Shoo, Jimmy Choo!  is a complete personal finance guide focused on guiding women towards making sound financial choices. While the language speaks to women, my feeling is that this book speaks to a lot of people who have just graduated and are considered part of the “young professional” group. While a guy might have trouble reading a pink book at the local coffeeshop, the lessons in that book are the same – be smart with your money.
Author Catey Hill  has a pretty extensive resume when it comes to personal finance. She’s been the financial marketing manager for Forbes, appeared as an expert source for “The Early Show” on CBS, Access HOllywood, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, and many others. She’s currently the money editor fo the New York Daily News online (among, I’m sure, a million other things). More importantly, she lives in New York City, arguably one of the most expensive places to live.
The book is separated into three major sections – Spending Style, Debt Diet, and Financial Fitness. Spending style helps you figure out where you’re spending your money and how to identify ways to shift towards healthier spending habits. Debt diet tackles the ubiquitous issues of debt, specifically credit cards, student loans, and car notes. Finally, the beefiest of the three is Financial Fitness, which covers a litany of important financial issues like career planning, retirement, insurance, home ownership, taxes, and coupled finances. All throughout the book are little worksheets that help you work through the ideas.
Asking for a Raise
I’m not a woman and so I don’t know first hand all the woman-specific financial issues our fairer sex has to deal with. I do, however, know that one issue is that of pay. My lovely wife has, on numerous occasions, told me that part of the reason why women are paid less has to do with aggressiveness, at least based on her experience as a manager.
So I made a beeline to page 126 of Hill’s book, which discusses preparing for and negotiating for a raise, the only activity I had any insight on. The section is about three pages long and outlines step-by-step what everyone, man or woman, should do when preparing to request a raise. To prepare, she recommends that you do a 360 degree evaluation, put together a portfolio of your work, review pay statistics online, make an appointment, and then prepare your pitch. Then in the actual negotiation, give your compelling case followed by a number that is above what you’d be happy with. Most importantly, be patient and don’t let the discussion turn personal or emotional. Finally, if you’re denied, ask for a reason. To be honest, it’s advice anyone can use, regardless of your gender.
Overall, I thought the book was great, but I’m a guy. I liked the worksheets in each of the sections, especially the one about discretionary spending, and thought the book was very easy to read. If you’re considering the book, just flip to page 3 where she lists signs that you might need this book. Here are a few:
- You have no concrete plan for a secure financial future.
- You get a huge tax refund each year.
- Less than 13% of your income goes towards retirement savings.
- You don’t have a clue where your money is going each month.
Oftentimes personal finance books can be a little dry and reference-like, like taking a spoonful of medicine. You do it because you know it’s good for you, not because you like it. This book is not like that at all. In fact, Shoo, Jimmy Choo! is a little like laughter dipped in honey.