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The Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough: How Five Young Women Got Smart, Formed a Money Club, and Took Control of Their Finances
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The Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough: How Five Young Women Got Smart, Formed a Money Club, and Took Control of Their Finances

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  275 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Let The Smart Cookies show you how to eliminate debt, spend smarter, save better, and achieve financial freedom-without sacrificing your social life or your sanity
They were fivedynamic young women: smart, successful-and secretly drowning in debt. Inspired by an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on personal finance, Andrea, Angela, Katie, Robyn, and Sandra formed amoney
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Delacorte Press (first published 2008)
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Holly Vipond
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
This one is about a bunch of rich girls paying off their credit cards. It didn't have a ton of substance, though I imagine a certain (small) segment of the female population might identify with it. I found myself thinking things like, "Really? You had to pare down your monthly clothing allowance to $200? Poor princess."
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was nearly 2/3 of the way through this book before I finally decided I had had enough. It was boring, and I could never keep the names of the five ladies and their stories straight. I should have just jumped to the investing portion at the end of the book (the reason I picked it up in the first place) instead of having to drop it before I could even imagine getting through to that part.

Maybe if your young, single, and only have to think about "#1" this book might appeal to you.
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it was an investment book aimed at women. My parents gave it to us for xmas. The first half of the book talks about general savings strategies and tips. It's decent, logical, easy-to-implement advice. The second half gets into more technical topics (what to spend on a house, 401k, mutual funds, etc). And that part sucks - they try to make it simple but it ends up being oversimplified yet still confusing.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is depressing. It's all about how to save money by not doing things like buying $200 jeans or getting Starbucks everyday. Yeah, that's really helpful for me. I wash and reuse ziploc baggies, for pete's sake! This book is actually making me feel poor and like I need to go on a big shopping spree because that's apparently what women my age do. Bah!
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
more tips like, "eat at home more!" and "buy all your clothes on ebay!" It's like, I NEED REAL HELP AND THIS ISN'T IT. In other news, can I borrow some money?
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this last night...and I have mixed feelings about this book.

It's written in easy language to understand--the authors certainly cut through the acronyms and confusion of the financial world, and give good analogies (but some were a little too "Shopaholic" for me).

A lot of the advice could be seen as common sense for those of us who've been out in the real world for a long time, or for those who've done a lot of financial advice-reading/research. You know, the "don't spend more than
Andrew Mutch
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Although this book was published in 2008, it already feels dated. Published just as the housing and financial markets started to burn, the book does make some acknowledgments of the impending crisis. But much of the advice relies on the advantages that came in the bubble times in the run-up to the market crash of 2008 - 2009. While there is some decent advice for anyone with limited knowledge in the area of financial planning, budgeting and investing, some of the advice is misguided or just plai ...more
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2008
I’d seen the Smart Cookies last year when they were on Oprah and I’d heard an interview with them on Jean Chatzky’s satellite radio show (before programming changes moved it from 5pm (darn XM). So when this came across my desk I grabbed it. I’m all about women, financial information, and empowerment. And this book offers all three in high doses.

I’ve read a lot of money management books and what makes this book different is the perspective of the “smart cookies.” They augment their practical info
The best think I took away from this book was that women don't talk about money. And we should. I think its true - we talk about everything else but I have never discussed retirements or investments with a girlfriend and only know the salary amounts of 1 or 2 people. Why are we all so hesitant to talk about this subject?

The other interesting idea was that they formed a money group of 5 girls who got together on a regular basis to provide support, encouragement and advice in achieving financial
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
Picked this up on a whim at the library The suggestions for using your social network to improve your spending and saving habits were great, as was the chapter specifically on making more money.

But for a book designed to help women form better financial habits, talking about shopping on practically every page is not helpful. It wasn't that the five women profiled had especially materialistic goals (we all have some of those) but sometimes its tips seemed to focus more on saving money in order t
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: financial
This book definitely targets a certain niche, and they are very clear about it. If you are a young, upwardly mobile woman (20-something), this book is for you. However, if you in any other stage of life, it isn't as good. The *principles* work for anyone, but the examples could be discouraging to someone making under $30K -$75K with children. One worthwhile principle it teaches is to figure out where you money is going and then see if that matches up with your dreams. If it doesn't, you have to ...more
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
These ladies are money savvy and good at writing about it, but it's so impractical for anyone who doesn't earn more than $50,000 a year. The writers earn lots of money (like $80,000) and while they're good at saving, it's easy to save if you earn a lot. One couple now budgets $800 per month for eating out and gifts for others. Per MONTH! One lady still spends $200 per month on clothes. And they're just like, "Well, get more education and move up at work! Or start your own company!" I guess they ...more
Deborah Rochon
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
Ok, unless you know nothing about personal finances then this book is not for you. I guess most women don't know how much they send, or how to make a budget. This book is about how to start all of that. But if you are someone who already makes a monthly budget and wants to learn to penny pinch, or more about how to do retirement savings this is not for you. Plus if you already have a family and kids then you are already out because this book does not address children in anyway. A money club is a ...more
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great concept for a book! Every young woman should read this. We tend to feel that we are alone in our money problems, but there is always someone else in the same boat as us. If only we could have enough balls to connect with others and use each others stories of success and failure to help improve our own financial situations. These ladies helped themselves and each other by forming their group, and got out of the financial ruts they were in, made new friends and have helped others by s ...more
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, finance
Cute little book- mostly targeted towards a young single or young married woman in her 20's or early 30's. I thought there was a lot of good info here about cutting spending and getting out of debt and making some good first decisions about housing and investments. I think the best idea from this book is to form your own money group with those who are in similar financial situation to provide encouragement and share tips with each other. It has certainly done wonders for this group of women!
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the financial information is dated, this readable book is geared towards 20-somethings who know nothing about money except how to use credit cards. The "smart cookies" tactic is to form a money group to provide help and support as each person works through their money issues. Money issues include smart spending, debt reduction, extra income, investing, and home buying. Their website,, is still viable with additional information and two other books to purchase -- one ...more
Brea Grant
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in debt
Recommended to Brea by: oprah and melissa
although the title is a bit cheesy and it is aimed at (straight, hoping to get married soon) women, this book gives a lot of good financial advice.

(i'm not totally sure that comparing investments to the clothes in your closet is easy for ALL WOMEN to understand but it does make it easier for ME.)

most importantly, it makes sure that you know you can get out of debt and understand investing/money issues. let's just call it a confidence-building book.
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I enjoyed this book. I felt like I was listening in on a group of fabulous contemporaries chat about how you don't have to sacrifice style or "fun stuff" as you work through your debt issues in realistic and effective ways. I don't think there was anything earth-shatteringly new or different in the their tips or techniques, but the delivery just clicked for me. (I think I might buy this book, which for me says a lot!)
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This book wasn't for me. I could see it being helpful if you have a lot of debt, or are having problems keeping up with the bills. I was hoping for more information about what to do with your investments now that you have them. The writing was very straightforward and the ideas were easy to understand.
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a good overview of what NOT to do (don't buy $3.50 lattes every morning, don't splurge on clothes every payday). I love financial how-to books but this was a bit too basic for my needs--much better suited for the brand new financially independent college grad. I liked the ideas but I prefer Suze Orman for her more sophisticated approach.
Bianca Woods
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, finished-in-2010
This book is a great starter book for women in their 20's and 30's looking to start taking control of their finances. An added perk is that, unlike most finance books, there's a Canadian edition, so if you're a Canadian like me you aren't having to constantly swap out American terms for Canadian every other paragraph.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a decent book but unless you are living a high society life of buying expensive clothing and going out for high priced drinks then it doesn't really apply that directly. There are some good tips for saving and cutting back and some practical advice to help you control your impulse purchasing that I can see being useful though. Also it is Canadian content so it is applicable.
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Females between the ages of 22-42
Recommended to Chary by: Cheryl Centeno
So far, I REALLY LIKE this book! It's basically putting a mirror to you and it reminds you of your spending habits! If you need to get your crap in order in terms of your finances, this is the no-nonsense book. I'd like to think of it as Skinny-Bitch for your finances. Good stuff! It's a quick read, check it out!
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After I got over the fact that these girls were totally awesome and they had indeed paid off a mountain of debt, I realized that these girls made more in a year than I make in two. It was kind of depressing to hear that one of those ladies spent her months worth of earnings on clothes alone. I did learn a few tips.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The exercises in this book are well worth doing.

I am attempting to pick my 3 people at the moment. As a shopaholic, I need to stop this behavior and curtail to things that I really want. I would recommend this book to everyone. I think there is some valuable information in this book to be learned.

Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Good idea, but a lot of the advice is unrealistic. I don't want to hear about how lucky the Smart Cookies are that they all bought and sold real estate when prices were going up, or stupid analogies about investments and clothing.
I enjoyed this book - I thought some of the tips were great, some...not so great. I couldn't identify with the author(s)'s individual budgeting issues, but this was a nice place to start in my financial knowledge journey. Good to see the 'anyone can do it if they try' journey right now.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this finance book geared towards women. Good mix of basic finance and more complicated concepts and chapters on investing and buying a home, changing careers, etc. I enjoyed it very much! Great discussion questions and tips for people hoping to learn and think about finance.
Stacey Allen
Easy read, good for some tips for someone in financial disparity and just attempting to get things in order.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
really assumes you know NOTHING
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