Book Review: The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

First, let me say that I used to find the Suze Orman Show really annoying. I guess the main thing was her habit of asking a question, and then say “Now, you say XXX, but what you REALLY mean is XXX? Now let me guess, your husband/wife/lover actually does XXX”. Inevitably, the caller agrees with her, calls her a genius, and promises to do better. Yay Suze.

So, it took me a while to want to read The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. Actually, it took the library a while to lend me this book. I was like #88 on the waiting list or something. Then two weeks ago I was notified that it was being held for me. Yay for libraries with online hold systems.

Anyways, you were looking for a review? Well, this book is basically another Personal Finance book with a couple tweaks and simplified talk for us young’uns. It is organized into a question & answer format, covering topics like student loans, FICO scores, and getting started in investing. It is targeted, obviously, towards the Young, Fabulous(?), and Broke. The broke part almost stopped me from reading 10 pages into the book as she says “…if you didn’t have credit card debt and you already had an eight month emergency cash fund, why would you have picked up this book?…”

Good question. I put the book down for a week. But then I figured, 75+ other people are waiting for me to return this book, so I’d better hurry up and read it.

This book is suppoed to be different by offering you different, realistic advice as compared to other books. The main way she does this is by saying it’s ok to use credit cards and acquire credit card debt when you are young and trying to get by early in your career. To this, I say… meh. It’s all about choices. I lived on less than $20k a year, in one of the most expensive places in the country. She does provide some options like getting a roommate, buying less, going out less, etc. Most of the other advice is pretty standard, but good nonetheless if you haven’t heard it.

She does offer a good piece of advice, which is to ask yourself: is the purchase worth double or triple the cost? i.e. would you pay $450 for those $150 jeans? No. (I pay $20.) Would you pay $3 for that $1 loaf of bread? If it was $3 everywhere, yes. I do something similar using the Rule of 72, with retirement in mind.

Overall, if you don’t own a personal finance book and want some tips, try getting this book. Suze does put things succintly, which I appreciate. She has a way of talking which people really seem to like. I’m just jaded because I’ve read too many of these books. No more retirement/budgeting/personal finance books for me. I’m moving onwards to business-starting and real-estate investing books.


  1. can’t wait to see some of your revies/recommendations on RE investing!

  2. I picked this book up last week as the local supermarket had it for under $18. Read it this weekend. It’s a FAST read. Some parts of it weren’t terribly helpful to me, others were rehashing things I had already learned elsewhere. But I did learn from it. As I got deeper into the book I found more information that is relevant to my situation. I’ve been out of college for 6 years now and don’t live/work in a major metro area so I’m not trying to be “fabulous” and I’ve not been terribly “broke” (probably as a result of not trying to be “fabulous”) – my wife & I are just trying to A) get ahead and B) get to where we can own our own home.

    The sections on insurance and home buying were good though, and I’ll definitely be looking into that stuff mroe.

  3. Catie Fitzgerald says:

    In regards to “business starting books”, I highly recommend Secrets of the Young & Successful by Jennifer Kushell and Scott M. Kaufman. These young authors provide innovative and highly actionable advice on how to create your own business. This book has tons of exercises to help you build your “Grand Plan”. I’ve read 100’s of books on starting a business. On every page I learned something new!


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