Customer Review

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy any other book this author recommends (see below) instead of this book!, June 20, 2008
This review is from: Easy Money: How to Simplify Your Finances and Get What You Want out of Life (Paperback)
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How to simplify your finances, is how this book is billed, yet the appendix lists 18 books to consult for further information/insights/ideas/strategies. Moreover, this book's 173 pages (160 if blank pages aren't counted, or about 100 if the print wasn't so huge) seems confused whose its audience is. A third or so of the book recommends how one ought to go about finding a certified financial planner (CFP) to help well-off folks with their investments, or to choose the right mortgage. But an even larger portion of the book addresses people who are probably totally clueless and without much if any net worth. You be the judge whether these "tips" will be of use to you. Everyone, Ms Weston states, needs to save more money and, if possible, spend less on housing costs. No more than a third of your income should be spend on housing, she posits. What to do if you're spending more? Try getting a boarder! Or a roommate! That's what the author suggests, or perhaps one ought to consider refinancing, she adds, or even move. Other ways to save money, according to the author, include the following: run your washing machine only when full; discontinue high-speed internet access or even cable TV; brown bag it for lunch now and then, or even plant a vegetable garden!; pay off your credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Interestingly too, concerning the latter "tip," the author notes that only 1 out of 14 folks, on average, carry a credit card balance over $10,000. But then, oddly, she spends the next ten pages on people who might be in this situation. Shop for lower interest rates, ask your card companies for better rates, make a budget and try to stick to it, and finally, she suggests that folks should just stop using their high-interest cards. Put them on the shelf, she says. I expected a lot more from this book than that. Frankly, you'd be better off just buying one of the books she recommends in her appendix than reading this catalog of the obvious (buy index funds instead of individual stocks, do research before visiting a car dealer looking for a new car, do your banking online and link your various accounts, and so on).

The books she recommends (that I daresay you would be better off consulting than this book): Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independenceby Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin; Personal Finance For Dummies, 5th editionby Eric Tyson; "Smart Couples finish Rich" by David Bach; "Plan your Estate" by Clifford and Jordan; "100 Questions Every First-time Home Buyer should ask" by Ilyce Glink, "Saving for Retirement" by Gail MarksJarvis, and "The Little book of Common Sense Investing" by John Bogle.

Or I'd add, just consult The Wall Street Journal. Complete Personal Finance Guidebook (The Wall Street Journal Guidebooks).

Good Luck!
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