Early book review (unfairly early): Brokenomics

 

I went back to personal finance books after reading the first of the fiction series I was looking forward to. I’m so torn though! I really liked the fiction book and want to read the rest of the series, but I just got all of these wonderful book in the mail a bit ago and I want to read all of those, too. Maybe I’ll just alternate. I’ll let you know how this one is once I’m a little further into it. So far though, her idea of frugal is treating yourself. Brokenomics seems to be for those who are looking to cut back on their spending a little bit, not the frugalites that I’ve come to love. I mean, any book that talks about being tempted by designer shoes that cost more than we make in a week, isn’t really targeting me. They’re pretty to look at, sure, but I can’t say that I’ve ever been tempted by them for real. It goes against even my spendthrift nature to pay that much for a pair of shoes. (Especially ones that are going to hurt your feet!) But, I’ve never been a fashionista; I’ve always been a thrift shop girl. Maybe you are tempted by them. It’s hard for me to identify with someone who buys coffee and a pastry at Starbucks every day for breakfast, either. Places like that were always a treat, never a habit.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I can spend money with the best of them, her examples are just not ones that speak to me on any level. I tend to spend on convenience foods and dinners out – they aren’t even that fancy, but there are 3 of us ordering off the adult menu these days so even a modest restaurant costs $100. Lots of people would find that ridiculous I’m sure. Why spend so much money just on food? It’s gone quickly and, if you go out that much, it’s not as memorable as if you only did it once in a while. True. But that’s where we choose to splurge.

 

Like I said, I’m barely into the book though. She may get more frugal as she goes. I’m not going to discount the helpfulness of a book just because her examples don’t speak to me. Her point is well taken: you have to set aside a little money to treat yourself now and again to something small or your life will feel like unrelieved drudgery. And cutting back, no matter how much or how little, is never a bad thing. If you’re someone who is tempted by expensive things, it makes sense to save up for them rather than putting it all on credit. She does point out that those bills will come due at some point. She also suggests some pretty genius ways of getting past envy. Namely, imagine the past due notices that woman is probably carrying in the pocket of that designer coat. Or the fact that the shoes that you covet are going to someone who has leveraged their whole life to show the world how important they are through their clothes and trappings.

 

The book is written in a conversational, funny manner that makes it an easy read. I’ll keep going and let you know how it goes.

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