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Book review: 'Smart Is the New Rich'

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Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated

(Read caption) Smart is the New Rich: If You Can't Afford It, Put it Down, by Christine Romans, October 2010, Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, 320pp.

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Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

I’ll admit it – I’ve only seen the show Your $$$$$ on CNN once. I don’t watch much cable news – or broadcast television at all – so I don’t have much opportunity to follow programs like that one.

Instead, I came across this book at the library, not knowing the author, Christine Romans, from anything. I checked it out for one reason: it manages to ride the fine line between intelligent personal finance writing and easy-to-read personal finance writing.

It is a fine line, because it’s easy, when you know about finance, to write about it in such a way that’s not easily accessible to the layperson who just wants to make ends meet. At the same time, you can also write about it in such a way that you’re not really saying something of interest to anyone.

It’s a fine line that I try constantly to achieve, and I enjoy it when I find a book that manages to do it. Smart Is the New Rich seems to do that quite well.

1 | Reset, Repair, Recover
Money can’t buy you happiness, but like it or not, it is the engine upon which most material transactions occur. The smarter you get about these transactions, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to have the resources for the things you want in life. The best way to get started is to have a heart-to-heart with your spouse and with yourself. Ask yourself if your money is actually lasting through the month and whether your account balances are actually improving each month (on average). Are you living in housing that’s too expensive (more than a third of your income)? Romans offers up a bevy of such questions.

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