"It's time to start dealing with your financial life." Suze Orman, in her characteristically blunt, fun-loving manner, lays down the law.
I was first introduced to Suze Orman on The Oprah Winfrey Show and acquainted with her "smack downs." She loved to tell audience members exactly what they needed to do in order to fix their financial problems and improve their lives. I was not in love with her at first, but she has definitely grown on me, and now I highly value her advice.
Orman's high regard for people in general and her indefatigable energy and passion about financial information makes this book highly palatable. Not one to gravitate to finance in the first place, her personal stories and intelligent financial advice helped me focus on my own personal financial goals. I was not sure that I would be able to straggle through a boring finance book, which this is definitely not.
Orman was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and she repeatedly stresses that she understands the difficulties of being young, fabulous and broke because she was there herself. For five years, she waitressed and wondered if she would ever come into money. This book is for those who have similar doubts about how to achieve their goals in life or emerge from their current broke status.
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman, 2007
Orman recognized that some of her traditional advice, such as saving $10 a day and retaining eight months of living expenses in savings for emergencies, cannot apply to the young, fabulous and broke. She wrote this book based on the feedback she got from young people. She has a Young, Fabulous & Broke portion of her web site.
A FICO (Fair Isaac COrporation) score is a number that is affected by every financial move that you make in your life. It is a three-digit number that is used to calculate your interest rate on credit cards, car loans, home mortgage and whether your rental applications for apartments are accepted. Higher FICO scores are better than lower ones. 760-850 is the best score and 500-579 is the worst score that you could get. Everyone is able to obtain one free credit report per year at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you have a poor FICO score, don't despair. You can improve your FICO score by paying on time (even if it is simply the minimum). Identity theft can also negatively affect your FICO score.
The book has a "Career Moves" section which I found particularly helpful. Orman advises readers to work in jobs that they enjoy, and not to stay in jobs that do not interest them. It is important for people to carefully consider which careers they would like to pursue. She discusses the ins and outs of student loans, credit cards and creating a credit history, investments, savings and lifestyle changes that people can make in order to save money. Success is about making money, knowing where it is going, and keeping track of your funds. It is good to have savings of six months of living expenses for use in emergencies only. If your employer has matching funds for 401K contributions, do not forfeit this free money! Young people may have to fund their retirements, since we do not know if pensions will still be around by the time we retire. Orman also discusses how to buy a car, buying a home and mortgages, and also how love and marriage entwines the lovers' finances. She also has a helpful glossary with financial terms at the end of the book.
Finance is not my forte or my first interest in life, but it is so important. It is amazing to realize that many people who win the lottery blow their entire winnings within a short time from receiving their prize. Managing finances properly is so important and very much contributes to one's quality of life.
I have watched The Suze Orman Show and it is very entertaining. I love her facial expressions when she questions people about why they want to purchase big-ticket items. Sometimes, in her face, you can just see her asking, "Why?!?!" She was doing a holiday special show that aired on November 24, 2012 asking viewers to determine if they could afford their holiday gifts. Orman said that she was making her own holiday gifts. She even had Santa and his elves produce black Suze Orman T-shirts with writing on the back stating "I was DENIED by Suze Orman" and "I was APPROVED by Suze Orman" to hand out to callers whom she determined could or could not afford to purchase their favorite holiday gift. I am not kidding.
One viewer wanted to buy a red Cadillac for a guy. Orman asked how old he was. The viewer said 52 years old. You know where this was going, right? I was thinking, "Oh, god. This is a middle-aged man having a mid-life crisis. How obvious!" I did not think she would say it, but then she said it! She asked the viewer, "Don't you think that teenagers will pull up next to him at the stop light, look over and see this old guy, and kind of laugh about the fact that he is trying to feel young again?" The woman said yes, but that he really wanted the car. That one got "APPROVED by Suze Orman," but Orman mentioned that she thought the idea was stupid. Enough said. This lady is full of life.
Orman is extremely personable, and she includes experiences from her own life in her book. Despite the fact that she is involved in the finance field, she was not born rich and she had to learn to manage her own finances. She was a waitress for several years and she was really broke. She is a strong proponent of encouraging people to live within their means, which is so helpful in this current age of credit card debt. She is fun and she gives people a blunt, realistic picture of what they can afford with their current income and expenses.
Books by Suze Orman
Financial Central at the Science, Industry and Business Library
The Foundation Center Library (for searching for scholarships or small business grants)
Financial Links for Young People