Friday, March 17, 2006

On the Pile

Finished: Nothing. Between the Skirt and the Rejection, I haven’t gotten much reading done in the past week.

Now Reading: U.S.!* Still. See above. Although some of the blame also falls on the writer for writing a not-very-engaging book so that I’m sort of confused and bored most of the time. Also reading The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke. I managed to get past my initial resistance to the cover---Orman trying way too hard to prove that she’s still hip with her overly highlighted hair and oh-so-fun pose. Could someone tell her that the young and fabulous stopped flipping up their collars in 1992? (FYI: The pose in the YF&B section of her Web site is even more obnoxious. And if Blogger didn't suck, I would link to it.) Her advice seems mostly solid, although I do question the wisdom of paying down your credit cards before starting a savings account. I get her reasoning: that it doesn't make any sense to have money making a 1 or 2 percent return when you are paying 18 percent or more on the cards. And if you've got several thousand dollars in savings, yeah, you probably want to use some of that to pay down your balances. But you also want to have something in the bank so you won't have to keep pulling out the cards every time you have an unexpected expense. Seems like there ought to be some kind of balance. I am glad that she acknowledges the reality of being a 20-something in the new millennium---that most of us are saddled with debt from the moment we graduate, that our paychecks barely cover food and rent and sometimes not even that. But I really wish she would stop writing down to us. If we’re reading a book on financial planning, chances are that we’re (a) literate, (b) somewhat intelligent, and (c) not twelve years old. We are perfectly capable of reading a well-written, general audience book on money. She keeps focusing too much on the “young” part of young adult and forgets that we are, indeed, adults.

I’ve also been dipping into The Dog of the Marriage** by Amy Hempel, but had to return it to the library before I finished. What I did read of it was very good. Perfectly formed short stories that managed to capture the human experience in ordinary moments.

On Deck: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore;

Added to the Pile: Who Moved My Blackberry? by Lucy Kellaway; The Dead Fish Museum: Stories by Charles D’Ambrosio; and The New Single Woman by E. Kay Trimberger.

*Sorry for the lack of links in today's post. I had a whole post done, with lots of happy links, and then Blogger f'ed up.
**I misremembered the title as The Dog of the Family and spent a good half hour trying to find a link for it and getting increasingly aggitated that I couldn't find a book that I knew I had read. I really shouldn't have gotten out of bed today.


At 11:04 AM , Blogger Lora said...

I just picked up a book on finances too. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (a little corny, but enthusiastic and has a good understanding of the emotional issues behind money management).

He would agree with you. His first step of getting out of debt is creating a small emergency fund so that when you commit to not use your credit cards you can stick to it.

At 11:55 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

i can't stand suze orman for some reason. i'm sure the flipped-up collar and condescension have something to do with it ;)

i try to always pay my credit cards in full. of course i'm saddled with law school debt though.

At 11:20 PM , Blogger Frema said...

I think Suze's advice makes pretty good sense; keeping a rein on your credit card debt will make you a better candidate for balance transfers to cards with low APRs. And yeah, she's a little perky with the young language, but she gets technical when she needs to. Good example: the chapter about 401(k)s and stocks.


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