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The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers Paperback – February 22, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1601382078 ISBN-10: 1601382073

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc. (February 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601382073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601382078
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Trying to figure out the money game can be challenging for anyone, let alone a teenager or young adult. There are so many concepts to learn, and most often, those concepts are interpreted by teens as boring or complicated. Many parents do not feel competent to teach personal finance, and it is not a subject taught in school. Couple that with the fact that 60 percent of bachelor s degree recipients borrow to fund their education and 84 percent of undergraduate students have at least one credit card, and you have a disaster waiting to happen. This book is trying to change that trend. Tamsen Butler, in The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers and College Students, seems to do the impossible. This book provides a proper education in personal finance in an entertaining and understandable manner. The purpose of this book is not to tell the readers what to do, but to educate them on the various options and the possible results of one s choices. Even if all of the information is not relevant to your current situation, this book can be used as a reference for each financial stage of the early adult years. It is comprehensive and user-friendly, and it is sprinkled with real-life anecdotes that illustrate each financial concept. Anyone can benefit from this approach to teaching personal financial planning. As a veteran financial adviser and author of Lessons from the Depression: Eliminating Debt the Old-Fashioned Way, I found the information in this book extremely helpful in conveying the concepts a teenager or college student needs for a financially successful life. For those students who are looking for information on their own, or parents who want to find a guide that will teach fundamental financial concepts, this book will teach you everything you need to know. Butler has done a great job of writing an easy-to-read and informative book on a subject that all can benefit from. --Darlene Gudrie Butts

Winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Young Adult Non-Fiction Category --Indie Book Awards

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Smith-overton on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
If there is a must-read book for young people today, it's "The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: For Teenagers and College Students" by Tamsen Butler. This book undoubtedly fills in the gaps in the area of managing debt that schools and parents don't cover. Butler slowly takes the reader from the easy to the more complex areas of debt managment and with each topic gives examples that are in-line with its target audience.

Read Chapter 3: Stashing Your Cash. Then ask your teen or college-age child if they know the difference between a debit card and a credit card, or if they know that a CD is not just a disc that contains music. There is a good chance you'll receive a shake of the head, which means your job in preparing your child for the real world isn't over just yet. Most parents, when considering having "the talk" with their child(ren) normally don't consider financial responsibility as a part of that talk. And it's a safe bet such topics as comparison shopping for banks and credits union, alternative forms of saving such as money market accounts and CDs, and how interest is compounded for a savings or a credit card account rarely make dinner conversation. Butler's book covers these topics and more, and constantly reiterates how easy it is to get into debt and the importance of budgeting.

So if you're unsure on how to approach the subject of finance with your children, purchase a copy of this book but don't let it be your sole method of educating them on financial reponsibility. Use it as a jumping off point to a more in-depth conversation. Forewarning your children about the pitfalls of reckless spending is forearming them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric San Juan VINE VOICE on August 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Here's an example of how and why The Complete Guide to Personal Finance for Teenagers and College Students is ESSENTIAL READING for your teenager: Chapter 5 is "Creditors and the Games They Play." On page 141, it explains some of the stuff so common to see at ballgames, colleges, in retails stores, and more. The credit card application.

Get something for free! they say. Get a T shirt by signing up. Get an instant discount. Get this. Get that. It's so common we don't give it a second thought.

In clear, understandable language that never talks down to the reader, The Complete Guide explains what those offers are REALLY all about and, more importantly, what they mean for your future. That's the kind of stuff too few ADULTS consider, much less teenagers.

And that's just one example. From spending and saving to how to budget and how to save, from dealing with debt and what debt means in your life to credit reports and earning money, this book lays it all out in detail that never descends into mumbo jumbo or condescending talk. It's just straightforward, easy to understand, and highly informative.

The book does deal with some basic math -- how to calculate budgets, interests, savings, and so on -- but it remains pretty basic. Readers will never feel as if they're doing homework.

This is truly essential reading. I immediately gave it to my teenage son and made him read it. I wish I had this book when I was a teenager!

HIGHLY recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Complete Guide to personal Finance for Teenagers and College Students by Tamsen Butler provides a clear and invaluable survival tool that should also be read by their parents. Not only does it teach them about the kind of options available, but it also helps them to understand the consequences of their choices.

As someone who worked as a financial counselor for over eight years, I particularly commend her on Chapter 6 (understanding credit and how creditors actually work), and well as Chapter 10 (understanding credit scores and the consequences of identity theft).

I hardily recommend this book and just hope that anyone who gets it not only reads it, but practices what it preaches.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RenoMo on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Where was this book when I was in school? Solid financial advice can be priceless and I'd like to think I would have at least browsed through this little (290 page) book and stored away some of the recommendations in the back of my brain for future use. Saving, saving, saving is stressed throughout the book and Tamsen Butler does an excellent job detailing the advantages of saving and the pitfalls of not saving money - clearly and concisely; defining the needs vs wants theory of spending. She does a great job explaining different types of accounts, and how interest (particularly compounded interest) can work either for or against you. In the section on credit cards Butler even details the `hold' that credit card companies often put on an account when booking travel, hotels, and some other major expenditures. Something that a lot of adults may not even be aware of.

From kids getting an allowance, to trying to balance a full time job and a college schedule, to the young adult leaving home for the first time, Butler explores various options for setting up a budget, explaining that discipline and self-motivation are key. She uses realistic examples and brief case studies written by real people - from how to afford concert tickets or a new CD to saving for college or a car, to handling your money once you move out and are on your own, including how to use a credit card responsibly.

The author encourages parents to sit down with their kids and have a heart to heart about finances. After all, our first, and probably most lasting lessons about finances come from our families. It's how we handle money that affects the way our children handle money. Even if we never discuss it, the examples and the visual cues are there. Although written for teens, adults would do well to peruse this book along with their kids. It's never too late to learn how to handle your money more efficiently.
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