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Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties And Thirties
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Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties And Thirties

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  793 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
If you're like most people in their twenties and thirties, you don't feel like you're in control of your financial life. But if you want to take full advantage of the best financial opportunities, it's important that you get started right away. "Get a Financial Life" shows you how to manage your money and make it grow. In it you will learn how to: Refinance your high-rate ...more
Published May 6th 1996 by Fireside Books
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Aug 14, 2011 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book covers a lot of ground in just the right level of detail for someone starting to care about where his or her money is going, like a recently married thirty something guy. The first chapter is about getting an overview of your financial situation. Where are you now and where do you want to be? Chapter two is about debt, three about banking, four about investing. There's an obvious sequence there: get a handle on your situation, pay down your debt, build up some savings, then start inves ...more
John Lee
Aug 22, 2014 John Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A no-nonsense guide to the very basics of personal finance, written for people who know nothing about it. I'm not sure people in their thirties would get that much out of it, but for someone like me who's about to graduate college and go off into the real world, it had some really great advice. Regardless of whether you want to follow Kobliner's exact recommendations or not, her overviews of the individual topics (investing, insurance, taxes, budgeting, etc.) are very clear and well-written, and ...more
May 22, 2014 Isaac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beth Kobliner's book is a great introduction to the most important financial topics that young people need to be considering as they move toward independence. For many young people, the importance of saving for retirement, or buying a house, or buying insurance is not immediately obvious, and Kobliner does a good job at introducing each of these topics without assuming any existing knowledge on the part of the reader. She also is very practical in her advice. The first chapter is basically the c ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book assumes its reader knows essentially nothing - nada - squadoosh - about finance, and manages to do so without assuming a condescending tone. And I like that. It actually made me feel like, hey, I already know some of this stuff. I am not a complete personal finance moron. (Hardly.) To me, the most helpful information was on the topics of investing, car loans and renting vs. owning, but Kobliner covers several other areas as well.
Liz De Coster
A solid, basic introduction to personal finance issues for recent entrants to the working world. Beth Kobliner addresses major topics, such as buying a car or a house, and retirement savings. I bookmarked a lot for later reference!
Jan 26, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straight-forward and approachable, I found Kobliner's book to be much less intimidating than the "required reading" posed by my well-meaning father. I read the 2009 publication, and as it's targeted at a novice such as myself, most of it still seems very relevant and up-to-date. In her section about healthcare, though, I had to smile at her observation (from 2009) that while there's "huge political will to make sure everyone has coverage, [...] don't hold your breath[] it could take several ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Xtine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first edition of this when it first came out in the mid 90s and it was so helpful. I would like to get copies for some people just getting going who might find it helpful, but wonder if thinking has changed and there is a guide that would be more relevant to young people today. (I see that it was updated in 2009, but even since then things have changed a lot -- young people seem to think it's ok to spend a large percentage of their income on rent. Is that the norm, or just here in the ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I first gave this a rating of 4 stars, but I have recently re-read portions of it, and decided to raise this to 5 stars. Actually, I feel very fortunate that I read this when I did, which was just dumb luck (I think I bought it at an airport bookstore when I was traveling once shortly after college, and bought it on a whim).

It's not that it's the best personal finance book ever written; there may be others that are as good or better. It's not that it is incredibly detailed; it just covers basic
Jan 29, 2010 Esmeralda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finances
Kobliner explains financial terms well. I had fun taking notes on the chapters involving mutal funds, stocks, and retirement. The book contains lots of internet and tangible references to back up or compare information about financial services and taxes. She tends to qualify her advice to make sense for individual situations.

One thing I can't find in finance books is how to keep mutual funds and stocks accountable. The gap between money going to an investor and it's application is a scary one.
Mar 24, 2016 Deanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the book is dated, at least the copy I read, there is still a ton of useful information in it. i found my copy at my local goodwill store and after reading it now have a clear to do list of how to get my financial self in even better order. i have already completed a couple tasks on that list.

I highly recommend this book for people new to financial responsibility or who are ready to do more than basic bank accounts and retirement accounts.
Kristen Northrup
Read per the recommendation of several friends. Somehow missed the existence of a newer version and got the 1996 edition from the library. I doubt the actual advice has changed much, however. The specifics of taxes, interest rates, etc have always been in flux. There would just be websites instead of 800-numbers. I really liked how this covered a wider range of financial advice than a lot of these books do, like a whole chapter on insurance. It wasn't just savings and credit and investing. There ...more
Daniel Wise
Jul 09, 2015 Daniel Wise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Stepmother gave me this book when I graduated highschool. It gave me some basic financial lessons that I took to heart, and carried forward into my life.
Now whenever one of my friends sends graduation invitations for their children, I get them this book. I include a note how it steered my financial life, and hope it will for them as well.
Mar 01, 2013 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great overview of personal finance topics for someone early in their career and with a fairly straightforward financial situation but little knowledge. All the basics are covered here: budgeting, investing, retirement savings, home ownership, car loans, insurance, and taxes. I'm ashamed to admit how little I previously knew about 401k's and IRAs (in my defense, I've been in school my entire life and haven't had to deal with this yet), but I now have a handle on the basics and would be ...more
Aug 20, 2010 Mick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book gives a very basic and general overview of a few subjects that are essential to life, i.e. insurance, banking, debt, buying a home, retirement, and taxes.

This book is very basic to me, therefore the single star. If I would have read this book six or seven years ago it would have given me a greater benefit. Through my experiences and career choice (accounting) I have already been taught what the book teaches.

The book also has a lot of information that is time sensitive, such as tax figu
Feb 11, 2010 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It is a fantastic book for starting out families, or singles, in their 20's and 30's. It gives a simple, comprehensive overview of many financial areas. You can get a basic understanding without getting into all the complicated finance stuff. The format is simple as well, one chapter on each topic. There is a chapter on investing, homebuying, loans, taxes, retirement savings, you name it - it's in there! My only bone with this book is that it is an old edition. This edition wa ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the middle of obtaining a job and accompanying benefits when I leafed through this book. It was an incredible help in understanding what my job was offering and what would be good for me to apply for through my employment. Because of this book, I feel confident in my current financial situation and in my ability to handle my financial future. The book also goes over housing purchases, budgeting, debt management, and taxes. I'm definitely hanging on to it as more financial issues arise i ...more
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Very useful overview for those of us who aren't getting ready for retirement yet, because we're still too busy freaking out how we're going to pay off our f***ing student loans. The sections on insurance and taxes were especially helpful.
Ellie C
Sep 22, 2015 Ellie C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Solid finacial advice, but very common sense. It's nice to have all of this information collected in one place--and to have it be easily digestible. Recommended for all those who wish that college had truly prepared us for the real world.
Apr 13, 2016 Karlen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While some of the info is out of date, this has a really good overview on investing for a total novice like myself. I got the audiobook, but I would recommend getting a hard copy so you can skip sections that are not relevant to you and take notes on sections that are.
Mar 13, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff in general. I espeically like how the first chapter encourages you to flit around--I might not need the chapter on military benefits, but could learn a lot from the mortgage chapter
Karel Rymes
Great introduction. Too heavily focused on debt. Aimed at US. Does not get too much into detail and explanation of whys. :( But definetely a great starting point.
Aug 08, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, advice, adult
Lots of useful information in here, written in a concise and easily-digestible way. Someone with no understanding of personal finance can pick this book up and immediately understand how to make beneficial financial decisions. Minus one point for almost no discussion of socially responsible investing, or the ethics of investing in index or mutual funds. Let's face it---many of those companies are abhorrent in labor or environmental practices, and I wish the author would have acknowledged the man ...more
Verity Bracken
I hate reading finance books but I recently moved to the United States and I need a primer on how Taxes, Banking and Insurance work here. This did the trick and was a easy read given the dull subject matter. I now know the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA. I know the basic names for tax forms, the basic deductions and where to find out more. The insurance section and how to go about making a will was also appreciated. I found the actually financial advice pretty stock: pay off your debts, ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Bay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read parts of this book for a basic finance class I took at BYU, and decided to pick it up and read it again. Beth Kobliner offers basic information about a variety of financial topics such as budgeting, insurance, investing, renting vs. buying, taxes, etc. It's very readable and she has nice charts throughout the book that are helpful. I've been reading a few different financial planning texts lately, and I feel like they mostly say the same thing. But if you haven't read one before, this is ...more
Ryan Ard
Mar 04, 2015 Ryan Ard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I was a bit bored but I finished the book a lot wiser about many financial subjects. This book definitely helped to explain some of the intricacies of insurance, investments, and taxation. Definitely worth a read.
I read this for Personal & Family Finance at Brigham Young University. I did enjoy the presentation of the book, and thought what the author had to share was pretty good. I learned from Beth Kobliner and from the on-line course, that term life insurance is the best way to go, and that Roth IRAs are pretty valuable.

Term life insurance is much more affordable than whole life and universal life insurance policies. Whole life and universal life insurances policies, as far as I'm concerned, are c
Not too bad guide. Having read Dave Ramsey's Conplete Guide and the Millionaire Next Door immediately prior, I think I preferred the ease of Dave's style and the case studies of Millionaire Next Door better. But this novel reconsolidated.
Sep 25, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Great introduction to personal finance!
You definitely don't have to read it all the way through because the comprehensive chapters are well-organized into distinct facets of money management. However, for all of those who are as clueless and as poorly organized when it comes to keeping track of your money and spending/saving/allocating it properly as I am, definitely pick up a copy of this book.
All I have to do now to bring the knowledge that I have acquired full circle is to figure out how to
Victoria Englund
This book is well-written and contains some good advice, but if you already have some experience handling your own finances and managing debt this book overstates the obvious. The latest edition was written a few years ago so some of these tips don't apply at the moment with drastic interest rate cuts, changes to bankruptcy law, new loan restrictions, etc. I think the bottom line that Kobliner stresses is to pay off all debt before saving and to be mindful of all interest rates and how they're a ...more
Ellena Lawrence
Mar 19, 2015 Ellena Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, good for general advice but get a Canadian book if you looking for more detailed information
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