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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy guide answers all your money questions - great and concise advice, so much better than surfing the web.
This is a great guide for you, if you're tired of the money management guides out there that assume that you're a complete amateur when it comes to money matters and go about explaining things like how to get a credit card and then use it responsibly. This book answers the questions that you can't usually find easily, especially in one place. To illustrate, the first...
Published on February 1, 2010 by ZenWoman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
several good points
Published 18 months ago by fodraks


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy guide answers all your money questions - great and concise advice, so much better than surfing the web., February 1, 2010
This is a great guide for you, if you're tired of the money management guides out there that assume that you're a complete amateur when it comes to money matters and go about explaining things like how to get a credit card and then use it responsibly. This book answers the questions that you can't usually find easily, especially in one place. To illustrate, the first section on Debt starts with "What is a debt settlement company?" and goes on to tell you what it might cost, some tools you can use to prioritize and pay down your loans and when to walk away from a debt settlement company.

If you're like me, with some money management skills, but often have questions that you put into google search and then find yourself reading random answers from people on yahoo answers, then this is just the book you need. It takes a practical, question and answer approach to each money management topic asking only the most relevant questions and with no talking down. For instance,in retirement the first question is " I have nothing set aside for retirement, how do I begin?" Chatzky then takes you through various options in 2 pages and then goes on to questions like "Is 401(k) better than Roth IRA?" or "I am only 25, do I need to start saving for retirement?" or "I am a married stay at home parent, how do I save?"

The author, who also has a show on NBC's Today show, answers similar questions on her show. It seems many of the questions in the book may have come from questions submitted to her by her viewers as they were not typical questions that would flow from the topic but real life situations that people would want to know more about. Example, the Identity theft section starts with "Could my child be a victim of identity theft?" followed by signs that may tell you if that is indeed the case.

What I liked about the book is the fabulous organization:
-Phone book like indexing in the right hand margin so I can jump right to the section I want to read rather than going through each chapter looking for info.
- Broad coverage of topics - from Debt, Real Estate, Credit, Wills, Paying for College, Budgeting, Saving, Insurance, Retirement, Marriage, Career, Identity Theft, Money and Life (which has questions like tipping, 20% being the new normal for restaurants)
- Concise answers but with the right detail to answer your question - a paragraph rather than a page in most cases.
- "The Math" - quick, back of the napkin type math so that you can make your own calculations . For instance, "Calculate how much an electrical appliance will cost you to run it before you buy it" (in the budgeting section).
- Wherever needed there is a "The Stats" section giving you the basic facts. Example, in Credit section it tells you what range of credit scores get you good credit and then "The Math" section demystifies FICO socre and how it affects a home loan vs auto loan.
- "I also need to know..." section in each chapter that answers common questions that you may have, such as "How do I find a trustee for my will?" or even money etiquette related questions like "How do I avoid splitting a restaurant check down the middle when my party has less people than the other?"
- "Watch Out for" section where needed for example "Minimal withdrawals on HELOCs" in Real Estate/Mortgage section
- "Resources" in each chapter giving websites, phone numbers etc. where you can get more information. The listing of websites was right on, she lists those that give the best and most reliable information. I was familiar with some after some research but still got some great links for sites with fraud/identity theft protection tools which I did not know about.

This is one of the most user friendly and practical money management book I've read as it is designed as a reference guide to answer pressing questions. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for some answers to everyday, real life money questions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Informative, March 17, 2010
Most people are caught in the middle of a huge financial storm that has damaged the financial structures they had built over and lifetime and were depending on for retirement. You may well be one of them. Jean Chatzky from the Today Show offers you sound answers to 130 money questions that may be just what you need to find some solid footing in working your way out of the present crisis. She deals with things ranging from repairing versus buying appliances, where to get the best credit cards, what to ask a prospective divorce lawyer (I hope you NEVER need one), and even tipping. You can see that this book has a broad range of interesting topics. Since you don't have to read this book from front to back, you can find and focus on just those questions that matter most to you.

This is NOT an investment program. Nor does Chatzky offer you a system for getting out of debt and rebuilding your retirement. What she does offer is more immediate and focuses on the emergencies you face right. I particularly like the fact that she is very aware of the way financial predators try to confuse you and offer you dubious help while leaving you worse off financially. She tells you how to identify them, why you must avoid them, and how you can better handle the money issue these snakes are using to pressure you into a bad decision.

The 130 questions are divided into 15 chapters that answer up to date questions on debt, money & life, protecting your family, identity theft & scams, budgeting and trimming your spending, credit, real estate & your mortgage(s), funding college for yourself, kids, and grandkids, insurance, retirement, saving & investing, career & work, taxes, marriage, and life's milestones. There is a helpful index and the edge of the book indicates each chapter by offset black edged pages.

I also like the fact that the author not only answers the each question clearly and helpfully, but she also provides other resources for you to dig into the subject more deeply if you need to.

Surprisingly entertaining as well as helpfully informative.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!, January 13, 2010
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The things I like most about this book is the question and answer chapter formats and the easy to read investment tables.

My daughter is a brand new Mother.. She will be returning to work in 1 month. There is a great chapter in this book re child care deductions and "Questions to ask a nanny /day care provider.."

I ( as an over 50 consumer) especially loved the Retirement and "Saving and Investing " Chapters..

Each of the 15 chapters deals with a different aspect of keeping your personal finances on track in these trying times ...

Jean has scored a winner with this 438 page book full of financial information for all age groups ..Buy it!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One Personal Finance Reference Everyone Should Have, April 17, 2010
So here's the deal: If you're going to have one personal finance book in your home for quick reference, this is the one to go with. There are others that are great for creating a plan, getting motivated, and learning the details of specific topics but, as a reference, this one is going to be really, really hard for anyone to top.

The thing I've always admired about Jean Chatzky, and the thing that sets her apart from so many people in the world of personal financial punditry, is that she really does know her stuff. Her research is very, very thorough, up to date, and solid. She's not winging it, and it shows in this book.

Money 911 is easy to navigate, and there are few financial questions you won't be able to find the answers to in this book. 5 Stars.

Zac Bissonnette
AOL Money & Finance
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, March 1, 2010
By 
Tina "Tina" (Montreal, Quebec) - See all my reviews
I have read a great many books on the delicate subject of personal finance and I have always enjoyed reading Jean Chatzky's book particularly.

Money 911 is really all about considering all your options when it comes to money management. Chatzky tackles the tough subject and then turns it around on you and challenges you to look at your situation and to figure out what would work best for you.

Her book does cover a wide range - from people in the early 20's all the way to those considering retirement which makes it tough in some ways as she cannot spend much time on one particular facet of the population - for this reason, I would suggest that if she writes more books in the future, she consider doing them by "age category" because at my age, I really was not all that interested in reading about how a 25 year old should handle their money.

Other than that, this book is loaded with useful information that will make you stop and take stock of where you are at when it comes to your personal finances and more importantly, how you can get to where you want to be.

Written with a down to earth tone - this book is very, very interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book for everyday money questions, November 17, 2010
I teach money management classes to low-income families and this book has been an extremely useful aid in teaching my classes. It is simple to navigate and read and gives direct answers to some of the most common money related questions. A great buy¡
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4.0 out of 5 stars Right on as usual, February 5, 2010
By 
Betty Monson (Maple Valley, Wa.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Jean Chatzky knows about money! This book is set up so that you can go directly to the topic
you're interested in and skip those you don't need OR you can read it cover to cover. Full of
up to day, spot on advice. My only problem with the book is that the publisher went CHEAP QUALITY
on the interior pages of the book. The paper is rough and the typeset small, making it feel
uncomfortable to read. If you're looking for good money advice, though, this book has it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Wealth of Knowledge, February 11, 2010
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there are tons of places to get information, but this is the most comprehensive and very good with respect to the what sources you can rely on to get some good answers, tips and a good place to start with at any stage of your budget life. I would recommend that everyone have this book in their library. Coupons means you have a budget and Jean writes in such a free style that it is easy to understand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great basic answers!, June 20, 2013
By 
R. Riendl (Anchorage, AK United States) - See all my reviews
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If you have no idea, are just starting out, or suddenly find a family issue about money, this is a great book. She spells out in standard Q&A format, the answers to most financial questions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handy, a keeper, January 2, 2013
By 
DJS (Michigan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved (Paperback)
This is a good reference book and even though years go by, there's lots of info that you can use and use. I bought one for a gift for my friend.
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Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved
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