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Are You Young, Broke and Fabulous?

Updated on September 12, 2015
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Erin Shelby is passionate about living a lifestyle that aims for financial freedom. She writes about personal finance and other topics.

Are you counting every coin just to get by?
Are you counting every coin just to get by? | Source

Suze Orman is my favorite personal finance expert. It’s been a while since I’ve watched her cable TV show, but I’m still a fan. I’m amused by the “Can I Afford It?” segment when Suze sizes up selected viewers’ financial state to see if they can afford the new boat, plastic surgery or vacation they desire. I’ve always liked her “people first, then money, then things” philosophy because it balances generosity, pleasure and saving for the future.

Money advice for young people

When I found The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke at a price I couldn’t pass up, I was certainly late to the party. Although it was published in 2005, I expected Suze’s advice to be relevant for today. The young, fabulous and broke people Suze was writing to, I imagined, were the college grads or young professionals just getting started in their careers and carrying a lot of student loan debt. The book is written in a question-and-answer format but is more of a resource manual to cover a plethora of personal finance problems.

What to do when you can't make ends meet

What should you do when you're living paycheck to paycheck? The chapter on student loans assumes the college-grad reader is carrying $30,000 in student loan debt and Suze acknowledges that times for this generation of young people are harder than for the previous young folks she has advised. She agrees with those who feel that saving money on a $3 latte here and there won’t help in such situations. But her solution is disappointing. Suze Orman instructs the young, broke and fabulous to put their living expenses on a credit card to make it through these initial lean, difficult years.


You’ll probably like this book if:

  • You want a reference to keep for years to come;
  • You want to learn all about FICO scores, saving for retirement or combining finances with a spouse;
  • You haven’t started a savings account yet.
  • You need help tackling credit card debt.

You probably won’t like this book if:

  • You want help creating or sticking to a budget;
  • You want ideas to live frugally or to pay down debt;
  • You’ve convinced that credit cards should only be used for emergencies;
  • You’re focusing on short-term financial goals only.

Alternatives to Using Credit Cards

If you're looking for a different alternative, consider some extreme strategies for dealing with hard times:

Are you young, broke and fabulous?

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      ignugent17 3 years ago

      It is really important for young people to learn how to budget their money. Credit card is very useful to increase the credit score. As long as you are paying on your due dates then you are on your way to a good life. :-)

      Thanks and have a good day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I wonder if it had to do with the 2005 publication date. Either way, it's terrible advice and surprising that she would say this since she is now telling people to get second or third jobs, get roommates, take public transportation and other dire suggestions. I like your sensible ideas to cut corners. Saving money must be a way of life and you need to revel in it as a lifestyle and not feel like you're depriving yourself.

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      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      I have several credit cards I use just for convenience, and I like the airline miles they offer. But, I always pay them off every month and never pay them any interest.

      They recently sent me an email that I could trade airline miles for merchandise. A TV that I could buy for $189 at the local Best Buy store would only cost me 35,000 airline miles. I imagine some people even fall for this trick?

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      Yes, room on the credit card would mean that the person can make more purchases that they don't have the cash to pay for. This type of thing can really get college kids in trouble... those who have no job or a job that pays very little. There's a reason why, in one of my hubs about college tuition costs, I practically beg readers not to put college tuition on a credit card!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Unless times have really changed and I was not informed, that credit card interest has financially ruined a great many people. I know some adults who make comments like; "I had some room on one of my credit cards so I bought the largest big screen TV they had."

      I guess room on a credit cards would mean they are under the maximum limit allowed on that card? If adults have trouble with this what the heck are young people going to do? They may surprise us and be smart about credit but I kind of doubt it.

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      Hi Old Poolman, thank you for stopping by. I too was surprised by this advice, and I wonder what those who survived the Great Depression would think of it?

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      I was very surprised at her recommending the use of credit cards to the young. Most of us know what the end result of this advice will be.