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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Personal Finance in your 20s and 30s, Third Edition Paperback – May 3, 2005

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah Young Fisher is the president of Kuntz Lesher Capital, LLP, an estate/financial planning consulting firm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the author of “Your Money,” a column in Consumer Digest magazine. She is a certified financial planner, a chartered financial consultant with the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and a certified financial services counselor, and has a Master’s degree in financial services. She is a co-author of Everything You Need to Know About Money and Investing and The Complete Idiot’s Guide‚ to Personal Finance in Your 40s and 50s. Susan Shelly is a freelance writer, researcher, and editorial consultant, and a former newspaper reporter and columnist. Her other works include The Complete Idiot’s Guide‚ to Personal Finance in Your 40s and 50s and The Complete Idiot’s Guide‚ to Money for Teens.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 3 edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592573320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592573325
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,069,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Rana on March 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book covers EVERYTHING from saving money, moving out on your own vs. staying home, budgets, taxes, debt, your credit, insurance, buying vs. leasing a car, renting vs. buying a home, investing from 401k's, mutual funds, IRA's, CD's, marriage, and buying a house. As a 22 year old, out of college about 2 years and on my own just as long who knew very little about any of this, I found this book to be WONDERFUL and very useful. It really walks you through all of the important milestones that you will have in your 20's and 30's. It is actually one of the best books I have ever read and all my friends are impressed with my new Financial knowledge. After reading it I feel I really have a game plan for all the hurtles that I have not yet passed. I do have to stress that it is just for beginners and people who pay little to no attention to their finances past this month. OUTSTANDING BOOK! LOVED IT!
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By David Bennett VINE VOICE on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Okay, I am not an idiot by most standards. I do have a Master's Degree and certificates telling me honor societies let me join them. However, despite all my specialized studies, I learned very little about finances, investments, and economics. Since I try not to discuss things I know little about, at parties I avoided these topics. However, party-talk aside, the major benefit to knowing about finance is that it can help you plan you and your family's future.
Fisher and Shelly have compiled a very easy to read and direct book. I am a beginner, and felt as if I grasped most of what I read. Some of the material was even basic for me. They discuss bank accounts (compound or simple interest?), credit (annual fee or not?), personal budgets (do you need that $.70 Coke out of the machine everyday?), investments (CD here is not compact disc!), Housing, and much more. They cover every important aspect of personal finance for younger people approaching middle age. They make use of some quizzes so you can evaluate your financial know-how. The book will even pay for itself if you follow the 40 ways to save 10 dollars a week section. I have used many of their tips already. I recently (finally) got a credit card in order to establish my credit, but was sure to shop around using the web pages they provided.
Overall, this is not an advanced book, but it does cover the basic points. Some points might seem very simple and commonsense, but many of us have not had any education in financial matters. If you are in your 20s and 30s and feel like you have no financial guidelines or knowledge (as I did), this book should get you started in the right direction.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Financial Guru on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I think this is the absolute best book out there for members of generation X. The ideas are presented in a clear and easy to understand way. I have purchased three copies of this book and keep loaning it out to friends. I have read many others including Personal Finance for Dummies, Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Rich, and Investing for Dummies, but this is the best by far. If you are looking for a personal finance book and are under age 40, try this one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wendi R. Smith on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is great - I would recommend it to anyone looking to create a budget and be more cognizant of their spending habits, etc. The only problem I had with it was that it seemed to presume that the reader has already graduated college, and has student loans to pay off. My situation is different in that I am still IN college (as an older student). I'm trying to learn how to incorporate rent and daily expenses along with the specific financial issues that college students find themselves faced with. It would have been helpful to see some really specific advice regarding things like grocery shopping, deciding whether one should stick to a cell phone or add a land line, as well, or maybe some financial aid resources.

That aside, I don't regret purchasing the book, and I've gotten a lot out of it in spite of its lack of info that would have been more useful to me.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Grant on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a member of Gen-X with absolutely no personal financial management skills, I was delighted to find this book. Despite being a reasonably intelligent person, I didn't know how to budget or balance my checkbook, much less tell the difference between an IRA and a mutual fund. Personal Finance turned out to be an invaluable resource. It explains things clearly and concisely, and has information from the most basic topics (like budgeting) to purchasing homes and building retirement funds. I'd be lost and much worse off financially without this book.
However, there is one fundamental flaw: while the book's target market are those in their 20's and 30's, oftentimes the book comes across as meant for a much younger audience, and manages to be extraordinarily condescending and trite as a result. Especially in the beginning chapters, the tone often slips from being impartially informative to a desperate and misplaced effort to be "cool." Fisher and Shelly would have done much better to leave the outdated jargon and simplistic metaphors out.
Overall, this book is a valuable resource for the financially incompetent. It takes a little to get past the juvenile references, but once you do, it proves to be a great starting point for learning how to manage your money.
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