Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Year to An Organized Financial Life

Published by Lifelong Books

The title of this book basically tells you what this nonfiction book is about. My husband and I have been reading/following this book in 2011 and I wanted to go ahead and review it before the year ended so that you would have a chance to decide if this would be right for you in 2012. We checked it out of the library first to look it over and make sure this was a book we could use before we purchased our own copy. I must be honest and say that we kept up with it as a couple through about April but I only kept up with it through July. I had to quickly read the remainder of the book for this review.

Each month tackles a different financial area that Leeds and Wild feel are necessary for a financially organized life. Here are the topics by month:

January – Take Control (Understanding your money history/story and get ready to change your view)
February – Assess your Finances (a new title for budgeting)
March – Get Ready for Taxes (really all about organizing your files)
April – Spend Less, Save More (the title says it all)
May – Borrow Smart (Tackling credit cards/loans and that pesky credit rating)
June – Build a Nest Egg (you guessed it – retirement)
July – Make Long Range Financial Plans ( Wills, estate planning, financial advisers)
August – Refinance and Downsize Options (More cleaning out and decision making)
September – Children and Money (How to teach and guide your children when it comes to money)
October – Protect your Assets (Insurance chapter)
November – The Season for Sane Spending (You guessed it: escaping the holiday blow out)
December – Year-end Money Moves (Reassess the year, give yourself credit and set goals)

If I had it to read over, I would have read the whole book first (although I think the authors suggest not to do that) and planned what we could realistically do each month. Some sections did not apply to us (we already have a budget) but others were good reminders of what we have been putting off (like an updated will). We especially used the suggestions for restructuring our filing but I am not completely happy with what we created. I am especially happy for Leeds' Zen advice for moving my desk. I no longer face the wall! However, we are still working on making the filing ours (we have been dealing with this since February). I am looking forward to sitting down with my husband and talking about how to teach our child about money as well as planning our holiday budget (we tend to blow it in December).

What does this book have to do with my faith? Good stewardship is just as important as a good prayer life or in depth bible study. In fact, the subject of money occurs more often in the bible than any other subject – including sin! I think all Christians need to seriously ask themselves: what has God given me and how well have a used it? I need to constantly ask myself this question. I don't have the Spiritual Gift of giving and need lots of direction in this regard (same with my spouse). So, this book has reminded me of being financially responsible with what God has blessed us.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for ways to get financially organized in the new year.

Happy reading!


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