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Generation Debt: Take Control of Your Money--A How-to Guide Paperback – Bargain Price, January 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus (January 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446695432
  • ASIN: B003F76I9C
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the average college student graduates with $18,560 of debt, almost all of it in tuition loans, and is lucky to find a job that will pay even $28,000 a year, how is he or she supposed to make ends meet? Ulrich, a former projects editor for Money, offers a step-by-step guide on how to budget your monthly expenses, make judicious use of credit cards while avoiding the pitfalls of high interest rates, and find the best way to pay off those student loans. Later sections cover situations like choosing whether to rent or buy a home, getting a car and saving for retirement, and each chapter has links to Web sites with additional resources. Ulrich's advice is simple and to the point, but her efforts to reach a young audience with sarcasm and hip lingo occasionally risk the appearance of talking down to her readers. There's also a slight but uncomfortable strain of resentment aimed toward peers from wealthier families who don't have to grapple with these issues. Ulrich does argue for some big nationwide initiatives, like a higher minimum wage and increased credit card regulation, but she's much more concerned with providing basic solutions to individual financial crises—and delivers the goods effectively. (Jan. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Carmen Wong Ulrich is the host of CNBC's "On the Money," a new one-hour personal finance program, and writes a personal finance blog on CNBC.com. Popular columnist, sought after speaker, blogger and former special projects editor at Money magazine, Ulrich is an authority on personal finance for CNBC, NBC's "Today" show and "Nightly News."

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Customer Reviews

I especially loved the web site listings!
Yexenia Gomez
After reading this book I know there is hope, and most importantly, steps I can take to get myself out of my financial rut.
M.D. Segura
It would be nice if someone who actually knew what they were talking about wrote this book.
Peri Ponzio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
-- Why does Ulrich refer to those aged 18-34 as Generation Debt?

-- Why do the minimums of a college education, cell phone, good car, and the right clothes to interview in, put the average 24 year old close to $30,000 in debt while going after a $30,000-a-year job?

-- Why does this age group think of spending, rather than investing and saving?

-- And what will it take to drive back what Ulrich refers to as "the enemy": debt?

Ulrich does a masterful job of identifying not only the symptoms that tell us we're in up to our ears in bad debt, but also the root causes so that cures can be found. We're treated to up-to-date statistics that let us know that college graduates out earn their high school counterparts by almost 45% on a weekly basis, right here and right now--let alone over a lifetime. She shows that Pell grants that once covered up to 84% of one's college costs now, at most, cover 40%.

But she doesn't let the Generation Debtor off the hook. It is not circumstances that cause debt. It is decisions that cause debt. It is being labeled by lifestyle--hippie boomers, soccer Moms, Nascar dads, and bobos (you'll have to read the book to understand that one!) that causes us to believe that we need, want and deserve certain things.

Ulrich identifies where big debt can come from, correctly points out that the social stigma of debt is largely gone, but that it also starts to hurt, big time. She also points out that there are ways out, however, not as fast as one might like and certainly not as painless. But there are huge perks to getting on the other side of Debt Mountain.

The book is filled with practical helps to create a master plan for getting out of debt along with tremendous resources, many available online.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cheapomaya on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
ever felt depressed about college debt? or overwhelmed about what to do come tax day? or embarrased about not seeming adult enough because you don't know how credit cards work, what the hell a 401K is and a mortgage involves? when you're feeling insecure about such things, sometimes you just don't do anything about it, and that's when you get the $35 credit card charge for not knowing there was an overlimit fee, or you just let your money sit in the bank without growing much...it wasn't until i came across this book that i was finally able to have my money questions answered without feeling inexperienced and behind in the game. it is like a cool older sibling that has your back, with tons of useful information, insightful explanations, and guides you to other internet resources to seek further assistance, plus lets you make your own adult decisions. i highly recommend this to anyone who is feeling at all confused, overwhelmed, stressed out, or alone in this debt-ridden world. this book will be there for you and you'll feel like you're talking to a close sibling/friend that's there to comfort you, not judge you or tell you what to do.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
GENERATION DEBT by Carmen Wong Ulrich will definitely be this season's signature gift for the upcoming college graduates in my life. Her financial expertise and accessible writing style make this book a must-read for young adults aspiring to obtain their goals. The specific how-to information is well organized, detailed and helpful, and her delivery is as comforting and encouraging as chatting with a trusted friend. Useful, timely, smart and witty, this book will enable present and future generations to succeed in organizing their lives in a stress-free and productive manner.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dizziey on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Carmen Wong Ulrich's "Generation Debt: Take Control of Your Money - A How-to Guide," deals with the reason why 18-34 years old Americans are in debt and the primary reason was of course credit cards. The author also provided some basic advice for people who wanted to purchase a vehicle or home, taxes, retirement funds, health insurance and others.

I thought the information in this book was quite basic and would be handy for someone who just started out, or even high school students. Carmen Wong Ulrich also provided some helpful websites for people to learn about the various topics she covered. This was an okay book and I think potential readers are better off getting this from the library.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By VeraP VINE VOICE on May 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading some good reviews, and I wish I paid more attention to the mediocre ones. Admittedly, the book is an easy read, has a good dose of humor and the author relates well to those in their early to mid-20's (mainly because she's a member of this generation). While the book would be useful to high school students and the occasional completely clueless college student, it offers little to no new information to anyone else. (to give perspective, I'm 23 years old, am a recent college grad and am employed full time) Ulrich simply re-stated well known facts - young adults today are broke, they have too many student loans and too much college debt, etc., etc. - and offered cliche advice. There was nothing in this book that I did not already know, i.e. don't default on student loans, pay of high interest credit cards ASAP, and so on and so on. Overall, not a completely useless read, but you're better off borrowing one from the library.
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