Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon

In addition to my affections for true crime, Veronica Mars and Larry Dobrow… I also have a slightly geekier (if that’s even possible) obsession: personal finance. Now, I’m not as nutty about personal finance as I am about my other obsessions—namely, because numbers typically give me a headache.

Three years ago, when I was working an entry-level journalism job (with an accompanying entry-level salary) in New York City, Suze Orman’s terribly titled book “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke” helped turn my financial life around. My credit card debt was getting higher than I was comfortable with, and the 401k information the HR rep put in front of me on the first day of my job might as well have been written in a foreign language.

Now, I’ve never been one to take all the rules of any one plan on blind faith—indeed, there are some Suze-isms that I still ignore (not to mention she seems like a freaking whackjob on her TV show)—but it gave a numbers-idiot like me a great outline for how to tackle my debt and put my priorities in order. I’m far from perfect—I still have a weakness for getting out the charge card at Anthropologie, but I was also recently able to set up Roth IRAs for my husband and I with relative ease.

Getting to my point (does anyone else notice how I’m consistently terrible about burying the lede?): Suze Orman writes a series of columns for Yahoo! Finance to promote her new women-targeted book. I’ve been keeping up with them—because, like I said, I’m generally a Suze fan—but unfortunately, the columns seem low on advice and strategy and high on talking about women’s “attitudes” toward money. This article, for example, discusses “summoning the eight qualities.” And from my perspective, it’s about as useless as it sounds. I get that many women (myself included) sometimes make poor financial choices based on emotions. But I’m also not an idiot. I know when I’m making a financially poor choice. I guess that I think if Suze wants us embrace “modern attitudes” toward our finances, couldn’t she at least operate on the assumption that we’re already modern, reasonably self-sufficient women in the first place?

1 comment:

Robert said...

And yet somehow, I'm the dork in this relationship.

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