Updated on 05.04.07

The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous, And Broke: Buy or Don’t Buy?

Trent Hamm

The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous, and Broke is an attempt by Suze Orman to take personal finance ideas that traditionally appeal to older generations and make them palatable to Generation Y. The back states clearly that this isn’t your parents’ personal finance book, but is there anything really interesting or different about the book that makes it stand out from the crowd? This week, let’s find out!

Suze Orman has found her target niche. In other words, this book is the book to buy if you’re a young person (within two or three years of college graduation on either side) struggling with lots of financial questions. I’ve read tons of personal finance books in the last year and I’ll freely admit that some were better than this one, but none address the issues and questions of a specific age group as good as this one.

In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that I’m already planning on giving this as a graduation gift to two relatives who are approaching their college graduation.

If you’re older than about twenty eight or thirty, there are other books that are much better written that address financial issues from a whole-life perspective rather than focusing in like a laser beam on the college graduate group; try Your Money Or Your Life or The Millionaire Next Door for starters. However, if you’re looking for a graduation gift for a college graduate (or are near college graduation yourself), this book is really worthwhile.

If you’re between the ages of twenty and twenty nine, I give this one a strong buy (or at least a strong “check this out from your local library”).

The Money Book For The Young, Fabulous, And Broke is the sixteenth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.

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  1. Wanda says:

    I read this book from the library and really liked it. Everything was broken down nicely. The chapter about the FICO score was especially helpful.

  2. James' Mom says:

    I love “Your Money or Your Life”. Good book review this week and suggestion about giving Suze Orman’s book as a graduation gift.

    On a separate topic, I had a finance question for you – is it possible to do bill pay from your savings account? Wouldn’t that be ideal? Then you could earn interest on your money up to minute you pay out your bill. Have you ever done research on this, or is this possible?

  3. Wil says:

    James’ Mom

    Sorry to horn in here, but I saw your question. The reason it can’t be done is because of banking regulations (thanks, Congress) which state that savings accounts are just that– savings. Once an account becomes a transaction account (Demand, NOW, Checking, Draft, etc), they are either fee’d heavily, or frozen (6 per month for withdrawals from savings accounts, of which 3 can be automatic).

    Incidentally, 6 comes out to about once a week (average). If you have a pretty good handle on what your bills are, when they are do, etc. and have a comfortable cushion in your checking account you can just do a lump sum transfer for all the bills that will be coming in every week or every month. That’s what I’ve been doing, and because we (spouse and me) are so anal about not bouncing checks and having enough money, it hasn’t been a problem.

    About the post–

    Orman is good at what she’s good at, much of which is selling Orman. This book is pretty good, but it’s not really earth shattering news. Most of it is in her other stuff almost verbatim. That being said, I think young people could benefit from some of the advice within.

  4. imelda72 says:

    Cheers! I completely agree. I wish I had a relative like you, to get it for me for graduation, because I think it’s a great book. (I borrow it from the library frequently)

    Eventually I will just buy it on my own, when I have extra cash. I think Suze does a great job of addressing the needs and worries of people my age, and of clarifying a lot of basics.

    Another thing that’s good about this book is the accompanying YF&B website. You need the code in the book to access it. The site is great, with some FABULOUS message boards, a semi-personalized Action Plan with recommendations of what you should to do improve your finances, and lots of links to forms, other useful websites, calculators, etc.

    If you can’t tell, I’m a big Suze fan. Glad you reviewed this book!

  5. Shauna says:

    I have to admit, as a twenty-something interested in personal finance, I was put off by the obvious attempt to appeal to youth (bright colors, “hip” title, etc.) However, I when I sat down and browsed through it, I found it quite informative and concise. Some investing concepts that hadn’t been clear to me before were well laid out. I’ve recommended this to book to a number of friends who are just starting to understand their finances.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I’m 31 and I LOVED this book. I have heard alot of negative comments about Suze Orman, but I can’t help it, I love her writing style and it’s easy to understand and put her plans into action. I also highly recommend Women and Money.

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