Publishing Info: Orman, Suze. The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying. New York, Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Time Investment: 332 pages in a small paperback–some of it may be skippable, as it is geared toward people in all stages of life.
When The Future Mister Doctor Jones hired a financial planner to help him get out of debt, plan our wedding, and save for retirement, I did not just feel relief that he was getting some good help. I felt an intense need to learn what he was learning. I turned to my friend, The Future Master Rebecca Zook–who had made an amazing transformation in the course of a couple years from a college graduate who had never been employed to the proud owner of a thriving tutoring business with health insurance and a pile of savings. She recommended Suze Orman, who also has a book called Young, Broke and Fabulous. I read both books, but I liked The Nine Steps better–less faux-young lingo.
Orman’s advice only cost me a few dollars on Amazon.com, but it has been very consistent with the advice the professional financial planner gives The Future Mister Doctor Jones. Orman does a great job of telling you exactly where your priorities should lie–for example, which credit card bill to pay down first, or how to split up your tiny amounts of extra money between retirement, life insurance, emergency savings, and savings for big-ticket items like the down payment on a house. She also explains when and how to invest your money in different types of mutual funds and stocks.
Though my financial situation is fairly simple–I don’t have any debt, I don’t own anything, I don’t have any savings, and I legally don’t pay taxes–I still felt that this book was very useful to me. One little tip I’ll leave you with: the best savings account interest is through an on-line bank called Emigrant that links to your checking account and is extremely easy to use, with no fees of any kind.