As you guys know, I’ve been reading money books (#finlit) throughout my personal finance journey. I’ve found that reading personal finance books keeps my motivation up, plus there’s always more to learn. Recently, I finished Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young Fabulous and Broke – her book devoted to helping millenials/me.
I haven’t read any of Ms. Orman’s other books, but this was definitely a good personal finance primer. It covers everything from how to get a job that will pay your bills to buying your first house. It also has whole sections devoted to your credit score, how your relationships can affect money, and when it’s okay to use your credit card on living expenses – which is awfully refreshing since most #finlit authors tend to tell you to never ever use a credit card and just live in a box instead.
As a breakdown, the book has 10 chapters, covering: credit scores, career issues, credit cards, student loans, savings, retirement, investing (VERY helpful to someone like me), buying a car, buying a house, and relationships.
For me, these were a couple of the highlights:
Remember, this debt was for a truly necessary and worthwhile cause: your education.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Suze’s section on student loan debt was just what I needed to finally get over how sad I felt about having $150k in loans. She goes over the usual: student loans may be the best investment you make in your life, because a college degree increases your earnings potential by a large amount. But she also talks about how to decide whether going back to school is right for you and how to transfer your college degree to an entirely different career than you’d planned. Suze reminds you of the actual benefits to your degree (whether it’s being used or not) and she gives advice on how to make your education work harder for you.
Saving is for a short-term goal that you hope to reach within five years or so. Investing is for the long term.
The section on saving is pretty generic, but she does a good job tailoring the problems to my generation (twenty-somethings). For instance, one of the featured questions is deciding whether to put extra money towards savings or paying off your credit cards (hint: the savings/interest rate gives you the answer). What I liked about her savings section though is that it is just sensible. Everything in here made sense and is something you can put into practice right now, no matter your current circumstances.
When you say “I do,” one of the vows should be that you understand that you are taking on the financial behavior of your spouse.
I’m about to move in with my boyfriend, so this section really hit home for me. The whole point is to make sure you and your SO are on the same page financially before you move in together. This chapter is especially great if you’re in a relationship that’s not incredibly serious yet, but you want some guidance on how the finances will work if you do take the plunge. Her section on how to divide household expenses was also really helpful, and includes a practical formula for deciding how to split bills. Lastly, her advice on refusing to date someone that doesn’t fit with your financial values was just funny.
Overall, if you’re on the younger side, just moved out on your own, or a recent college grad, then I highly recommend this book. Skip the weird youth lingo (and serious overuse of ‘YFBers’) she tries to use and just take her advice – it’s pretty solid.
P.S. Every library I’ve been to has this book in paper and/or e-book format, so save your money and use the library!