Friday, April 3, 2015

Financial Friday!

It is that time of the month again! My New Year's Resolution was to read one financial book per month and then sharing my thoughts here. You can find my thoughts on the February and March books to catch up if you like, or simply jump in here with me in April.

This month I decided to go to the library and see what they had to offer in the personal finance section. I chose Suze Orman's Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny this month. I have to say while I am a Dave Ramsey girl I do enjoy watching Suze Orman on CNBC and reading her books. She has a no nonsense approach that is refreshing to me.

I am very glad I chose this book for my reading this month. As usual Suze breaks down the complex financial terms and makes them easy for everyone to understand. Her Women and Money book started out addressing why we as women are so uncomfortable with money. I did find it reassuring that I am not the only woman out there who doesn't fully understand investing, or that other women worry about being a bag lady in their old age. Honestly just knowing that you are not the only one who missed the class on personal finance as an adolescence makes it easier to face.

I expected since Suze is a successful professional woman that her book would "speak" to the other successful professional women out there. I figured the stay at home mom would be forgotten or just skipped over. This wasn't the case however. Suze went out of her way several times to specifically address the stay at home mom. Specifically how hard our jobs can be, how we must respect ourselves, and stop putting ourselves "on sale". I was rather pleasantly surprised by that!

I was also pleasantly surprised that Suze shares her "back story". I have read several of her books over the years and there has never been very much shared about her life before she became a successful tv personality. After reading the section concerning her 20's I found I could relate to her so much more. She made mistakes with money, she dropped out of college, she didn't feel smart or you would never know it to look at her now!

Her main thought throughout the book is "no shame no blame". I love that. Too often we make mistakes because we simply did not know any better. Then we feel so ashamed of our stupidity that we try to hide it, or worse yet keep digging the hole even deeper! Anytime in the book that Suze talks about making a mistake she addresses it in a very matter of fact tone. Yes, you made a mistake, no shame no blame, lets fix it.  She feels like a friend helping you to answer the question of WHY.

Why did this happen, why do women feel so incompetent with money, why do women not value their time and skills, etc.

She doesn't stop there however. She has a 5 month action plan within the book. This is a very basic month by month approach to getting set on a firm financial footing. She comes to the table with a plan that starts at the very beginning and explains every single term in very easy terms to understand.

Month one starts with learning how to balance your checkbook and what type of savings account you should have. Then it is on to things like retirement savings, credit cards, insurance, and important documents. She covers every single thing you need to think about in your own financial life.

I found myself taking notes throughout the book and I am very glad I did so. I have since upped my husband's life insurance, changed to a higher interest rate savings account, and am working on setting up a special needs trust for our children. There is more to come but I needed a bit of a breather!

There is just SO MUCH covered within this book! I have to say this is almost the perfect beginners book to finance. I am, as I said, a Dave Ramsey follower and couldn't quite get myself in line with her worship of the FICO score. Needing to add my 15yr old child onto my credit card to build his/her own FICO score is not even on my radar in terms of future goals. I did however love her advice about sitting down early with my own daughters to change the recurrent roles women play in family based finances. Just because our maternal ancestors left the financial matters up to their husbands does not mean that it is a trend that should continue through the generations. 

Overall I am a big fan of this book! I kind of wish I had purchased it so that I could loan it to my friends and family. Definitely a great choice for this months financial reading material! I will have to look through her other titles for more choice down the line.

Have you read Suze's Women and Money? If so I would love to hear what you thought!

***This is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated for my review in any way. I just read the book and wanted to share my thoughts!***

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