Updated on 05.08.09

Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance On Just One Page – Download My Personal Finance eBook for Free!

Trent Hamm

Download it now – for free!

A long time ago, I wrote a very popular post entitled “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards“. After posting it, several people contacted me and suggested that I try to turn it into a book of some sort.

Over the following year, I tossed the idea around and eventually developed it into a fifty page short book, intending to use it to shop around to various book publishers. I incorporated a lot of original writing, pieces of various Simple Dollar posts, and lots of other interesting elements.

After reading through it a few times, though, I realized: why don’t I just go ahead and share this with my readers and anyone else who might enjoy it?

So, here it is. “Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on Just One Page” is a 49 page personal finance book that weaves together most of my favorite ideas on personal finance and a lot of other goodies into one document. I’m making it available for download under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License, which means that this document is free – you can send it to your friends, put it up on your website, or print it out. You can also use if for commercial purposes – if you want to format it as a book and sell it, feel free. You can also modify the contents to your heart’s desire as long as it’s shared in the same way – any derivative works must also be shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

I only have two requests. One, if you write about this on your website, include a link back to the original source of the document – https://www.thesimpledollar.com/onepage/. Doing this enables new readers to always be able to retrieve the latest version of the document. Two, if you do something interesting with this document (creating something new and compelling with it, use it in a classroom, use it in a major media source), please let me know by dropping me an email.

So, enjoy! If you enjoy it, feel free to pass it along to your friends, print it off, use excerpts in whatever way you like – in short, have fun with it (and hopefully take a bit of the advice to heart).

Download it now – for free!

Loading Disqus Comments ...
Loading Facebook Comments ...
  1. Diane says:

    Thanks so much for sharing such a valuable resource!

  2. Karen says:

    Alright, Trent! Thank you, thank you. I love your blog, just downloaded your E-book and am looking forward to reading it … very generous of you to provide it for free. What a deal :):)

  3. Thanks Trent! Rest assured someone will make money off of your generosity!

  4. leslie says:

    Thank you, this is wonderful!

  5. George says:

    I’d love to download the book, but I get this error:

    “Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on May 7, 2009 @ 00:00 MST”

  6. Lenetta says:

    Hey, Trent? I think you’re a pretty stand up kind of guy. Thanks for doing this!

  7. Charlotte says:

    I got the cart error, too. The download does work if you change the price to something non-zero and pay through paypal.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Also received the cart error message.

  9. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    You guys downloaded a TON of copies in the first hour and overloaded my file host! I put up a temporary download link that should work for the time being.

  10. Rich G. says:

    Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on May 7, 2009 @ 00:00 MST

    lol – I’m getting it too.

  11. Joe says:

    all right trent. overloaded the system. just goes to show how popular. well done!

  12. Sam says:

    I am also having problems with the checkout page.

  13. Pat says:

    I don’t see the temporary download link. Where is it?

  14. Saagar says:

    Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on May 7, 2009 @ 00:00 MST

  15. LaZ says:

    Hey Trent,

    I paid a dollar for the document and I hope 1 million other people do the same! Your posts are very useful and inspiring. Freedom over wealth – I love it.


  16. Dave says:

    LINK doesn’t WORK. Can’t downLOAD the THING.

  17. Jason G says:

    Great work, Trent. It looks like you put a great deal of work into this. As stated before, I’m sure someone else will make a profit from your work; it should be you benefiting from your labors. I do understand why you posted it freely, and all I can say is you are a better man than I for doing so.

  18. Harini says:

    Hey! I can’t download from any of the given links! Can anyone help?

  19. Em says:

    wow everyone must want a copy since both sites seem to be overloaded…

  20. Bill in Houston says:

    Your backup link is down, too.

    Makes you wonder how many folks read your site? “Good that is!”

  21. Gus says:

    Can anyone set up a torrent?

  22. Eric says:

    Crazy! Both links are overloaded. :(

  23. Jake says:

    I was happy to pay the $1 it took to download it today. Will make for a good discussion with my wife tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for your generosity Trent, I know it will come back to you.

  24. Dave says:

    You should make a torrent of this, which would solve these hosting problems pretty quickly!

  25. Derek says:

    I grabbed it before the second link went down. I’d gladly throw it on The Pirate Bay if Trent is ok with it.

  26. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Yes, by all means. This document is freely shareable, far and wide! Feel free to share it via The Pirate Bay and by BitTorrent. I would do it myself but I’m currently not at a computer where I could do this.

  27. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    It’s already been downloaded thousands and thousands of times. I no longer have an accurate count, to tell the truth, but my numbers show almost 10K downloads so far.

  28. Brenda W. says:


    Thanks so much. I appreciate your generosity, but do feel you should benefit from your work. I made a $5.00 payment thru paypal.

    Thanks again!

  29. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    The file is now available on archive.org – follow the link above. It seems to also be available via BitTorrent.

  30. Jonathan says:

    My comment or question is hopefully one that will land on the Reader Mailbag.

    I’m graduating college this May and as I venture into the professional world, I am concerned with building an emergency fund. I have started already (I have $3000).

    This money that I have saved is currently in a money market account. However, what was last years strong offering of 3.00% APY has now quickly become a 1.60% APY and I am now considering looking for an account with a better yield. You advocate always looking for better interest rates, which is something I seek also, but how many accounts should one go through in the pursuit of the best interest rate?

  31. Alan Schram says:

    Hey Trent, have you been reading Zen Habits lately? Decided that the money you might make from selling the book is better spent as free advertising, perhaps?

    Congrats on releasing this copyright free. It takes guts, for sure. But as I can already see in the comments, there will always be people willing to pay money for things they feel are worth it – even if they’re made available for free.

  32. LC says:

    Very cool. But the download process needs improvement.

  33. Debbie says:

    Thank you Trent.
    You are truly amazing – for offering for free this e-book and all the hard-earned wisdom available on your site.
    Best of luck in all your endeavours.

  34. Dee says:


  35. Amit (India) says:

    Thank you for this generosity Trent :)
    You Rock !!

    The book looks cool…

  36. Fabrice says:

    Thank you Trend

    I’m French. I’m sorry for my English but I wanted to leave a comment to thank you for your site that I discovered a month ago. I try to get the gist.

  37. Judy says:

    Thanks so much, Trent. This is the power of “paying it forward” in action.

  38. Atul Moghe says:


    I’ve found that reading your blog is daily essential reading. Keep up the great work! Making this book free is totally cool and I applaud u for that. Continued success and kudos on all your efforts. I have told all my readers that your blog is essential for good financial health..

  39. Chris Booth says:


    Thanks for the download. Just a thought…since the majority of the PDF size is in the images, you could optimize it and get the file size smaller…which would use less bandwidth allowing more downloads. I was able to get the file about 85% smaller by compressing it in Acrobat. If you’d like, I could email you the smaller version.

    Thanks again.

  40. Chris says:

    Can anyone provide the torrent link? The above two options seem to be overloaded.

  41. nw says:

    Thanks Trent! This was a very generous thing of you to do.

  42. friend says:

    Hi Trent– Thank you for offering this!
    One question for you: What the heck is the picture of on page 16? Giant raisins and wrinkly seed pods? Or chocolate cupcakes and deflated balloons? Those are my two guesses, but I bet there is a better answer!

  43. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    friend: the first one is right. They’re seed pods.

  44. Kyle says:

    Lovely, thank you. The simple bit about the massive difference between spending $1k less than you make and $1k more than you make is a lesson it took me four hard years after college to learn. The wife and I thought we were living reasonably by trying to live as if we made $32k/year, but that’ll leave you pretty broke when you only make $28k/year, and after a few years of letting that difference pile up, we were on the verge of evictions and utility shutdowns and showing up in court to explain why we weren’t paying collection agreements. I had a couple paychecks that didn’t even cover the overdraft on my bank account, and boy were those fun weeks.

    Once we finally did learn that lesson (and caught a break that upped our income a little), we started plowing through the debt. $52k in debt (including student loans) has turned into $39k in just nine months, and we stand a good chance of being out of debt by the time we hit 30, something I never thought remotely possible when things were bad.

    Thanks, Trent and all the other people out there taking the time to give free financial educations to those of us who needed it! :)

  45. Jonathan Elliott says:

    Thanks. I have read the book. its great!

  46. Ro says:

    I am having trouble downloading it. Will try again tomorrow. Thank you for your generosity.

  47. Dan says:

    Another way of saving money – for those who travel a lot or don’t want to spend $$ on hotels/hostels: http://www.couchsurfing.org – on the long run it can save you tons of cash.

  48. rkt88edmo says:

    archive.org DL still works for me.

    Trent – it really would be handy to leave a tip jar on the SD front page, I think a lot of “pay what you think the content is worth”, if they are like me, want to pay after they check out the content. Right now that means to pay you have to find the specific post and click back through the download link. More hoops to jump through since there is no easy to find tip jar.

    Thanks again for the simple dollar and the ebook.

  49. Brenda says:

    Thanks Trent. I loved the business card when you posted it before. Very succinct. You might want to spell check & correct before more are downloaded. Yeah. The second sentence…abut?

  50. Nikki W says:

    Thank you Trent. I’m a longer term fan of your thoughtful work. Appreciate you sharing this!! Pleaes let us know how the distribution affects your readership – a true social media experiment.

  51. Alyx says:

    Thanks Trent! Being completely broke at the moment, and a diehard fan of your blog, I appreciate the freebie!

  52. Bill in Houston says:

    I just downloaded the PDF. Wow, that’s one long page :)

    Thanks again. I’ve skimmed it and looks promising. I’ll most likely be downloading your books this weekend.

  53. Josh Moore says:

    Just read through Trent. Great stuff. Keep up the excellent work!

  54. Kay says:

    Wow Trent I remember when you first wrote about that particular post how you had lunch or dinner with someone and you did the presentation on the back of business cards. I LOVED that post and it was all the information that I needed. Now you made it into a mini book. Trent you are the best!!!

  55. Thanks Trent!
    I look forward to reading. As an FYI – the PDF download from your primary source did not allow a free download when I tried. I got an error message noting that the free download will be available again on May 9. Maybe you are still getting a ton of downloads?

  56. operagal says:

    You know what’s really neat, that you would share this with all us readers for nothing. I found your website by mistake and have stayed here by choice. Thank you for sharing your story and for helping our lives be a bit more $ecure.

  57. Mol says:

    On page 9 the footnote links 12 and 13 are mixed up. =S

  58. briston says:

    Thanks for keeping the knowledge free trent, your a modern day info steward and gentleman (also a master of karate and friendship if u ask me).

    Go Share Alike!

  59. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the interesting read!

    FYI, I spotted a typo.
    p.35 penultimate paragraph
    ‘doing just taht.’

  60. Thanks, Trent. While i enjoy reading through your archives, having many of the tips in one place is very convenient. And a great idea.

  61. Wow!

    Great stuff.

    Easy read, and all in one place, too.

    Nice work!

  62. Thanks for sharing… I look forward to reading it!


  63. almost there says:

    Thank you Trent! Hmm, this could replace a couple of rows of library books in the PF section. You should publish it as a pamphlet for the Luddites out there:)

  64. Hi,

    No offense meant to the americans, but In india we never grew up on the notion of living on credits or enjoying on borrowed money. USA is a corporation where this century’s statesmen have ruined the whatever little culture was there. I wonder how you have reached to a point where you have to be taught not to be living off on credit money!

    Boy, this is what a 1st grade student or an infant kid learns–to be neat about belongings. I am from Mumbai, when i was in USA i visited few households, where i was appaled at the items you people have lying uselessly around. So many caps [like 2 dozen] collecting dusts, belts, different shoes, stashes of books, piles of branded CDs.. and from whatever i see in movies, seems the ladies in USA never cook at home! i hope that is not true.

    Yes, India is still not a developed country due to corruption, dynastic-politicians, etc. but the average Indian Joe is far smarter in savings, frugality and conspicuous consumption. Also, in most educated middle class [people who have actually lived well according to the standards] the parents have a lot of retirement funds, most even have a house in their name and other ornaments, jewelery. I guess this is equal comparision because an american earner has much more wage and high standard of living that an Indian middle class earner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *