Take Charge of Your Money and Your Life

The Financially Confident Woman by Mary Hunt:  A Book Review

“Don’t you have to have lots of money if you’re going to ‘manage’ it?”

“I don’t/can’t do financial stuff.”

This mindset might keep you from reading the new edition of Mary Hunt’s book, but you wouldn’t expect to find that the author of a half dozen books and a nationally syndicated column on personal finance used to think that way as well.  Her motto was:

“I’m not overdrawn, just under-deposited.”

It turns out that a change in what one believes about money is the key to changing irresponsible and self-defeating behavior with money.  Like losing weight and all the other “impossible things” in our lives, it comes down to simple (but maybe not easy?), everyday practices.  Hunt reduces her plan to three major points:  (1)giving; (2)saving; (3)spending less than you earn.  However, she does not stop there.  She provides a self-assessment quiz for financial responsibility and a whole chapter on reforming bad habits.

As the old saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you will surely hit it,” so Mary Hunt sets up the target with Nine Habits of a Financially Confident Woman.  This section should be required reading for every young woman about to leave the nest, because it breaks down some very basic but mysterious-sounding concepts about investment,  while also giving a stern warning (learned the hard way) about debt and living beyond your means.  Her explanation of the term “no-load, growth mutual fund” on pages 99-101 is worth the price of the book! She makes her e-mail address and web site available and ends the book with a six-week action plan for becoming a financially confident woman.  For me, the most challenging — but chilling — statement comes in the middle of the book:

“One year from today, I guarantee that you will not be the same person you are today.  You will be either better off or worse off.”

Well, I know that I want to be better off . . . what am I doing today to make that happen?

Disclosure:  This book was provided by Revell in exchange for my unbiased review.

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