I’m reading 50 books that I’ve chosen while blindfolded this year.
One down, 49 to go.

I decided to start the year off with a couple self-improvement books, so I blindfolded myself and picked one from the self-help section at Pioneer Book, and this one from the personal finance section.
Suze Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke was an easy but informative read.

Things I didn’t like:

  • I do not fit into the target audience for this book, but then again, I was blindfolded when I picked it, so it’s partly my own fault, partly fate’s.
  • Suze Orman is old and when she uses phrases like “my Roth crush”, it makes me uncomfortable.
  • “I know it’s not fun to scale back, but it’s just temporary.” I don’t like that she doesn’t encourage lifestyle changes or paradigm shifts.
  • The chapter titled “Screw Budgets”.
  • And this chapter heading: “You will never truly be powerful in life until you are powerful with your own money.”

It seems like Orman is focused on an audience that wants to be fabulous, something I’m no good at doing. Orman says to cut back by going to the movies twice this month instead of every weekend; I say that you should probably go to the movies this year if you feel like living it up. Her advice just isn’t the money-saving advice that I’m looking for at this stage in my life.

That said, there were plenty of things I did end up liking by the time I got to the end of the book

Things I did like:

  • Orman has an almost overbearing emphasis on not screwing up your credit score. I am personally not a fan of credit cards at all, but I know and recognize that I’m an outlier for it. If you do use a credit card and have a FICO credit score, her advice will help you keep your score as high as possible.
  • In her introduction, she acknowledges that general advice in a book will not be applicable to every person, and she directs readers to her website suzeorman.com, where the YF&B can get personalized advice.
    She also tries her best to keep up with the times. Instead of the YF&B tab on her website, all those functions have been redirected into an app, available here. If you’re really interested in getting connected with this app, there is login info inside her book.
  • While she encourages credit cards, borrowing, loans, etc., she makes it clear that you should never resort to bankruptcy to “fix” your money problems.
  • She encourages credit cards, but reminds you that “The true cost of a purchase can be double or triple…if you pay only the minimum amount due and have a high interest rate.” She recognizes the dangers of credit cards and teaches her readers how to access the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.
  • More than anything else, she has some excellent advice on big-ticket purchases like a house or a car. One recommendation she has before buying a house is to take your potential mortgage cost and subtract your current rental cost. Deposit that difference into a savings account on the first day of the month for six months. If you have trouble making those payments on time, then you’re not ready to buy the house you’re looking at.

All in all, the book was good. The drawbacks came from choosing a book with my eyes closed, and had I taken a few moments to browse the personal finance shelves, I might have found something more tailored to my situation.

3.5 stars. Not bad, Suze.

As far as personal finance books go, I recommend Suze Orman to anyone who thinks that it would be a big sacrifice to go get their hair cut every 8 weeks instead of every 6 weeks, and anyone looking to start investing or making a big-ticket purchase.millionaire next door

For the penny pinchers out there, I recommend Dave Ramsey (anything really) and Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door.

For those looking to invest and create multiple sources of income, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad books might be more up your alley than Suze Orman.