Saturday, March 11, 2006

Liz Perle

I had a chance this week to hear Liz Perle read from her new book, Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash. Besides having one of the most attractive book covers I have ever seen (a beautiful pare green background with a small green striped coin purse on the front) this book reveals some hard truths.

Despite rushing into the workforce in record numbers, many women today are economic neophytes, reluctant to bargain for higher salaries, learn the ins and outs of their family’s finances, or put away funds for the future, when they most likely face time alone.

Many women still have the fantasy that Prince Charming, in the disguise of a rich husband, will rescue them from having to forge their own financial futures. They live from paycheck to paycheck and put everything else on their credit cards. And as society becomes more label conscious, with young girls being targeted to know – and care about – Coach bags, Lucky jeans, etc -- women’s debt loads are increasing at an alarming rate.

Perle came to see her economic dysfunction the hard way: She had moved to Singapore to join her husband at his new job, only to discover he had found a new girlfriend. She found herself on a plane to San Francisco with her four year old son, no home, and $1,500 in her pocket.

“This isn’t a rags to riches story,” Perle told the crowd at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair in Oakland. “How on earth did someone who ran a company and went to a good college end up on a friend’s couch with only $1500 and all my assets a half a world away under the control of my soon-to-be ex-husband? How had I been a party to the situation?

Perle’s book is on the San Francisco Chronicle’s best-seller list. (She lives in the city and is the director of Common Sense Media) Ed Champion has a podcast interview with her here.


Tracey Taylor said...

Frances -- did you see the column sparked by Perle's book in today's NYT Business section?

It ends: "I'm not saying men are more or less susceptible to material passions than women are. I just want to note that being able to justify a shopping spree in terms of aerodynamics, gigabytes and MP3 downloadability doesn't give anyone the upper hand financially."

Nicole said...

just starting her book this week, so far I'm loving it. I'm a woman that blogs about her daily spendings, and obsessivly keeps track of all the menoy I spend daily, loving your blog, check out mine: