Well, I really wanted to like this book. I got it on the basis that JD Roth of GetRichSlowly.org mentioned it in a review of I Will Teach You to Be Ri...moreWell, I really wanted to like this book. I got it on the basis that JD Roth of GetRichSlowly.org mentioned it in a review of I Will Teach You to Be Rich as being one of only two books he recommends to students (the other one is The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke which I haven't read yet). As I was looking for a book to help introduce my two stepsons (one just finished school, the other just finished his first year of higher study) to some personal finance concepts, this seemed like a good starting point.
The book is a quick read, and the chapter headings are great, but my problem with it is that his writing style is a bit clunky and repetitive and seems to be aimed at high school students, while his examples and content focus seem to be more for young adults post-college, thoughtlessly spending their way through their disposable income and then some.
I also find his examples to be a little disturbing. He seems to think that debt is only caused by buying things you neither want nor need and that people's biggest financial problems are caused by them believing that buying a fancy car will make them like the swanky guy in the commercial. I don't know anybody with a brain over the age of about 16 who has ever thought like that, although no doubt they're out there!
So while I think the concepts are useful, I think the approach is actually offputting for young people. Certainly for my stepsons, they need help to realise that just because they have money doesn't mean they should spend it all - and conversely that just because they want something doesn't mean they should have it right now, they need to learn how to save and they certainly won't be able to relate to examples involving fancy skiing holidays and impulse-buying fog machines for Hallowe'en.
I also find some of the examples either frankly unrealistic (a single 25-35 year old who owns their own flat and has massive debt - what young person who isn't in control of their finances can even consider buying property???) or too black and white.
I've given Debt Is Slavery 2 stars because while I feel the book has many serious deficiencies, it does have the benefit of being short and quick to read, and the fundamental principles are useful, even though I don't care for the way they're presented or the examples used.
I think for people just starting to think about money (young or not!), JD Roth's own Your Money: The Missing Manual is a much better book, even though it's bigger and so perhaps seems a little more challenging. It's separated into clear sections though, so easy to dip into for a specific problem. For those committed to sorting out their finances, not just learning, I Will Teach You To Be Rich is excellent.(less)
I've been reading this for a very long time. Since early 2005, in fact. It's very dense. But it's also very good. One day I plan to actually finish it...moreI've been reading this for a very long time. Since early 2005, in fact. It's very dense. But it's also very good. One day I plan to actually finish it.(less)