One of my least favorite "tricks" listed in personal finance books for saving money is to "cut out buying your daily latte."
Pretty much everybody says it, and it makes me nuts every time. I don't know what kind of glamorous life these personal finance writers think I'm living, but I can assure you it doesn't include daily lattes.
In today's entry in Women in Finance (Books) Week, we have the latte issue right up front in the title: Nancy Trejos's Hot (Broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink It Too. Trejos is a personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, which is amazing, because this woman has no idea how to handle money:
"In January 2005, when I was twenty-eight, I bought an overpriced condo during the height of the real estate boom with my then-boyfriend, later my fiance, and then had to sell it at a loss two years later after we broke up. When I turned thirty, I bought a Volkswagen Beetle that I really couldn't afford because I got sick of my old car and wanted to drive around in something cute...After another bad breakup in April 2007, I blew all sorts of cash on a crazy trip through California..." (p. 6.)
Now, I don't really care what this woman does in her personal life or with her money. But she is a PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST for The Washington Post? How does something like that happen?
This book is also hot pink.
This book is basic in the extreme: use your credit card responsibly, live within your means, be smarter with how you handle your money, especially in relationships, etc. It's really more of a memoir (she also details her experiences working with a financial planner) than a how-to, and unless you really need an introduction to how to control your finances, there will be nothing here for you. And, of course, there's this really annoying bit on page 197, when Trejos is well into (supposedly) taking back control of her finances:
"Over coffee at Starbucks one morning, Christine [her financial planner] and I reviewed my contributions..."
Well, as long as it was coffee, and not a latte.