Book Review: #MoneyChat THE BOOK
Yep, that’s the title: with hashtag.
Have you ever noticed how you and your friends talk about money? Some people will perpetually complain about not having enough, or needing to borrow more, or avoiding bill collectors. They’re stressed out about their financial problems and worried about their debt.
Others have grown up with few money skills. Maybe no one discussed it in their family, or maybe they’re trying to replicate their parents’ lifestyle as soon as they leave home to start their adult life. They never really learned how to manage their finances or limit their spending, and suddenly they’re struggling to cover their basic expenses and confused at where they’ve spent it all. They’ve never even seen a budget, let alone learned how to set one up.
Dorethia Conner Kelly understands these problems. She runs a financial coaching practice, and she’s heard these stories many times. Her clients may talk about money as though it’s a foreign object that’s completely out of their control. Instead of managing their money, they see it as a mysterious force that’s ruining their lives and keeping them from achieving their goals.
But she knows that the way people talk about money will affect the way they handle it. Their money chat influences the way they feel about their money and what they do with it. In #MoneyChat, she changes the way that they talk about money and she puts them in charge of it.
She started with Twitter chats, and then she added more information to her website. After a few years of coaching, she decided to gather the recurring topics into a book. It’s based on what she’s seen during the chats and heard from her clients, and they’re passing their knowledge on to you.
She breaks down her book into three sections: getting out of the debt hole, reaching solid ground, and then investing for your goals and retirement. She’s also included a section on dealing with money while you’re dating and how to build a strong financial relationship as part of being a couple. Money is one of the most frequent sources of marital arguments and stress, and she shows you how to deal with that challenge before you exchange your vows. You’ll learn to adjust to your partner’s financial style, accommodate both of your “wants”, and have money left over for fun. When you’re raising your family, you’ll know how to educate your next generation on managing their own money.
She’s also included chapters on the problems that she’s seen in her clients: gambling, payday loans, and not paying taxes. (One man lost his family over scratch-off lottery tickets.) People have to gain the skills to deal with the behavior that’s causing their problems. It’s time to look to the future by learning from mistakes and avoiding repeats. She shows readers how to face the issues, get help, and get back on track.
Ms. Kelly combines her practical advice with a dose of tough love. You have to reach the right attitude about handling your money before you feel that you’re in control of it, and she gives plenty of encouragement. She’s survived some of these challenges in her own life and she’s helped many more people deal with the problems in their lives. She shows how to cut expenses and save money, but she also emphasizes the need to work your way out of debt. You’ll learn about doing more of your own maintenance and repairs, selling some of your possessions, finding side-hustle chores, and even getting a second job.
You’ll also practice the skills to gain your own money mastery: you put her advice to work. She shares stories from her life and about her clients to show you how to deal with adversity. Then each chapter is filled with action steps, checklists, and homework. You start by learning the techniques, then research what’s available to you, and then develop an action plan. By the time you finish the book, you’ll be moving in the right direction.
Of course, if you’re struggling to get out of debt, then you may hesitate to run out and spend even more money on a book to teach you how to get out of debt. As I always recommend, you can certainly request the book from your local public library and wait for them to buy it. You could also save up the money to buy the book and then resell it when you’re finished with it, or share it with friends who have the same issues and questions. But if you’ve struggled for months to get out of debt, and if the price of knowledge is far less than a week’s worth of interest payments, then this is worth the investment. Buy it, learn to master your money, and then earn and save far more than the purchase price.
If you like what you read and you’re seeking more, then in a few months Ms. Kelly will release #MoneyChat THE BOOK Coaching. It’s an audio course that expands on each chapter of the book to help you stay on track with your finances. As a member of the book’s launch group, I’ll give out a 25% discount code to the first person who contacts me.
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