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Review: You’re Broke Because You Want To Be by Larry Winget

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You're Broke Because You Want To Be by Larry WingetWhen I received a copy of Larry Winget’s You’re Broke Because You Want To Be, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had seen parts of a few episodes of his show, Big Spender on A&E, and knew his style to very much be no-nonsense, get right down the business, you need to deal with your problems because you are in control, type of person. I like his style because it doesn’t tip toe around issues, it doesn’t BS with you to get you to think of the right questions to ask or the right answers to say, his style gets you and your problems into a room so you can fix it. This book is exactly in that same style and anyone with money problems and the fortitude to face them in this manner should read this book.

A great example of his style is practically the first page when he discusses who this book is for. He says “Before we begin, let’s make sure we understand one another.” The title is The Difference Between Poor and Broke. Anyway, he goes on to say that poor is a sad condition but broke is something controllable. Broke means you’re either underearning or overspending, poor is something entirely different. Most Americans are broke, they aren’t poor (for poor, think of those places supported by charities stating they could feed people for pennies a day); and they can control it if they knew how and were given a swift kick to get them started. The introduction goes on to say how victimhood is not something you can claim because it’s not like someone showed up one day and forced you to pile on credit card debt, it’s not like someone forced you to buy a flashy new car, etc. Lastly, he ends the introduction by saying everything you already knew: “I am not a blow-smoke-up-your-skirt, you-can-do-anything- with-a-positive-attitude kind of guy. I am a nose-to- the-grindstone, no-excuses-will-be- accepted kind of guy. I’m harsh. I’m abrasive. Your feelings will probably get hurt as you read what I have to say. … I’m the guy you go to when everything else has failed and you are desperate. I know what it’s like to be desperate because I’ve been there. It’s terrifying. And the last thing you want is a hug and to be told to have a positive attitude.”

So, why this book? This book is like a focused laser and is designed for people who are earning a good wage but can’t seem to get ahead. Everything about it is focused on that so if you’re looking for a book on investing, this isn’t it. If you’re interested in hearing the commonalities between all the folks Larry has worked with to see if you exhibit those traits and how you can fix them, then this book will do you some good. One prime example is on page 65 where he says not a single person he has worked with had a clear idea of how much they earned and how much they owed. In other words, they didn’t have a clear understanding of their current state. If you don’t know where you are now, how can you ever possibly 1) get anywhere; 2) improve your situation?

The only thing I’d be concerned about is that many people don’t respond to this kind of motivation. Not only do many people not respond to it, far fewer people will respond to it when it’s in the form of the written word. It’s one thing for Larry Winget to be in front of you, forcing you to confront your problems, and it’s another to be reading it from a book! My take is that the people this book is trying to reach should read it and put his advice to work because he makes excellent points and gives actionable advice.

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9 Responses to “Review: You’re Broke Because You Want To Be by Larry Winget”

  1. Minimum Wage says:

    This book is like a focused laser and is designed for people who are earning a good wage but can’t seem to get ahead.

    Are there any books for people who are earning a bad wage but can’t seem to get ahead?

  2. Frugal Dad says:

    I was always amused by Winget on the show Big Spender. Oddly enough, I used to tell my wife a couple years ago that he was like Dave Ramsey on TV, and now Dave is on television. For some reason I just can’t imagine Winget writing a book – just doesn’t strike me as the authoring type. Still, your review seems positive so I’ll probably give it a look.

  3. Patrick says:

    Jim, I thought the book was a good read, and I think this is the kind of talk many people in this situation need to hear (or read). Unfortunately, most people aren’t willing to go out of their way to receive it. Why make yourself uncomfortable if no one is forcing you? Still, I think that the principles are sound and this book has the potential to reach people. I hope it does.

  4. Brenna says:

    As the title suggest – “You’re Broke Because You Want To Be” challenges the reader to look at their current financial state head on and to be an active participant in the book to realize the choices the reader made. The book is really to shake the person out of excuses and to take responsibility for their poor decisions in life.

  5. Cheapster Bob says:

    Unfortunately, the problem goes much deeper and includes many variables such as lack of personal responsibility, neighbor envy and being raised on tens of thousands of commercials.

    There is a strong belief in this country that someone will always come along and make things better (Guv’ment) or that you will win the lottery some day.

    I’m pretty sure both the baby boom and generation x are lost causes save for the few wise souls who wake up and start visiting sites such as your own (and my own very soon!)

    Generation Y and beyond presents our best opportunity for getting back to the basics that made this country great in the first place. Hard work, saving, community and strong family bonds.

  6. bryan says:

    i very much enjoy reading this guys books because there is nothing comparable to his writing style. very entertaining, to the point, and true

  7. Kirk says:

    Cheapster Bob is right. Most people expect someone or something (guvment) to come to the rescue. I think it started with the Boomers who saw their parents retire with a pension. Their parents didn’t have to save as much since they had pensions and social security so the Boomers spent, spent spent. Now, the Boomers are in a tough spot with the average savings at $80,000 for retirement.

    I think Larry brings the right kind of in your face message to people. This seems to be what people need.

  8. EQ says:

    Dear Minimum Wage,

    To increase income slightly, one can do their job to the fullest (show up an hour early, stay half hour late, use work time to ACTUALLY work, etc.)

    But to radically increase income, one must also master a “financially valued skill” and either apply it to their current job / industry or switch jobs / start a business. The most financially valued skills are: sales, marketing, profit management (investing), product creation, CEO-level decision making, and direct-response copywriting.

    Check out Michael Masterson’s books: “Automatic Wealth,” “Automatic Wealth for Grads,” “Ready Fire Aim,” “Seven Years to Seven Figures.” He’s the real deal. He went from debt-to-millionaire himself, made several more fortunes, then helped other people do it via personal mentoring.

  9. Alan says:

    All of Larry’s workshops and books are IN YOUR FACE and WORTHWHILE.

    I have read many of them and have heard him speak since he first started his speaking career in the early 90s.

    His information is straight-forward, honest, no BS.

    If you are in debt. Get out. Larry’s book will help you help yourself.


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