The beginning of a new year usually brings desires for a fresh start, improvements and complete overhauls for many. After all, isn’t that the point of most people’s New Year’s resolutions? Yet, oftentimes these intentions are thwarted or abandoned a few weeks down the line when frustrations run high. A key cause of these annoyances typically stems from inadequate planning. For example, you plan on saving money, but never created a detailed plan about how you’d go about doing so.
This is where Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke” comes in very handy given its meticulous breakdown and her tips for dealing with credit, monitoring and improving your score, paying off student debt, actually saving substantial amounts of money, investing and making big-ticket purchases such as buying a car to make your morning commute that much easier. There’s even a chapter devoted to discussing what a Roth IRA is and why you can’t afford to pass up on a 401(k).
Okay, so, you might be thinking that the last thing you want to do is read about financial advice in your free time. Though what you’d really be missing out on would be the chance for financial security, no matter what income level you find yourself in. Moreover, Orman is absolutely right in the assertion that this isn’t “you parent’s money book.” She writes from the perspective of a college student living on a limited income but with large dreams that need to be funded. Her personal accounts of experiences that she’s had allow her to relate to you, in turn allowing you to have more faith in her methods because she never suggests something she hasn’t lived. She also breaks down highfalutin financial jargon into easy-to-understand concepts, because what does “home equity line of credit” even really mean?
In addition to the more obvious sources of saving that she suggests like “brown bagging” your lunches instead of eating out or buying used, Orman teaches you the tools to succeed at staying out of debt and moving from the place of being broke, to making strides toward saving for that dream vacation, beginning with the change currently jingling in your pocket. For example, did you know that by making a partial payment a few days before the end of your billing cycle, and then on your due date will count as two payments and may lower your debt? Did you also know that it’s better to cut up that credit card that you no longer want — after paying it off of course — instead of closing it and erasing your credit history?
Naturally, this book, as helpful as it is, shouldn’t become the be-all-and-end-all of your financial resources, but it sure is a great start. So, this year, resolve to make a plan when you’re deciding to work on your budget. Get your finances straight in 2018, with a little help from resident guru Suze Orman.