So this Broke Millennial book review is long overdue.
Erin Lowry, the author of Broke Millennial, was kind enough to provide me with a copy of her book before it was released.
I’d planned to read the book and get it reviewed for the week of the release, but then life happened. So here I am weeks later finally getting around to posting a review of this book.
The Book: Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry
Erin had been blogging at her site Broke Millennial helping millennials navigate the rough waters of personal finance. This eventually lead to a book deal and here, my Broke Millennial Book Review.
How is the Book Set Up?
The book, Broke Millennial is broken up into 18 chapters, however, realizing that some millennials know more about certain topics and may not need help with everything, Erin uses the first two chapters to help you realize what topics you should focus on moving forward.
By helping you to realize the type of relationship you have with money, she sets you up with what chapters to focus on; this allows you just to read those chapters if you want.
I read the entire book (ok I did skim some parts) to make sure I could give you a comprehensive review. Once you know what chapters to focus on, at the end of chapter two, you can fill in some answers to help you figure out how you relate to money and set some financial goals.
What Does the Book Cover?
covers a wide array of topics, I’d say even a few beyond just the basics.
It is designed for those you have little to no knowledge about personal finance, and those with gaps in their financial knowledge. Topics covered include:
- Picking financial products (including banks)
- Credit reports and credit scores
- Dealing with consumer debt and credit cards in particular
- Handling student loan debt
- How to handle awkward money situations with friends
- Sharing financial information with a partner
- Dealing with being a boomerang kid
- Negotiating salary
- Investing 101
- Working with financial planners
- Buying a house
It sounds like a lot, but Erin does a good job of breaking it all into smaller more digestible chunks and keeping you engaged and entertained along the way.
Overall, it is a lot of information but also a very easy read. You could read this book in a couple of afternoons if you wanted to read the entire book.
The Book is Best for Millennials Who Struggle Financially
Broke Millennial is for those struggling and lacking financial know how to get ahead.
Personally, I may be struggling to overcome my student loan debt, but after writing about personal finance for nearly three years I’m fairly knowledgeable on the topic, so this book wouldn’t help me as much.
That being said I did learn 1 -2 things, particularly about negotiating salary, a couple of terms dealing with investment, and that there are such a thing called a NOW (negotiable order withdrawal) accounts.
If you are millennial just starting out trying to figure out your money, then this book is for you.
It will walk you through step by step what you should know to get started. Broke Millennial also provides other tools and resources (don’t worry many are free) to help you get your financial life together.
The Book is Not for Those With Strong Amount of Financial Knowlege, Even if They Are Still Working to Implement
If you already know what is up with your money and your biggest struggle is implementing everything, this books isn’t going to do much in the way of helping you.
This book is an excellent teacher. But if you already know what is going on with your money you don’t need a teacher.
You probably need something more along the lines of a coach, while a financial planner may help, there are lots of money coaches out there to help you stay accountable.
Alternatively, you can do what I did and start a blog to help keep yourself accountable to your money goals.
Where to Find the Book
A Few Things to Note
It wouldn’t be an honest review if I didn’t point out the few negatives I found with the book.
Honestly, this is really picky even to mention, but you know student loans are my jam.
First, Erin explains in “How Repayment Programs Work” that you first consolidate your federal loans. You are not required to consolidate your federal loans to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. Though consolidating can certainly help.
Additionally, I think it would have been helpful to note that you are required to recertify for these programs each year and for each loan servicer.
Second, Erin does explain that under current law any forgiven amount under an income-driven repayment plan will be considered taxable income. However, I would have loved to see an example of what that looks like.
Because as you may or may not know from reading this blog, that amount can be crazy high if you have a lot of student loan debt and a lower salary. I just always want more attention paid to the forgiveness/taxable income bait and switch.
Lastly, the book is geared towards millennial college graduates. Which since Millennials are the most educated generation makes sense, but is not always the case.
Also, I realize you can’t write a book to cover every scenario. However, a little more focus on those with graduate degrees whose challenges can differ slightly would have been nice.
The verdict of the Broke Millennial Book Review – Yay or Nay
She also doesn’t put forth any judgment if you’ve maybe made some money mistakes in the past.
While a lot of the book no longer applied to me, I definitely had flashbacks to when it did. I was reminded of what life was like before I got my financial life together. It was almost creepy how well she knew what was going on when I was younger.
Note that this book is just for those out of college, really it’s for any millennial who has buried their head in the sand when it comes to their money and needs a personal finance education.
If that describes you, then it’s time to get your financial life together with Broke Millennial.