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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on November 9, 2011
I was excited to read this book. I really like to watch Clark Howard on his TV program. However, the only thing I learned from the book that I didn't already know was that I could shake my printer toner and maybe get another week of printing. I was really disappointed in this book.
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on August 4, 2011
Does anybody else see the irony here? Only in consumerist America would we believe that we actually have to BUY something to SAVE money. If the advice in this book were useful then maybe I could understand it. But this is generally yet another self-help book filled with information that most people know already.

His chapters cover the following topics: Cars, Computers and Internet, Consumer Issues, Education and Jobs, Health and Health Care, Homes and Real Estate, Insurance, Personal Finance, Telephones and Television, and Travel. Unfortunately, a lot of his advice consists of silly things like watching free movies on hulu.com or fancast.com instead of renting movies or buying them on ITunes. Doesn't he realize that many people know about these web sites and still prefer to buy or rent movies because the convenience of downloading it instead of having to watch online is worth the $2.99? In some cases, Howard really doesn't know what he's talking about and gives advice that is flat out wrong. For instance he tells people to go to community college for two years before going to a 4 year college because it's cheaper. He neglects the fact that community colleges often cannot offer scholarship or grant aid as the best 4 year institutions can. If you're a top student, you are more likely to get a comprehensive financial aid package at a four year college (especially top ones like Harvard, Amherst, and Princeton) I work in academia and have a lot of experience with law school and graduate school admissions committees. They always look at the rigor of your undergraduate curriculum and sometimes don't look favorably upon a lot of community college classes. Community colleges are a good choice for some people, but saving money isn't a good reason to attend one over a four year school.

As I read through this book, what I realized above all is that there just isn't any free lunch in this world. He points out a variety of different ways to save and/or earn extra money. You can save on insurance by increasing your deductibles; you can earn extra money through volunteering your services on fiver.com or other web sites. But in many cases the things he describes either involve taking on additional risk or spending time that you could devote to your career, your family or your friends. I really wasn't convinced that I would be better off if I followed his advice on many cases, with the possible exception of some of his guidance on buying and insuring cars. I would have liked to see him give a more detailed discussion of investing money in a recession with more unconventional tips.

In the end, the only way to really save money is to draw up a realistic budget and stick to it. A book like this cannot cure anybody's financial woes on its own. The only person who is going to make money from this book is Clark Howard. In the book, he says that he believes that America's economic difficulties will last another five to ten years. If people keep wasting their money on books like this, then that's one thing he'll be right about.
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