It’s Not Common Cent$: A 30-Day Personal Finance Crash Course for College Students and Young Adults


As a millennial – and every generation after – it’s near impossible to have a straight talk about our finances. We didn’t get much training in it, and on top of that, we’ve been hit by one life-changing event after another. It feels like they’re happening every day. So what are we to do? Amin makes a good point from the jump: start today. Life goes on, bills need to be paid, people need shelter and food to eat. We weren’t born millionaires but we can make it so that we’re comfortable with what cash flow comes in, and what we can do with what we’re given.

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Aaminah Amin’s book – It’s Not Common Cent$: A 30-Day Personal Finance Crash Course for College Students and Young Adults. How to Manage Money, Save Money Fast, Pay off Debt and Invest in the Stock Market – leads you through a 30-day crash course in identifying the bugaboos of financial literacy, how it applies in modern situations, and how you can make it work for you. She doesn’t pull any punches by starting with a rundown on terminology, and then explains her own approach to tackling debt and establishing a budget, while cracking terrible jokes in between (we all have that friend who tells the corniest jokes, but we love them anyway, that’s Amin). The thing about knowing your (financial) enemy is that not every strategy is going to work well. You need to find a way to hold yourself accountable, and stick to it. And if it doesn’t, pivot into something new (Excel joke).

A lot of her advice is starting level tips but honestly? A lot of people need to have someone lay it out like this for them to understand. She does it in a way that doesn’t talk down to you either. Truthfully, if you’re a stickler about your budget and have been counting pennies forever (like me), some of the advice may not be particularly useful to you. There may be some gems for you to utilize because I did pick up a few pieces to incorporate into my approach.

Financial literacy is not a one and done situation. It’s a constantly fluid state of affairs. It’s one you should review daily, weekly, monthly; whatever works best for you. Amin gives you a good starting point to begin your journey. If you feel like financial literacy is impossible, Amin reminds you that it is not. Anyone can grow and learn, if they want to.

My rating for It’s Not Common Cent$:

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of Filipino heritage and the host of the City of Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in TechTarget, Nevada Humanities, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Follow her on Twitter.

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