Get a Financial Life | Beth Kobliner

Summary of: Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties
By: Beth Kobliner


Embark on a journey to financial wellness with Beth Kobliner’s ‘Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties’. This book summary offers crucial insights and strategies to help you prioritize your financial goals, reduce debt, save for retirement, and invest wisely. As you navigate through the various stages of your life, learn the significance of securing health insurance, cutting expenses, building an emergency fund, and smart tax planning. Designed to simplify complex financial concepts, this summary offers the guidance you need to build a strong financial foundation, even if you’re just starting out.

Seven Basic Laws for Financial Success

Learn about the seven fundamental principles that can help you achieve financial stability and security.

If you’re struggling to save money despite your best efforts, you’re not alone. Many people face this challenge, but there are steps you can take to put your finances in order. The following seven basic laws can help you achieve financial stability and security.

First and foremost, prioritize your health insurance. Even the slightest medical issue can lead to financial bankruptcy, so make sure you’re covered. If you don’t have a health plan through your employer, search online for options and quotes on your own.

Next, tackle your high-interest debt. The best approach is to put every extra penny towards paying it down. Some loan interests can be so high that you’d earn a better return investing the money elsewhere. Search the web for credit cards with low interest rates.

Don’t wait any longer to start saving for retirement. Start when you’re young, so that interest rates and investment strategies will work for you as you get older. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) plan or find other savings options.

Banking costs can add up quickly, so try to reduce them where possible. Some banks waive fees for those who maintain a minimum balance, so look into that option. Additionally, build up a nest egg for emergencies by saving enough to cover at least three months of living expenses and set up an automatic savings plan.

Investing your money may seem daunting, but joining a no-load mutual fund pool can reduce your risk. Consider investing in bonds as they carry less risk than stocks and will help you diversify your portfolio.

Lastly, reduce your taxes by calculating if itemizing your deductions will save you more compared to taking the standard deduction. You can find tax forms on the IRS website.

By following these seven laws, you can take control of your finances and set yourself up for a financially stable future.

Master Your Finances

To live comfortably, you need to manage your finances smartly. Identify your goals and create a financial worksheet. Record your income, expenses, and revenue sources accurately. Keep a spending diary, account for big expenses like housing, furniture, car loans, and tuition. Develop consistent budget and bill-paying habits. Using finance software-like Quicken-could help you organize your finances. Finally, subtract expenses from income. A negative result necessitates cutting back on spending or earning more money. Start paying attention to your finances today to build good habits that will help you become financially stable throughout your life.

Financial Guidelines

Follow these simple financial guidelines to achieve better control of your finances. First, the Debt Rule recommends keeping debt (excluding student loans and mortgages) under 20% of your annual pay. Next, the Housing Rule suggests limiting housing expenses to one third of monthly take-home pay, which may entail having roommates in high-cost cities. Finally, the Savings Rule advocates taking saving as seriously as bill payments, putting away at least 10% of take-home pay monthly. Proponents of rigid savings might even consider stashing an extra 5%.

Digging out of Debt

Debt can feel like an endless cycle of digging and filling a hole at the beach. To reduce debt, one can either pay it off with savings or refinance to lower interest. Paying off high-interest debt with savings can save more money than what you would earn in interest. Refinancing works by transferring debt from high-interest accounts to a low-interest one. To avoid accumulating new debt, pay credit card bills as soon as they arrive, don’t miss payments, and understand how interest is assessed. It’s also worth asking your credit card issuer for a better deal, as the industry is competitive.

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