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The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,581 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
What does it take to create your New American Dream?

Suze Orman, the woman millions of Americans have turned to for financial advice, says it’s time for a serious reconsideration of the American Dream—what promise it still holds, what aspects are in need of revision, and how it must be refashioned to fit our lives so that we can once again have faith that our hard work wil
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jan 26, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I did not read all of this book. I skimmed through parts of it, and read other parts carefully. This is a great, great overview of personal finances, college and retirement planning, and living 'below your means" as a strategy for surviving in the new American economy. The author believes that our old concept of the American dream is pretty much dead, and the our new dream needs to be much more centered on individual choices, personal responsibility, and the recognition that what people have tak ...more
Mar 22, 2014 Keri rated it it was amazing
Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey are the two personal finance gurus I like, not being a finance person per se (so I like the 101 version). Both discourage credit card debt, hate bond funds and strongly recommend emergency funds, debt payoff, easy investment vehicles, and not living beyond one's means (stating the obvious a bit there, but then again maybe not, since so many of us are in debt!). Orman is not nearly as debt-averse as Ramsey. Ramsey is hard-core against any and all debt, even so-called "g ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok
Suze Orman has been spending WAY too much time with Oprah. This book mixed generic money advice that anyone who is likely to be reading a financial book already knows with feel-good spiritual nonsense. She kept going on about how you need to "Stand in your truth". Sounds like the title of a church sermon. I can just picture her on the Oprah show gushing about this book and how it can change your life, but to me it was all fluff and no substance. Nothing new to read here.
Jan 30, 2012 Tricia rated it liked it
Well, this book was good for me to read at this time. It was very interesting to get a handle on how much the 2008 collapse really influenced money, inflation, interest, etc. Even though I already knew about those things (and had seen the deflation in my own retirement accounts), I was just kind of ignoring it. This book kind of kicked me back into gear about being more proactive with my accounts.

I'm not a huge fan of Suze Orman's writing style, it feels a lot like fluff. That being said, she do
Keith Sorensen
Aug 30, 2013 Keith Sorensen rated it it was ok
Disclaimers: This is my first Suze Orman book. I've been tempted to read some of her other works, but this is the first one I actually tackled. I was especially interested in getting her take on the "new economy," so I deliberately chose one that was written in 2011. Also, I've read many, many financial (and related) books by Dave Ramsey, Harv T. Eker, Napoleon Hill, David Bach, Thomas J. Stanley, Robert Kiyosaki and others, and I was curious to find out what set Suze Orman apart and gave her su ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
This would be good and quite useful reading for people with kids (or planning on having them soon-ish), people who don't really understand the importance of saving money and budgeting, people who are thinking about buying houses or condos, and people who are confused about how to save for retirement. This is somewhat less useful for people who are staggeringly in debt, or people who are employed and have a generally good sense of how to save and budget. Overall though, I think the section(s) on ...more
Kris Marley Patrick
Jan 06, 2013 Kris Marley Patrick rated it liked it
apparently the weather is so nice in Palm Springs that no one reads there! (I'm sure that's not true) Couldn't find a bookstore in town or a decent books at the airport on way home to Indianapolis. Could hardly find a thing to read in Phoenix airport either... it hurt to part with $16 but I needed something to read on plane and couldn't take one more celebrity rag...

Here's my big question: In Young, Broke, and Fabulous SO is completely against renting. In this book she has completely changed her
Mar 24, 2017 Bridgid rated it liked it
p14 "Your FICO qualify for the best deals...typically that means a FICO score of at least 700-720, and often lenders reserve their best terms for borrowers with FICO credit scores of 740 or higher. A great source can be found at, a consumer site created by FICO"

p22" Debit card rules...decline overdraft overdraft is a sign of dishonesty. You are spending money you don't have. And it makes me nuts when you end up being stuck with expensive overdraft fees.
May 10, 2017 Smudgedink7 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Considering it was written in 2011, I got a few tips out of it; that's really I can ask from it. If you want advice specific to your income and issues - consult a live professional - this can only cover so much.

I thought listening to a finance book might make the subject matter less dense but it's far from enjoyable. A book would at least let you skim.

If the phrase, "Stand In Your Truth," was removed the book would easily be 1/4 shorter. I understand and respect the concept, it's repetition was
A. Jones
Mar 10, 2017 A. Jones rated it really liked it
As usual Ms. Orman gives great financial advice, through an emotional lens.
Mar 03, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
If you're new to Suze Orman, this one is as good as any to start with (because it's the most up-to-date). If you're already familiar with her, this book might be useful if you have been affected by the financial crisis of 2008 or the events that followed... or if you have found yourself unable to follow her past advice and are looking to give yourself another kick in the butt. Otherwise, just borrow a copy and skim through it quickly, because most of it is a repeat of things she always says.

Jun 26, 2015 Ben rated it did not like it
Shelves: selfhelp
I thought I would listen to this to see what reinforcement I could get for principles we're already following. Most financial people have the idea that there is such a thing as "good debt" and really think the FICO score is important. I'm willing to overlook those dumb comments to see if there is anything else that may help us somehow. Suze Orman is not only one of those but she has so many other dumb ideas that I would suggest staying away. So skipping the basic "good debt", "worship your FICO ...more
May 12, 2011 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I learned from “The Suze Orman Show” that I should be putting away some serious bucks for retirement and my 8-month emergency fund. The show even helped me figure out what the best type of retirement account is for me. Great! I’m a financially responsible adult. I thought I had it made…some may say I was frugally cocky…and then a 26-year old caller starting asking questions about stocks, mutual funds, bonds …etc. “Wait, what?! I just don’t put money into an IRA and watch it grow?” Ans ...more
Dec 15, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: money-work
My mama gave me a copy of this, and appropriately so, because it is the kind of book that a mother gives to a child. Orman writes common sense financial advice for the average middle class person, and in this book, written in the wake of the Great Recession, she encourages readers to "stand in your truth." That is, she wants you to face up to any unrealistic ideas you may have about what you can do given your current income. The book seems to be aimed at those who are in need of some advice, suc ...more
I always feel weird reviewing financial books. Not because there is anything wrong with them but because everyone is at a different age and a different place financial wise than everyone else and what works best for one person might not work best for another. That said, I'm glad I read this book.

The only other Suze Orman book I've read was her Young, Fabulous and Broke book that was geared towards young twenty somethings (people like me) but written in 2005 (so it included things like using cred
Lisa  Carlson
Nov 29, 2014 Lisa Carlson rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lisa by: found at the library
Shelves: how-to
Suze Orman, a Certified Financial Planner, NY Times best selling author writes a straight forward common sense approach to money covering everything from raising financially knowledgeable children to buying stocks and bonds. You'd have to be living under a rock not to hear something she has said on her own television show, PBS and the Oprah Winfrey Show for the last several years. As someone who is at the mid-point of my life, does not have a retirement account due to long term unemployment I wa ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Money Class is packed with helpful information everybody needs—info it seems that most people don't have. I hope people will read books like this and educate themselves.

Our retirements are not going to be like our grandparents, because most of us don't have pensions. We have to be engaged in the process, think ahead, understand how retirement accounts work, what investments to choose, and how much to put in. We need to give our children financial education opportunities from an early age so
Aaron Marvel
Jun 14, 2016 Aaron Marvel rated it really liked it
Thought this was a decent book. There's lots of material in here that didn't necessarily apply to me least, not yet, but it's an overall pretty good education on how to best spend your money. Again, a lot of it is common sense, but she puts it out there in a way that is easily relatable. Her biggest mantra is STAND IN YOUR TRUTH and that is actually a really important takeaway for a lot of people, I feel. A lot of people seem to operate fairly unrealistically with their money based on wha ...more
Aug 17, 2012 Karima rated it liked it
On so many level, Orman hit the nail on the head. A big proponent of CASH, living below your means, downsizing, etc. I'm with her on all that. Where she lost me in this book is her encouragement to work, work, for, as long as possible. As one who is approaching retirement, I cringe at the thought of working until I'm 65 or 70. I want to enjoy retirement and all the typical aspects of that stage of life, grandchildren, travel, community involvement,etc., while I am still fit and healthy. She outl ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Kristin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everybody
Because it is written in a way that let's readers pick and choose what chapters to read, it is often repetitive if you read the whole thing through, but hey, a lot the advice she gives on these issues warrants repeating.

I read it all, even the parts that don't really apply to me yet and it was eye opening. I am so jealous that my parents didn't do any of the things she suggests parents do to teach their kids about money. No wonder I was still clueless as an adult! Anyway, now I feel ready to ta
Apr 15, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok
not suze's best book. while i appreciate that she has declared the "american dream" dead (it totally is) and that she flat out said we no longer live in a meritocracy where hard work is rewarded, that's about all i liked.

mostly, it just wasn't relevant to me. i don't have a traditional job. i'm not going to buy a house/don't have a mortgage. i don't have kids. i don't need to save for college.

i DO need to pay of tens of thousands in debt, re-start saving for retirement (but i can't do that unti
Jun 23, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Both my daughters will be receiving this book for the holidays. Suze Orman takes the current financial environment and explains how to best handle your money so you can retire someday. Her advice steers you away from making destructive and impulsive decisions that can have massive negative effects in the future. She asks us to take responsibility for how we deal with money when we are being urged on all sides to spend.

The biggest lessons I took away are that it is important 'to stand in your tru
Nov 18, 2013 Merc rated it it was amazing
During this year, I have fallen into a couple books that gave me what Oprah would call an “Ah-Ha” moment. This book was one of those books and the only non-fiction to hit me like that. While I can say that I do not have as much of a financial presence in the world as the people this book is directed towards, I can say I did pick up a lot of stuff even though I skipped the 40 – 50 year old chapters toward the end. And, I have taken much of her advice and its odd how easy it seems. But, once again ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Melanie rated it did not like it
Suze has no sense of how non-millionaires live. It would take a family grossing $50K/year and netting $3500/mo around four years to save up an eight month cushion, assuming nothing happens in the meantime to undo all their hard work. Even if they worked with "gazelle intensity" (to borrow a phrase from Dave Ramsey) it would still take them around 18 months.

Also, from reading this book I kept getting the feeling that even if you save every single penny you earn it's not going to be enough. Not e
Brad McKenna
Jul 13, 2011 Brad McKenna rated it liked it
There's really no big mystery when it comes to being financially smart, save lots and don't get too far into debt. The trick, however, is what to do when you can't help but get into debt. The book really made me uncomfortable with my condo and the money pit it's threatening to become. Not much I can do but cut costs elsewhere.

What Orman was good at, though, was explaining the details of retirmenet funds and Oh doggy! is it complicated. The one thing I'll take away from it is Roth IRAs are good b
Rachel Matsuoka
Aug 18, 2016 Rachel Matsuoka rated it liked it
This book is very well-intentioned, and Orman attempted the insurmountable task of covering all ages and stages of income including retirement. It might have been too ambitious, however; when she's finished covering your particular financial situation, it seems as though she's speaking over you to someone else and has almost completely stopped engaging with your age group/income level/job situation/etc. For about 80% of the book you feel like you're eavesdropping on a conversation totally meant ...more
Apr 06, 2011 Renee rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Suze Orman. Growing up in a household where money was not discussed meant I was pretty clueless once I got out of college and started to live & pay for things on my own. A (younger!) friend of mine gave me her 9 Steps book back in the late 90's and I've been a devotee ever since. She has honestly helped me, my mom and several of my female friends get our Stuff together financially. THIS BOOK: if you haven't read any of her other books, buy this one! If you h ...more
Jul 04, 2011 Blair rated it it was ok
This is a great book if you have totally mismanaged your finances and have no common sense (What do you mean I can't spend more than I make?). Everything was taken at a really basic level - redefine your version of the American Dream if you've been unemployed for 8 months and can't afford what you used to think about, sell your house if you are underwater and can't make your mortgage payments, etc. Anyone with a bit of financial saavy and common sense won't get a whole lot out of this book.

On th
Lisa Glickstein
Dec 20, 2013 Lisa Glickstein rated it liked it
Good advice from Suze Orman, as always. However, her theme (of the crashed economy and the "dead" American dream - the old one anyway) was depressing and she flogged it like a dead horse. Plus some chapters were very very confusing - I get that the topics are complicated, but sometimes she left me with action items that seemed meaningful, and other times not so much. She basically admits to hating to write the book, and I think her attitude affected the final product. I'm sure she had to deal wi ...more
Jul 24, 2015 BrandyLee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I highly recommend this book both to people who need to get their financial life together as well as those who feel they do but would benefit from a deeper understanding of their money in the new economy.

The premise of the book is that the old days of work-hard-get-ahead is no longer guaranteed. Home ownership is not a promise, reliable job prospects are far from reality, and the only person to count on in retirement is yourself.

From this book I am working to adjust my savings goals, rework my
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Suze Orman (born Susan Lynn Orman) is an American financial advisor, writer, and television personality.
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