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Savings Challenge

Podcast with Ramit Sethi, blogger who started the Save $1000 in 30 Days Challenge

Ramit Sethi, I'll Teach You To Be Rich blog Ramit Sethi


"Just think about what kind of innovation we could unleash if people could do what they were meant to do, not what they have to do." - Ramit Sethi 

Welcome to a Career Success Channel podcast with Peter Clayton reporting. Ramit Sethi is the founder and author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a blog on personal finance and entrepreneurship. His site hosts over 175,000 readers per month and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, and ABC News. His book, "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," will be published in early 2009. He is also the co-founder and vice president of community marketing for PBwiki, a venture-backed online start-up that hosts millions of users per month. Ramit graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, psychology, and sociology.

Ramit's "Save $1000 in 30 Days Challenge"

"You'll notice that I haven't written a lot about frugality on this site," he wrote. "That's because Americans suck at frugality. We spend more than we make. We're terrible at deferring our immediate wants and investing for the long term. We go into debt. And we blame everyone but ourselves... Remember, fundamentally, there are two ways to have more money. You can earn more money or cut costs. If you've been reading this site for a long time, you'll notice that I'd much rather focus on increasing your earning potential, whether through investments or entrepreneurship. I hate talking about frugality because, for most people in America, frugality is hopeless."

Talking Points: Questions Peter Clayton asked Ramit Sethi

  • Ramit, how many people are taking the $1000 challenge?
  • When I contacted Ramit about recording this interview - (hat tip to my friend Penelope Trunk), he suggested asking his readers what they would like to know.

Some great questions

  • What is the demographic of your blog readership AND what demographic (in terms of income) is your challenge aimed at? Mrinalini Kamath New York City
  • What is the most useless thing people try to do to save money (i.e., they think they will save money, but they instead lose money). Investing doesn't count. :) Aaron Thorne St. Louis, MO<
  • Once you've saved 1,000 what should you do with it? straight into savings? Into a CD? Cash under the pillow? Mike Koehler Oklahoma City
  • Why do you care if others get rich? Chris R Rinehart West Des Moines, IA
  • How do you respond to the level of criticism you have received in regards to participants saving money? Many are claiming to save significantly less than you have forecasted. While individual results may vary, do you feel your saving predictions are/were accurate? Alex Furst Columbus, OH
  • If you consider the number of people taking this challenge, the average amount they would have saved so far, and add that all together - how much money has been saved total since you started this challenge? I've saved $360, if that helps. Troy Costlow Chicago

Here are a few tips from Ramit's blog

  • I use a high-interest ING savings account to manage my savings and sub-savings accounts. It's free to open, high-interest, and they don't send me a bunch of crappy junk mail. It just works.
  • I also use Mint to track my spending and get averages for my spending.
  • I use Google Calendar to set reminders for myself in the future.

In Closing

  • You wrote about a couple of very useful web sites -- Bill Shrink and a site called Stickk...
  • In your day job, you're co-founder and VP of marketing for PBWiki - tell us a little bit about this venture.
  • One last question: You want to get rich? you want to get famous? You want to get paid to give speeches? Get a book deal. Ramit, how did you get yours?

Optimize Your Cell Phone Bill

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Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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