The Money Guide to Transform Your Life promises to help you improve your finances. Financial knowledge is rarely taught in school, even though it is arguably more important than advanced math, history or other subjects.
As a result, many people, most often women and minority groups, find themselves in debt or out of control of their cashflow. Luckily, it is never too late to start learning personal finance, and The Money Guide to Transform Your Life may be a good start for this.
I was kindly provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Table of Contents
Book review: The money guide to transform your life
The Money Guide to Transform Your Life was written by Lynn Beattie and published in September 2020. Lynn is a personal finance expert and you may know her from her blog Mrs Mummypenny.
On 192 pages, Lynn explains to us how we can improve our money management from scratch. Having a background of being in debt herself, the content is relatable and relevant to women (or men) who are keen to transform their financial lives. Or as Lynn puts it:
What I hope to do both through my company Mrs MummyPenny and through this book is to empower women to take charge of their money more.
The Money Guide to Transform Your Life structure
The Money Guide to Transform Your Life is divided into two parts: The Now (part 1) and The Future (part 2). Part 1 actually starts with the past before moving on to explain how you can improve your finances in the present. Then, Part 2 continues by detailing how you can make sure you are in a good financial position in the future.
Part 1: The now
Part 1 focusses on current finances, though the title is slightly deceptive. Before, Lynn goes back to the beginnings and talks us through their financial past which was characterised by ups and downs. Or in Lynn’s words:
Like you, I’ve felt miserable and depressed at my financial situation at times, elated and free to spend (rather too) wildly at others.
Lynn is very open and honest about her relationship with money and invites us to do the same. There are a few exercises that help you to achieve this. I have never really thought about how my past influenced my views on money so the exercises were interesting.
For example, Lynn got me to think about my early money memories. Thinking about it, it makes sense for me to be a total saver as I witnessed my family being evicted as a child due to not being able to pay the mortgage. Not to speak of living without electricity and finally ending up in a homeless shelter.
But The Money Guide to Transform Your Life does not end there. After dwelling on our pasts, Lynn proceeds to offer practical advice on how to improve your money management. You will notice that Lynn has a past in corporate finance from the casual way she introduces fancy terms such as cashflow forecast.
But do not worry! Lynn also explains every concept she introduces and even offers templates for you to use. Apart from the cashflow forecast, you will also learn how to keep a spending diary, create a budget, and make a meal plan, all including downloadable templates.
Lynn then moves on to explain what steps she took to beat her debt (and how you can too). Alongside this, there helpful tips on how to save money in different areas of your life, for example when raising children, and on food.
Lynn emphasises that mental and physical wellbeing are important for money management:
I truly believe that we should not just work on a healthy attitude and behaviours with money, we should also focus on a healthy body and mind. If we have all three working in partnership then life should be good, balanced, and you will feel more in control.
Thus, she explains the importance of proper self-care which starts with basic things such as drinking enough water to more specialised care programs such as colonic therapy.
Part 2: The future
The second part is about setting yourself up for a better future. It is comparatively shorter than part 1 but covers equally important topics.
Firstly, Lynn covers wills, life insurance, and income protection. She tells us who, in her opinion, should write a will and/or take out life insurance/income protection and why they are important to have. For those who do not know where to start, Lynn has a list of recommendations for brokers.
Next, Lynn moves on to briefly explain the different savings products you can put your money in. This part is for you if you do not know what an individual savings account (ISA) is or you want to find the right place for your money.
Lastly, Lynn explains the magic of compound interest and why we should invest. She emphasises the importance of joining your employer’s pension scheme and thinking about your retirement before it is too late.
Book review: The money guide to transform your life: Summary
Overall, The Money Guide to Transform Your Life is a useful book to help you gain control about your life and your finances. It is based on Lynn’s personal experience and, thus, will mostly benefit women with children. But that does not mean others cannot learn from it!
The Money Guide to Transform Your Life is a very personal book in which Lynn admits her mistakes and shortcomings. This is not an easy thing to do but may help you to relate to her and take her words more seriously.
However, as always when learning from someone, you need to keep in mind that their words represent their viewpoint. Therefore, The Money Guide to Transform Your Life should not be the only personal finance book you read. As a starting point, you may be interested in the best financial independence books.
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