Personal Finance for Dummies
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Personal Finance for Dummies

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  513 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Personal Finance for Dummies offers sound and practical advice for those who want to get control over their personal financial lives. Author Eric Tyson points out the most common mistakes that we all make in our approach to money and prescribes ways to save and invest for a secure future. Using worksheets, the book helps you to measure your own financial health by looking...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 454 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 1994)
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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Best Books of 2003
161st out of 289 books — 161 voters
Buy and Hope by Randall MauroRich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. KiyosakiNot Buying It by Judith LevineNickel and Dimed by Barbara EhrenreichPersonal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson
Show Me the Money
4th out of 24 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

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I'm about half way through here and this has been a great read. I never thought I'd be so absorbed by a book like this but when you're in that weird transitional state between student and independent adult, a book like this can feel empowering. I can't believe this stuff isn't required education for public schools or even expensive colleges (perhaps those institutions would rather their students not fully understand loans and big money...). I went from having a very basic, very vague sense of bu...more
I give this book only 2 stars because most of it doesn't apply to be. I'm not a homeowner and so don't need advice on mortgages, I'm in no financial position to play the stock market, etc. For a mid-twenty-something, the useful information I gleaned from this book could just as easily come from Wikipedia or better yet, my dad! Not to mention making any sort of investment right now (CD, bond, long term savings plan) has such little pay off it's almost not worth it to think about. Maybe when I'm r...more
I picked up this book after reading Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry. In that book, the author exposes a lot of the conflict of interest and hypocrisy that are inherent to much of the personal finance industry (financial planners, most of whom are actually broker/dealers, as well as popular gurus), but she recommended Personal Finance for Dummies as legitimate good advice. Eric Tyson, the author, has a lot of experience as a financial counselor, helping peop...more
Leonardo Jr
Thank you for REMINDING AND HITTING me on the head! A VERY GOOD BOOK! three thumbs up!!!

"Another problem with seeking to amass wealth is that tomorrow might not come. Even if all goes acccording to plan, will you know how to be happy when you're not working if you spend your entire life making money? More importantly, who will be around to share your leisure time? One of the costs of an intense career is time spent away from friends and family. You may indeed realize your goal of retiring early,...more
Dummies books just do not disappoint. There is a good chunk of this book that is a lot of common sense, but it is really nice to have it all laid out and put together.

I took a lot of little things out of this book and am really happy I read it. It will be great tool for helping to reorganize my finances going forward. I would say this is an essential read for everyone just because people in general are very uneducated when it comes to managing their own money, and even understanding money and c...more
Kate Dutton
One of my goals for 2014 was to learn more about personal finance, taxes, investments, etc. Admittedly, math is not one of my fortes (there's a reason I'm a writer), but maybe because of that, I'd gotten the stupid idea in my head that I just couldn't learn about "that stuff".

If you, too, identify with Greg Focker when asked about your "portfolio", do yourself a favor and read this book. Tyson covers a broad swath of topics, but with enough detail to feel that I now have working knowledge about...more
Jun 13, 2008 Ellen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: college students, yuppies, 1st time homebuyers
Recommended to Ellen by: Dave
this book is very well-written. Very accessible by the layman or laywoman. I have read a few financial texts in my life and have invested in mutual funds and 401Ks for a while, so I am not a complete novice, but this was a good refresher on the differences between investing in stocks and bonds, the difference between taxable and non-taxable securities, what you should/should not invest in through a 401K compared to what you should/should not invest in through a directly purchased investment such...more
I got this book on the recommendation of a financial adviser at work. He said he made all his new hires read this book before starting. I hope anyone starting a finance job would already understand everything in this book because a large part of it even I was already familiar with.

The first two parts are the real "for dummies" parts. The topics include determining your financial net worth, establishing goals, dealing with debt, and setting a budget. I actually took a long break from the book aft...more
Laura Hughes
Ahhh, objectivity. This is actually kind of a breath of fresh air after the dubious manifestos from unqualified gurus that I like to read. Tyson has an approachable but not condescending tone. Actually, all the Dummies books I've read have been pretty good--informative, apparently accurate, easy-to-read but not overly simplistic.

This is a solid compendium of reliable PF advice. It covers a wide variety of topics from the basics of budgeting and debt management to investing, buying a house, insu...more
"For someone who has their personal finances in order, this will be a boring and basic book. For someone who is just figuring out how to manage their finances, this is a great book. I read this book when I was feeling weighed down by our finances and debt. This book helped me think systematically about what we were doing with our finances, helped refine a plan to retire all our debt, and convinced me the need to save and invest for the future. Since I read this book, I have read a number of othe...more
Jun 10, 2008 Zahreen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: college grads and people trying to understand investment and retirement planning
As I left college, diploma in hand, and went into that limbo period before entering the real world, I found myself a complete idiot when it came to personal finance. I didn't know what a 401(k) plan exactly is (I knew it was for retirement), what pensions are (also something for retirement), or how to invest in stocks and bonds (totally clueless about this!).

Because of this, I thought it would be helpful to pick up a couple of basic books on personal finance (this one and the wall street journa...more
Halil Akbaş
I think this book gives advice for everyone from the poorest and to the richest readers. It gives the general idea how money flows and what is behind that techical financial curtain. Eric Tyson just tries to give the bigger picture. It's worth the time reading it.
Confession: I didn't read the whole book. I used it more like a car manual, flipping to different sections as needed. Still, the sections I did read were straightforward and informative. As someone who's never dug into money matters before, especially investing, this was invaluable.

My one complaint is that I didn't read this before nearly stepping in a few financial holes, but that's hardly the book's fault. More importantly, it confirmed and expanded on my suspicions in time to backpedal, so cr...more
Another in my personal finance reading for the year. There are common messages in many of these books: #1 - get out of debt as soon as possible, #2 - cut your expenses, #3 - have at least 6 months of living expenses in the bank. They say it over and over!

This book also talks a lot about investing for retirement and what that should look like. He writes simply and clearly and explains everything well. He definitely has opinions, so you should examine them to see if they fit into your own life.

Liliana Nunez
Loved it! Everyone should read this and keep it a hardcover as a reference guide for life changes!!!
Miêu Tặc
Financial foundation for everyone. You will learn about a wide variety of aspects of personal finance.
Mjlibrary NDSCS
332.024 T988

Some of the concepts you will find in this guide include: the best ways to reduce and eliminate debt; using credit to qualify for the best loan terms; the dangers of “free” online advice; new and pending changes in tax laws; tips on buying insurance; strategies for investing; and making sense of financial resources. There is concrete guidance for tracking your expenditures, saving for the future, and surviving life’s changes and challenges. Tyson is an author, columnist, and speaker,...more
Jen Lynn
This self-help book really helped me to understand my own finances and how to improve my financial situation. It's simply written and explains things as concisely as necessary. There wasn't too much information where I became bored, but there was enough information where I felt it was valuable. It gave some great tips to determining your current situation and standing, as well as great tips for how to improve and save money for the rest of your life. For basic and simple finance information, thi...more
Whitney Archibald
I've never read a "For Dummies" book, so I grabbed this along with a few other personal finance books, just to tidy up my bookkeeping, etc. I found it rather obnoxious. It WAS written in a readable, conversational style, but that's not what I want from an instructional book. I want to be able to read and skim quickly, gleaning what I want from it. There was way too much breezy silliness to wade through.

That said, it did have some good information and tips in it, so it wasn't a total waste.
Daniel Sepulveda
Everyone will at some point or other in their lifetime come to the realization that wealth management is quite beneficial for realizing your projects. This can, and should start at an early age, and at the time I discovered this book, I was just waking up to the fact that I would have an advantage by knowing where I stood financially in the world.
I recommend this book for the absolute beginner. Any experience in personal wealth management will render this book of minimal usefulness.
Lauren Dukes
Good for info

Good book if all of the info is something you find useful, however I did not need to know a majority of the info in this book.
Okay, honestly I only read the first 2/3 of it, but that much was really good and incredibly useful. I'll eventually want to read the last 1/3 of it but I'm not quite ready to start thinking about the details of stocks and bonds and real estate and insurance yet.

I'm really glad I read what I did, though - the book is well-written and reasonably interesting, and it's definitely time I start thinking more about my "financial goals" and other grown-up things like that.
Oliver Crown
not bad at all
This is a really good book to help you understand how to manage your finances and save money for your future. It gives a positive, step by step approach no matter what financial situation you are in.

What is nice about this book is that the author assumes you do not have a lot of money. He gears his advice towards us working class types. It is easy reading and informative.

Read this book today and get started managing your money or lack thereof.
I liked this book because it made personal finance easy to understand. There were parts that did not apply to my financial situation. Unless you love this type of stuff I would look at the parts of the book that are of interest to you. this was a good start for me on the subject.
Sep 03, 2009 Lauren rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Not so relevant for the person just starting out. Things such as "investments", "the big decision- buying property"...not so much. I find finance books concrtn themselves too much with investing. Also, I don't have the time or energy to figure out my net worth! Over all, I was a little disappointed at how little information I took away.
Otis Chandler
Sep 17, 2007 Otis Chandler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: recent grads
After reading The Wealthy Barber, I figured I could use some more concrete advice on my financial affairs. This book was a good starting place - nothing revolutionary, but pointed you in the right direction.
Danny Bo'itanni
I am a financial professional, so I know almost all of this information. I often need help translating things into laymen terms; so, this is an excellent book for that. 4 stars because I wanted to see more information, but I was informative and I would recommend it to anyone!
"If your clothes aren't lasting at least ten years, you're probably tossing them before their time or buying clothing that isn't very durable." hmmmm........
Edwin B
I would say this is a must-read book for all, young or old.

For me, this helped me think about what to do in the area of savings and investment for my last decade or so of work life left.

But it's also better to read this book in one's 20s or 30s.
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“Some people argue that teaching children financial basics is the parents’ job. However, this well-meant sentiment is what we’re relying on now, and for all too many, it isn’t working. In some families, financial illiteracy is passed on from generation to generation. Education takes place in the home, on the streets, and in the schools. Therefore, schools must bear some responsibility for teaching this skill. However, if you’re raising children, remember that no one cares as much as you do or has as much ability to teach the important life skill of personal money management.” 0 likes
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