The Roanoke Times (December 2015)
By Michelle Singletary
Is it OK to give a girlfriend a book on healthy eating if she’s been complaining that she needs to lose weight?
Would you offend a relative if you gave him a book about trimming his debt if you know it has been bothering him all year?
Such presents might not elicit an initial exclamation of glee, but a gift of knowledge is something a recipient won’t need to take back to the store.
So, as I’ve done in the past, rather than just one Color of Money Book Club selection this month, I’d like to recommend a list of personal-finance titles that would make good holiday gifts and possibly change some lives for the better.
In a few weeks, many high school seniors who applied for early acceptance to college will learn they got in. And then they and their families will have to start thinking about how to pay for it. Here are some recommendations that could help with the process:
“It’s the Student Not the College: The Secrets of Succeeding at Any School — Without Going Broke or Crazy” by Kristin White. The first chapter is “Busting the Elite-College Mystique.”
“CliffsNotes Parents’ Guide to Paying for College and Repaying Student Loans” by Reyna Gobel. “I wrote this book because I get emails from parents who are worried about whether or not they’ll be able to pay for their child’s education,” Gobel writes. “They’ll tell me they’re willing to cash out their 401(k) plans to do it, even if they’re unemployed. Don’t do that. I’m going to show you how to chip in what you can actually afford without sacrificing your own retirement.”
The Princeton Review’s “Paying for College Without Going Broke” by Kalman Chany with Geoff Martz. In the foreword, former President Bill Clinton writes: “A college education should never be considered unattainable by any American. There are many avenues for funding available, but knowing how to look for assistance, as well as where to find it, is critical.”
For someone looking for academic and career motivation, here are some books to inspire:
It’s not just knowledge that is power, but the right knowledge. Give a gift that can empower someone.
Michelle Singletary is a personal finance columnist for The Washington Post. Her column runs on Sunday
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