Published in late 2008 this book was written just when the fallout from the economic crises was beginning to hit the average American schlub. As of November 2009 things only seem to be getting worse as each day passes. Unemployment is much higher than the #'s quoted in her book and every day more businesses are closing up shop.
This book was written as a guide to help people deal with the devastation of the changed economy. It's written in a question and answer format.
Most of these financial guru's stress socking money away (ha ha) and taking on a second job but what they don't seem to realize is that many of us are already doing so and are just squeaking by with nothing left over because of pay cuts and increased taxes. Sometimes I feel these millionaire financial guru's are a bit out of touch with hardworking and still struggling folks. Put more money into a 401K or a college fund? Sure, when money starts raining from the sky . . .
Many of the questions in the book pertain to FICO scores and mention ways to improve it if it happens to fall under 720. Unfortunately, due to devious doings by credit card companies who are closing accounts and slashing credit lines many innocent people have fallen under 720 even when they've done nothing wrong. I think the author wastes too much time worrying about the FICO score which is only useful if you're going to borrow more money (though I've heard some potential employers check them for new hires which seems like an invasion of privacy to me). She does stress paying off credit cards, which I agree is something that everyone should do, but if everyone stopped using them as a crutch and paid with cash they would be forced to live within their means and wouldn't have to worry about the whims of the almighty & secret FICO gods.
She stresses you absolutely must have 8 months worth of expenses in a savings account or you are doing wrong by your family. This may be sound advice but it's unrealistic for many people and is hurtful to those doing all they can just to keep food on the table. She bangs you over the head with this comment numerous times and again it brought home the fact that this woman has no clue about what it takes to raise a young family on less wages than one made a decade ago.
She goes into a lot of detail about stocks and bonds, saving for retirement and for college. It seems like good info IF you have money to invest but as we're still in "getting by" mode I'll have to keep it in mind for the future.
Suzie is just a super! It's like having your own finacial advisor!