Broke Millennial: Book Review

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Who is this book for?

Who doesn’t want to get their financial life together?

In Erin Lowry’s first book, Broke Millennial, we get educated on all things personal finance in the 21st century. If you have money questions your too afraid to ask, we bet this book has an answer.

If you are just starting out on your financial journey we can’t recommend this enough. Even seasoned PF junkies can find something new in this book they never knew before. Do you know exactly what determines your credit score? Or that you can negotiate with collections agencies? We didn’t either.

Erin started off on her financial journey similar to most of us. She has navigated many of the tough choices that money sends our way. This is not a ‘money-guru’ type who preaches that they are the final word in personal finance. Quite the opposite, this book serves as a solid entry point into the subject.

5 Things Every Millennial Should Learn from Broke Millennial

There’s a budget for that

There are tons of budgets out there. No single budget reigns supreme over the others what matters is that you stick to it! Lowry exphasizes the importance of understanding what will work best for you.

“There are myriad ways you can take control over your money, which is why it’s imperative you select one that works not only for your financial situation but also for your personality. “

Our favorite budget? The books goes through A LOT. One that stuck out to use was the ‘Employ Your Dollars’ budget. The idea is that you assign every dollar you have coming a ‘job’ to do. Something about the idea of making your money go to work for you stuck with us. The more it sticks, the more likely you are to stick with it.

What even is in my credit score?

There is a lot of what feels like rumors surrounding credit scores. In Broke Millennial, the veil is lifted on what exactly is contributing to your credit score. According to a report by the breakdown goes something like this:

  • 35% Payment History – Payment of past accounts on-time
  • 30% Amounts Owed – How much of your available credit that you are using
  • 15% Length of credit history – The length of all your credit accounts. Generally, the longer the better.
  • 10% Credit Mix – Having a mix of different credit like a credit card, mortgage, car loan, etc. (It is not necessary to have one of everything to have a good score)

10% New Credit – Opening several new credit accounts in a short period of time

It’s nice to have a book that helps to pull the curtains back on personal finance topics. Especially when it come to the topic of credit scores.

You need an F-Off Fund

Yes, it’s basically just an emergency fund but it’s way more fun to call it an F-Off Fund. We like this term because it expands past the definition of an emergency.

Sure, you can use it for car repair or unexpected damages, but you can also use it for getting out of difficult situations at work or at home. These situations can become just as critical and expensive if not more.

Be honest with friends and finances

We’ve read A LOT of books about money and finance. But none have touched on this very real subject plaguing the lives of millennials everywhere. Lowry notes that while you don’t have to show your pals your tax returns, it is important, to be honest and upfront when it comes to money.

The main issues are feeling obligated to spend x amount on some event, meal, drink, concert, etc. Broke Millennial gives some good advice for navigating these situations. Our favorite is to simply be upfront and provide an alternative:

“And you never know, your friend might also be looking to pinch a few pennies but didn’t want to lose face or look cheap by diverting from the original plan.”

Make the most of your money and moving home

Another topic that is uniquely millennial and unique to this book. Erin Lowry helps us financially figure out how to live at home. An entire chapter of the book is dedicated to the topic. From navigating the internal and external conflicts to paying rent, this book has you covered.

Our favorite point from the book is to be careful with the extra cash living at home can provide to you. Something that not everyone thinks about until its too late and all those potential savings are gone.

“Creating a healthy savings account and/or paying down debt is certainly one of the biggest – if not the biggest – advantage of living at home, especially in those early years after college. You just have to ensure you’re actually taking advantage of the situation instead of validating your spending habits.”

What this book has that others do not:

  • Several different ways to budget and resources because it’s not a one size fits all
  • Everything to know about credit and what do when something goes to collections
  • All the many, many banking fees and how to avoid them
  • Advice on friends and money: when things get uncomfy
  • The finances of living with your parents

What this book does not have:

  • Money Shaming: it’s not productive and we don’t want any part of it
  • In-depth Investing Information: This book serves as a nice intro, but for more info on this look at the second book in the series “Broke Millennial takes on Investing”


“Broke Millennial takes the typical preaching out of money lessons and replaces it with humor, empathy, and a fun, pick-your-financial-path twist for successfully navigating all the financial questions you’ll face in the real world.” – Farnoosh Torabi

“Rich with specific advice to guide readers on the path to financial wellness. Millennials who may be overspending because of #FOMO need to read this book – stat!” – Bobbi Rebell, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup

“Spot-on often funny financial advice… This is the wisdom I wish I had in my twenties and early thirties!” – Lynette Khalfani-Cox author of Zero Debt