I have a very low tolerance for fluff and BS. So here’s my “No BS Guide to Personal Finance & Entrepreneurship”!
Who Is This For?
This guide is for beginners - people who have just started learning about personal finance and entrepreneurship. It’s for those who are sick of the bullshit no-substance advice and products being flogged at the 21st Century Financial Education Summit.
This guide is for those who want to take immediate action and get real results towards success and becoming financially educated.
Automate Your Personal Finances
No one keeps a budget or keep track of their expenses. Even though I’m an accountant & a finance geek who track my finances, I still automate my personal finance because it gives me the peace of mind that I will have enough money for the rent at the end of every month and I will be able to pay all my utility bills that come once every 2-3 months. I don’t have to worry whether I’ll be able to afford to service my car and pay car insurance because they’re all taken care of!
This is an actionable idea that you can implement IMMEDIATELY! Unlike the products being hawked at the summit, you don’t need any capital or any significant amount of research to do this. Get started by reading Ramit Sethi’s guide to automating your personal finances.
For Australian readers, here are the bank accounts I personally use:
- NAB Classic Banking - everyday banking with no monthly account fees!
- NAB iSaver - temporary parking account for my salary and general expenses (not an essential account to have, but I use this in my automatic cash flow system).
- UBank - no-fee high-interest savings account that supports up to 10 sub-accounts for you to allocate funds to different areas. This is where I allocate money for rent, utilities, car, education, savings, emergency funds, discretionary expense, etc.
Do you have a question on how to automate your personal finances? Email me!
contact [at] enochko (dot) com
Buying a House
Real estate is outside my area of expertise, but I recommend checking out Ramit Sethi's fantastic collection of articles on buying a house!
Recommended Reading on Personal Finance
I Will Teach You To Be Rich - by Ramit Sethi
The title of the book sounds like a scam, but I guarantee that it is NOT a scam and is very educational and enlightening. This book is structured as a 6-week program to get your personal finances in order. In particular, I would recommend reading week 1 on credit cards, week 4 on conscious spending, week 5 on automatic money flows, and week 6 on investing choices.
Still worried? Check out excerpts from the book here - Introduction & Chapter 1: Optimize Your Credit Cards.
A word of warning - the chapter on investment accounts is contains US-based information, such as 401(k), Roth IRA, etc. Those specific accounts may not be relevant for Australian and other international readers, but the principles still apply.
Entrepreneurship and Starting Your Own Business
If you are just starting out and have absolutely no ideas about businesses, the language of business can be quite overwhelming. There are, literally, tens of thousands of books and millions of articles you can read online.
The curse of expertise means that I can’t really say where a beginner should begin learning about business. My knowledge came from reading over 50 books, hundreds of magazine articles and thousands of online articles and blog posts and accumulated business knowledge through half a decade of practical experience. I can’t possibly remember the point when I started to understand business.
That said, if you can only read ONE book, I would recommend The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman. He has distilled the building blocks of business into hundreds of 2-3 page easy-to-understand mental models. Josh’s book covers everything from “what is a business?” to marketing, sales, finance, psychology and systems. Once you get the big picture about business, you can dive in read further to develop in-depth knowledge in each area.
This book will help you even if you don’t want to starting your own business. Businesses are the primary driving force in our economy. Even if you have no interest in starting your own business, understanding how businesses work will help you understand how the world works.
Recommended Books for Australia and New Zealand
If you are a reader from Australia and New Zealand, Amazon UK is currently offering FREE shipping for purchases over £25 (offer ends October 31st, 2011). To buy the books I recommended, use these links to go to Amazon UK:
high shipping costs from US.
If you don’t have any particular book you want to buy on Amazon UK, then I would recommend buying The Boglehead’s Guide to Investing (£11.69) to learn about investing in shares.
If you read blogs, I recommend using Google Reader to subscribe to RSS feed from blogs. If you don’t want to use a RSS reader like Google Reader, then you can subscribe via email.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich - by Ramit Sethi.
- Seth’s Blog - by Sethi Godin.
- A VC - by Fred Wilson. In particular, I recommend reading his Monday MBA series.
- Paul Graham’s Essays.
Follow on Twitter
- Enoch Ko - Me! I share useful articles on business.
- Ramit Sethi - Personal finance, entrepreneurship, psychology and behavioural change.
- Daniel Pink - Author of Drive, posts lots of useful links.
Like what you’ve read? Interested in reading more? Sign up to my mailing list now!
I publish my recommended reading for entrepreneurs every week. I have a soft cap of 5 articles per week, so you won’t be overwhelmed with things to read.
Note that my recommended reading may be quite advanced - I pick them for people who are entrepreneurs and run their own business. But even if you are a beginner and you don’t fully understand the articles, they are still useful for you - because they tell you where the gaps in your knowledge are so you can go fill in those gaps!
If you are interested in starting your own business, please complete this survey and I will contact you for a free consultation to help you get started.
If you already operate your own business but don’t know how to take it to the next level, email me with your details for a free consultation:
contact [at] enochko (dot) com
Enoch Ko is an accountant based in Melbourne, Australia.
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