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Hot (broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink It Too Paperback – May 20, 2010
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That is not to say that there is no value in this book, because there is. Trejos' background as a financial reporter saved Hot (Broke) Messes for me. There is some wonderfully useful information about monitoring your credit score, managing debt, "good" vs. "bad" debt, how to choose insurance, and more. There is also cutting edge information about the new rules and regulations affecting student loans, credit card debt, and car and home loan options. Trejos offers all of this information in a very understandable way and with input from various financial experts. An extensive appendix also offers tables to help you figure out your net worth and set up your own financial plan and goals.Read more ›
As it turns out, not so much. The authors background is similar to mine in that her parents came to this country to have a better life and lived rather thriftily. The author stopped living her parents cheap lifestyle upon moving away to college and getting her first credit card. As someone who does not own a credit card yet, I can't exactly get myself into the trouble she did.
Most of the tips about how to shop and use various things (cosmetics, clothes, etc.) are tips I already know/ employ. I also already know that with my part-time job I could never afford to eat out a couple of times a week, so budgeting for it would probably put me into debt, not keep me out of it.
The book does have some great tips and advice about a couple of things. It explains 401k's as well as the alternatives for those who are not offered one, along with various other financial tools.
I think this would serve as a great warning to the college students living it up, buying designer brands and lattes everyday when they can't truly afford them. If you, like me managed to avoid that, then you will likely still benefit from the financial advice.
As for figuring out how to afford that latte a day, I think I'll look for another book.
When reading this book it is important to keep in mind the big picture, budgeting, frugality, personal goals, and most importantly don't follow her bad (past) examples. Don't get too caught up in the details of who's who and their back stories.
Her best move was obtaining a financial adviser. For me, this is where a big chunk of the valuable information starts.
In addition, if I were advising someone financially, I WOULD give this to them to read. Why? Because it clearly shows her financial mistakes which anyone should be able to learn from.
Author Nancy Trejos is a personal finance columnist for the Washington Post. Frugality isn't new to her. She grew up middle-class with parents who made $60,000/year combined, with two siblings in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Hot (broke) Messes is mostly about her own life experiences with a few tips mingled in. I personally didn't learn much, with the exception of a beauty tip for skin (Use Johnson & Johnson baby oil gel in the shower for greater skin moisture). It offers standard guidelines:
Determine financial goals.
Keep all receipts.
Ask for freebies.
Find dual uses for items.
Assess your needs.
Shop online for bargains.
Find a personal finance consultant.
If you are unsure how to handle your own personal finances, then this book will offer basic tips to get started. If you already abide by a personal budget, then it's not worth reading unless you need a refresher.
L. Marie of Precision Reviews
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is honest and readers can relate to her stories, stresses, wants, needs and mistakes. The advice is also backed by industry professionals with various points of views.Published on April 11, 2014 by Cali_Smile
Here are all Trejo's secrets laid bare - her over spending, her succumbing to peer pressure, and the shame with realising she is part of a generation who have so much, yet feel so... Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by Rachel Alt
I bought this book for my daughter who does not manage her money very well. Easy read with good tips.Published on April 2, 2013 by Wm
This is one of the best books on the subject of finance as it applies to our everyday life. A lot of good tips, which I will use. It is very well written. Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by Twilight fan
this book is written in a ridiculous, condescending and unhelpful way. the personality of the author that is revealed through reading this very personal narrative is like an... Read morePublished on April 20, 2011 by schadepp
Just how much does this woman drink??? In listing just a few weeks of her credit card charges, the most frequent expenses involved "drinks" or "a couple of bottles of wine. Read morePublished on April 7, 2011 by Lisa Ahlstedt
This is a great book that is informational on how to be a bit more financial savvy but also has some great funny stories about the author and her past.Published on July 6, 2010 by Marina C. Gaytan
Not anymore. This memoir/financial advice book made me gasp and giggle. I'm past the age group targeted by this book (20 to 30-somethings), but I still enjoyed it cover to cover. Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by Kay in DC
I enjoyed this book a lot, and I feel that it will help me if not make better decisions so that I dont end up in some of her situations, at least really think about everything... Read morePublished on June 15, 2010 by K. Caffarella