A few months ago, I was contacted about reviewing the newly-released, updated edition of a personal finance classic: Suze Orman’s The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity!
First, let me start by saying, I love Suze Orman. Her tough love approach to doling out advice is like a breath of fresh air in our “You’re special! No, you’re special!” culture. I also love her signature phrase: “people first, then money, then things.” It perfectly encapsulates my feelings about personal finance – I wish I had thought of it myself!
So yeah, I’m a Suze fan-girl.
And reading this book definitely didn’t disappoint. The book is broken down into nine chapters or “steps” to letting go of the psychological barriers that hold so many of us back from making solid financial choices. Throughout the book, Suze encourages her readers to examine their pasts, be honest with themselves, and be open to receiving opportunities as they come. My personal favorite step is step/chapter number 6, titled “Trusting Yourself More Than You Trust Others.” In this step/chapter, Suze explains how important it is to trust your gut about financial matters. Just because someone is a financial “expert” doesn’t make them an expert on your financial life.
What makes this book different (and better, in my opinion) than so many other personal finance books I’ve read is the connection Suze makes between our emotional and financial selves; rather than discounting or worse, completely neglecting, the role that our childhood experiences and current hang-ups and insecurities play in our financial decision-making processes, Suze takes those psychological challenges head-on. But lest you think this book is all touchy-feely stuff, never fear: every chapter is chock-full of solid financial advice. Everything from saving for retirement to paying off debt to making a will is covered in this book, and the advice is stellar. In other words, there’s something in this book for everyone, from the financial novice to the most seasoned PF blogger
The only criticism I have of the book is that it doesn’t have the “life raft” quality for those who are truly financially desperate that some other personal finance books have. If I was truly, desperately in debt and facing bankruptcy, I would come away from reading this book with a lot more knowledge about finances, but not necessarily a clear course of action to take. Perhaps my expectations are a little bit skewed because of my knowledge of Dave Ramsey’s “baby steps,” but I would love to see a Suze book for people who are truly on the edge financially.
All in all, I highly recommend Suze Orman’s The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. And if you planned on reading it, today is your lucky day because I’m giving away three copies! To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is:
1. Like TeacHer Finance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (click on the links on my chalkboard)
2. Leave a comment below letting me know what you think of Suze Orman’s approach to personal finance, based on what you know of her so far
That’s it! The contest closes on Friday, August, 10th at midnight and a winner will be chosen on Tuesday, August 14th (when I’m back from my brief vacation!).
Good luck to all! I can’t wait to read your comments!