Hot (broke) Messes

With the emergence of the new year, it was time to break out the finance books at work. I came across this book, Hot (broke) Messes by Nancy Trejos and decided to not stick it on the display but check it out for myself. Now, I don’t consider myself a hot broke mess, but I am always looking for tips in the personal finance department and ways to squash debt.

The quick rundown:  Published in 2010, Nancy, being the financial columnist she is for the Washington Post, would know all about finance and not be a hot broke mess, right? Nope honey boo boo; she’s a hot broke mess, chile. Nancy keeps it real here and puts her business out there in this book. She discusses many screw ups, including buying a home with a boyfriend she later breaks up with, and also takes us along with her on her kill debt journey. I commend Nancy for putting herself out there as others can learn from her experience.

Although I dig sista Nancy, I couldn’t quite relate to all of her experiences or agree with every tip. In fact, I thought she and many of the people featured earned more than enough income  but were making horrible, avoidable choices. (Maybe it’s just me, though. I am a bit anal when it comes to money.) I know it takes time to recognize our wrongs when it comes to money, so I do get it and understand. Been there, done that. And besides, we wouldn’t have this book without the mess ups and lessons learned. I also didn’t agree with debt being considered either good or bad. In my opinion, all debt is the devil! It is bad, bad, bad! I am proud to be a college graduate and now a graduate student, but I surely do not think my student loans are good debt.

Conversely, I did enjoy the section about couples and finances. It is very, very important to have a conversation about finances. Often, opposites attract and what your spending  habit or financial philosophy is will be different from your spouse. I think finances is one of the biggest factors for divorce, and having the finances conversation is highly important and should be discussed before making major life decisions.

In short, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to all 20- and 30- somethings new to personal finance or just looking for tips spun in a humorous way. For those  more experienced or are already on the right path, this might  not be for you. I have learned many valuable bits I intend to use on my own quest to eliminate debt and become wealthy.

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