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The Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough: How Five Young Women Got Smart, Formed a Money Group, and Took Control of Their Finances Hardcover – September 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In 2006, a group of 20-something women saw an episode of Oprah that featured financial experts offering advice on paying down debt. Though all five were outwardly confident in their careers and goals, they were secretly drowning financially; between them, they had a combined $35,000 in credit card debt and barely any savings. Inspired by what they'd seen, they started a money group and took responsibility for educating themselves about spending (and saving) habits, goals and investments. Within a year they made great strides: they'd added thousands to retirement accounts, paid off more than $15,000 in credit card debt, saved more than $15,000 and had all bought or were well on their way to buying homes. The enterprising authors address the nitty-gritty of goal-setting, negotiations for raises, debt management and mortgages, and their plainspoken, encouraging style and helpful breakdown of information make this the perfect gift for recent grads—or anyone who needs convincing that financial health is attainable. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Anyone who's afraid to take hold of her financial life should grab this inspiring book with both hands. These five women, who started as a 'collective financial mess,' turned their situations around in less than a year. They can show you how to do the same."—Liz Pulliam Weston, MSN Money columnist and author of Deal With Your Debt and Easy Money

"Smart Cookies is a great motivator for anyone looking to sharpen their financial skills and shine a bright light on their financial life. Witty and insightful, this book shows people how they can band together and achieve their financial wishes by getting those dirty little money secrets out in the open and working in concert with one another. It's a great read."—Howard S. Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., author of Credit Hell: How to Dig Out of Debt

“A perfect gift for recent grads—or anyone who needs convincing that financial health is attainable.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342445
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Libraries Rule! on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe this book. How are these women able to write this book with a straight face? This isn't a book for the average woman, it's for rich girls with no sense. They share personal stories about how to cut back; and I laughed at every one of them. One of them owed 12 pairs of $300 jeans. Are you kidding me? I own two pairs of jeans, and the most I have ever paid for jeans was $35, and that felt like a splurge. They suggest taking your lunch to work instead of eating out, reducing your number of lattes, and only buying a few designer pieces of clothing. What a joke! In the real world, all the women I know bring a lunch to work. I don't know anyone with a designer anything. One of the women in the book was proud that she and her spouse figured out how to live on just one of their salaries and save the rest...they were making a combined $150,000. Their one salary was still way above what my husband and I make combined. So if you are trying to figure out how to save up for a trip to a spa (3 nights for two people: $6000. This is an actual example from the book; I'm not making this up.), then this might be the book for you. If you are already juggling a mortgage, keeping a 14 year old car running with frequent trips to the mechanic, student loans, and any type of medical bill, this in NOT the book for you. If you are an airhead who already makes well above the median income of the average US citizen but still manages to spend it all in one month ($500 dresses for dates! Crazy!) then this book might help you out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Simpson on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have read a lot of different books on personal finance. This book was by far the absolute worst. I am just going to take one quote straight from the book and that should sum it up:

"The Smart Cookies have allowed ourselves $100 a week in fun money..."

If you are looking at purchasing this book, I imagine you don't have an extra $400 each month for "fun money". The whole book basically describes their lavish lifestyles and how they got into debt purchasing designer jeans, expensive dinners, etc. There are no practical, proven ways to get out of debt beyond not buying a latte every day and buying designer clothing on eBay.

Save your money and buy a book from Dave Ramsey or David Bach instead. They both offer effective methods for getting out of debt and growing wealth. And here is a parting thought: If these "Smart Cookies" are so smart, why aren't they investing their $5200 a year of fun money in mutual funds instead of blowing it?
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jaimo on June 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a college student, I wanted to become more smart about saving money, credit cards, investing, etc, but there are very few resources that are aimed at helping young women do so. And I believe that you should have knowledge of money matters when you are young, before you even have a chance to get into debt. So I bought it and I'm glad I did. I have to disagree with the reviewer below. This book taught me about credit cards, a little bit about investing, shopping smarter, and other little tricks to save money. To me, it IS realistic to go out for lunch a lot during the work week, many people do, even if it is going out for a $3 sub sandwich. While it may not be realistic to buy 12 pairs of $300 jeans, we all have something that we impulsively buy and we all shop for emotional reasons at some time or another. This book addresses that. The girls examples were just examples, but you can relate to them in some way and apply their strategies to your own life regardless of your income. And if you go to there website and sign up for their newsletter, you can get money saving advice sent to your email during the week. I love that! Thanks to this book, I now realize that being financially savvy and secure is achievable. These girls came from a lot of debt and dug their way out. This book is their story about how they did it. I learned a lot from them. If you have debt or just want to become more knowledgable about money matters, this is a great book. This would be a great resource for a young woman headed to college.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book goes to show you that regardless of how much money you make and what your tastes are, there is a way to look and feel great about yourself within reason. The Smart Cookies' Guide To Making More Dough is complete with tables, examples and easy to understand tips that anyone should be able to follow. The ladies talk about the importance of writing things down: what you have, what you spend, what you need to do and within what time frame. Simple things, yes, but isn't it always the most simple pieces of the equation that sometime baffle us?

I enjoyed this book, so that means that men and women can really benefit from it if they give it a chance.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The authors show the public how to reduce reliance
on credit. They make statements that appear to be
quite true in my own experience. i.e.
o interest doubles on late payments as penalties rise
o a good payment history drastically reduces interest
o users of credit cards should ponder the alternative
use of the money
o split appetizers at fancy restaurants
o take advantage of muni-facilities for the public
o examine how long mutual funds have been in business
o review mutual fund manager experience

I would add to this the 424 Dividend Boost Program.
The program allows you to buy shares from participating
companies like Pepsi, Altria and Wal-Mart. Simply
ask the company for the required forms
( investor relations), execute them and mail a
check for the purchase. There are no broker
fees whatsoever. In addition, make certain that you
take full advantage of the dividend re-investment feature
so that the stock portfolio grows even quicker.

Good luck and open up more of these investment clubs.
This is the best way to avoid stock market rip-offs
of all kinds.
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