Good morning all! Today’s post is a bit behind schedule – I was on a business trip the past week and didn’t get a chance to write. But don’t worry, today I have a great new book review for you! It’s a book called “End Financial Stress Now – Immediate Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Financial Outlook” by Emily Guy Birken.
How did I get this book? It’s a funny story. Emily reached out to me on Twitter because she noticed I was a fan of Farnoosh Torabi’s So Money podcast and she was wondering if I heard the episode she was on. In fact, I had heard her episode, because I really do listen every week. We chatted a bit and she generously offered to send me a copy of her latest book – the same one she’d been talking about on the podcast. A few weeks later, it arrived in the mail – so exciting! Now I have it next to me here in my house, and I’m sharing it with you.
Read on to hear all about what this book is about.
Ending Financial Stress – A Unique Perspective
You might remember a few weeks ago I got burnt out on personal finance basics books. The good news is that this isn’t that kind of book. Instead of a simple “how to save money” approach, Emily takes you on a journey to really understand where your financial stress comes from, and how to overcome it. Each chapter ends with a few key take-aways so you can ensure you’re taking away the most important parts of the book.
Financial stress is a real thing that many folks struggle with. According to CNBC, three quarters of Americans will experience financial stress at some point in the year – and a quarter will experience extreme financial stress. So if you’re feeling stressed about money, know that you’re in good company with most of your peers.
Sometimes people will just wish all their money problems would just go away – wave a magic wand and they got that big promotion, won the lottery, or received a big inheritance and no longer need to worry about money. Unfortunately, that’s not very likely to happen. So instead, why not take a deeper look into the psychology of financial stress, and find solutions that can help you overcome it. That’s what this book will do for you.
There are four separate parts to the book:
- Redefining Money – This section explores what money really means to you, what opportunity cost is, and the behavioral quirks that mental accounting can lead to
- Economic Reasons Why We Struggle With Money – Scarcity, cognitive biases, and our fear of loss are featured in this section
- Psychological Reasons Why You Struggle With Money – This part of the book looks into the scripts you might have around money, how your thinking around “should” and “deserve” might be damaging you, and how small barriers might be keeping you from achieving financial success (or might help you in your financial journey)
- Achieving a Stress-Free Financial Life – This section is in the same vein as more traditional financial advice, but tackles it from a different perspective than I usually see. This section helps you to grow the gap between your income and expenses (called “finding your breathing room”), budgeting, increasing self-discipline, and letting go of financial resentment.
Going Beyond The Basics
Many of the ideas that Emily covers in this book aren’t addressed by the “traditional” personal finance media. Remember how mentioned my burn out above? There’s a reason the traditional media focuses on the ABC’s and 123’s of saving, investing, and budgeting. That’s because so much of America is in bad financial shape – half of families have no retirement savings, 69% of Americans don’t have $1,000 saved, more than half of all people invest nothing in the stock market, and so on – and they just need the basic foundations of personal finance.
There are many of us that have a need to go beyond the basics, and want to explore more of the reasons behind why we spend, save, and invest the way that we do. Why is it that we might know the “right” thing we should be doing, but feel paralyzed? How does loss aversion impact our investing decisions? This book has the answers.
Don’t worry, though. Even if you’re still working through some of the basics, this book is worth checking out. You’ll learn more about the reasons behind your behavior and feelings, and this book will help you gain control over your financial life. Learning the reason why you feel the way you do about money is one of the keys to success.
A Giveaway – And A Chance To Share!
Have an amazing weekend!
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