The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman is a book I’ve read twice now, after getting such great reviews from my brother and his fiancé about how much they love it and live by it. I didn’t read the book twice because I loved it so much, I did it to make sure I was understanding the overall theme Suze was trying to get across to readers. Now that I’ve taken some time to really digest everything Suze talks about, I’m really disappointed in how she’s ‘guiding’ the young, fabulous and broke to a successful financial future.
Maybe the title is misleading, but I thought the book was going to be geared toward helping young people get their finances in order to set us up for a great future. In reality, Orman consistently pushes readers to get a credit card, pay with credit, use savings, and to borrow money. Granted this is all in the name of following your passion, which I love, but I still think avoiding living above your means and not borrowing money is the best way to build wealth. I don’t want to take too much out of context, Orman really pushes following your dreams and using whatever money you can to make that happen. For those of you have read my 3G3Y journey regularly, you know that I am all about pursuing your passion and making your dreams a reality, but I want to be clear, I do NOT recommend you borrow money to do so. I’m a bigger believer in rolling up your sleeves, sacrifices certain things and working hard to get where you want to be and living well below your means. I suggest exhausting every other opportunity before you decide to borrow money, and even then I can’t think of a situation where I’d suggest borrowing money (but hey, in reality emergencies occur and there will always be situations where you simply won’t have enough money to handle EVERYTHING that comes your way.)
But I digress, back to the book review. I’ve listed below some of the reasons I didn’t like the book as well as some of the things I did like about the book. The book wasn’t awful; I just think the message she’s sending will only get young, broke people further into debt rather than teaching them about alternatives to borrowing money (like making and saving your own).
- Suggests getting a credit card to be able to work a low paying job and gain experience — why not work multiple jobs?
- Suggest getting a department store card when you’re young and to buy 1 item a month to keep the credit score high
- In general she clearly worship’s the FICO Score. If you listen to the Dave Ramsey Show, I’m sure you’ve heard his angry rants about people who do this; the only thing a FICO Score shows is your ability to borrow money and pay it back; it doesn’t reflect your finances or your income. The FICO Score is you’re personal number telling others that you are good at spending other people’s money and not your own…it’s really nothing to be proud of.
- Suggests consolidating loans to lock in a good interest rate. – Didn’t like this because it takes away the emotional factor of attacking your loans (snowballing them) and getting that boost when you pay off one and move to the next.
- She suggests investing all extra money rather than paying off debt.
- Suggests keeping you finances separate whne you’re married and says you’re not on the hook for any debt your spouse acquired before the marriage. – You and your spouse are NOT roommates! In marriage two people become one union, and everything should be combined. If you don’t trust your fiancé enough to combine finances and plan for a future completely united, you should NOT be getting married, probably shouldn’t even be together! I know she recommends only combining finances to pay expenses because of the divorce rate being so high, but I don’t think it’s wise (or respectful) to go into the marriage planning for an easy divorce. As I said before, if you aren’t completely in sync when it comes to finances, you should not be getting married in the first place!
- She suggests getting prenups. – As I mentioned in the last bullet, if you’re going into the marriage already planning for a divorce, you should not be getting married!
- Goes into very deep details about investing and really explains it in the simplest terms so anyone can understand it.
- She gives really sound big-purchase advice (cars, houses, etc.).
- Provides information on what debt collectors can and cannot do.
- She gives a lot of additional resources on her website throughout her book.
- She suggests the snowball method to pay off debt. Suggests paying off the highest interest first, which will keep you paying the least amount og interest in the long run. I don’t use this method, I pay off the lowest balance first, that way I get the emotional winning boost when I quickly pay off debt after debt. It keeps me motivated to continue with my debt plan.
- She assures students with debt that it was a great investment.
- Provides resources and knowledge specifically for new grads.
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5 (highest) I’d have to give this book a 2. She gives good information on making big purchases and investing, but the underlying theme to borrow money to achieve your goals is a big no-no. Also, not sure how many people reading the book would be able to take the investing/big purchase advice because, well….we’re BROKE! The name of the book is misleading, it should have been How to Borrow Money to Achieve Your Goals or something along those lines. In the long run, taking Suze Ormans advice in this book will leave you broker than when you started reading it.