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Ask Any Question and Ramit and I Will Discuss the Answers

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Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich is currently putting the final touches on his first published book, aptly named, I Will Teach You to Be Rich. He’s probably tweaking the final paragraphs as I write this. Ramit’s new book, which will be released on March 23, includes a few pages I’ve contributed focusing on smart ways to get out of debt. As long-time readers might guess, my contribution focuses on what I’ve been calling the Debt Avalanche, but doesn’t stop there. There is so much more in this book, and I’m planning to write a full review. But the two of us have more plans, including something we think is going to be fun.

Ramit and I are setting up a one-hour call to answer reader’s questions about absolutely anything, no holds barred. Of course, the call will focus on personal finance, including saving, investing, debt, budgeting, just about anything you can name if it’s related to what people need to know about money. I’m looking forward to this chat, I imagine the two of us on the phone are going to be quite entertaining.

We’ll be making a recording of this phone call available as an MP3 to certain readers, and details concerning how to receive the recording will be forthcoming in the next two weeks. Until then, Ramit and I want to get started on planning the discussion so we need your questions. You can ask more than one, and feel free to be creative. Either leave your questions here as a comment below this post, or, if you’d rather not share just yet, email your questions directly to me (flexo at this domain name).

Ask your questions now and listen to Ramit and I discussing the answers in a few weeks.

Updated May 5, 2014 and originally published March 11, 2009.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out on there financial journey, what would it be?
What should America do to ensure future generations are adequately prepared to handle money, and their finances?

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avatar 2 Anonymous

I’d like to hear your thoughts on dating. I know many of us guys are tempted to take a girl out to fancy dinners and buy expensive gifts, but what are some ideas you have about frugal dating? I guess a lot of it depends on the girl’s personality and if she is comfortable just staying in and cooking dinner for example. What frugal dates have you been on? Any success stories?

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avatar 3 Anonymous

At what point does one know that he or she is saving too much? Put another way, what factors should somebody look at to ensure that they aren’t sacrificing their happiness in the present by saving too much for the future?

Lots of people have the opposite problem (spending too much today and not savng enough for the future), so what I think you should discuss is how somebody can strike a good balance between spending for today and saving for tomorrow.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

What is one financial move you made, when you were younger, that you most regret?

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Would either of you be willing to post a “Cribs” like video of where you live? I think the greatest insight into ‘systems’ is learning more about the people ‘preaching’ them. I’ve gotten lots of great ideas about how to make life faster, easier, more efficient, and what not just from visiting friends to see how they live in their house/apt. If I can get that from them, imagine what doing that at your places could accomplish!

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avatar 6 Anonymous

What’s a personal finance topic where you don’t practice what you preach? (This one is for both of you!)

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avatar 7 Anonymous

I’d like to ask about putting together a real, workable budget. Sure, you can analyze your spending for months, and figure out ways to cut costs, but I always seem to end up doing a lot of guessing. How can we discover what is reasonable? For example, what is a reasonably frugal grocery budget for a family of three? What’s a reasonable amount of money to save for car repairs or other occasional expenses? What’s a reasonable amount to spend on clothing? I find that our budget is already necessity-based…very little to purchases or entertainment or the like…so finding even more ways to cut back is a challenge.

I’d also like to ask about the role of faith or values when it comes to spending. I, for example, would like to purchase locally produced, sustainably-grown food. However, it is cost-prohibitive. I would like to send my daughter to a school which will infuse her with values of sustainability, sharing and interdependence. It is cost-prohibitive. I would like to be sure that my home is energy-efficient, using a minimum of non-renewable resources, and a reflection of what is most important. This, too, is cost-prohibitive. How can we balance sustainability with the “luxury” of living more sustainably?

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avatar 8 Anonymous

You use the term “rich”, a word that carries many different connotations. How does one know when he or she is “rich”? Can it be measured objectively? If so, how? Or, if it is a subjective state of mind, how would you describe it?


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avatar 9 Anonymous

I’m a veterinarian that recently graduated with 130K in student loans. What should be my top priority, paying off the loans or saving up money for a house? Or should I devote 50% of my available funds to both endeavors at the same time?

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avatar 10 Anonymous

Here’s my situation: I am 13 years into a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 6%. (I refinanced once, about 10 years ago, down from 7%.)

I have been aggressively prepaying the mortgage since day 1 and have a balance of $65,000. If i continue prepaying with an extra $425 monthly, i will have the thing paid off in 7 years, at age 56. My goal then is to pour all the money i’m now paying toward the mortgage with prepayment ($1500 monthly) into retirement savings.

I’m single and have no other debts besides the mortgage.

Does this strategy of continuing to make prepayments make better sense than refinancing and having to spend $3 or $4,000 at closing? (My credit score’s 780, so that’s not an issue.)

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