Tag Archives: Bachelorhood

The Bookshelf: Bachelor Pad Economics

Aaron Clarey has come out with a new book, Bachelor Pad Economics, in which he explains basic financial planning for young men. He wrote the book as a reference to be used when needed rather than reading it cover, I ignored this advice and read it cover-to-cover. It didn’t really hurt the book.

As usual, Clarey writes in a straightforward, but engaging manner. Despite the subject matter, it never becomes overly dry or dull. With this and Enjoy the Decline, Clarey has begun proof-reading his books, I didn’t notice any of the grammatical errors and sloppy editing that plagued his earlier books.

The book comes in at about 500 pages divided into 15 chapters covering all the aspects of basic financial planning you’d expect and some you wouldn’t. He covers the normal things like budgeting, career planning, and retirement planning, but he also goes beyond this into covering things like girls and family. I didn’t notice any important area of financial planning he missed; it look like he covered all the basics.

On the other hand, I knew most of the basics of financial planning and have read his other books (parts of Enjoy the Decline overlap with this book), so I didn’t get too much new information out of it, but the basics are good and worth repeating.

One thing I like about the book is it goes beyond just financial planning and establishes beforehand the reason you need to financially plan. Clarey makes the point it’s not stuff, but people that make life worth living and financial planning should be geared not towards accumulating more stuff for not reason, but towards creating a better life.

As with Clarey’s other books, there’s a stream of amoral hedonism throughout and he again advocates his Smith & Wesson retirement plan. So, some people might not particularly agree with morality of the book.

Recommendation:

This is a solid, engaging guide to financial planning for young men. If you’re a young man and need to get your financial house in order or don’t have a financial plan, I would heavily recommend getting Bachelor Pad Economics; it’s probably the most boredom-free way to get this kind of advice. It could also be useful to young women, but a lot of the advice might not be as applicable.

If you’re already knowledgeable of financial planning, this book won’t really impart much new. If you’re older, you might get some value out of it, but its market is primarily young men.

Previous Reviews of Clarey:

Enjoy the Decline
Top Shelf
Behind the Housing Crash
Worthless

The Bookshelf: Captain Capitalism: Top Shelf

As mentioned previously, Captain Capitalism (ie: Aaron Clarey) has been a large influence for this blog, so when he released his new book, Top Shelf, I immediately ordered it on Amazon.

The book itself is a simple collection of what CC thought his best posts from his 8 years of prolific  blogging. Coming in at 400+ pages, the book has a whole lot of mini-essays on a wide range of topics primarily in the fields of economics, gender relations, bachelorhood, politics, and education.

Having read through his entire archive about a year ago (a lot of reading), I can’t think of any posts that should have been included that he left out. In addition, there were some good posts in it that I forgotten about. The book is very comprehensive.

The essays are all enjoyable, often thought-provoking, and usually informative. This is good stuff.

Everything is written in an engaging manner by the Captain at the top of his game. Read the first page or two of his blog; if you like what you read, you’ll really enjoy this book.

Grammar nazis may be concerned about the grammar and typos in the book. There are a lot of them, as there are in many blogs, and the Captain made no bones about the fact that he left the original typos in. Overall, I found this doesn’t really hurt the book or its readability, but if you’re OCD about these kinds of things, I might as well give you fair warning.

Another problem that comes up is that in converting his webposts to book format the links and the occasional graph are unavailable. You can understand all the essays even without them, but sometimes you know you’re missing something.

Now, the first question when considering this type of book is, why should I pay for something that I can get for free on his blog?

There are 3 primary reasons:

1) Support the author. The Captain has been giving us free content for almost a decade, paying . This of course doesn’t really benefit you directly, so if you’re a strict homo economicus this won’t really be convincing. Although, if the Captain is not working because his website is providing a minimalistic living, he has more time to devote to giving us more posts.

2) Save time. As I said, I read through the entirety of the CC archive about a year ago, it took me about two weeks during a really slow time at work. It required dozens of hours. Top Shelf skims the cream off and gives it to you in a format that can be read in an evening or two. It let’s you get the Cappy Cap goodness without such a time investment.

3) Hard copy format. I find it a lot more convenient and comfortable to read from a book than off a computer screen and Top Shelf let’s you read dead tree-style. Convenient.

Now comes my biggest complaint about the book and something I’m hoping Aaron will fix in his future books:

Top Shelf needs an index.

There are dozens (I don’t know exactly how many because there’s no index and flipping through counting them would be a pain) of mini-essays¬† in this book and they do not seem to be arranged in any particular order. If I want to find, re-read, or reference a particular essay, it requires a lot of page-flipping. A basic index listing the page each particular essay is on would be handy.

This complaint aside, I found the book well worth it.

Recommendation:

Buy this book, it is worth it. If you like reading Captain Capitalism’s blog, this book is a must-buy.

If you’ve read his blog and for some weird reason don’t enjoy it, then you probably won’t like this book, so I can’t recommend it.

If you’re really broke, but have a lot of time on your hands then you can read his archives instead.

Other than those two exceptions, I’d recommend getting Top Shelf.

Previous reviews for other books by Aaron Clarey:
Behind the Housing Crash
Worthless