Learning to be smart with money isn’t easy. And when you’re a 20-something who hasn’t been financially independent for very long, it can seem pretty intimidating. That transition into adulthood is where most of us learn how to deal with money. Cause lets face it, high school did not teach us anything about finances but they did spend an entire year telling us how the pythagorean theorem would be extremely vital in the real world. As any generation before us, we have our own unique challenges and one of them is money. Money touches everything. It allows access to basic needs, like food, water, and shelter, as well as resources — higher education, social connections etc. How much money you have dictates whether you live in one place or another, and the types of relationships you can pursue and maintain. And although it should not be everything in life, money does make it easier to live. So how can millennials get financially sound with their money and plan for a future? Easy. By finding the right books that speaks in your language. The Finanical Diet and Brook Millennial are said books. So without further adieu, here is a brief synopsis and review on each of them and why they should be in your own personal library!
The Financial Diet: A Total Beginners Guide to Getting Good with Money, is just what the title suggests. It’s a beginners guide to getting your shit together. The TDF book is full of easy to follow financial advice. You’ll also hear Chelsea’s personal story about where she started on her money journey (trust me when I say, if she got her finances together so can anyone!), plus find out what has helped her turned things around.
In addition, you’ll find tons of interviews with financial experts from different areas. Here’s a little taste of what else you can find:
- How to get good with money in the span of just one year.
- How to talk with your friends about money.
- The best way to make a budget and stick with it
- Ingredients everyone needs in their kitchen
- How to take care of your house like a grown up
- What it means to invest and how you can do it.
To me, Broke Millennial is the older sister to The Financial Diet. The author, Erin Lowry goes into depth about investing, budgeting, negotiating your salary, credit card debit, loans etc. In addition, she provides hilarious anecdotes that are totally relatable to anyone in this day and age (like when you can’t afford split the bill). The book also has exercises to help you figure out what type of spender you are, what are your financial roadblocks and how you can overcome these and start saving for the future.
In chapter three, Ms. Lowry provides you with option of either reading the entire book, picking and choosing chapters as you’re interested, or choosing which chapters to read based on level of experience. I chose to read the entire thing through as I wanted to absorb every bit of information possible. Some of the information I already knew and just needed to actually apply them and then there were new little tidbits that I learned. Some examples of things I didn’t know:
- When a collection item shows up on your credit report, it doesn’t hold the same weight for the entire time it’s on there.
- “Opt-out” or auto-enroll 401(k)s may not offer you the full employer match. You may have to “opt in” in order to take full advantage. Also, the different types of Retirement plans: 403b, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA etc I had no idea that you can actually have one even if you’re self-employed.
- Mathematical formulas for how much you should have in retirement savings per your age.
- The different methods to saving & budgeting i.e. cash diet or envelope method
I can not stress how much these two books have changed my life. I highly recommend everyone to read The Financial Diet and Broke Millennial. I’ve suggested these books to anyone who will listen, as it provides a fresh new take on a topic that is so difficult to comprehend.