Money at 30: “Broke Millennial Talks Money” Book Review
As much as I’ve enjoyed listening to audiobooks over the past few months thanks to my Audible subscription, this weekend, it was time to return to the world of physical media by reading a book I’ve had on my list for a while. Late last year, author Erin Lowry released the third book in her Broke Millennial series, following the original and the Broke Millennial Takes on Investing follow-up. This time around, Lowery looks at the important money discussions we have (or don’t have) with Broke Millennial Talks Money: Scripts, Stories, and Advice to Navigate Awkward Financial Conversations. Having been a fan of the previous two books, I was excited to dive into Lowry’s latest and see what she had to say.
One thing I noticed off the bat is that this work takes on a slightly different structure than its predecessors. While each of those titles included a “level select” guide that gave readers permission to skip certain sections, that’s definitely downplayed this time around. In fact, there is at least one instance where Lowry warns that those inclined to bypass the upcoming chapter may want to think again. Of course, there are no physical restraints nor is there a required test at the book’s conclusion, so really nothing is stopping you from only consuming the sections you find most relevant to your situation — but I’d still recommend giving it the “cover to cover” treatment.
So what exactly does Broke Millennial Talks Money cover. Well, if you’re like me, you may be inclined to assume that it’s mostly about couples’ finance and getting on the same financial page as your partner. This is indeed a major part of the book, to be sure, but it actually doesn’t come into play until Chapter 11 (sidenote: this chapter number always sounds foreboding to me in financial titles). Instead, the earlier sections of the book first cover talking to your coworkers and bosses about your salary, being honest with your friends and loved ones about your budget, ensuring that you’re parents have their affairs in order, and more.
While Lowry herself offers some great tips and insights throughout the book, she also includes quotes and suggestions from other professionals. This even includes authors of past books I’ve reviewed such as Kristin Wong (Get Money), Gaby Dunn (Bad with Money), and others. What’s great about this journalistic approach is that the book provides a variety of perspectives and includes advice that comes from first-hand experiences — even if these experiences aren’t from the author herself.
Speaking of experiences, while some of the situations covered haven’t quite applied to me (thankfully!) and likely won’t, there were others that really got me thinking. In particular, the section on Talking About Money with Family made me realize that I still have a lot to figure out as an adult. For example, I have no idea how to handle the necessary arrangements if my parents were to pass away. And, while I’d like to think this isn’t something I need to consider for a while, reading Lowry’s book made me realize that there are plenty of things I may need to consider as we all get older.
As for the scripts referenced in the subtitle, these are often short one or two sentence phrasing examples pertaining to the topic at hand that are peppered into the chapters. However, if you’re looking to quickly reference these suggestions for future use, they’re also compiled in the book’s back-matter.
Of the three Broke Millennial books, I think I’d have to rank …Talks Money as the work that I personally found to be the most interesting. That’s likely because, while the other two books were well-written, humorous, and detailed, I was fairly familiar with most of the topics covered (though this isn’t to say I didn’t learn anything from those reads, as I certainly did!). Meanwhile, this installment dives more into our relationships and how financial matters can play a role in them. Funny enough, since reading the book, I’ve actually dispensed some of the advice Lowry includes as I helped my friend navigate a potentially awkward money conversation they were going to have to have. Really, what better endorsement could there be for the book than that?
Broke Millennial Talks Money: Scripts, Stories, and Advice to Navigate Awkward Financial Conversations and the other Broke Millennial books are now available wherever books are sold.
Also published on Medium.