On My Own Two Feet-A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance
Thakor & Kedar’s Must Read Money Book-Review
“According to the American Payroll Association, nearly 70 percent of Americans are living essentially paycheck to paycheck.”
If you need money information about how to get out of debt, save for retirement, and take financial control of your life, but don’t enjoy relish reading another personal finance book, On My Own Two Feet is for you. Thakor and Kedar make the task of creating a money management plan fun. I know most women (and men) would rather not think about finance, retirement, saving, and debt. If you fall into that category, this book is for you.
You will be hooked from the start with the call outs and side bars of usable information: Money Madness sheds light on the reality that “despite outward appearances of affluence, a shocking number of people are literally just a stone’s throw away from financial disaster.” You are not alone in your financial troubles.
In three sections, “The Tools for Financial Empowerment”, “The Path from Saving to Investing”, and “The Strategies for Real-Life Situations” and just 200 pages, this book will guide you from money ignorance to knowledge. You get hands on strategies to handle all the money stuff of life. Sample chapters start with saving and move on to credit cards, credit scores, insurance and budgeting. The second part, from saving to investing, explains the why and how of investing along with tricks to “Super-Size Your Retirement Savings” (Chapter 9). The third section offers color on money situations that you’ve probably experienced along with practical solutions.
Gems from On My Own Two Feet-A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance
There is so much actionable advice in this book, for both men and women, it’s tough to know where to start.
The backbone of financial security is saving. Instead of leaving you to wonder, how much to save, the authors challenge you to save 15 percent of your income from day one. Even the dreaded budgeting topic is streamlined into the Power Trio. This audacious 15 percent savings goal accompanies the recommendation to divvy up your paycheck this way:
45% Foundation Expenses
15% Future Expenses (savings)
25% Income Taxes
15% Fun Expenses
Credit card pitfalls are; having too many credit cards, thinking your interest rate is set in stone, using your credit card as a “cash/debit card” (huge fees), and being overly trusting. The credit card chapter is educational and helps the reader grasp the pitfalls of too much credit along with solutions to pay down the balances, quickly.
Chapter 9, “Super-Size Your Retirement Savings” is one of my favorite chapters because Thakor and Kedar answer all of your “how to” questions about retirement saving. Penelope asks about retirement saving for the self-employed. Thalia asks how the tax savings actually play out with the various types of retirement accounts. And the authors follow up with specific responses to the frequent question of “where to invest my retirement savings?”.
Not many personal finance books tackle “Your Heart and Your Money” (chapter 15). Couples are frequently at a loss about how to manage money together. The common concerns include, joint or individual accounts, insurance and prenups. On My Own Two Feet maps out the topics for couple money talks along with how frequently to schedule these discussions.
The websites and additional resources leave the reader satisfied that her money questions are covered.
Practical Money Information
If there is a negative to this book, (and I’m not certain this is a con) it’s that there are a lot of scary statistics about the lack of financial savvy and what happens if you don’t handle your money well. Although some get scared off by the fear factor and what ifs, I encourage the reader to use these facts as a motivator to take charge and realize that “Prince Charming is not a financial plan”.
This easy read and reference guide offers women (and men) the confidence they need to build wealth, conquer debt, and save for the future. The tools, strategies and resources are seldom found in such an accessible format.
Put On My Own Two Feet-A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance on your must read list!