Book Review: Broke Millennial

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This month’s book review is Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry.

Erin Lowry runs the fabulous Broke Millennial blog, where she helps people in their 20s and 30s get their financial lives together. I’ve followed her blog for a while, and was excited to get my hands on a copy of her first book!

The Broke Millennial book covers absolutely everything you wanted to know about money but didn’t know who to ask. It’s basically personal finance 101 for people who didn’t learn the basics in school or from our parents – so, most of us!

It’s packed with insanely practical advice on the basics of managing money. Erin covers stuff like how to check and improve your credit score, which bank accounts to open and why, and how to handle student loans.

But some of my favourite chapters were the ones that go a bit deeper and look at some of the social and psychological issues surrounding money:

Early on, Erin has you looking at how your background and upbringing might affect your relationship with money. This will help you realise why you might have money issues, and what you specifically need to work on.

There are also great sections on how to have those awkward money conversations with your partner or friends, and how to negotiate more money at work.

And I especially enjoyed the chapter about how to deal when your friends all have wildly different incomes or spending priorities!

These are important issues that can really make or break your relationship with money – not to mention your personal relationships. But we don’t usually spend enough time discussing them.

As is obvious from the title, this book is aimed at millennials. While there are other books out there aimed at the same age group, I think what sets Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together apart is that it covers so many modern situations which are kind of unique to people graduating or early in their careers right now. I haven’t read any other books which talk about primarily millennial issues such as moving home after college, side hustling and the gig economy, how crazy expensive it is when all of your friends get engaged within a year of each other, and so on.

There’s also loads of advice for freelancers, which is great: millennials are the most likely age group to freelance or have otherwise uncertain income. This means they can be left out of the conversation in mainstream personal finance advice, which assumes a regular salary.

Broke Millennial can be used in one of two ways: you can read it cover to cover, or keep it as a kind of reference guide to dip in and out of. There’s even a handy quiz in chapter 3 that will tell you which sections will be most useful for you.

You might just find yourself reading it all the way through though. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together is genuinely just a great read! Erin is a really honest writer. She puts in loads of her personal story, which makes everything so much more relatable and also inspires you to real action. The book is also very funny and easy to take in.

One note for UK readers like me: Erin is based in the US and there’s a lot of very specific advice (on bank accounts, loan companies, retirement funds and the like) for American residents. I ended up skimming over a lot of this stuff as it wasn’t relevant to me. I’m wishing for a UK version further down the line! However, most of the key lessons in this book will serve you well anywhere in the world.

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If you’re in your 20s and you only read one book about money, it needs to be this!

Next month’s book is The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey.

Previous reviews:

My to-read list:

Any more recommendations? Let me know!

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