So last night I bought this book, The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, by Suze Orman. Well, let’s back up, the reason I bought the book is because one of the things I want to work on in 2010 is taking better care of my finances. I am a horrible saver. Like, horrible. If I can see the money chilling in my savings account, I’m like, sweet, let’s go shopping. Not okay. And I spend money on stupid things all the time. I cannot go in Target without buying socks that I don’t need, a pack of pens and a drink. There goes another $10 down the drain on things that are just unnecessary. I know that eventually I will need a new car and want to buy a house and to do those things, I need to get in better financial shape. Enter Young, Fabulous, & Broke. (YF&B)
Basically, I think this book was written for me personally, after all I am young, clearly I’m fabulous, and most of the time I feel broke, which doesn’t make sense at all. Okay, probably not, but it was definitely written with my current life stage – young, new to the working world, in school debt, etc. – in mind. In the introduction, Orman describes what “broke” is — one of her scenarios was about getting nauseous every time you think about how long it will take you to pay off your student loans — that basically defines my life. YF&B covers FICO scores, savings, student loans, 401ks, home ownership — you know, all that stuff that people talk about but no one really feels like they truly understand. (Maybe you understand it, but if so, then you probably aren’t YF&B.)
I haven’t gotten into everything yet, but last night I read the chapter on FICO scores. Orman talked about what the score was, who uses it and why, and how to make yours better. She answered some reader questions/common scenarios and gave lots of examples. I felt like it was FICO for dummies, which I personally appreciated. Some of the info I already knew and some of it covered things I hadn’t thought about before.
The book also comes with access to the YF&B website which I checked out as well. You take about a 10 minute survey about your finances/current state of affairs and what your biggest financial worries are. Then Suze (and by Suze I mean the computer program) creates an Action Plan for you — Steps of what you need to do to conquer your financial world. So far, I’ve pledged to continue maxing my 401k match.
I’m excited to keep reading and figure out more things I can do to set my self up for a solid financial future. Right now I worry most about savings, my student loans, and planning for retirement. I love that someone out there is thinking about how big and scary and confusing it all is when you first start making your own money. It’s hard to know what to do with it all! And I really appreciated the fact that she didn’t say I needed to save 8 months of living expenses before I did anything else — that would take me like 5 years.
What financial issues overwhelm you? Do you worry about having adequate savings, planning for retirement and paying off your student loan debt?
PS – When I’m finished reading YF&B, I promise to post my overall thoughts on the book!