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Degunking Your Personal Finances

by Kelly Hughes last modified 2005-10-22 21:33

A no-nonsense practical guide for getting your personal finances out of the gutter. Covers everything from tracking your expenses and sticking to a budget to saving and investing wisely.

Author: Shannon Plate
ISBN: 1-933097-02-7
Publisher: Paraglyph Press

As a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University reeling from the financial impact of earning my Masters degree, I thought this book was worth a peek. I consider myself to be a responsible person, I pay my bills on time and even use Quicken to track expenses- so I admit being a bit skeptical at first of the wealth of insight this book could offer me. I was pleasantly surprised, however- the breadth of practical, actionable advice in the book is impressive. The author draws on her professional experience as president of the budget counseling practice Everyday Money. She discusses a wide range of money (mis)management behaviors that can get you into trouble - I recognized myself more than a few times - and tells you step by step what to do about it. The book's tone is down to earth and very encouraging- the author acknowledges that you won't be able to achieve financial nirvana overnight, and urges that you will see results if you stick to clearly defined goals. Although I've started following just a fraction of the advice, I already feel in better control of where my money is going.

The Good: No matter what your maturity level is when it comes to managing your money, this book is sure to have some piece of advice you can use. I found the "Organizing your financial life" and "Degunking your Consumer Debt" chapters to be particularly helpful.

The Bad: Unfortunately you aren't going to find yourself with more cash merely as a function of reading this book. As with all forms of counseling or advice, it's ultimately up to you to take action and help yourself.

Reviewed by Kelly Hughes

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