Two approaches to the same $ advice

By Trish Dillon, GTA Outreach Coordinator

In this book review I will be discussing two economics books. The first book: The Missing Semester by Matt Kabala & Gene Natali Jr. The second book: Money Letters to my Daughter by Jackie Cummings Koski. Although both books touch on the same topics – from student loans, and credit cards to investing and debt – they have different approaches.

edited pic 2The Missing Semester is written from the perspective of college professors. The book touches on how your choices have consequences, and this is your life after college. Kabala and Natali are very straight forward in their approach. They tell readers that gaining control of your finances isn’t luck and not  to expect help. I appreciate their honesty, and respect them for telling people to stand on their own two feet. Although the book was very informative, at times it becomes pedantic and is reminiscent of a drawn-out college lecture at eight-thirty in the morning the week before mid-terms. One of the most helpful tips in the book was chapter 12: “Putting a Roof over your Head.” In bold letters it states “If you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you can’t afford the house.” They emphasize that home ownership is about much more than monthly mortgage payments. Overall the tone of the book seems to be “Welcome to adulthood! Now get your life together.” I recommend this book for college seniors who are preparing to face the real world, and full -fledged adulthood.

Money Letters to My Daughter is written as a series of letters from a mother to her young daughter. Each paragraph is a different letter with a different subject. Every letter begins with “Dear Amber” and ends with “Love,” and a different version of mom. For example, “Mom, Staunch advocate for doing your own research,” or “Mom, that didn’t skip math class.” Cummings Koski gives advice on earning money, spending money, and how to pit credit card companies against each other to get the best perks. She shares a helpful tip that I personally used when looking for a new credit card. There are a couple of good websites that will help you find the card that is best for you: and The book is packed with information that can sometimes be over-whelming, but Cummings Koski remains entertaining. Money Letters to My Daughter is witty, and sentimental enough to make you want to call your mom, and tell her how much you appreciate her. Although the book cover is different shades of pink, I recommend that everyone read it.

The Missing Semester by Matt Kabala & Gene Natali Jr., can be purchased on

Money Letters 2 my Daughter by Jackie Cummings-Koski can be purchased Cummings-Koski can be purchased