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on March 25, 2006
-- 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. It also shows how to get money working for you, instead of simply working for it.

Armchair Interviews says: For parents of 18-34 year olds, this book is a great gift--but only when you've bought it for yourself and begun applying the principles to your own debt!
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on February 5, 2006
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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VINE VOICEon May 15, 2007
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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on February 10, 2006
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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on April 29, 2006
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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on February 4, 2006
I originally got this book to help out me and boyfriend, but as friends came over, this book quickly became a point of conversation ... and soon after passed through a number of hands. Should I lease or buy a car? What health insurance plan is right for me? This book helps you come to thoughtful conclusions without the frustration and difficulty of searching out answers all on your own.

However, above all. I think the clear organization, inclusion of website links, and DTE but fun language is really what makes this book stand out amongst other How-To books. Highly recommended.
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on February 3, 2006
Thanks Carmen for writing a useful book! Probably like alot of other people out there, I feel like "the system" is determined to keep you in debt. With the tips and advice in this book I not only understand more of the terminology used in the finance world, but I feel like I can get my life back. Stop that feeling that "the man" controls my checkbook and my future. What makes it special is the language; it is easy to understand and, can it be possible, it is actually educational and entertaining at the same time! Two thumbs up!
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on January 4, 2006
Student loans, high rent, and car insurance? Sometimes I'd feel so overwhelmed that I'd dream about my debt. After reading this book I know there is hope, and most importantly, steps I can take to get myself out of my financial rut.

I like that Carmen (you feel like she's your long-lost friend after Chapter 2), has been where I've been, so it's not like some high and almighty financial advisor is wagging his finger at you. A definite read for anyone who's wondered how to pay next month's utility bill.
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on February 3, 2006
This book could not have come out at a better time! I think most young adults who find themselves in debt postpone doing something about it because they don't know where to start. Generation Debt by Carmen Wong Ulrich is the starting point. Another great thing about the book is that it isn't boring and it's very to the point. Who knew that a book about debt could be funny! Instead of making you cry about your financial struggle she'll leave you laughing! Parents, this is the perfect graduation gift!
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on November 11, 2006
I am 25 and considering my knowledge of this subject matter to be above average. I wish I'd had this in college or even in high school. This book doesn't try to solve your problems but to help you understand what is going on and what can be done about it. I have a brother in college and sister in high school. They will both be getting a copy from me. It is a great reference tool. It's not that the book is groundbreaking, but the author is very good at telling you only what you need to know. She translates everthing for the common person.
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