Win a Copy of J.D. Roth’s “Your Money: The Missing Manual”

by Katy on July 25, 2010 · 66 comments

Although I consider myself to be extremely responsible and savvy with the money in my wallet, that doesn’t mean I know diddly-squat about stocks, bonds, mutual funds or Roth IRA’s. But that’s okay. You don’t have to be an expert before dipping your toe into the icy cold water of money management. (Don’t worry, I have a 4013B through my employer, and I’ve been adding to it for years. Although somewhat passively.)

Luckily, there are saviors, like J.D. Roth who have taken the time to educate themselves about personal finance and high end money management. For those who may not know, Roth is a local boy done good who writes the highly successful blog Get Rich Slowly, which addresses just about any monetary issue you can think of. And like many boys done good, he wrote and published a fantastic book, which is called Your Money: The Missing Manual. This deceptively small book deftly boils complicated financial concepts into clear and understandable writing. Not an easy task.

This really is the book I wish I’d read, (and kept to refer to) when I was twenty years old and in my first adult job. (Administrative Assistant at a marketing firm in New York City.) Luckily, it’s still a valuable resource when a gal is working her way through her early forties.

Roth had offered to give me a book to use as a giveaway for Non-Consumer Advocate readers, but I actually found a used copy at Goodwill, which I promptly grabbed despite the $4.99 price tag. (Highway robbery for a thrift shop book in my opinion.)

To enter to win this copy of  J.D. Roth’s Your Money: The Missing Manual, just write your best financial tip in the comments section below. I will randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, July 28th at midnight. One entry per person, U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

LeslieK July 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm

My best financial tip? I guess it would be to enter contests that are giving away great Personal Finance books…then read them.


Valerie Heck July 26, 2010 at 2:25 am

Best advice my dad always said was to buy stocks when they are low (with proper research) because when they are low they are on sale. If you buy when things are high they are most likely to go down and you’ll lose money.


Mackenzie July 26, 2010 at 3:02 am

Best financial advice: Use cash. This goes back to my days of waitressing, and it works for people (like me) who hate the suffocating restrictions of keeping track of every penny. Take out however much you want to spend on everything for the week (food, gas, fun, etc.) in cash — and when you’ve spent it, you’ve spent it.


Valerie R. July 26, 2010 at 4:17 am

Have an emergency fund! My car just broke down, and I’m not going to sweat it (much) because I have that in place.

Love J.D. I’m excited to read his book.


Cindy F. July 26, 2010 at 5:11 am

Save something even if it is $ 5, get in the habit, when you see how it adds up it will inspire you to keep ging.


Kelly July 26, 2010 at 5:14 am

Actively work to be debt free and then stay that way!


lucy July 26, 2010 at 5:42 am

Save your receipts and don’t be afraid to return things!


Jeremy July 26, 2010 at 6:21 am

get your emergency fund, get out of debt, then you can live your life like you love it.


Molly On Money July 26, 2010 at 6:23 am

Before you buy it ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’

I missed out on your last book giveaway, “Your Money or Your Life”. I check it out in the library and it is one of those books I need to have on their shelves for reference for the next 20yrs. I found it used for $4 (the smartest $4 I’ll ever spend).


Cindy July 26, 2010 at 6:38 am

One of the tips that my husband and I utilize is that we do our bill paying on Thursday evenings and plan our entertainment for the weekend accourdingly (we do have a budget set, but it helps to see the figure in the checkbook register – it keeps it real for us.)


Mary Kate July 26, 2010 at 7:10 am

Don’t just read good advice, act on the advice.


Little Miss Moneybags July 26, 2010 at 7:30 am

My best tip: Track your spending.

It’s amazing how much changes just with the awareness of where your money goes. When I started tracking my spending, I suddenly figured out why my budget wasn’t working (it wasn’t realistic and I’d left out important categories!) and I realized that being accountable to myself made it really easy to skip an unnecessary purchase.


TraciFree July 26, 2010 at 7:33 am

Best Tip: don’t be afraid to borrow and lend. So many folks want to be independent and not be a burden on others, but it truly does take a village to, well, do just about anything!


psmflowerlady/Tammy July 26, 2010 at 7:51 am

Compound interest can either suck or be magical – depends on how you use it. ALWAYS pay off debt with interest higher than you’d earn in saving (it can be a 25% swing!) and never turn up your nose (and calculate it into “interest” when making the debt vs save calculation) to company match if you are lucky enough to have employer match retirement savings options. For example, my company matches $0.50/$1 – which is like 50% interest upfront – for young people especially – the sooner you take that match the more $$ it means @ retirement!


Teka July 26, 2010 at 8:17 am

The one that works best for me is having a savings account that I really don’t think about and have trouble getting to short of going to the actual brick and mortar building and working with someone else to move the money. This way I don’t see it, count it will my spending money and sometimes don’t even know what’s in it, which lets the savings happen for me.


Cate July 26, 2010 at 8:19 am

Pay yourself first.


helen July 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

Best financial tip:
Ask yourself if you want it or need it. Big difference. Then wait a week before you buy it. The want may have gone away.


MainlineMom July 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

My best financial tip? Max out the portion of your 401K contribution that gets matched by your employer. It’s FREE money. Not doing that is like telling your boss “It’s ok, you can only pay me 90% of my paycheck this week.”


Jen July 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

The best tip I have is to wait 48 before buying something on a whim.


Lydia July 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

Best tip: Start saving when you start earning. Don’t wait for the right time, because it will never come. Do it now.


Anne Weber-Falk July 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

My best advise? Hmmm, there are several but the easiest one is that I always make sure to look down. Yes, look down! Nearly every time I go to the gas station that has a convenience store I find coins. I always pick them up. My son says it is silly to pick up a penny but I say that makes me a penny richer than I was a moment ago. All that change adds up.


Alexander Rinehart, MS, DC July 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

My best money tip…Choose the right investment vehicle for the job. The more risk you take, the longer you need to be willing to go without the money. For instance, putting money back to save for a house downpayment 1-2 years from now should not be put in a stock, but would be better suited in a money market or certificate of deposit. But if you were putting money back for retirement 20 years from now, stocks are a great way to go, gradually shifting into more and more bonds and cash as you age.


A. Marie July 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Boring and obvious, but true: Take care of your health. Eat right, don’t smoke (or get the help you need to stop if you’ve already started), exercise, drink alcohol only in moderation, brush your teeth, yadda yadda yadda. Think of the medical and dental bills you’ll save.


nalani July 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Plan, plan, plan.

Execute and Implement the plan.

Revisit the plan and revise accordingly.

Budgets, savings, and debt repayments are just a few components of a plan.


Jana July 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Save for your next car.


Sandy July 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Best financial tip: Put money in savings!! Save for an emergency fund, save for large purchases, etc. I was a spender in my teenage/college years, and have become a saver over the last 5 years. It feels good to save up for the things I need/want and to have emergency funds in the bank.


Amy H. July 26, 2010 at 2:30 pm

My best tip today: Don’t put anything on a credit card that you don’t already have the money to pay for — either in checking or in savings.


Mrs. B July 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Get out of debt …stay out of debt. The best thing that I did was to keep money in different accounts…the bill acct is only for monthly expenses, the grocery acct is for, extra savings..anything I left over from the grocery acct, college acct, emergency acct. This has been a lifesaver for me to get out and stay out of debt. It is sort of like the cash system except I use my debit card. The only account that has a debit card attached is the grocery acct. I have to physically go to the bank to withdraw money from any other account I have.


Jay July 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Don’t spend what you don’t have.

(Thanks for the book tip! I really hope I win, but even if I don’t, I’ll look for this at the library. It’s time for me to finally get around to really learning stocks and stuff!)


Laurel July 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I have a 30 – day wait-list on purchases. It helps.


Elle July 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Keep track of all your spending, every last penny. Once a month evaluate if your spending is in line with your goals. (with thanks to _Your Money or Your Life_ for teaching me this one)


Jo July 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm

“The more you have, the more you have to maintain.”
Thanks, Dad.


Elisa Wells July 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Treat your credit card as if it is cash–pay off the bill every month!


Eva July 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Never borrower or Lender be. Period. Ever.


Lisa July 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

My best financial tip is to educate yourself. I was raised by parents who were not particularly good with money, and who did not teach me how to budget or plan for retirement or anything else money related. I read books and magazines, used trial-and-error, and talked to people whose financial sense I admired. I’m still doing all of those things! So, obviously, J.D.’s book would continue my education…. 🙂


Linda July 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Oh, I really want to win this! My best financial tip is to shop for clothing in your own closet. Even though I really don’t have alot of clothes, I’m always amazed at the new combinations I can put together.


Julia July 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm

We charge as much as possible on an Amazon visa card, pay the bill in full when it comes, and sit back and enjoy the rewards: Amazon gift certificates or even a $50 check from Chase if I have enough points. Believe me, I LOVE getting a free check from a big ugly bank like Chase. My husband travels for his job, so we get extra points from him charging things that he later gets reimbursed for by his company. And if I go over my self-imposed limit, and spend too much (like when we spent too much last month on our first vacation in years), I have to transfer money in from savings to cover the bill in full. That made me crazy mad at myself, and I have redoubled my efforts to play by the rules (i.e. the budget) from now on.


kim July 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

understand where your money is going and pay off the credit card every month!


Sharron July 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Spend less than you earn. If possible, keep widening the margin between what you earn and spend. Save some AND give some; then you’ll really live some!


Rachel July 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Give up the little things. Those $1-4 dollars purchases add up fast!!


Beth July 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Hmmm… my best financial tip is one that I’ve come to learn recently: if I think I want to buy something, I’ll wait 30 days. Usually, I decide I don’t need it!


Kristen July 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I write down everything I spend in a paper ledger. It makes me think hard about each purchase, because knowing that I have to go home and write it down and total everything up for the day is enough to deter me from most thoughtless or casual spending. It also allows me to track spending patterns over time.


Lori July 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm

number one tip: keep track of every penny spent. Once you really see where your money is going, you can make adjustments and figure out all sorts of ways to save.

second number one tip: if you have money left over after monthly bills are paid (and after saving an emergeny fund), put the rest into paying down any debt you have. We are not savvy stock-buying people (though maybe after more reading!), so we have been paying down our mortgage and next month will be paying it off! Yipppeee!! Such a freeing feeling to being nearly debt free.


Joe July 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Never buy something if you do not have the money to pay for it. (Houses and cars are excluded, kind of.)


BevP July 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Every time I got a raise, I put half of it into the credit union (an automatic payroll deduction). I never missed the money because I never saw it in my paycheck. It really adds up this way.


Kayla K July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm!
Ever since my boyfriend and I signed up for this online spending tracker we are always reminding each other to “think of your pie chart!”


Amanda July 27, 2010 at 4:25 am

Financial advice: I have a budget but have a hard time looking at the lump sum in my checking account and knowing that a certain amount is for bills, another for mortgage, another to replace the roof etc. I chose a bank where there is no additional fees for savings accounts with balances over $25.00. Now every item has an account even vacation, house repairs, emergency fund. I don’t have to keep up with what money is for which because it is all labeled in front of me!!


Robin July 27, 2010 at 4:48 am

Don’t go shopping….I know our advocate frequents thrift stores, but for me, it’s best that I just not go to a store unless I have to … and then, I go with a list and strictly buy what is on my list. Sure, this means I miss out on a lot of good deals and sales, but I also miss out on temptation (and feeling bad that I can’t buy what is so tempting!).


Lucy July 27, 2010 at 4:53 am

Simplest ever: don’t ever put anything on credit. It takes 2 seconds to get into debt and sometimes years to climb back out.


Frank July 27, 2010 at 6:01 am

Put your savings on auto-pilot. Setup direct deposit of your paycheck to checking and savings account. Direct deposit enough money in your checking to cover your bills, then direct deposit the remaining in your savings account. If your are finding that there is very little, or nothing left over for savings then review your discretionary expenses such as magazine/newspaper subscriptions, unused memberships fees, cost of eating out everyday, etc. and eliminate unnecessary spending in exchange for savings. Start out saving small amounts per pay period and gradually increase the savings amount until it just starts to feel uncomfortable paying the bills from the checking account. Then call your phone, cable, and insurance companies and see if you can lower cost for these services. Generally they will provide a better price if you agree to keep service for a six month period. Increase savings by the amount you trimmed off these costs. Lather, rinse and repeat. It’s a continual process.


Shannon July 27, 2010 at 6:07 am

Automate as much of your bill paying as possible. I save on stamps and, more importantly, there’s no chance a bill will go missing on my desk and I’ll end up with a late fee.


Bonnie July 27, 2010 at 9:39 am

Save a little bit of money every week, even if it is only $5.00. As you add to it, every little bit helps and before you know it years have gone by and you have a nice little emergency fund (or special trip fund)!


Martha July 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Save early and save often (ie start saving in your 20’s and see the miracle of compound interest)!


Financial Samurai July 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

My best money tip is to protect yourself from yourself by never letting you see how much you have. You have to flush the money to a DIFFERENT bank account automatically, not just a different savings account!


The Yakezie


My Roman Apartment July 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Instead of looking at the amount of money I have to spend on something, I think about how many hours I’ll have to work to earn the money to spend on something. For example, if I make $20 an hour and buy a $10 pizza, I had to work 30 minutes for that pizza. If I want to buy a pair of $300 shoes, I’ll have to work 15 hours for those shoes.

Looking at costs through the hourly wage filter shows me the “real” cost of things and makes it very easy to avoid higher priced “convenience” goods. It’s not really convenient to get take out food if I have to work 2 hours to pay for a meal that saves me 30 minutes in the kitchen!


Sarah July 28, 2010 at 4:32 am

When picking out retirement accounts I love the lifecycle options. I have no clue on how to allocate my money and I feel that this is the best way for me. Could I be making more on my investments? Sure! But, I would be taking on a HUGE risk with the little I know.


Amy July 28, 2010 at 4:38 am

Pay off credit cards completely every month.


Tammy July 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

Stay on a budget. Always keep track of what you are spending.


jennifer July 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Plant a vegetable garden!! You save on gas and food bill!


Laura B July 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Don’t spend more than you have. Seems easy – and so “duh” – but it requires planning and work. Cutting up my credit cards was painful at first (seriously, I had to sit down to cut them) and in retrospect, it was the best thing I ever did.

Now, when my kids want to borrow money or an advance on their allowance, I charge them interest… they’re getting to the point that they agree with mom: credit cards can be evil if one is not careful…


Tracy Balazy July 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Don’t shop retail! If I don’t see it, I don’t get the urge to buy it!


Jennifer July 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I’ll go with a favorite of JD’s: spend less than you earn.


Kristin July 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Avoid looking at catalogs, even (especially!) sale catalogs, advertising things you want but don’t need.


Dmarie July 29, 2010 at 4:15 am

Be satisfied with less. Buy less. Spend less.


Kristi July 29, 2010 at 8:44 am

Working in retail for a few years taught me something important – yes, while it is on sale – and yes you have a coupon – you save 100% of what you don’t spend (especially when you don’t need what you are getting!)

Wow save 100%! No sale or coupon can match that 😉


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