Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Review: The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan

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BOOK review
Started on: 18 July 2019
Finished on: 22 July 2019

Title: The Financial Diet
Author: Chelsea Fagan
Publisher: Regan Arts
Pages: 208 pages / 212 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2017
Price: Rp 239,487 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 3.5/5

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"Saving money isn't about depriving yourself. It's about deciding you love Future You as much as you love Today You."
The Financial Diet is a personal finance book for people who don't have any idea where to start about how to get good with money. Whether you’re in need a solution for overspending, struggling with debt, or just trying to figure out how to live on an entry-level salary, this book gives you tools to make a budget, understand investments, and deal with your credit. The writer, Chelsea Fagan, gathered a range of experts to help readers make the best financial decisions. She also knows that being smarter with money is not only about what you put in the bank, but it's also about the clothes you put in your closet, financial relationship habits, until the food you put in your kitchen.

"As I've said before, money doesn't buy you happiness, but it buys you the Lego kit of happiness. It buys you comfort, security, and options, even if you still have to build your happiness on top of it."
"The way we live today dictates everything about the kind of life we will have tomorrow, and even though this clichΓ© was a painful one for me to accept, a dollar not wasted is just as good as a dollar earned."
It's been a few months since I finished reading this book and life has been super hectic lately, that's why I'm writing this review 2 months late πŸ˜‚. I'll try my best to write this review based on what I remember about this book. Since I'm now in my mid-20s, I'm slowly becoming more aware about my finances and wanted to get better at managing my money. To be honest, I used to be really bad at managing my money because back when I was a lot younger, I didn't know the hardship of earning money πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Now that I've worked for almost 5 years, I'm being a lot more mindful about where I spend my money. Back in my college days, I would buy more than 10 books in a month without any consideration. And now, I didn't even buy a single book in more than 6 months πŸ˜‚. It was a pretty life-changing decision (a hard one, too), but I was able to save a lot of money because of that.

And so when I discovered this book, I was immediately interested and decided to pick it up. I was hoping to learn a lot of things that will help me to get better with money. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book and was able to note some of the financial principles that I wanted to implement on my own life. The book also included a lot of adorable illustrations that makes it a lot more interesting. However, there are also some parts that I wasn't able to relate to because they're things that are only applicable in the United States; while on the other hand, I'm living in an entirely different continent where some things work differently πŸ˜‚. But as I've said, I still really enjoyed the majority of this book and just decided to skip some parts that seems irrelevant for me.
"You can't be on a financial diet unless you force yourself to confront the nutrition facts of your spending habits, no matter how gruesome they might be that first time you take a look around your transaction history."
In this review, I'll share parts of this book that I find interesting. The first one, is the tips on How to Get Good with Money in a Year; the tips consists of creating a budget, building an emergency fund, doing a credit card checkup, adding another source of extra income, etc. This book also reminded us about the importance of having a budget tracker—which is something that I've done since March 2015 and have definitely felt the benefit of using it (that's why I kept doing it for years). Budgeting tracker is used to track all source of income, expenses, and the amount of leftover money that remains. There's also an additional resource for this book that includes budgeting questions that helps us reflect on our purchases and look back on how we've spent our money. This part definitely made me rethink my mindset about spending money and how I'm able to manage it better in the future. Cait Flanders also offered some good financial strategies; one of them is pausing before making any purchase (which I've tried to do for several years and has saved me from a lot of impulsive buying).

There's also food category that talks about home cooking—a few recipes are included in the book, but I decided to skip this part since I don't really cook πŸ˜‚. But the interesting part for me was the list of Essential Kitchen Tools that we might need and also the necessary herbs, seasonings, and pastes, to have at home. I also learnt about this in a book on minimalism and I think this list will be so useful for me in the future when I have my own home. 😊 On that note, there's also a chapter on home; which included a list of Essential Tool Kits you need to have in a house. I really like the mindset shared in this chapter; it teaches me not to be too focused on things looking nice so that it'll suits the ideal home in our head. That was quite a hard pill to swallow for me because I do have my own imagination about how my home should look like. But now after reading this book, I'm trying to compromise and focus more on fitting into the budget so that I can reach a bigger financial goal in the future.
"I'd like to own property someday, so sacrificing on rent now and not paying for things I can't afford is a fair exchange. Being smart about when and where I invest in furniture or decor, and accepting that I can't have everything nice all at once, is just part of the mentality I have to adopt, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy where I am at the present moment."
"Don't fall into the trap of buying things that you want but don't actually need simply because they look nice and contribute to the image you have of what your apartment should look like in your head."
Another really interesting chapter is about the issue of money in relationships. I was especially excited to read this one because I know that money is a sensitive issue in any kinds of relationships—a romantic one, in friendship, and even in families. Over the past thirty years, money has also been either number one/tow cause of divorce. This book also offered some helpful tips for working out a money issue in any relationship, which I obviously highlighted and saved for future needs πŸ˜‚. The last topic that I'll mention in this review is about having realistic dreams. This book went a little bit against the idea of 'follow your dreams', because sometimes doing so requires a lot of resources—which includes money. I really like how the author suggests that we should dream medium; which means that we should strive for a dream within our means and gradually grow from there.

Overall, as you can see from the length of my review, I enjoyed many parts of this book. The writing was fun to read and I really like the mindset and principles that are shared by the author and other experts involved. For those of you who are just starting to learn about managing your finances, this book is a pretty light read that can get you started. I wish an Indonesian writer would publish a book similar to this so that everything will be more relatable for me personally. (Maybe it has been published and I just didn't know it yet πŸ˜‚). I'm really eager to look for other books that touches on financial topics such as this one because I feel like I still have a lot to learn! πŸ˜†
"Following your dreams costs a lot of money, and the reason why most successful entrepreneurs are white guys with wealthy parents isn't that they are somehow more passionate, or talented, or eager to work. It's that taking risks is about ten thousand times easier for those people. Period."
"Pop culture may have led us to believe that life should be a series of champagne brunches, Prince Charmings with black cards, and occasional money problems that magically sort themselves out in a neat two-episode arc, but real life is nothing like that. The point is, the only way we're going to have not just the relationships that satisfy us and evolve with us but the freedom to live that rich, fulfilling adult life is to be honest. We owe it to ourselves, and the people around us, to be open about our needs and our differences, and to not allow a little thing like money take a relationship down because we refuse to look it in the eye."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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