your Money Count - Learn about handling risk and evaluate your spending in this chapter so you can optimize your finances.
  • Think Five Years Ahead - Are you prepared for upcoming milestones? Are you prepared for the unexpected? If you lost your job, could you survive until you find the next one? This is a great chapter to look over as you set up your financial plans.
  • Break from the Norm - If you’re looking at all your investment options, you should check out this chapter to get an idea of what’s out there.
  • Embrace the Entrepreneurial Spirit - Besides starting a business, having the e-spirit can allow you to expand your role within your company. It’s about being proactive and taking the initiative.

Thoughts on Psych Yourself Rich

I think this book is a good fit for people who have a general idea of what they have to do, but need help developing a plan of action. It is a book that you can read and reflect on as you decide what your financial goals are in life.

I’d love to hear feedback from others that have read the book. What did you think about it? What chapter was most helpful for you? What was the least helpful?

If you have any questions, you can find @Farnoosh on Twitter.

generation earn kim palmer interview

Generation Earn: Interview with Kim Palmer

I’m happy to share an interview with a personal finance blogger who has made the leap to author – Kim Palmer. Writing at US News and Report, Kim covers personal finance with Alpha Consumer where she tackles handling money and building a better financial future.generation earn kim palmer interview

If you have a few minutes you should check out some wonderful posts for couples looking at improving their finances.

Her new book out, Generation Earn, is getting some fantastic reviews so wanted to ask her some questions about the topic and process behind it. She was gracious enough to answer all questions I had. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I do.

Interview with Kim Palmer

I appreciate how you point out that young professionals are stereotyped as being financially irresponsible. What do you think is the source of this misconception?

The idea that young people are defined by their debts started coming up several years ago, when credit cards and high-interest student loans began being marketed more heavily to college students. Media pundits, especially older ones, love to talk about how clueless we are about money.

What was your motivation for writing about personal finance for college graduates and young professionals now?

I felt really frustrated by that stereotype and wanted to prove it wrong. I heard from a lot of young people who, like me, wanted to focus on the more positive side of money – how to be financially secure, support their families, and also give back to the community. I wanted to help them do those things.

As far as a financial system for bills, savings, and investing, how do you handle it?

Most of my investments are in my retirement accounts, so I keep it pretty simple by sticking with index funds. As I get older, I’m slowly shifting more into bonds and other conservative investments. At my house, I’m in charge of all the bills – I love paying them, it’s very satisfying – and my husband handles our insurance and investment paperwork. We work on our savings together, but since we just bought a house and had a baby, we’ve been saving less.

What do you think is the most common mistake couples make with their money? How do you think they can fix it?

Ignoring the topic altogether. It can be awkward so people avoid bringing it up. But it’s so important to find out about the other person’s habits and goals. Do they rely on credit cards? What are their long-term financial goals? You don’t want to be surprised later! I like the idea of talking in a neutral spot, like a coffeeshop, to get all the awkward questions out of the way.

As a site on family and finances, I’m curious – how hard do you think couples can both keep their lifestyle voluntarily simple?

Keeping finances simple is tough, especially as things get complicated with mortgages, college savings accounts, etc. I like keeping all the paperwork in one place for starters. Then, I like scheduled a check-in every few months just to make sure you know where you’re money is and it’s in a smart place. Lastly, a key is to resist buying too much stuff. It’s so easy to fill up your home with unnecessary purchases that you forget about a month later – don’t do it!

What is one financial mistake that you made, and what did you learn from it?

I still get mad thinking about my car purchase. I feel like I let myself get pressured into spending too much because the car dealership was so aggressive. Never again will I let that happen! I will go in more prepared and shop around more in advance – and be willing to walk away.

Last question, what advantages do you think young professional have now compared to other generations in regards to their finances?

As hard as it was, I think we learned a lot from the recession: How to be more frugal, value-conscious, and smart about investing and the economy. Maybe in 10 years we’ll be grateful for the experience.

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I want to thank Kim for taking the time out of busy schedule to share her thoughts. If you want to learn more, please check out her new book Generation Earn out now.

art of nonconformity chris guillbeau review

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillbeau

This week’s book review is a fun one for me. I’ve been a fan of Chris Guillbeau and his blog on the Art of Non-Conformity. His new book, with the same title, came out last week. As soon as I got it in the mail, I read it.

Basic Book Infoart of nonconformity chris guillbeau review

The Art of Non-Conformity Overview

Chris breaks down his book into 3 main parts. Each part highlights a component needed to achieve an unconventional life.

  • Part I: Remarkable Life
  • Part II: Reclaiming Work
  • Part III: The Power of Convergence

If you’ve read Chris’ site, Part I will be very familiar as he goes through some benefits of living an unconventional life and shares his personal story.

What’s Inside The Art of Non-Conformity

To get an idea of how much material Chris covers, here are the chapters in the book with my little notes on them.

  • Sleepwalkers and the Living World: Chris opens up with his experience in graduate school and an illustration on how some people will keep you back from reach out from the norm.
  • Setting the Terms of Your Unconventional Life: You’re exposed to the process of creating a life list and working backwards from it. Goal setting is a big ingredient for many trying to reach their personal dreams.
  • Smashing through the Brick Wall of Fear: Fear holds many people from taking the leap and Chris discusses how to use it as motivation.
  • How to Fight Authority and Win: You don’t always have to settle or the either/or solution. Chris discusses gatekeepers and their roles.
  • Competence is Your Security: If you’re looking at starting a business, but don’t have a ton of money – this is a chapter for you.
  • Graduate School vs the Blogosphere: Chris covers becoming an expert, not just through the traditional way. Comparing graduate school to blogging, he gets some unexpected results.
  • The Power of Your Own Small Army: Recruit and inspiring a small army requires solid leadership. You can’t just hope people follow you, you have to give them a great reason for why they should.
  • The Personal Finance Journey: Bills and financial obligations don’t go away just because you live an unconventional life. Wonderful ideas on simplifying your finances and how to invest in people.
  • Radical Exclusion and the Quest for Abundance: Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, Chris offer the alternative of excluded what’s not important to you with what is your focus.
  • Contrarian Adventures: This chapter talks about traveling and offers some hacks on cutting expenses and simplifying the process.
  • Your Legacy Starts Now: Some people look back on their lives and wonder how they’ve made the world a better place. This chapter argues that you should start NOW to build your legacy step by step.
  • Dangerous Ideas: Chris closes his book with an encouragement to introduce great positive change in your life and others.

Thoughts on Chris’ Book

I really enjoyed this book and I felt like it was a wonderful extension of Chris’ blog. I’ve read his multimedia guides and have enjoyed them as well. I included it as a prize for the laptop giveaway because I think it’s a great general guidebook on striking off on your own. You can still use the information even if you have no desire to be self employed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you’ve read the book or Chris’ blog? What is your take on the book?

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SmartyPig Review

If you’re looking at jump starting your savings goal or need help staying focused on it, you may want to look at SmartyPig. I’ve heard a lot about the account, so I decided to review its features.

Setting Up an Account with SmartyPig

It’s FDIC insured, you have a competitive interest rate (2.15% right now), and there are no fees to maintain the account. SmartyPig is not a bank, its accounts are held at BBVA Compass. Like with your brick and mortar bank, you need to fill out the financial paperwork to open an account with SmartyPig.

You set up your funding ($25 minimum) and you can elect to have an automatic transfer into your savings.

What’s Your Savings Goal?

Besides getting your financial information, SmartyPig has the additional step of having you create a specific savings goal for your account. If you watch the video that SmartyPig has up, you can see the different goals you can have for your account.

  • Vacation
  • Car Fund
  • Home Improvement

The minimum amount for a savings goal is $250 and the maximum is $250,000. The idea is to move away from the instant gratification of irresponsible use of credit cards towards a cash based system. While it might be a bit of pain getting towards a goal, you can make a guilt free purchase.

Is it working? Are people taking advantage of this online savings system? SmartyPig released some statistics on their customers’ saving habits.

  • The average SmartyPig customer’s saving goal is just shy of $5,000 with the average length of a goal being 24 months.
  • Nearly 75% of all SmartyPig users are between the ages of 18-35. More than 85% are between the ages of 18-45. (Figure doesn’t include accounts for minors)

It’s a step in the right direction, having people motivated to save.

Social Savings – Involving Family and Friends 

Allowing family and friends to add to your savings account through social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, is a unique feature. It’s a great way for friends and family to see what your financial goals are and it gives them the ability to contribute to them.

It’s also a way for your to have some accountability for your finances. Positive peer pressure can help you meet your goal. Do have this option, when you set up your account, make sure you choose “accept contributions”.

What happens when you reach your goal? You have a few options:

  • ACH transfer to your checking account – You can send you money to your checking account to use.
  • SmartyPig Debit Card – You have a debit card from SmartyPig that you can have reload from future savings goals.
  • Retail Gift Cards -You can earn a bonus on top of your savings, depending on the vendor.

Retailers that have partnered up with SmartyPig include:

  • Amazon (4% bonus)
  • American Airlines (3% bonus)
  • Barnes & Noble (5% bonus)
  • Best Buy (3% bonus)
  • Jared (7% bonus)
  • Macy’s (12%)

If you’re saving up for a TV, using a retail card can give you a slightly better deal. Weigh your options to get the best deal for you.

Thoughts on Using SmartyPig

SmartyPig seems a good option for people looking at saving for a specific goal. I think this could be a great place to park you money for a car replacement fund or your next vacation.  I wouldn’t use this for an emergency fund even though the interest rate is better than most places.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you opened an account with SmartyPig? What do you think of the service?