Today I’m taking a look at the book More Money for Beer and Textbooks written by the guys over at My University Money and Young and Thrifty, Kyle Prevost and Justin Bouchard. I was sort of excited to see what these guys came up with for a demographic – students – that desperately needs it. It seems that every day I open the paper there is another story in there about a student who is $50,000 in debt and can only find work at Starbucks. My hope was that Kyle and Justin would provide some much needed financial wisdom to a generation that seems lacking common sense in that area. More Money for Beer and Textbooks not only fulfilled those hopes, but added in a solid dash of humor, and made the idea of money truly engaging for a young audience.
Highlights of More Money for Beer and Textbooks
The parts of the book that I really liked were the initial chapter where the authors went into detail about what post-secondary education will cost depending on the options you want to pursue and the final chapter where they reveal some hard truths about today’s labour market. The conclusions they reached about colleges and a trades-based education being very attractive options in Canada today are thoughts I’ve had for a long time. I found it interesting that despite the fact that both Kyle and Justin have university degrees, the book is really geared towards helping post-secondary students from all backgrounds. Of course there is the usual personal finance stuff about budgeting etc. The hook for college kids about how to get the most booze for your buck was pretty amusing as well.
Why These Guys?
The average student coming out of university in Canada today is graduating with almost $30,000 in debt. That is a huge hole for young people to climb out of, especially when they are trying to save for a down payment on a house, maybe treat themselves to a decent car, and at the same time look at this whole retirement savings things that we like to preach at them about. Kyle and Justin aren’t just telling you how to do it, they’ve actually done it themselves. After years spent attending school away from home, they both managed to graduate debt-free, and now they work with students every day. This gives them the background and credibility to legitimately publish something like this in my eyes.
Remember When You Were 18?
The guys are quick to point out that no matter how ridiculous a title and cover they came up with, it was still going to be an uphill battle to get 16-23 year olds to buy their book. That’s where you all come in. How many grad gifts did you get that you never used again? I got so many fancy pens, and useless knick-knacks that they probably filled a trash can years later. How about Birthday presents? A shirt that is two sizes too small anyone? Instead of trying of buying a young person in your life something they don’t need or want, toss this book on their lap instead. I guarantee it will make a larger difference in their bank account than the $50 you were going to throw their way instead.
I wish I had gotten my hands in this book when I was going to school. If you know anyone that is currently in post-secondary education or will be headed there in the next few years I highly recommend More Money for Beer and Textbooks.