In The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke she addresses the educated twenty-something who’s just started a working-career but has dug him or herself a financial hole early-on. As I am in the process of writing a personal finance book for a similar demographic, I paid particular attention to her techniques and knowledge.
I can’t fault the advice – pay off high-interest credit cards, try to find meaningful work you don’t hate, remember to ask for a raise, scrimp and save wherever you can, know your FICO score, and try to avoid bankruptcy if you possibly can because the consequences are long-lasting and serious.
All this seems basically correct. The advice is sound.
In addition, she fills at least half of every chapter with an accessible question-and-answer format – “I’m thinking of filing bankruptcy, here’s my balance sheet, etc, should I?” “I co-signed for my friend’s credit card account, now the collection agencies are calling, etc, what should I do?” All good and useful.
Here’s the problem: I would personally never pick up this book, and it’s mostly because of the tone. I find her ‘hipness’ robotic and forced. Not that I am hip personally and have a hip platform from which to judge others’ hipness, but I’d like to think I at least own my non-hipness.
Suze Orman’s hipness seems to be a calculated, search-engine optimized, consultant-approved uber-casual hipness that sounds the opposite of casual. You know those fifty-somethings who use the lingo wrong? Or slightly too earnestly? That’s the tone of Young Fabulous & Broke.
I’m not even the youthful audience she’s addressing, and I found this to be nails-on-the-chalkboard annoying.
How can I explain this off-putting tone problem? Ah, I have found a way!
The applicable cliché: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Check out the cover of this book.
This is all so funny and hip my smile is frozen in place.
Maniacal laugh. Maniacal laugh.
Please see related post: All Bankers Anonymous Book Reviews in one place.
 How about I call myself ‘nerd-chic?’ Would that be ok?
 Another applicable phrase, borrowed from Jack Handey: “The face of a child says it all. Especially the mouth part of the face.”
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