In lieu of our first Literature edition I wanted to start a new article series: Honest book reviews by me! Your Editor-in-Chief. So before we get started I want to first start by sharing that I am a busy girl, but I LOVE reading. So what is a busy girl to do? I listen to audiobooks, all the time. At this point I am averaging 1 book per week while driving to and from work, running, and any other task where I feel compelled to multitask. So needless to say, I have plenty of books to cover!
This week the book I listened to is titled The Debt-Free Spending Plan by JoAnneh Nagler.
Now I picked up this book because I make a good income but I don't have a solid budget and I would love to find a simple way to not only save more money but also pay down my credit cards. Not to mention student debt. So I started reading and was instantly hooked with the author JoAnneh describing herself having an epiphany in a grocery store stressing about how she was getting ready to add a full cart of groceries to her credit card that already had a balance of over $20,000. She talks briefly about her own story and talks to the reader as if she is consulting you.
In the first 3 chapters she goes over the entire plan. The rest of the book is dedicated to real-life scenarios and specialty situations such as if you are in debt with a partner or if you simply cannot pay the minimum balances on your credit cards. The audiobook also comes with a companion PDF document that you can follow to create your own budget, see the budget examples mentioned in the book, and also gives examples of financial apps you can use on your mobile phone.
I have read quite a few money/ financial books that give you the textbook terms of what interest rate is and how you should “pay yourself first” and what not but I have never read one that just cuts to the chase and gives you step by step instructions on how to balance your budget and get out of debt. One of the best elements of this book that I liked is that she talks about maintaining your quality of life while creating your budget. There is no depravity or Ramen noodle only diet talk here. She points out that having a budget means feeling comfortable in buying things for yourself without that consumer regret the next day. Just that concept alone is reason enough to read this book and shows how different it really is from the rest out there.
Another element I liked about this book is that she chooses example scenarios of people who want to get out of debt, a few of them being young women in their 20's and 30's who are still getting used to their first “real job” and trying to pay down college debt as well as credit card debt. I feel that age group is often left out of these financial books and was glad to see it covered.
All in all I think the book was great. All the questions that came to mind while reading it were answered and I felt empowered to create a better budget and spending plan for myself. I implore you all to read for yourself if you want to feel more confident in your spending choices. If you've read the book I want to hear your thoughts.
Buy your copy or listen through Audible here.