How to Get Rich: Wealth Building for the Financially Illiterate by Barbara Friedberg – A Review

There are hundreds of personal finance books out there.  There are so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming.  However, if you’re looking for a straightforward guide who speaks in plain English and wants to help you become a financial success, look no further than Barbara Friedberg.

Barbara Friedberg is a portfolio manager and finance instructor.  She is also the author of the blog, Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.  We can now add to her credentials, author of How to Get Rich:  Wealth Building for the Financially Illiterate.

More and more Americans lack a basic understanding of how personal finance works.  Their parents may not teach them how to make smart money decisions, and they often aren’t learning in school.  As a result, they rack up credit card and student loan debt and find themselves facing financial hardship in their twenties.

It shouldn’t be this way.

Through her book, Friedberg is trying to change the culture.  Her book is a perfect gift for the recent high school or college graduate or for a newly married couple.

If people can start on the right path in their twenties, they can be wealthy as they age.

Are you in your 30s or 40s and are just now cleaning up your finances?  Don’t despair.  You, too, can be wealthy if you follow Friedberg’s steps.

Book Highlights

Friedberg’s first chapter is about debt.  Let’s face it, if you have a lot of debt, you’re going to have trouble becoming wealthy.  Friedberg seeks to help you get out of debt and then stay out.

Her next chapter is about saving.  Saving is difficult for many people.  If the money is available, they want to spend.  Friedberg’s advice is to make your savings automatic and take the thought out of it.  Go to your payroll department, fill out a form, and have some of your pay automatically funneled into your savings and retirement accounts.  After awhile, you won’t even notice that the money is gone, but your savings will be increasing.

After that, Friedberg focuses on how to buy things at the lowest price possible.  Those of you who like the finer things in life will be glad to know that she doesn’t ask you to give those things up.  If you want a BMW, yes, you can have one IF you can afford it and IF you can buy it at the lowest possible price, which means you won’t be buying new.  Friedberg gives strategies for saving on everything from luxury cars to clothes to housing and everything in between.

Friedberg’s book contains basic financial advice that anyone can understand.  However, she presents it in a way that connects with readers and truly makes them think about their financial situation and how detrimental some aspects of it (like carrying debt endlessly) can be to their future.

If you’re the parent of a child whose not good with money or if you want a fresh financial start yourself, I highly recommend this book.  It’s economically priced, and at approximately 100 pages, it’s a quick read, giving you more time to implement her strategies.