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290 of 295 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this required reading in high school?
How many people graduate from high school and even college within knowing the basics of financial literacy - deciphering credit ratings, maintaining and balancing a bank account, getting through college with a minimum of student debt, making the most of that first job and, eventually, buying a home and planning for retirement?
Orman strives to close this "financial...
Published on March 13, 2005 by Kcorn

versus
91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you own other Suze books or watch her show, I would pass on it...
Personal disclosure: I love Suze Orman. I am not sure why I do, but I do. It's just organic. I watch her show, and I own several of her books.

That is why, with great expectations, I bought an advance copy of her book YF&B. Now, I am not saying it's bad or anything. It's just, well, OK. If you own her other books, she doesn't really say anything that new...
Published on December 22, 2005 by J. Newton


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290 of 295 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this required reading in high school?, March 13, 2005
How many people graduate from high school and even college within knowing the basics of financial literacy - deciphering credit ratings, maintaining and balancing a bank account, getting through college with a minimum of student debt, making the most of that first job and, eventually, buying a home and planning for retirement?
Orman strives to close this "financial illiteracy" gap by providing invaluable info for those just starting out - although I found plenty of information I needed to know as well - and I'm well outside the "young and broke" range she seems to be targeting.
The info is not only cutting edge but many of the websites have NOT appeared in other books. One example of how new the info is: Orman notes the recent changes in credit rules noting that EVERYONE has access to a FREE credit report once a year.
Because she knows younger adults may be intimidated by a ton of financial info, Orman (wisely) delivers her advice in innovative, user-friendly ways. Each page is short, easy to read and yet chock full of info. In short, she doesn't waste words.
Each section is launched with a Lowdown on what will be covered in the chapter and there is a quick summary at the end with checklists to make sure readers know what they shouldn't have missed. A Glossary at the back of the book explains some of the more complex terms. Important website resources and key terms are boldfaced in green, a great asset when looking for important info.
Reading this book could help young people avoid many pitfalls, since Orman covers the basics such as:
* Understanding that all important credit rating and deciphering your FICO score

*Making a small paycheck stretch as far as possible while maximizing opportunites for career advancement.

* A special area on her website where buyers of the book can get UPDATES on info in the book and CONNECT with others on message boards, a great way to get info and share viewpoints (and Suze stops in regularly to answer a few select questions, giving readers an opportunity to have her answer YOUR questions)

* Current websites to get information quickly and fill in gaps. She even notes that readers can now get their FICO score FREE once a year, valuable information that is on the cutting edge of new legislation. This info alone could well be worth the price of the book.

* The rignt and wrong way to handle student debt

* How to start investing and the best funds for ROth IRAs and 401(k) accoutns.

* Buying a car, auto insurance and a home.

I consider this MUST reading for anyoone just starting an independent life and this will definitely be at the top of my gift list for any high school or college graduate. What better gift than to give someone the tools for an independent and financially secure future?
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114 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD EVEN FOR US FORTY-SOMETHINGS, March 10, 2005
I haven't watched Suze on TV for that long but she always seems to make sense and what's more, common sense when it comes to making financial decisions. I guess I am a bit outside of the age range that this is intended for being in my early 40's but I still found a lot of very valuable information inside. Granted the book is squarely aimed at younger people who have just gotten out out college and are maybe a few years or more into their careers and faced with the bills of student loans. The information though is of great value to me as my first child is only 5 years away from going to college and the information about financial assistance was invaluable.

Thus while the information inside my not help me directly, I think it sets up a wonderful plan that we can use to its fullest extent when my son starts college as well as the years after. This is always a very hard time, especially when "kids" get their first lines of credit and often make the same extent of forgetting that at some point the bills have to be paid. I had some $15,000 in credit card debts, small compared to many I know, when I was in my early 30's and now have less than $2,000 which is very manageable. If i had had this book 15 years ago I might not have found myself in such a rough position. And certainly had I had the book I would have taken the advice about retirement plans much earlier than I did. As Suze puts forth, getting that 401K setup as early as you can will make life much easier down the road. Great Book!
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you own other Suze books or watch her show, I would pass on it..., December 22, 2005
By 
Personal disclosure: I love Suze Orman. I am not sure why I do, but I do. It's just organic. I watch her show, and I own several of her books.

That is why, with great expectations, I bought an advance copy of her book YF&B. Now, I am not saying it's bad or anything. It's just, well, OK. If you own her other books, she doesn't really say anything that new here.

Plus, she's pandering to a "young" demographic. I'm 29yo, and it's clear she knows nothing about my life. She should just be giving advice without relying on this gimmick-y format that basically just repeats what she writes in her other books and says on her show. Her "new" advice for the YF&B generation is that it's OK to have credit card debt for new "good" debt. Ummm, duh? Having credit card debt is practically a necessity, and I didn't need Suze to tell me that.

Also, her on-line system is really poorly done. It's clunky, and the so-called personalised advice that it gives is repetitive of the stuff she writes in her book and says on TV.

Even so, if you don't own other Suze books and want a leg-up on finances, I would recommend it.

If you own other Suze books and/or watch her show regularly, I would take the money that you were going to spend on this book and give it to MasterCard.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Ain't Your Parents' Money Book, March 16, 2005
By 
Suze's book caught my eye as I was browsing my local bookstore. Young, Fabulous, and Broke is the perfect descriptor for my life right now. The cover price was ridiculous--why ask $25 for a book for broke people? Because the first thing you read in the book will make you at least that much back.

I've read dozens of personal finance books that tell you how to "just save" this much money and how life is better when you can just control your spending. Until this book, there has been nothing out there on what to do when you already are controlling your spending, and you can't make ends meet.

Suze offers advice on how to find out your credit score, how to keep it pristine (the drilldown of the components of the FICO score and how you can take advantage of each part is just fantastic). She doesn't say, "Pay off your balance every month," because she knows that a lot of the younger crew just honestly can't do that. This is about how to manage your debt, realistically, how to bank on career advances, how to understand everything from credit scores to government bonds to mortgages to 401(k)s and IRAs.

This is the book that will tell you when to prioritize saving over paying down debt, when to withdraw money from your savings and which savings, and to pay for what, how to understand the fine print on all those applications for this money fund and credit card, and what pitfalls to avoid. This is the book that generation broke has been waiting for.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish it were common sense, March 7, 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (Jefferson City, MO) - See all my reviews
I purchased this book because I work for a student loan and financial literacy nonprofit organization. Having reviewed the student loan chapter of the book in its early stages, I was interested in the final product.

Not being so young or so broke (of course, I'm not satisfied with my money, but am better off than many), I still enjoyed and respected this book. It is written appropriately for this audience and addresses a number of hot topics.

Before considering this review, I read several others. Many indicated that Suze's advice is just "common sense". If only this were true. Unfortunately, studies show that the average student graduates from high school lacking basic financial literacy skills. To them, "balancing a checkbook" means using a calculator to ensure your adding and subtracking is correct. Even worse, a small percentage of the population thinks that checks in their checkbook mean they have money to spend!

Knowing this, I highly recommend Suzie's book! In addition to her clear writing and good examples, you have access to even more information on her web site, including excellent and FREE resources.

Here's to good reading and financial savvy!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Informative Book, March 7, 2005
I pre-ordered this book and read it this weekend. I have read several of Suze's other books as well as watch her TV show regularly. I also purchased one for my 22 year old sister, who is the definition of YF&B.

I think this is a great book. It is very concise, clear, and well-organized. It is well-tailored to the issues of the under 35 crowd. It also gives sound financial advice that any young person (like myself) can use to put themselves on a sound financial footing.

Many people complain that Suze's stuff is all "common sense" or not worth the purchase of a book. Most of these folks like to take risks with their money looking for the big return. If you are looking for a hot stock pick, or risky but lucrative investment options, this book is not for you.

For most people, money management is not an easy thing. They need a fundamental overview of the basics that has good, solid, time-tested advice (for example, the benefits of index funds, dollar cost averaging, etc). As someone who has read up on personal finance for many years, and knows quite a bit, I still learn a few new things from Suze on a regular basis.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I may not exactly be YF&B..., March 8, 2005
I'm thirty-something. I have a wife and two children. I've been extremely fortunate in my life to have side-stepped many of the financial potholes that Suze mentions in this book. So...Young? I'm probably topping out the range. Fabulous? In my children's eyes, yes. Broke? In a sense, but I'm doing all right.

Now, even though I may not be truly YF&B, this book has really opened my eyes. With two young children, I think more and more about obtaining a secure financial future for my family. To be honest, I've always been a little confused as to what I should really be doing to achieve that goal. Suze has made it so very clear in her book. She has confirmed in my mind that some of the things I am doing are right. In other areas (like "Big Ticket Purchases", investing and insurance) I see opportunity and room for improvement. I've already taken action. Out of all this, I finally feel confident that I'm doing the right thing for my family and myself. Thank you, Suze.
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70 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The LAST of my Available Credit-Chinese Food or Orman's Book, March 7, 2005
Faced with a true financial conundrum, with a mere $30.00 in available credit on my Student Platinum Visa, I chose to purchase Suze Orman's book and settle for a doctored up frozen pizza instead. I made an incredible choice and found myself engulfed in reading a book that seemed to answer ALL of my questions and concerns about my finances wtih REAL SOLUTIONS!

I can remember how intimidated I was at completing my first Federal Student Loan Applications and Pell Grant Requests. I was terrified at the consequences of answering one of those "trick questions" improperly and ending up with little or no financial assistance. Little did I know how easy it was to get loans and to later learn that I could use a portion of the funds for material things that likely were not necessary for the completion of my degree. This is a common mistake that Ms. Orman describes in her book. Again, she turns our anxiety into UNDERSTANDING and helps us to TAKE BACK CONTROL OF OUR MONEY!

The Financial Aid Office was full of credit card offers that seemed almost too good to be true. Within a month I had accumulated 3 credit cards. Could it really be this simple? How could I manage to get extremely high credit limits from banks that knew little or nothing about me? I take full responsibility for overextending myself, but what were they thinking when they offered a Junior College Student a $4000 line of credit, especially when my source of income read "Full Time Student with No Income?"

The job market is quite anemic right now, so I settled for a position that offers great benefits in exchange for a salary that makes flipping burgers appear to look better and better! So much for ranking in the 98th percentile in the field of International Relations! Instead of working abroad, helping to make the world a better place, I'm working for a bank in the collections department for their credit card division. SUZE ADDRESSES SIMILAR ISSUES, ABOUT THE LACK OF JOBS FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES, AND HELPS US TACKLE THIS PROBLEM WITH EASE!

Enough of the negativity as my career is just beginning and I'm being productive and making payments towards the debts I owe. "I Owe, I Owe, So Off to Work I Go...!" This is one of the best books, of this important genre, that I've ever read and been so enlightened by-in every possible way. I finished reading it this evening and had so much energy that I went for a run, focused on her many strategies for making positive changes in my life, and arrived home to sit down and face all of my "Debt Demons" head on. ORMAN REACHES THE HIGHEST LEVEL EVER AND TEACHES US HOW TO RECOVER FROM ANY TEMPORARY BUMP IN THE ROAD!

In the typical financial sense, I might be considered "...Young...and Broke!" But money is only one form of currency in life. It is NOT everything and there are many other important forms of "Currency" in life. I'm blessed with a good amount of spiritual currency and friendship currency-so I'm far from being broke. I'm still Young and, for the first time in a very long time, I feel Fabulous about myself and my future. Orman's book gives each of us every possible tool we need to start saving money AND to help us take action steps to start making positive changes in many aspects of our lives.

For a long time I felt as if I was no longer the conductor of my life. "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke" has instilled in me that I AM in control of my life and the outlook of my future is Fabulous.

If any of this makes sense to you, my suggestion is that you either purchase this book or check a copy out at the library. Because the book has so many useful tips and strategies for guaranteed success, you'll probably want to make some notes in your own personal copy.

THIS IS A BOOK THAT IS FULL OF SOLUTIONS. I review books that I think others will either enjoy or benefit from in some way. This is a book for young and old, students and parents of students, educators and financial aid planners. Don't spend another dime on another book that addresses our "Generation Debt" until you give this comprehensive and intelligent book a thorough read.

Good luck to all of you! If I can make it through this financial mess that I have created, so too can the rest of the world. And one day, I'll hear from someone who is seeking a really nice, intelligent, YOUNG and FABULOUS employee for a position in any form of International Relations.

Feel free to contact me, Peter Cannice, of Scottsdale, Arizona, at Horsepete@aol.com for additional comments or a copy of my entensive review.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the rest!, March 10, 2005
By 
Dr. Read "Sarah" (Massachusetts USA) - See all my reviews
I have read many financial books, and this one by far is the most refreshing. I am learning step by step how to secure a successful, and non-broke future even after acquiring enough school loans that would make most people faint. Suze gives the young the tools to not get lost in the shuffle and to take control of their own destiny. I am very excited to no longer be broke...Thanks to Suze I am definitly on the right track!!! I highly recommend this book to ANYONE, It is very user friendly and easy to understand...not your typical money-ease.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous, May 17, 2005
By 
With all personal finance books, you should take the writing with a grain of salt. You have your own experiences to draw on to see if whether the advice offered is something feasible. The vast majority of personal finance books I read are not only totally unsuitable for my financial situation, they are also incredibly boring to read. To quote the author, "This is definitely not your parents' money book."

Personal finance is not the most "sexy" topic out there. It happens to be something most of us have had to figure out for ourselves through mistakes made or through the few fiscally responsibly parents who take the time to teach these things to their children. Most schools do not require a mandatory course in money managment before we graduate, although we could all benefit highly if this were added to the curriculm of high schools across the country (while I am still skeptical on the physical eduation requirement being necessary). These are lessons we need in order to get ahead in life. These are things we can not afford to not know.

Suze Orman recognizes the changing economy and realized the right financial advice for our parents is not right for us, the younger generation. She aims this book at those of us in our 20s and 30s, although it would not be a bad idea for the older generation to read it to understand the younger generation's financial situation. She understands many of us are starting out and we managed to build up a lot of debt due to the nature of the current consumer and economic environment. She does not hold these actions against us, preaching to us on how horrible we are to mishandle our finances. She tells us how to fix these problems we created for ourselves. She seems to understand the change in economic status in this country means, unlike our parents, we will not have social security, pensions, and other legitimate avenues our parents persued to fall back on.

Ms. Orman also realizes not everyone is a spreadsheet geek. Budgeting is not the grand solution to all our problems. She's still kind to those of us who are spreadsheet geeks and who like to see the numbers in front of us, but it's not a requirement to have a successful personal finance plan.

There are several surprising key points Ms. Orman makes, especially if you have read other personal finance books:

* Learn your FICO score and make sure you maintain it at a high level. This score not only effects your ability to get loans, but also the interest rate you'll pay once you get them!

* Do not close credit card accounts even if the balance is $0. These hold your credit history and effects your FICO score. Instead, keep the accounts open and destroy the physical card if you feel you can not trust yourself not to use it. Credit card companies are always happy to issue new cards.

* We are currently paying the lowest tax rates in the history of our country for our earned income. There is a very high chance these rates can not be maintained for when we retire and need to withdraw our retirement funds. This makes economic sense given the state of the country's economy. Since traditional IRAs and 401(k)s and other similar plans are taxed when you remove the money later, it makes sense to instead only invest in your 401(k) (or similar plan) for what your employer will match (never say no to free money) and then put whatever else you would put into the 401(k) into a Roth IRA. In a Roth IRA, you pay your taxes now, at a lower rate. You will not pay tax on the interest or dividends earned in the Roth IRA or the money you put in when you take it out during retirement.

* Always pay at least the minimum amounts on your credit card debt. Just missing one payment can have severe detrimental effects on your FICO score

* Do not even think of defaulting on your student loans. This is the best deal in unsecured debt you will ever get and the government will not let you get away with not paying. You are better off paying the miniums or working out a deferral if you are in financial hardship.

* Once you place your finances in order, and get your credit card interest rates on your unpaid balances (and any other loans) below 8% (it just takes a couple of phone calls), then concentrate on building savings. You should work on having 8 months of living expenses available to you.

* Once you set up your 8 months of savings, then concentrate on putting savings into a Roth IRA for retirement.

There are, of course, many other points, but these are the main highlights I was able to pull from the reading. Ms. Orman also understands it might take time to complete each of these steps. She reiterates time and time again to not rush moving on to the next step before completing the one before it, even if it takes several years to do so.

One wonderful feature of this book is the way it is organized. Instead of expecting you to read the book straight through (like I did), Ms. Orman expects you will use it as a guide to answer your specific financial questions. She does not expect people will want to read every situation in her book. After all, not every situation is the same. Customize the book to match your situation and read it. I do say this with a caveat. Reading the book in this manner would have had me skip the part about trusts. I now realize, as a single home owner, it would be a good idea to set up a revocable living trust and transfer title to my home to this trust in order to not burden my family with probate issues in the case of my death. So, there is something to be said to reading the book cover to cover. You might learn something new.

The material in this book is extremely important to read and understand. The way this book is written, in plain English, helps make this the most readable and understandable personal finance book I have ever come across. If you find the Amazon.com price is too much for you, ask for it at your local public library and borrow it. Take notes on the pertinent parts. Ask your parents to get it for you for Christmas, Hanukkah, or your next birthday. They could not buy you a better gift. Just having it as reference material has been invaluable. If you find you will not be able to get the book right away, Ms. Orman's website has an action planner where you can fill in a questionaire and have a customized action plan set for your particular financial situation. There are also forums and material updates for the book available at the website. Above all, the key to maintaining sound personal finances is to pay attention to your situation. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Reading this book could be your first, positive step in the right direction.
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The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman (Paperback - March 27, 2007)
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